The Sangiacomo Family’s Pattern of Behavior

by Ken Werner, Trinity Plaza Tenants Association (TPTA) on January 3, 2006

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On 12/27/2004, I reported that Trinity Plaza tenants did not have heat and would greet 2005 shivering.

To close out 2005, the Sangiacomo family — and I have deduced it was Susan Sangiacomo who actually gave the order this past year — shut off the hot water on the afternoon of 12/24 and it was not restored until late Monday, 12/27. One of only two repair persons for the large complex stated on Monday afternoon that “the pilot light accidentally blew out on the boiler” on the afternoon of 12/24 when Trinity Management closed the office for the long three-day weekend, and several tenants with whom I have been in contact see the same pattern of behavior of continuing human rights violations by the Sangiacomo family in what I perceive as retaliation for our recent victory.

A number of tenants made emergency calls about the absence of hot water on 12/24 and thereafter, but Trinity Management apparently refused to respond to the plight of tenants spending the three-day religious holiday without hot water. As everyone knows, a great number of devout Filipino’s call Trinity Plaza home, and the Christmas holiday is one of the most important in Filipino culture.

Additionally, the heat was shut off on Thursday, 12/30 and on Friday morning had I not confronted the Trinity Plaza property manager, Evelyn Jucutan, tenants would have again been without heat for the Western culture, three-day New Year’s holiday as well. But before I went to the building office, I had already telephoned Trinity Properties’ Walter Schmidt, who was away for the long weekend, but I left him a message about the lack of heat; it was from his secretary that I learned it was Susan Sangiacomo who was in charge at the time. I assume Mr. Schmidt listened to my message the same day and telephoned Ms. Jucutan to ensure the heat was turned on, which occurred Friday, 12/31, which saved the Sangiacomo family further embarrassment.

But what’s perverse about this behavior is that Angelo Sangiacomo is supposedly a devout Catholic (and I assume his children, as well); his use of the word ‘Trinity’ for his vast real estate holdings is the most obvious, but if you look at the telephone numbers for the listed Trinity properties in the San Francisco phone book, most of the listings use 333 or some combination using ‘3’.

Oricom.ca details the following symbolic property of the number 333:

“In one of messages of the Virgin Mary given to Don Stefano Gobbi, of the Marian Movement of Priests, we can read: ‘333 indicated once, that is to say, for the first time, expresses the mystery of the unity of God. 333 indicated twice, that is to say, for the second time, indicates the two natures, that of the divine and the human, united in the divine Person of Jesus Christ, 333 indicated thrice, that is to say, for the third time, indicates the mystery of the Three Divine Persons, that is to say, it expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Thus the number, 333, expressed one, two and three times, expresses the principal mysteries of the Catholic faith which are: (1) The Unity and the Trinity of God, (2) the incarnation, the passion and death, and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.'”

But it’s not only that the Sangiacomo family appears to be retaliating against Trinity Plaza tenants who forced The Father of Rent Control to his knees, it’s also the family’s arrogance and willingness to challenge their God’s laws that makes the Sangiacomos dangerous. For two years, tenants abandoned Trinity Plaza as a home and it cost the family an estimated $3-million in lost rent because Angelo Sangiacomo believed he could defeat a bunch of low-income tenants, senior citizens, people of color, and with every tenant who moved it meant fewer tenants opposing him. His arrogance indeed proved costly, and even though apartments are being rented now (only on a short-term basis), the Sangiacomo family will never recover the spare change lost because of Angelo Sangiacomo’s arrogance.

Apartments are being painted and new carpeting is installed before tenants move in so that newcomers will not feel like they’re renting a slum apartment, but the other “cash cow” receives no investment, that being the parking lot which the Sangiacomo family rents to theater-goers and others on a weekly basis (in addition to the few tenants who possess cars, and they’re charged an outrageous amount). In other words, Angelo Sangiacomo refuses to spend money needed for improvements but is willing to keep tenants’ security deposits in large part with claims that when tenants move out they have dirtied the carpets or other lame excuses for his greed/avarice, even though he was sued by former District Attorney Arlo Smith for attempting to keep full security deposits.

If you ask a Trinity Plaza tenant how we spent our Christmas holiday, expect a terse retort; we didn’t have hot water for bathing.

Not only did these events anger me, but I also found it a simple task to decide on my New Year’s Resolutions — we will never give up, we will never surrender, and with each passing day of 2006, I vow to become even more militant than I was in 2005.

Power to the people!

TPTA member Ryu “Drew” Makoto contributed to this report.

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