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Re: “How to Solve Berkeley's Housing Crisis? Two Leading Mayoral Candidates Don't See Eye-to-Eye

Yet both co-authored a tax measure that would give developers a break from a 166% tax increase for 12 years. Go figure. Neither candidate has it wrapped up when it comes to dealing with our housing crisis.

Posted by BerkWatch on 11/02/2016 at 9:37 PM

Re: “How to Solve Berkeley's Housing Crisis? Two Leading Mayoral Candidates Don't See Eye-to-Eye

Mr. Arreguin's talk is cheap: his advocacy for higher percentage of affordable units, his push for higher impact fees, his assertions to be progressive all "sound" good, but lack the test of real-world practical experience, nor are they supported by his record. Those who have real world business experience, such as Mr. Capitelli, understand how far to push on these goals so as to make the projects work both for our city and for those who risk their capital, their reputations and their future. Mr. Arreguin's record on over 1,500 housing units approved by the Council speaks for itself: he either voted against them or abstained.
Now, Mr. Arreguin has resorted to nasty campaigning, trying to tarnish the sterling reputation of a true community leader, Mr. Capitelli. It is shameful!

Posted by Deellan Kashani on 11/02/2016 at 8:11 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Ms Nader writes, "Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. " To see four hundred families evicted en masse on short notice in 2004 was, indeed, terribly tragic, the repercussions of which to this day affects the West End of town in the form of closed schools, some of which only recently re-opened as charter schools that attract youth from throughout the island. That mass eviction was indeed tragic . . . and contrary to what Ms. Nader says, I and the then-Council took the matter to court, all the way to Judge Alsop's court, where he ruled that the out of town property owner could displace 400 families en masse. As for gentrification, no, I don't want to see the entire island or parts of the island gentrified, and I see in Measure L1 a tool that council and the City finally has in slowing down the indicator of gentrification, ie excessive rent increases. While I believe the relocation benefit\penalty (a fee that the landlord must pay to tenants in instances of 'no cause' evictions) we, the Council, adopted in March 2016 is too high, there is, nonetheless, such a tool to stifle 'no cause' evictions, along with other tactics in the March ordinance (ie Measure L1). So I encourage residents to give L1 the chance to keep working, as it has in the form of the ordinance adopted in March. Thanks.

Posted by Tony Daysog on 11/02/2016 at 7:56 PM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

I am astonished by your endorsement of Jody London for Oakland School board in district 1. According to your own reporting, big money interests such as GO Public Schools are trying to influence our elections- http://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/how-a-handful-of-pro-charter-billionaires-flooded-oaklands-school-board-elections-with-big-time-cash/Content?oid=5016336 Just because they aren't making large contributions to Jody London now doesn't mean that they haven't in the past. London is still endorsed by GO. Her opponent, Don Macleay, is endorsed by the Oakland Justice Coalition, AFL-CIO, the Oakland Education Association, Rebecca Kaplan, and OUSD Parents United. He is also endorsed by the Green Party. Don believes in transparency, strong management, and accountability. Knowing what you know about GO Public Schools and their goals, I find your support of his opponent unfathomable. As an Oakland teacher who has attended a lot of school board meetings and who keeps up on the issues, I support Don Macleay.

Posted by Bethany Meyer on 11/02/2016 at 7:12 PM

Re: “The Truth About Medical Marijuana Card Privacy

So this means no extensive like the most extensive back round check can revel a person has a medical mj card cause this is part of ur privacy like the rest of ur medical record??

Posted by roxxxx on 11/02/2016 at 7:05 PM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

I cannot say it better than Farshid Moussaka so I am reporting that person's comment:"I am disappointed by your endorsements for OUSD board member Jody London - OUSD has been terribly non-transparent and bypassing process in its allocation of millions of dollars of borrowed taxpayer money, and Jody has not been responsive nor has she made accountability of OUSD a priority in her campaign. Oakland deserves better, I urge you to reconsider and endorse Don Maccleay- he has made accountability a central issue in this campaign. Furthermore you are opposed to GO control of our school district, yet Jody is supported by GO, and Don is vehemently opposed to it. Thank you."

