Naturally the Alameda “Housing Providers” weren’t just going to sit back and allow a ballot initiative to go unchecked, this email from Karin Lucas, you know the Karin Lucas that Trish Spencer was going to appoint to the RRAC, spells out the strategy of the organized Housing Providers in Alameda. Here’s the email that has been circulating, all errors are from the original:
1. City Council Ordinance
The City Council passed ordinance requiring Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC) approval for annual rent increases over 5% and imposed a relocation fee for no-cause evictions.
Barbara Thomas and California Apartment Association (CAA) are considering filing a lawsuit against the City of Alameda for legal violations they have found in the City’s ordinance.
My opinion: Even if the lawsuit is won, all may be for naught if the Tenants Initiative passes. Therefore we should focus on defeating the Tenants Initiative.
It did sound as though former City Council member Barbara Thomas was threatening a lawsuit the last time she spoke. As an aside, word is that Barbara Thomas is running to be an Alameda County judge. If you didn’t have a reason to vote against her before, you should have plenty of reason now.
As I mentioned a bit yesterday, Housing Providers that were against the City Council’s ordinance should be really worried about the ballot initiative.
2. On Feb 29, the Alameda Renters Coalition filed an initiative to amend the Alameda City Charter with strict Renter Protection.
Annual rent increases would be limited to 65% of CPI, only just-cause eviction would be permitted. After publishing Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition in the legal notices of a newspaper, the tenants can begin to gather the necessary 6,461 signatures of registered Alameda city voters. They have about 2 ½ months to do so if they want to qualify for the November 2016 election. If they need more time (the law gives them 180 days) they will qualify for the next election after November.
OPTIONS TO FIGHT TENANTS INICIATIVE
!. CAA plans to gather signatures for a counter ballot measure to qualify for November.
Unsurprisingly, it appears as though a counter ballot is in the works.
2. Council Member Tony Daysog wants to see small landlords exempted from some forms of rent control. He is considering a ballot measure for November. We should consider working with Tony and arriving at some provisions that should be specific for small landlords. Tony may need our help to gather the necessary signatures.
Tony wants to meet with us as soon as possible. Also, he is running for reelection in November and may appreciate our support against Ashcraft who needs to run again, and Malia Vella, a declared candidate, who supports the tenants and will have lots of union campaign funds.
It looks like Tony Daysog may be teaming up with these smaller landlords to protect himself from a challenge in November by “protecting” the mom and pop landlords he’s so fond of. Given that there doesn’t appear to be any naturally coalition of folks for Tony Daysog he’s feeling the urgency to create one himself by wrapping himself in the mantel of protecting small Alameda landlords.
I found this part most interesting:
Malia Vella, a declared candidate, who supports the tenants
The subtext is that Tony Daysog does not support the tenants.
3. We should organize “Information Teams” who will be at the locations where tenants gather signatures so we can educate people about the problems of rent control. We will need to develop information folders for the teams and slogans. We should also set up a campaign committee with officers and a website.
Lawn signs have been very effective in Alameda – we need to design and order them.
All initiatives will be under great time pressure to collect 6, 461 valid signatures within the roughly 2 months remaining to qualify for the November election.
If the tenants are successful with their signature drive (which will be known by the end of June} the committee could continue to campaign up to the November election.
Looks like this group of Alameda landlords are looking to put some time and perhaps pump some money into the campaign (and possibly the campaign of Tony Daysog) to keep a landlord friendly council member on the City Council. Although it seems that they already have won the loyalties of Frank Matarrese, Tony Daysog was still inclined to vote for the ordinance even after all the “mom and pop” protestations.