A man has been arrested for suspicion of burglary and arson in connection with a fire that damaged the office of a community organizing group in Chula Vista.
“What happened here was not an attack on ACCE, it was an attack on the social justice movement,” Christina Livingston, Executive Director, ACCE Institute said Monday as leaders of several community groups gathered outside the office Alliance of Californias for Community Empowerment.
The fire that broke out inside the H Street office space on Friday, Nov. 9 after 11:40 p.m., staff said.
Fire investigators said the fire was suspicious and they launched an investigation.
Livingston said someone kicked in the office door and used a fire accelerant near banners promoting Prop 10 and Measure W signs hanging inside the office.
The group said computers melted in the fire and other equipment and furniture was burned.
No one was injured in the fire.
Paola Martinez-Montes, Director of Alliance San Diego said the organization believes the office was targeted because of the group's work on the ballot measure regarding rent control.
“We’re devastated in some ways by the hate against our movement and against the work that we’ve been fighting for. But if this was an act of intimidation, we will not be stopped,” said Paola Martinez-Montes, Director of Alliance San Diego.
However, the Chula Vista Police Department said the arson did not appear to be politically motivated.
Officers arrested Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins, 28, who they described as a transient who may have been living on the property without permission from the property management company.
Detectives said that Jenkins told them he had been arguing with the tenants over the disposal of personal property.
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization.