Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 1, 2018

I understood that reference

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I think my first reaction to this was: holy shit this is a great video.

It’s not often that you get a fully annotated political rap video that is actually good.


  1. The video is well made, but equating Measure K with the KKK ??

    Mr. Shabazz, who is a historian, personally benefitted under Alameda’s rent control law. See [result of the RRAC process under Alameda’s rent ordinance was that the rent for a two bedroom, with garage space, went from $1,395 to $1,464 (about $400 less than what the landlord sought and about $750/mo. under market according to the landlord)].

    KKK ?

    Comment by MP — November 1, 2018 @ 7:07 am

    • “Hey look over here, and pay no attention to many of the valid points made in the video!”

      Comment by Jason B — November 1, 2018 @ 7:43 am

    • So what? Every voter will vote according to their interests. For example, I am voting No on K because it runs contrary to my interests as a renter (like Mr. Shabazz). Landlords will vote yes because it is in their interests to do so.

      Comment by Alex C — November 1, 2018 @ 12:36 pm

  2. No matter what medium or method one uses to communicate the message of greater justice for half of Alameda’s residents, the truth remains: Measure K is a bad way to make laws and it only helps the landlords–especially the rich corporate absentee landlords who are funding most of the Yes on K campaign. “Follow the money.” Don’t let rich absentee landlords buy this election. NO on K!

    Comment by Jon Spangler — November 1, 2018 @ 7:58 am

  3. I voted for M1. Alameda does not have “rent control.” Vote NO on K!

    Comment by RAsheed ☥ Shabazz (@Rasheed_Shabazz) — November 1, 2018 @ 8:07 am

    • I voted for M1. Alameda does not have “rent control.”


      M1 lost. Handily and decisively.

      I’ve seen this “Alameda does not have rent control” trope tossed about quite a lot lately. It is difficult to understand.

      -The RRAC has binding legal power to cap a rent increase at 5%. Yes, it also has the power to allow a larger one but in practice that seldom occurs. The overwhelming majority of rent increases since L1 have been 5% or lower.

      -If a tenant is evicted the new rent on next tenant cannot be more than 5% and that is non-negotiable.

      -If a tenant is evicted he or she receives several thousand dollars compensation.

      It may not be 100% universal and it may not have the terms that tenant activists demand, but it is rent control by any definition. If one favors stricter or stronger rent control, say so. But to say current law is not RC is to deny a reality.

      Comment by dave — November 1, 2018 @ 10:17 am

      • Dave – some of your points are flat-out wrong. The average rent increase in Alameda this past year has been 5.1%. That means half of increases have been 5% or more. If you look at the RRAC data, which is published monthly (, the majority that go to mediation are in the 5-10% range, and a staggering large number of them are still in the 10% or more range.

        We can split hair on whether or not what we have is “rent control.” But ask any one person what is “rent control,” and they will almost always say it caps increases at x% each year. Alameda’s rent policy simply does not do that, based on the RRAC data. Please back up your claims using actual data instead of spreading falsehood or repeating Measure K talking points.

        Comment by Jason B — November 1, 2018 @ 11:14 am

        • If the aggregate is only 10 basis points above the cap, 5.1% vs 5.0%, then the number the following statement cannot be accurate:

          a staggering large number of them are still in the 10% or more range.

          This statement is unverifiable and probably incorrect:

          That means half of increases have been 5% or more.

          Comment by dave — November 1, 2018 @ 11:39 am

        • Dave – I’m guessing you never studied statistics in college. Plenty of landlords do not increase rent. I know I did not this year. To get to the 5.1% average, then, you’d have to expect some landlords to increase 10% or more to offset the zeroes. I mean, it’s literally there in my link from the RRAC.

          Comment by Jason B — November 1, 2018 @ 5:51 pm

        • Lots of chatter on the site today, Jason, so you might have missed this bit from Jeff Cambra. Copied and pasted for your convenience:

          I think I can clear up some of the disagreement between Dave and Jason. Dave is correct when he says, “The vast majority of rent increases since L1 have been 5% or lower.”

          Comment by dave — November 2, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

  4. The latest version of the League of Women Voters Alameda campaign finance review charts updated to Oct 25 are available now:

    Comment by Allan Mann — November 1, 2018 @ 9:40 am

    • The amount of outside money being donated to “Measure K” is simply staggering, about $272,000 in all. The $55,000 or so coming from “individuals” looks promising, until you realized that it also includes a single $50,000 contribution from John Cocores, an absentee property investor from Oakland.

      Comment by Jason B — November 1, 2018 @ 11:19 am

      • “Absentee property investor…” is obviously being applied as a disparaging descriptor. But what does it tell us about the landlord, only that he/she doesn’t live in his/her investment. So what? Who cares. Most people who invest in real estate don’t live in their investment property. And who cares if the investor lives in Oakland? Are you suggesting that only people who live in Alameda should invest in Alameda.

        If it weren’t for non-Alamedans investing here we wouldn’t have anywhere near the number of rental units and businesses we have.

        Clint Eastwood, The Doobie Brothers, and any number of non-Alamedans have invested here. The Beach and Tennis Club and Mariner Square are just two of the properties financed by non-Alamedans – “absentee property investors”. Evil people?

        Corporate landlords have invested millions of dollars here. And you speak disparaging of investors who spend big bucks to fund campaigns that help optimize the returns on their investments. Also note that these “absentee” commercial investor/landlords own no more than a third of the rental units in Alameda. The next largest property owner is also absentee, in a way, and that’s the millions of non Alameda taxpayers who “own/fund” the Housing Authority.

