Arnold Schwarzenegger is using the power of his celebrity to help a woman he considers a “dear friend.”
He posted on social media Friday — for all his millions of followers and everyone else to see — about Thelma Smith. The senior resident of Ladera Heights section of Los Angeles County is being evicted so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the residence that Smith now occupies, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his message. “Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too.”
Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019
Smith previously worked as an executive secretary for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, which supports underprivileged kids. She’s lived in her current home, which she rents month-to-month, for nearly 30 years and received notice March 8 that she’d have to leave by June 30.
The landlords’ daughter is graduating from law school and needs to live there.
The newspaper reports that the temporary rent stabilization policy in place for unincorporated areas, such as the one where Smith lives, isn’t as strongly in favor of the tenant as the one for Los Angeles proper. There aren’t as many protections for tenants who pay lower rents.
When a reporter for news station CBS2 asked the landlord how he felt about the eviction, he replied, “Would you take care of your child?”
Schwarzenegger, of course, is in a good position to help, as he was California’s governor from 2003 to 2011.
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