Janet Arnold

Posted by Jan Arnold on 11/02/2016 at 6:56 PM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

I am disappointed by your endorsements for OUSD board member Jody London - OUSD has been terribly non-transparent and bypassing process in its allocation of millions of dollars of borrowed taxpayer money, and Jody has not been responsive nor has she made accountability of OUSD a priority in her campaign. Oakland deserves better, I urge you to reconsider and endorse Don Maccleay- he has made accountability a central issue in this campaign. Furthermore you are opposed to GO control of our school district, yet Jody is supported by GO, and Don is vehemently opposed to it. Thank you.

Posted by Farshid Moussavi on 11/02/2016 at 5:23 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Evictions are very serious and carry negative consequences for everyone involved. Renters lose their homes, communities are disrupted - the effects are obvious and terrifying. For property owners, evictions are time-consuming and very expensive. Vacancies generate no income while overhead stays the same or increases. Evicting your renters is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Normally, we don't need laws against shooting ourselves. Unfortunately maintaining rent below market value in the face of pending rent control legislation is more like shooting yourself in the head. Especially for new owners with a high mortgage and unknowable rising costs, like new Rent Board fees.
Simon-Weisberg is right, there have been waves of evictions in Richmond as well for similar reasons.
When the balance sheets don't balance and you have to sell at a loss because rent control depresses income (on which property values are based, in part); a foot starts looking pretty expendable - evictions are the only option - If the landlord goes out of business, are renters better off? This is the problem with trying to make public housing out of private investments.
The biggest losers in rent control are undoubtedly renters evicted by large property owners. The next biggest losers are small property owners who are just scraping by and can't spare a foot or even a toe.
I wish Richmond (my city) had an "L1" to vote for.
Measures M1 and L in Alameda and Richmond, respectively are toxic to all.

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 11/02/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “How to Solve Berkeley's Housing Crisis? Two Leading Mayoral Candidates Don't See Eye-to-Eye

Both Arreguin and Capitelli support subsidized housing, but Capitelli is also willing to support transit oriented development, which is essential both to reducing the Bay Areas greenhouse gas emissions and to addressing its housing shortage.

This election is the third in 6 years that has become a referendum on whether to build more housing in our transit oriented downtown, and the third showdown between Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguin over this subject. In 2010, 64% of Berkeley voters voted for a progressive downtown plan backed by Capitelli, while Arreguin campaigned against it. In 2014, Arreguin drafted Measure R, which would have stopped much of the housing planned in the downtown. The Berkeley Food and Housing Project, Greenbelt Alliance, East Bay League of Conservation Voters, the Building Trades unions and organizations representing the downtowns small businesses all opposed Arreguins measure. Capitelli helped organize the defense of the downtown plan and 74% of Berkeley voters sided with Capitelli. Now we have a mayoral race that is turning on these same issues.

Capitelli has proven himself as a leader who can forge solutions backed by environmental, business, labor and affordable housing advocates alike. That is hard work and Capitelli is good at it.

Posted by Tim Frank 1 on 11/02/2016 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

What wasn't included in this article is the messaging used by L1 advocates targeted to Alameda homeowners like myself. Various large real estate investors, like Ballena Bay, are sending mailers with racist and classist messages, e.g., M1 will make Alameda less safe. Your property values will decrease.

M1 simply allows Alamedans to stay in their homes. I've lived here 22 years and there's a great community of involved islanders - many of whom are renters. Why should they be held to an incredibly unfair standard of high rents so real estate investors can make a profit. Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. We're on a precipice in Alameda - do we want a thriving intact community that includes both renters and homeowners or an exclusive enclave? I vote for the former! M1 is the most reasonable approach and L1 is nothing but a poison pill!

