Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 7, 2016

Empathy gap

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Sometimes you read things and you wonder if it sounds way worse as a clipped tweet or if someone can be really that tone deaf.

Case in point, on Tuesday night the what comes next agenda item regarding all the rent related ballot initiatives was up at bat.  FYI, the renters initiative has qualified:

Anyway, a few folks picked up on the seeming lack of empathy displayed by City Councilmember Tony Daysog:

Reading tweets the next morning you always wonder if the actual statement is nearly as bad as the text version makes it sound.  Turns out it is.

Let me frame the discussion.  Tony Daysog earlier in the meeting claimed that the RRAC has been a success because conflicts have been resolved and huge rent increases have been bargained down. Later Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft rightly pointed out that RRAC resolutions don’t necessarily show success because some people are fearful of retaliation when it comes to speaking out in favor of rent stabilization or even filing a complaint about a rent increase.

Instead of being empathetic to the fact that a lot of people who have had outsized rent increases probably don’t go to the RRAC, instead Tony Daysog decided to place the blame on the shoulders of the people who are in the inferior bargaining position and say:

If your home is on the line and you don’t come out to speak, there’s something wrong.

Only someone that has the security of his own housing would be so flippant to make an assumption about the vulnerability of others to possible retaliation.



  1. What retaliation ?!?!?!?!?
    ARC sits outside the councils homes!
    ARC storms the council chambers!
    State law protects tenants from any retaliations!

    What landlord has retaliated? RRAC has stet led every case. We started off with ” egregious ” rent increases , now we are at 7.5% settled amounts at the RRAC.

    We need a housing policy to cover lower income members of Alameda.

    If Ashcraft has seen or heard of retaliations from her Gold Coast mansion , why is she not being specific . We have a true 1%er telling us not to make a couple of hundred a month on our fourplex. Marylin is about to take a 5 week vacation , that’s why she does not want another session in August. Not all of us can drive Tesla’s and Porche 911’s while vacationing overseas Marilyn. Not all of us have over priced lawyers as our spouse to support us Marilyn.
    Fun fact EVERYONE – Marilyn is telling all the landlords privately that she has ” buyers remorse ” regarding the rent ordinance . She is a parasite who will say anything to anyone to get a vote. Her parents must be proud.

    Comment by Suzy — July 7, 2016 @ 6:42 am

    • Rent control is not a housing policy !!!!
      Building dedicated units is.

      Comment by Suzy — July 7, 2016 @ 6:43 am

      • That is absolutely not true.

        First, we are not debating rent control in Alameda (ie. rents are fixed and not allowed to increase) but rent stabilization (rents are allowed to increase pursuant to a stipulated formula). Second, tenant protections (via rent stabilization, condo conversion limits and/or tenant eviction protection / relocation assistance) and housing preservation (via code enforcement, short term rental ordinances and/or acquisition / rehab assistance) are very much integral components of many jurisdictions’ housing policies along with new housing production.

        I would also offer a counter point in support of Marilyn. I’ve only met her a couple of times but have watched her govern and serve our community over the years. I find her to be extremely (in contrast to some of her other dias-mates) well spoken, thoughtful, fair, thorough, prepared, and open-minded in coming to her decisions. I have not agreed with all of her decisions, but I have the utmost respect for her decision-making process.

        Comment by Dya — July 7, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

        • Your first point might come as a surprise to the ARC, whose proposed Charter amendment says “There shall be in the City of Alameda an elected Rent Control Board.”

          Comment by MP — July 8, 2016 @ 11:23 am

    • Wow, someone is a little envious. You sure know a lot about her. A little creepy, actually. You might want to get a hobby or a pet or a friend.

      Comment by BC — July 7, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

  2. I have a sneaking suspicion that the above-quoted tweeters claiming that Tony Daysog “just” lost (or “tonight”) some group of voters had made up their minds a long time ago and were logged in an waiting to pounce.

    Comment by MP — July 7, 2016 @ 7:03 am

    • What?

      Comment by Ted — July 7, 2016 @ 7:16 am

  3. I’m sure that the Syrians walking to Europe will have empathy for you poor folks having to move to San Leandro because you got priced out of the market. For F@cks sake, there’s not enough room for everyone in Alameda .

    Comment by Teddy — July 7, 2016 @ 7:28 am

  4. You’ve got it totally wrong. Without any evidence of retaliation- the “outrageous” statement was not made by Tony Daysog, but Ezzy-Ashcraft. And Suzy- take a chill pill…

    Comment by Captain Obvious — July 7, 2016 @ 7:58 am

    • I just hope whatever program they come up with it helps the Jason Buckley’s of the world. Under profession he is bassist at music. It needs to say angry little loser at life. Fun fact 1219 Pearl is an illegal unit.

