WATCH: Moms 4 Housing Struggle Chronicled In Amazing New Documentary
You may remember the December 2019 – January 2020 saga of Moms 4 Housing, where four single mothers experiencing homelessness occupied a West Oakland house that had long been uselessly sitting vacant. Their fight for good over greed drew international attention to the moral outrage that Oakland has four times as many empty homes as it has unhoused people.
Now the moms’ story is a riveting 80-minute documentary called The Moms of Magnolia Street, produced by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. The trailer is above, and all four 20-minute episodes of the docuseries can be seen below.
Part 1 is above, detailing how the four working mothers decide to take over and occupy a vacant West Oakland house that was left sitting vacant by a Southern California-based house-flipping corporation.
The city tries to evict the moms in Part 2, setting off a weeks-long court battle that captures the Bay Area’s imagination. But this episode also explores the historical roots of racist housing discrimination, and how real estate investors’ profit incentives has caused a crisis of human suffering.
Part 3 is tough to watch, capturing the outrageous pre-dawn raid with armored vehicles and AR-15 assault weapons. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department thought their use of extreme force would quash this situation, but instead, set off a powerful political movement that’s still growing today.
The moms are left unsheltered again, though not for long. Part 4 shows how the Moms won the fight for the house, and on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at that.
And it’s not just a one-time win. Oakland’s Moms 4 Housing Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act overhauled the relationship between real estate speculation and evictions in the city of Oakland. And Moms 4 Housing mastermind Carol Fife won a seat on the Oakland City Council, proving the enduring popularity of theMoms 4 Housing movement’s message.
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