Posted by jnader4bc6 on 11/02/2016 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

The lack of protection against no cause evictions, as well as the proven inability to enforce the current law (L1) provides a solid foundational argument as to why M1 was proposed and is being championed by many. Those being faced with 60 day notices in advance of the election are the perfect representation of this - these people pay their rent on time, are active members of the community and are being displaced without merit - L1 doesn't prevent this. Under L1, the burden to challenge rent increases and unfair practices is with the tenant, who is most cases too fearful to pursue what's lawfully within their right because they, too, could easily come home to a 60 day notice. Proponents of L1 will argue that the 5%+ increase will trigger a review once the landlord files their intent but what if they do not? My complex alone provides an example of 4 families who received increases and no corresponding lease as per L1. Each one of these families personally requested a lease; each one was denied. Unless the tenant takes on the risk to follow up with the city and force the issue (again, a scary act for people with no protection), they'd be free to ignore the law with no repercussions.

Lastly, it is important to note that L1 was fiercely opposed by landlords and the powers behind them like the CAA when it was first proposed - and still is challenged or per the above ignored. Without tenant proponents on city council, there is no guarantee that the even the currently weak protections will stay in place post-election if L1 prevails.

Posted by Megan L on 11/02/2016 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

The average increase for the 3 months ended Sept was 10.5pct, not 5-7pct as Days of asserts.

Posted by MontyJ on 11/02/2016 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

"limiting an owner to get a fair return on their investment."

That's just it. It's not merely an investment. It's my home. It's where I raise my kids. You want an unregulated investment, get into a hedge fund. You want to make money on residential real estate, you should have to negotiate tough regulations because your investment is providing a basic need to actual people. Regulations too tough for you? Good. More housing stock for those of us who want to buy an actual roof over our head and not just some investment to cash in on when a boom hits.

Who exactly determines what "fair" is? Rents have skyrocketed in the bay area 20 to 50% in the last 5 years. That's fair? So any time my landlord feels they need more money, they can just hit me up for it? That's what you call a racket. Alameda landlords are a mafia. Straight up.

Posted by Ryan LeBlanc on 11/02/2016 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Councilmember Daysog and East Bay Express readers: UC Berkeley's The Daily Californian did a series examining local Census results and their impact on the East Bay: http://archive.dailycal.org/article.php?id=5157. They found that the combination of high costs of living and the infusion of Latinos and Asians into Berkeley were most likely responsible for the decrease in Berkeley's Black population. There was also a large population movement during the recession of the early 1990s which hit California harder than other states. Regarding why South Berkeley specifically experienced a significant decrease in the Black population, UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) has attributed this to skyrocketing housing prices and a lack of flexibility in the housing market, not the passage of rent control. Councilmember Daysog, you may want to revisit your hypothesis with this data and research from your alma mater.
In Alameda for Black History Month 2016, local historian, urban planning researcher, Rasheed Shabazz -- who grew up in Alameda's West End and graduated from UC Berkeley -- delivered a lecture at the Alameda Free Library titled, "Alameda is Our Home: A History of Black Alameda, 1860-present." The presentation demonstrated a historic pattern of housing discrimination against Blacks via racial restrictive covenants and "redlining" in Alameda. It also touched on how Black tenants of the Buena Vista Apartments had to sue the City of Alameda because of its discriminatory housing policies in the late 80's. For more context, you may want to check out the documentary,"Civic Unity: Five Years in the West End of Alameda" available at https://vimeo.com/12085156.

Posted by María D. Domínguez on 11/02/2016 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Growing My Own Marijuana ... and Saying Good-Bye to Legalization Nation

Well heck, I just found you! I'm sure you have plans!

Posted by Xeno David Rasmusson on 11/02/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “How to Solve Berkeley's Housing Crisis? Two Leading Mayoral Candidates Don't See Eye-to-Eye

http://www.urbandisplacement.org/sites/default/files/images/udp_research_brief_052316.pdf

Readers might want to look at some actual research on this topic, from a UC Berkeley academic who has been working on anti-displacement issues for years.

The first substantive paragraph of the study reads as follows:

"At the regional level, both market-rate and subsidized housing reduce displacement pressures, but subsidized housing has over double the impact of market-rate units."

Posted by Nathan Landau on 11/02/2016 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Growing My Own Marijuana ... and Saying Good-Bye to Legalization Nation

Happy trails, David.

Posted by Glenn Backes on 11/02/2016 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Thank you for this well-balanced, fair narrative of the situation in Alameda.

