Tenant Dies in Gabriel Tower Due to Lack of Security: Tenant Union to Hold Candlelit Vigil to Honor Resident

Press Release

8/12/2021- Kansas City, Missouri

KC Tenants in front of Gabriel Tower at the Tenant Day of Reckoning on June 26, 2021.

Photo by Andrei Stoica

Today (Thursday, Aug.12), the Gabriel Tower Tenants Union will hold a candlelit vigil at 8 p.m. to honor Mr. Jesse Bay, a tenant who died after being robbed and left for dead in his apartment. Bay was discovered on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.
There is still no one securing the building.
“I feel fearful for myself and the other tenants in Gabriel Tower,” said James “Pappy” Stone, President of the Gabriel Tower Tenants Union. “We’re treated poorly and our rights are constantly violated. Tenants need the respect we deserve–proper security, upkeep and privacy–and we’re not getting it. It’s long overdue for Millennia to not do business anymore, and that’s not just at Gabriel Towers, but across the city.”
For over a year, tenants in Gabriel Tower have been organizing against their slumlord, The Millennia Companies, demanding better treatment in their homes. Mr. Jesse is not the first tenant whose death was preventable and caused by unsafe housing conditions in Gabriel Tower. In May, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge committed to a federal investigation of The Millennia Companies.
The vigil follows tenants protesting the death of their friend and neighbor, only to have their signs taken down and their demand for real, reputable security at Gabriel Tower unmet.
WHAT: Candlelight vigil to honor Mr. Jesse Bay and all tenants who have died as a result of unsafe conditions at Gabriel Tower
WHO: Gabriel Tower Tenant Union and KC Tenants
WHEN: TODAY, Thursday, August 12, 8 PM
WHERE: Gabriel Tower Apartments, 1600 Jackson Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127
Gabriel Tower Tenants Union (GTTU) is the tenant union for Gabriel Tower in Kansas City, Mo. GTTU formed in June 2020 and is led by residents of Gabriel Tower who are closest to the problems and therefore closest to the solutions. Gabriel Tower is a community of primarily residents who are elderly or with disabilities.
Kansas City Tenants (KC Tenants) is an organization led by a multiracial base of tenants in Kansas City. We know that poor people and communities of color will not be able to live in KC if we fail to imagine and win systemic change. KC tenants are organizing to ensure that everyone in KC has a safe, accessible, and truly affordable home.

Published on: 8/12/2021