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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

Re: “Oakland-Based Amanda Reiman With Drug Policy Alliance Discusses Prop. 64, Legalization, and What's Next

Good job, Ms Reiman! You say:

>>>" Legalization in California is a necessary step toward ending prohibition on the federal level."

Exactly. Prop 64 not only frees Californians, but the whole country - and most of the planet!

Posted by John Thomas on 11/01/2016 at 6:40 PM

Re: “Months Later, Still No Charges Against Oakland Cops Who Sexually Exploited Celeste Guap

Comment above-- "Alan Blueford" was changed to "Bluebird" although I corrected it several times. Grrrrr.

Posted by Cynthia Morse on 10/31/2016 at 8:02 PM

Re: “Months Later, Still No Charges Against Oakland Cops Who Sexually Exploited Celeste Guap

Kamala Harris has had many opportunities to show that she won't stand for police corruption and to use her Attorney General's office for its intended purpose--to supercede local politics on crimes that local da's will never have the guts or principles to prosecute.

In the last few years , police murders of young black men have been brought to her for action that only an Attorney General can take, and she has closed her eyes to the crimes (Alan Bluebird's murder, for example).

The most action she has taken is calling the CHP to attack the petitioners, then never make any statement at all--always with her political future in mind. She will be the most glad-handing system player DC has ever seen.

Posted by Cynthia Morse on 10/31/2016 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Experts Confident Marijuana Legalization Will Pass in California on Election Day

Thank you David Downs and EB Express for pointing out that the "cannabis industry" has donated little to this campaign and that most of the money comes from social justice organizations. Far from being a "corporate" initiative, this is a restorative justice initiative with a business regulatory arm that enfranchises our existing cannabis cottage industry to the greatest extent possible. I have worked with DPA and other groups and am proud to have them on board. I am so sick of the conspiracy theorists and it's good to have some solid reporting on this situation. On to November and let's win big. Yes on Prop. 64

Posted by Chris Conrad on 10/31/2016 at 11:28 AM

Re: “Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com

I totally agree with the all questions you raised. I also can share my experience in filling forms. I've forgotten the last time I filled out a form on paper. I mostly use PDFfiller to edit. You can easily fill NJ Garden State MLS Multiple Listing System Property Profile Sheet here http://pdf.ac/9h4ewU

Posted by Jaren Jona on 10/29/2016 at 10:40 PM

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

I would like to thank the Eastbay Express for bringing AC Transit issues to the forefront. As a retired bus driver running for the board of directors with 23 years of
experience I've seen AC Transit at it best and it's worse now than ever before, so for many reasons you've already stated I'm running. Also I will not support buying a house, AC Transit is not in the real estate business. Thank you to those who have supported me in the past and
read this paper!!! Dollene C. Jones

Posted by Dollene Jones on 10/28/2016 at 2:33 PM

Re: “How to Happy Hour Like a Tech Bro on an 'I Only Live in Oakland Because My Apartment is Rent Controlled' Budget

I think we could all learn to enjoy earning money like a "tech bro"....just saying....and the title seems like a horrible attempt at being "tongue in cheek" if in fact that was the intention of the author. Otherwise the title just makes that writer sound like a class bigot who is envious long time residents who signed leases before she did...I'm not sure which it is...

Posted by Chantrea Nok on 10/28/2016 at 1:45 PM

Re: “How to Happy Hour Like a Tech Bro on an 'I Only Live in Oakland Because My Apartment is Rent Controlled' Budget

While I understand the title was meant to be a joke. It almost twists the knife in the back of all the longtime residents who have been here for decades/generations. Working as a community ally in Oakland is tireless work. With the rapid influx of newcomers...its extremely difficult to try to keep, promote, and educate in a community based fashion, who the residents are, and how to preserve what this city represents historically.

Posted by Shashlyks.Dacha on 10/28/2016 at 1:40 PM

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