People We Love :: Thomas Dart

Cook County Sheriff Stands Up

With all the recent panic over rescuing the banking system, there has been little action to protect those losing their homes.

Sheriff Thomas Dart of Chicago’s Cook County is an exception. On October 9, he ordered his deputies to freeze all evictions. Banks are required to give advance notice to renters before evicting them, but they often ignore the law. One in three occupants of foreclosed properties are actually rent-paying tenants, Dart noted. Many don’t know of their landlord’s financial troubles until deputies arrive and tell them to leave, or worse, until they return home to find their possessions out on the curb.

“I think there is this sense that people have right now that the larger entities treat people like numbers and pieces of paper,” Dart said.

After negotiating with court officials, Sheriff Dart has resumed evictions, but only after assuring that tenants will receive legal notifications prior to evictions.

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Noah Grant wrote this article as part of Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Noah, YES! Editorial Assistant, is an activist for LGBT rights. Photo of Noah Grant
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