Rent Control Law in Crosshairs During State Assembly Recess

By Diego Aguilar-Canabal : thebaycitybeacon – excerpt

A broad swath of activists—from union leaders, to democratic socialists, and tenant advocates—will descend upon Sacramento this morning to demand swift action on the Costa Hawkins Act, a longstanding restriction on rent control. Assembly Bill 1506, introduced last year by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica), failed to pass through committee after Bloom faced overwhelming opposition from homeowners and real estate groups.

The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D – Oakland) and David Chiu (D – SF), as well as State Senator Ben Allen (D – Redondo Beach), and consists of a single sentence: to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Act of 1995

The Housing Now campaign, mobilized in part by the SEIU Local 1021, is bringing rent control advocates to testify before the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee, which is chaired by Assemblymember Chiu. According to Chiu’s office, the meeting is scheduled as an informational hearing on “The Plight of Renters in the Housing Affordability Crisis.” This comes on the heels of a massive phone-banking campaign by the Democratic Socialists of America to call members of the State Assembly in support of AB 1506… (more)

Sounds like a promising start to the new year. California residents need a break from gentrification and this is a good first step in that direction. We talked to activists supporting this at the state level and here is an update from people who went to Sacramento this week.

UPDATE:

“Wiener signed onto support repeal of Costa-Hawkins when we had our town hall in February but has been silent since then. He has suggested to folks that it would be an easier sell to repeal parts of it (we want a full repeal). Ting has been silent as well. We want them both to sign on as co-sponsors of the repeal bill. Chiu is one of the sponsors of the bill. He is also head of the Housing Committee in Sacramento, which mean he has a lot of power to bring the bill to a vote in his committee and get it to the floor. If returning control to local governments is important to you, let your state reps know you want to repeal Costa-Hawkins by passing AB 1506. You may also sign the petition and help those who are working on this issue by sharing this to your friends around the state. http://www.tenantstogether.org/campaigns/repeal-costa-hawkins-rental-housing-act

 

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Support Supervisor Kim in CEQA showdown

Michelle Myers and Mike Casey : sfchronicle.com – excerpt

Forty-three years ago in the midst of a new national environmental consciousness, forward-thinking California lawmakers passed the California Environmental Quality Act. That law – along with the Clean Air and the Clean Water acts – has helped preserve the promise of California as a clean and green state even as it has grown to be a state of some 38 million people. In the nation’s most populous state, CEQA has helped reduce and avoid environmental impacts.
But CEQA is now in danger of being weakened in San Francisco, and Supervisor Jane Kim is working to defend it. The attack on CEQA in San Francisco is part of a broader assault on environmental protection happening statewide and nationwide. Business is driving the attacks, making overblown and unsupported claims that CEQA and other environmental laws are to blame for the economic downturn…
Concerned San Franciscans reacted by organizing. A vast coalition of people representing more than 40 neighborhood, environmental, labor and social justice groups came together to protect CEQA. Since last fall, members of that coalition have been drafting alternative legislation that modernizes the act in some places and strengthens public notification in others. Kim is sponsoring that legislation…
Kim’s legislation is trailing Wiener’s measure in the legislative process at City Hall. People concerned about preserving and strengthening CEQA should contact their supervisors and board President David Chiu, and ask them to ensure that Kim’s legislation establishes the basis for improving CEQA…. (more)