Moving forward

by Eric Strimling

We fought a good fight, but lost. Being outspent by 20 to 1 was simply too difficult to over come. Their strategy was to to confuse the electorate and it succeeded. They called themselves rent control, they published repeatedly that L1 had a 5% rent cap which it doesn’t. I spoke to tenants who voted for L1 thinking it was the rent control measure. Most importantly, they branded M1 as “radical” with themselves as the “fair” alternative. It was a strategy that the CAA had done polling on, and it worked.

The Alameda Renters’ Coalition is disappointed, but also proud of the progress that has been made over the last year. A year ago there was no rent regulation in Alameda. Through the hard work of the Coalition we were able to push the City Council to pass Ordinance 3148, which put the brakes on rent increases and evictions. The landlords fought this ordinance with everything they had, and tried to defeat it even after it passed. Then ARC qualified real control, Measure M1, for this ballot. Suddenly the landlord community “liked” the City ordinance. And now a majority of Alamedans have affirmed that ordinance. For the first time in its history, Alameda is working to protect its tenants.

All through the battle to write ordinance 3148 Councilmembers Ashcraft and Oddie would say to us that they needed “a third vote” to pass stronger protections. With the election of Malia Vella, which the Coalition strongly supported, we have that third vote for tenants’ rights. Our next steps will be to work with the new City Council to add better regulations on No-Cause evictions, better data collection on the effectiveness of the Rent Review Advisory Committee, and improvements to the quality and quantity of affordable housing.

The Alameda Renters’ Coalition came into existence three years ago. Measure M1 was a result, not the reason, for our organization. We will continue to do what we were founded to do- advocate to Keep Alamedans In Their Homes!

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