To be clear: I favor the local initiative called "L1", and do not support "M1", for the reason you accurately mentioned in the article, ie the formula results in an allowable rent increase that renders uneconomic especially smaller mom and pop landlords' units, which harms tenants and mom and pops equally.

I favor "L1" because it addresses the issue that brought us here in the first place, ie dealing with excessive rent increases, and does so (again, as you correctly wrote) through a mediation that (as a result of landmark ordinance Council adopted in March 2016) includes the power of binding arbitration (ie the ability to set a fair and reasonable rent increases case by case, ie mediation-based rent control).

Background: In March 2016, Alameda City Council adopted what many locally see as a landmark ordinance in an effort to address the crisis in excessive rent increases. Prior to this decision, Alameda has had for forty years a rent review advisory board who could only suggest a reasonable rent increase, when a tenant brought a matter before this board. With the March decision, Council finally gave that rent review advisory process the power of binding arbitration, ie the ability to establish a reasonable rent increase (ie mediation-based rent control on a case by case basis). Council adopted other provisions in the March ordinance, but the binding arbitration proviso is the hallmark of the ordinance.

Trends: There's been over 170 cases that have come before the rent review advisory board since adoption of the 2016 ordinance that "L1" would affirm and, of these, roughly 165 were settled between the tenant and landlord even before the actual hearing itself. The 11 remaining cases, it is my understanding, were settled during during the rent review board meeting itself, in a fashion mutually (heavy emphasis on mutually) agreed to by tenant and landlord, such that average rent increases have ranged from 5 to 7 percent. No cases have gone to the final level of binding arbitration as of yet, which indicates that mere presence of this level is acting like a cudgel forcing landlords to be reasonable with regard to rent increases. Check with the Alameda Housing Authority or Alameda Community Development Department for more info.

Summary: we are over with those days of en masse 30%, 20%, 15% excessive rent increases that characterized the rent crisis in the City of Alameda. In short, the landmark March 2016 rent ordinance that gave the rent review advisory board process the power of binding arbitration (ie the ability to set reasonable rent increase, ie mediation-based rent control) is solving the heady matter that brought us to this point in the first place (ie excessive rent increases). "L1" affirms that ordinance.

Request: we ask Alamedans to vote for "L1" as this has demonstrated itself to be a reasonable, practical, and non-ideological solution crafted with input from tenants, landlords, subject matter experts in housing law and operations, and city staff. Above all, it is working. Thank you.

/s/ Tony Daysog, Alameda City Councilmember

Postscript: many years ago while in grad school at Cal's City and Regional Planning (DCRP), I worked on a project with a Berkeley rental property outfit called St. John's and Associates, in a project funded by the Pacific Legal Foundation. It was I believe 1992 and, by then, Census 1990 was available, allowing for a comparison of 1980 Census (since Berkeley's rent control started in June 1980) and 1990 Census. What struck us was how South Berkeley over the decade of the 1980s lost en masse its African American population. I think out assessment was that this occurred not because landlords suddenly became racists but rather that for small mom and pop African American landlords in South Berkeley operating under the Berkeley style rent regime proved too difficult with the passage of time after 1980 -- hence the loss of African Americans in South Berkeley. That was a hypothesis. As Alameda seeks to emulate the Berkeley-style rent control via "M1", this is something to think about.

Posted by Tony Daysog on 11/02/2016 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

This has become a biased newspaper with little or no accountability. You are supposed to report the news and not take sides! You lie and say candidates where invited and come to find out you never invited them!!!! Your credibility needs to be addressed as well as the knowledge of your reporters on the subjects they claim to cover! People can actually think for themselves but you have taken it upon yourselves to think you are "know it all's" and you have proven that you are not! You owe public apologies to candidates that you have ignored and saw fit not to give your readers the "right" to know!!! Don't go covering transparency cause you don't know the meaning of the word!!!! Your rudeness and immaturity begs the question!

Posted by Nancy Sidebotham 1 on 11/01/2016 at 9:15 PM

Re: “How a Handful of Pro-Charter Billionaires Flooded Oakland's School Board Elections With Cash

Did I miss where it says how much they spent on the district 1 race?

Posted by Rafael Cruz on 11/01/2016 at 8:18 PM

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