"My Life is More Important Than My Landlord’s Profit": Local Tenant Asks for Eviction Moratorium Extension

1/19/2021- Kansas City, Missouri

Protesters with KC Tenants gather outside the home of Judge Kyndra Stockdale, demanding that she delay evictions on her courtroom docket to protect tenants following the expiration of Jackson County Circuit Court’s Presiding Judge Dale Youngs’ administrative order suspending all evictions through January 24. KC Tenants reported that Stockdale has issued the highest number of eviction orders in Jackson County during the pandemic.

Photo by Andrei Stoica

Jackson County’s 16 Circuit Court Presiding Judge Dale Youngs’ administrative order suspending eviction summons, hearings, and writs of execution for Jackson County, Missouri will expire Sunday, January 24, 2020.

The order came following protests and other direct actions from housing rights group KC Tenants, who have declared this month Zero Evictions January. Most recently, the group held a protest Tuesday, January 19 outside Judge Kyndra Stockdale’s home, demanding that Stockdale delay all evictions cases on her docket.

At an earlier protest to block evictions hearings, on January 7, tenants from around Kansas City shared their stories on the steps of the Jackson County Courthouse.

One of those tenants, Jailin, talked about the consequences of facing eviction for both himself and for his three-year-old daughter. His speech from the event, released in a KC Tenants press release, is below:

“My name is Jailin. I have an eviction case in this courthouse (on) Thursday, January 14.

When COVID hit, my hours got cut back. My hours got cut back, and I had to make a choice on what I should take care of at that moment. It was a choice between rent and food. I chose to take care of me and my baby and make sure we could eat.

I thought I could get my rent payments back right, but by the time I had some money saved up, the eviction was already in process. When the landlord hit me with it, it was for way more than I thought. It just seems like I’m in a deeper hole, deeper hole. I’m just like damn.

I’m 23. I’m out here trying to make things right. My daughter is three years old. She shouldn’t have to have this memory. She shouldn’t be in this situation.

Now I have to focus on my daughter getting a secure place to lay her head at night. She’s gone come first before anything, anytime. As a father, I feel hurt with myself. It’s hard not to feel like I messed up, I did something wrong, (or) I failed to provide.

But I know that it’s not on me. It’s on the government that went dark on all of us and left us out here, forced to make choices like the one I had to make.

Next week? If this eviction goes down? I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. One mark on my rental record can be really detrimental to my life. You know what I mean? There’s no way to recover. They make it so hard for you to get back right. Hoops and hurdles, phone calls, emails, a lot of more money and time … for what?

Here's what’s so crazy. PEOPLE ARE DYING. PEOPLE ARE DYING. And these landlords are like, ‘Well, even though people are dying, we still need to get this money.’

My life is more important than my landlord’s profit. Period. My daughter’s life is more important than my landlord’s profit. PERIOD.”

Published on: 1/20/2021