      Comment by Master blaster keeping it real — July 7, 2016 @ 9:18 am

  5. People will read into it what they want to. If Tony’s their idea of the “great Satan” then anything he says sounds horrible to them. So much ire is whipped up due to speculation on intended meaning it’s ridiculous. Better to spend your energy on making the case for your side of the issue than taking aim at the motives and intentions of the opposition. If finger wagging and shaming were effective tools, we wouldn’t be faced with the Presidential candidates we have today.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 7, 2016 @ 9:26 am

    • Hi, Denise. Not sure if you’re assuming something about my belief regarding CM Daysog, but I’ll respond here to a couple of points. First, I’m not sure whether CM Daysog has my vote. I’m not sure that any of the possible members have my vote. Second, I notice bad choices of words, and CM Daysog has had a few lately. I also notice that he is detailed, thoughtful, and engaged with the community. When an otherwise thoughtful and engaged person says at a public meeting that they don’t want to relinquish their privilege or goes at our community’s most vulnerable people for not being present at a very late hour…I notice, and I like taking notes on public meetings via Twitter. It helps me stay informed and gives Lauren something to write about. Thanks for reading.

      Comment by gaylon — July 7, 2016 @ 5:39 pm

  6. I removed the last comment because I have very few policies on commenting but one is that if you use an anonymous IP at least use a real email address. If you use both, well, spam.

    Regarding the discrepancy with the video and the quote, I used the transcription from the tweet above in a hurry because it sounded similar to what Tony Daysog said, however, it’s not the exact quote and therefore I striked the quote, you can rely on the video for the quote instead which is still no less lacking in empathy for vulnerable renters. The privilege of housing security is a hell of a thing.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 7, 2016 @ 9:28 am

  7. The privilege of housing security is a hell of a thing.

    The privilege of living in America is a hell of a thing.

    Comment by jack — July 7, 2016 @ 9:48 am

  8. #6: ok, got it. Here it is again:

    How come right before the video segment that you posted,
    you write that he says “If your home is on the line and
    you don’t come out to speak, there’s something wrong.”

    Listening to the video you posted, he says “I’m not hesitant in that,
    if you’re home, whether you rent or own, is at stake, and you’re not
    willing to make that fight, then there’s some trouble there.” I didn’t
    hear him saying “wrong”

    Why the discrepancy?

    Comment by curious anonymous — July 7, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    • I answered your question and modified my post.

      Comment by Lauren Do — July 7, 2016 @ 10:02 am

  9. Which is better, a full-fledged Tweetocracy or watching Frank Luntz gauge a focus group’s reaction to a speech or debate on CNN or Fox, each member armed with an up (good) and down (bad) button? I guess tweets allow for more nuance, but it is a more self-selecting crowd.

    Comment by MP — July 7, 2016 @ 10:04 am

    • At the very least the tweeters are (1) paying attention to City Council meetings and (2) engaging in some semblance of discussion about local issues.

      Comment by Lauren Do — July 7, 2016 @ 10:07 am

      • True

        Comment by MP — July 7, 2016 @ 10:09 am

  10. Hers the issue:

    1. The city may not be a sustainable option for everybody who currently resides here.

    2. The ARC initiative is not a sustainable housing program if you want the same standards.

    You must pick. You can not have both.

    Comment by Ted — July 7, 2016 @ 10:26 am

  11. post#1, your envy seeps through your post. I don’t care about where a council member lives, what car they and their family drive, where their spouse works, or how long they go on vacation.

    Comment by John P. — July 7, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    • Are you some sort of moral arbiter, John P.? Fact is Envy is the basis for all ARC complaints. Renters envy homeowners. Renters who cannot afford rent increases envy those who can.

      However, a group of 18-25 year olds whining about how they want the “right” to live here and raise their kids and grandkids here looks immature as hell. What kind of stunted development do you plan for your family by restricting them to life on one island? Grow up and get a life!

      There is a “right” to housing where you already live, but it should be reserved for people too old & too poor or disabled to move or change their financial status. If you’re young, healthy and without kids, shut up and stop changing the council agenda order. The people just waiting for their leases to be approved were bumped up to midnight because of you.

      Comment by vigi — July 7, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

      • Better to inherit without merit, right?

        Comment by BC — July 7, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

        • Without merit? Who do you think did the yard work and household chores growing up in my house? Who do you think buried my parents? You are such a stupid troll, BC

          Comment by vigi — July 7, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

      • Vigi- perhaps you are not aware of the people in the ARC- but the majority of them are older or long term citizens, veterans, elderly, retirees, working people, families or singles who have been here for a long time? They are nurses, professionals, teachers, designers, artists, hospice workers, administrators, mechanics, physical therapists, writers, all manner of working people who support and enrich this community – not sure where you are getting your info- but seriously skewed attitude.

