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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

NATION'S LARGEST ONLINE LATINX ORGANIZING GROUP RESPONDS TO HENRY SINTAY'S AKA #JOGGERJOE'S CONVICTION

PRESENTE’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MATT NELSON, WAS ATTACKED WHILE FILMING A JOGGER WHO ABUSED A HOMELESS MAN

Jan. 18, 2019

Statement from Matt Nelson, Executive Director, Presente.org:

"Today, Henry Sintay (aka #JoggerJoe) was convicted for multiple crimes regarding his mistreatment of a homeless neighbor and assaulting and robbing me. As a community, we will continue to value, protect, and defend the human rights and dignity of all of Oakland’s residents, including our unhoused neighbors, because Housing is a Human Right!

"Sintay was facing 5+ years of imprisonment for the violent crimes he committed. Both the DA and Judge asked me if that's what I wanted as a resolution. I said no, I believe there are better ways to prevent violence and oppression than mass incarceration. I believe we can get to more safety, dignity, and justice with less jails, prisons, and imprisonment.

"Whether we find this a victory or not, I believe that Sintay’s sentencing only begins to address the bigger problem. Oakland’s housing crisis has been recognized by the United Nations as a ‘systemic cruelty,’ and we need to hold those, like Henry Sintay accountable. And we also need to hold the Big Banks, hedge fund landlords, elected leaders, and others accountable for their role in the unrelenting housing crisis. The lack of safe and affordable housing allows people like #JoggerJoe to prey on our displaced communities. The truth is, it is becoming harder to afford housing in the Bay Area, and what is often left unseen is another facet of poverty and inequality rarely seen or reported in the news: Families, including moms with children, and working professionals like teachers, living from couch to couch, on years-long waiting lists for very limited subsidized housing, sleeping in their cars, or living in dangerous housing conditions because there is no alternative.

"Today, the judge ordered the following:

- 5 years of probation (convicted of battery and vandalism)
- 8 days jail time (time served)
- Pay full restitution.
- 26 weeks of anger management to prevent future acts of violence
- He must stay at least 100 yards away from the area of Lake Merritt where the incidents took place during the time of the probation.
- He must write an apology letter to Drew (our unhoused neighbor who’s possessions Henry destroyed)
- He must write an apology letter to me.

"I want to profoundly thank my family, friends, colleagues, comrades — community members like you — I am extremely grateful to so many people who came forward to support and help me through my recovery and stood by me throughout the court proceedings. We’ve sounded the alarm about communities devastated by unaffordable rents and hedge fund landlords that leave too many families without safe, secure, affordable housing. Our “Housing is a Human Right” campaign emerged from personal experience and community action. Thank you!!!

"I believe that housing is a human right and I am deeply concerned with our unrelenting housing crisis. We must address the impact of growing inequality in the Bay Area in which we have so many of our neighbors, families, and children who are homeless or living in unstable conditions. Oakland can be a brilliant example of a dignified place to live for everyone, a place where housing is truly a human right, but only if we make it that way."

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With more than 500,000 member-activists, Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture.