Luis Herrera was born in Colombia, but has lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years. A computer technician by day, Luis enjoys watching documentaries, reading dancing to Latin Music. Luis moved to Burlington because his apartment in Korea town had a major rent increase 6 years ago. Since living in Burlington, his life has centered itself around the area including his job, dialysis care for his 82 year old father and his community. In 2018, Luis as well as other tenants in the building received a rent increase regardless of condition of the building and the neglect his landlords had given it. The rent increase was unaffordable to Luis and his father and was insult to injury due to its unaddressed habitability issues.
The other tenants in his 192 unit building felt similar to Luis and his father and they began organizing a fight against the owners. Luis’ initial role in this organization was communication of meeting decisions to tenants so everyone could stay informed. His building went on a six-month rent strike and fought the landlords on their rent increases as ell as their habitability issues, which the landlords finally addressed. Even though he’s still living in his apartment, the feeling of anxiety remains within his building – every time he comes home, there is an expectation to find a notice waiting for him at his home.
When asked about his thoughts on the neighborhood he has been residing, he replied:
“This is a hard working community and the people of this community deserve to live in affordable well-kept apartments. That should be a privilege afforded to everyone, regardless of their ethnicity and social class.”