Vice-Mayor John Mirisch posted a rhetorical question on Instagram: Do Communists celebrate Christmas? “The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles evidently thinks so. They sent our mayor a ‘present’ equating our efforts to craft a rent stabilization ordinance with Communism.” The Apartment Association likes to equate rent control with socialism but the ‘red scare’ tactic invokes the specter of Leninism. That implies no classes, no private property and of course no religion. So it is ironic indeed to make a Christmas gift of the Communist Manifesto!
Beverly Hills landlords have never liked the city’s rental unit registry. That year-old ledger of landlords, properties and tenancies is a must-have tool for the city to hold landlords accountable. That’s why landlords fought tooth and nail against it. Last fall their Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles brought a lawsuit in Superior Court to tank it. Having failed, the AAGLA is back with a literal federal case and a local landlord as plaintiff. Let’s take a look!
City Council baked tenants a full loaf of protections when it unanimously adopted an ‘urgency ordinance’ in January: annual rent increases were limited to 3% and significant relocation fees for an involuntary tenancy termination put the brake on no-cause evictions. Residents who rent have waited for such protections for 30 years! But a month on, it looks like landlords have gobbled half of our loaf!
I want to thank everyone who responded to my Renters Alliance email and showed up to City Council this past Tuesday. Some were reluctant to speak up, but many of you did with heartfelt comments and observations. Unfortunately, our recommendations on the proposed ordinance, which was released Friday evening on a holiday weekend, were lost in our only <em>one-and-a-half minutes at the microphone</em>. So much for democracy: we saw a fully-baked set of half-loaf policies essentially blessed by City Council. (The other half of the loaf was gobbled by the landlords.)
Remember when City Council proclaimed a housing crisis and drafted the original Urgency Ordinance to tame runaway rents and tamp down no-cause evictions? In the last few weeks so-called ‘mom-and-pop’ landlords besieged City Hall. They got an assist from the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (an industry association). And they seem to have checked-off their wish-list of policies to benefit themselves at our expense. IF WE DON’T STAND UP WE WILL LOSE OUR PROTECTIONS.