It was winter in California when 85-year-old Diana Martin was forced out of her apartment. The elderly widow started to cry, protesting that it was cold and she had no children living nearby. Yet, the city’s vice mayor, John Draxler, told her that was not his problem.

Draxler initially told Martin that she was evicted for sharing her faith and offering to pray for people. Despite knowing that her rent was fully paid and that she had nowhere to go, Drexler still told her to leave. Martin was put at a disadvantage. She has since moved out of the apartment that she had been living for almost 14 years. She was also not given enough time to vacate. 

Draxler then added that her age was another agenda for her eviction. Martin said when she first moved in, the complex had been advertised to seniors. But management changed and invited younger people in the last few years, removing as many elderly inhabitants as possible, including her. 

To give Martin justice, The Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense organization fighting for religious freedom, stepped in. They helped her file a discrimination charge with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

“What happened to our client, Diana Martin, was wrong on many levels,” PJI Attorney Matthew McReynolds said in a press release. “No one should be evicted based on their religious expression, but especially not an elderly great-grandmother. We are hopeful that a state investigation and remedial action will ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in this community.”


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