        And finally there are the countless property owning Alamedans whose investments make up two thirds of our rental stock. These are, for the most part, small time investors whose life savings can be severely impacted, if not obliterated, by by the constantly changing inanely crafted policies of vote-hungry euphemistically self-described “progressives”.

        Comment by Terry — November 2, 2018 @ 12:36 am

  5. Sorry for the extremely long post.

    I think I can clear up some of the disagreement between Dave and Jason. Dave is correct when he says, “The vast majority of rent increases since L1 have been 5% or lower.” There are about 14,000 rental units in the City. Housing providers that wish to raise rents above this amount are required to file an RP-04 form with the Alameda Housing Authority. It is mandatory. According to the AHA Annual Report for FY 2017-2018, there were 172 forms filed. 52 were withdrawn by the property owner leaving 120 valid rent increase notices for rent increases over 5%. That is 120 out of 14,000 units. This was a significant decrease from the 408 that were filed in FY 2016-2017.

    In FY 2017-2018, there were 17 requests (out of the120 received) for rent review that actually made it to a RRAC hearing. Of the 17, the RRAC did not have to make a decision in eight cases, because the parties arrived at an amount they both agreed to during the meeting. There were four cases where the RRAC recommendation was nonbinding possibly because the unit in question was an exempt property. So, in 2016-2017, the RRAC only made five binding decisions out of 14,000 rental units.

    One observation. I content that the “average” rent increase the RRAC approves has little to no relevance to its functioning, because every resident/housing provider tenancy is unique, and the amount of any rent increase is tied to the unique characteristics of each tenancy. Check out AMC Section 6-58.85 B for a partial list of the factors that the committee considers when making a recommendation. Specifically, I will draw your attention to the “financial hardship of the Tenant” consideration. Unless one knows all the circumstances and history of the tenancy, it is impossible to evaluate any aspect of the RRAC and its effectiveness.

    With that said, here is the summary of the five cases:

    In August of 2017, the RRAC heard case 886. The unit was a 1 bedroom renting for $900. The original tenant and her daughter received a reduced rent in exchange for performing work for the owner. When the tenant could no longer perform the required work, the owners still kept the same rent for an additional two years. When the original tenant moved out, the daughter remained and continued to pay the same rent but never performed any services for the owner.
    Market rate for comparable units was $1600 – $1800. Owner noticed a rent increase of $450 or 50%. RRAC issued a binding recommendation for $250 or 28%.

    The RRAC hear case 872.1 on September 6, 2017. The unit was one bedroom unit renting for $1100. Owner noticed a rent increase of $650 (59%). The resident indicated that he was the sole income provider, because his wife was finishing her Masters in Chemistry. He indicated that he could only afford $100 and that when his wife graduated and found a job, they would be able to pay more. The owner indicated that the property needed repairs and the increased rent would go for these repairs. There was some question about the income from the second unit, but the property owner indicated that he was not prepared to discuss the income of the other unit. The RRAC made a binding decision to accept the $100 amount offered by the resident.

    Case 963 heard by the RRAC on January 10, 2018 demonstrates how the committee assesses the actual need of the property owner for the rent increase verses the hardship that amount would create on the resident. In this case, the new property owners purchased a triplex and moved into one of the units. The second unit was paying market rate rent, and the third unit was considerably under market – $1310 for a two bedroom unit. Comparable units were renting for between $2300 – $2500. Apparently, the previous owner of the building may have kept the rent very low as part of the resident’s compensation for work performed in the owner’s restaurant. The new owners noticed a rent increase of $1,190 (90.8%). The both tenants worked, but did not have high paying jobs. Based on the ability of the new owners to obtain bank financing based on the current cash being generated by the property and the extreme financial hardship the couple would experience with a substantial rent increase, the RRAC accepted the tenant’s offer of a $65 rent increase.

    Case 984 was heard on March 5, 2018 and involved a two bedroom unit that rented for $1732. The owner noticed a rent increase of $368 (21%) based on damage sustained to the roof and fence due to trees present on the adjacent property, tree trimming costs, and renovations made to the unit. A review of past rent increases indicated that they were very reasonable and gradual. He indicated that comparable units were renting for around $2300. The resident was the only person living in the two bedroom unit, except for an occasional visit from her uncle, who did not contribute to the rent. She indicated that almost 50% of her income goes to rent. Based on the documented increase in expenses, the possibility of downsizing to a one bedroom, and the tenant’s offer to pay an increase of $118, the RRAC recommended a $168 (9.7%)

    In June of 2018, case 1025 was heard by the RRAC. The unit in question was 2 bedroom renting for $1650. The owners were requesting a10% increase to help offset the cost of maintenance, repairs, and some upgrades. The resident had recently been laid off after losing her job. She was performing contract work while looking for full time permanent employment. She indicated that the 10% increase would not be a problem if she was working full time. The Committee recommended a stepped increase of $50 (3%) per month for 6 months and an additional $75 per month for the remaining 6 months. The increase amounted to a 6.8% increase when annualized.

    Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 3:32 am

      the line “So, in 2016-2017|, the RRAC only made five binding decisions out of 14,000 rental units. SHOULD HAVE BEEN “2017-2018” Should not be doing this at 3:30 in the morning.

      Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 7:59 am

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