Courtesy Photo / Greg Casar
Congressional candidate Greg Casar (speaking into megaphone) addresses protesters Monday outside the offices of Achievement Investment Group.
Democratic congressional candidate Greg Casar and District 7 San Antonio Councilwoman Ana Sandoval joined tenants of the Seven Oaks Apartments Monday at a protest in Austin demanding better living conditions at the Alamo City complex.
Joined by the Texas Organizing Project, the tenants and politicians staged the rally outside the offices of Achieve Investment Group, the corporate owner of the Leon Valley-area apartments.
Achieve — which holds more than $500 million in assets, according to its website — has been on the receiving end of public criticism over allegations that conditions have badly deteriorated at Seven Oaks under its watch. Residents also accuse it of wrongfully evicting tenants.
"Many tenants have had rat infestations, mold in their kitchens," Casar told the Current
by phone after the protest.
"Some of them told me that they hadn't had air conditioning in the last month."
Casar is running to represent the heavily Democratic district that includes downtown San Antonio, downtown Austin and a connecting swath along I-35.
At the Austin rally, protesters demanding that Achieve fix air conditioners at Seven Oaks and make its apartments safe for tenants.
Executives offered to meet with tenants individually to address concerns on an apartment-to-apartment basis, an offer the protesters denied, according to Casar. Instead, they held to the demand that executives meet with entire group, the former Austin councilman added.
"I think [Achievement] is clearly putting money into the evictions that they're going through," Casar said. "Instead, they should be putting their money towards putting air conditioning in the units and taking care of their tenants."
Courtesy Photo / Greg Casar
District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (in mask) stands next to Casar at the protest.
Last week, Seven Oaks tenants protested inside San Antonio City Hall, demanding a meeting with Mayor Ron Nirenberg to discuss conditions at the residential complex.
The mayor was unavailable, according to city officials, and the tenants were nudged out of the building by police officers.
Assistant City Manager Jeff Coyle later issued a statement calling the actions of the angry tenants "unprofessional and unacceptable." He also said they "caused numerous City Hall employees to be concerned for their safety."
Following last week's protest at San Antonio City Hall, tenants from Seven Oaks and organizers from TOP said they agreed to a meeting with a representative from Nirenberg's office this Tuesday.
However, at press time, the Current
was unable to confirm whether that meeting is still on the books.
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