SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A pair of protests collided in front of State Sen. Toni Atkins' downtown San Diego office Friday morning, and joined forces to call for help.
Members from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment gathered to tell Atkins to support Assembly Bill 1436, which would extend the eviction moratorium until April 1, 2021. They say it's the only way to protect people who haven't been able to pay rent because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, a car rally organized by UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 demanded a new tax on California billionaires to help pay for child care and shore up holes in the state's education budget.
The groups were unaware of each other's planned protests until they both showed up at Atkins' office at the same time. But they say their combined voices should help get her attention.
"This tax would help those families who need quality childcare, affordable childcare, so we are supporting the children," said Miren Algorri, a child care provider who supports the tax. "This is not about the rich, this is about the children, the future, not only of this community, but of California, the nation."
"We need protection," said Patricia Mendoza, a mother of two who faces eviction if the current moratorium runs out. "Where are we going to go? What's going to happen to me, what's going to happen to my future? I don't want to have to tell my kids we're going to be homeless. And I don't think any mother, or any parent would like to tell their kids we're going to be homeless."
Atkins has already written a bill that would allow landlords and tenants to work out a payment plan for back rent, to be paid between 2024 and 2034. The protesters Friday say it doesn't go far enough, because it doesn't eliminate the threat of eviction.
After the joint protest, people wrote chalk messages to the senator so she would see them every time she walked in and out of her office.
A spokesperson sent ABC 10News the following statement: “Senator Atkins supports the committee process and generally does not take positions on bills until they are through that process. However, in these unprecedented and difficult times, we are doing everything possible to ensure people can keep their homes and stay healthy as we deal with this pandemic.”