During the dot-com heyday, as a real estate frenzy drove prices up and people out, a group of tenants'-rights activists organized Just Cause Oakland. Its aim was to prevent long-term renters from getting unfairly evicted in order to make room for newcomers willing to drop a bundle on rent. The organization tried to get a "just cause" eviction measure on the city's 2000 ballot, but due to a technical error, thousands of signatures they'd collected were invalidated. This election year, Just Cause Oakland is back, and it has a catchy new slogan: "We will not be moved." The group needs 30,000 signatures to get on the November ballot. If you think the exodus of the dot-com crowd and dropping rent prices mean that renters have nothing to worry about, think again. Oakland's lax tenants' rights regulations are due to the assumption that the city would always be a low-rent district, and its residents would always conduct their business in a buyers' market. We've all seen how wrong that can be.
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