        Comment by librarycat — July 7, 2016 @ 1:29 pm

        • Funny , all I remember was a knitting blogger and an idiot who can’t admit he’s not a musician (Angela and Buckley).
          Oh ya, John Klein the Oaklnader was there breaking hips

          Comment by Teddy — July 7, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

      • Vigi, if you really want to support property rights against rent control, please shut the fuck up. Your words do not help the cause.

        Comment by dave — July 7, 2016 @ 1:45 pm

        • You’s do?
          vigi’s comments are straight on and the truth. The control fascists hate the truth and will always attack the truth teller. The lines have been drawn and the only people who won’t vote are those who think they are not are not affected either way. Maybe someone like vigi will get those fence sitters who own homes here but no rental property will come to their senses and realize that rent control is the worst idea for this city as a whole since the Charter was written.

          Comment by jack — July 7, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

  12. 1. ,11. This is not an us vs. them issue although it would be comfortable to think of it as such. Just because someone is wealthy (by one person’s standards) does not automatically make that person incapable of being fair. Franklin Roosevelt is a good example. It is also wrong to assume a lower income person who rents will naturally support rent control. They may have plans for the future. Not everyone accepts their current financial reality as a life sentence. Demonizing people is not the way to reach an accord. Starting out a negotiation with “I hate you, you stink!” rarely evolves into a happy solution.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 7, 2016 @ 11:30 am

    • Denise ,

      You missed my point. Ashcraft is a parasite 1%er who wants to adjudicate over the town. The fact that rent control helps developers lawyers ( like her husband ) should concern you .

      Comment by Teddy — July 7, 2016 @ 4:02 pm

      • You missed MY point. Name calling and making assumptions about character and motive based on net worth is biased and unproductive. This is not in defense of any one person. Rich, poor, landlord, renter, none of these titles gives you a monopoly on good or bad behavior. “Great minds discuss ideas…small minds discuss people.”

        Comment by Denise Shelton — July 7, 2016 @ 5:32 pm

  13. How empathetic is the ARC to renters of single family houses, condos and newer apartments? Where will they be heard if the RRAC is abolished?

    Comment by MP — July 7, 2016 @ 4:45 pm

    • There is no reason that RRAC cannot continue to exist and mediate disputes for single family home rent increases. Also, the relocation assistance would apply to all no fault evictions, not just apartments.

      Comment by BMac — July 8, 2016 @ 9:52 am

      • But that is not what the ARC initiative, on which signatures were gathered, says. The Charter amendment would include the following language: “Sec. 13. Supersedes. This Charter Amendment shall supersede any ordinance passed by the Alameda City Council covering the area of rents or evictions.” The ordinances the create the “RENT Review Advisory Committee”, and the provisions included in the ordinances governing RRAC procedure, including prohibitions on rent increases taking effect while there is a petition pending before RRAC, are certainly ordinances “covering the area of rents”. That is the language in the petition. That is the language that would go into the Charter if the initiative passes. Maybe the initiative can be redrafted before it goes on the ballot – say add language to the effect that the RRAC stays in place to deal with any issue not dealt with elsewhere in the Charter amendment — but you can’t really do that without changing in a major way what people signed when the petition was in circulation.

        Comment by MP — July 8, 2016 @ 10:25 am

        • Sorry, Bmac. typo in the third sentence. Should read “The ordinances THAT create….”

          Comment by MP — July 8, 2016 @ 10:50 am

        • Well, I am not a lawyer, but superseding where applicable might not mean the equivalent to striking those ordinances’ entire effect from city law. Even if the ARC initiative does have the legal effect of eliminating the RRAC from existence and no longer mediating disputes on single family homes, I don’t see it as a serious problem.

          I have yet to make up my mind on the ARC initiative, but if it passes, it would take very little effort for Council to re-establish a RRAC for homes not covered by rent control. If it is even necessary, I am not convinced that the RRAC would have to be disbanded anyway.

          Comment by BMac — July 8, 2016 @ 11:08 am

  14. ARC represents the difference between between centuries. 1970’s the right got Measure A and now the left will get rent control. The Mario Savios are in charge.

    Comment by Jack — July 7, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

  15. The reply on number 4 from the “Master Blaster…..” More like Master Squid. No wait a minute, how about Master Dork?

    Comment by Mike Henneberry — July 7, 2016 @ 10:27 pm

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