Why Do We Need A Charter Amendment?
Last November, Alameda voters spoke loud and clear by passing Measure L1, the 2016 Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and rejecting the radical Measure M1 by 2:1. Despite this, and despite having supported L1 in that election, three apparently radicalized members of Alameda City Council, Marylin Ezzy Ashcraft, Malia Vella, and Jim Oddie voted in Council to overturn the decision of the voters and substantially modify Measure L1, now Ordinance 3148, into Ordinance 3180, incorporating significant parts of the soundly defeated Measure M1.
On September 5th, 2017 the Council voted 4-1 to rescind Ordinance 3180 (City of Alameda Rent Stabilization FAQ). Once Ordinance 3180 had been rescinded the amendments to Ordinance 3148 reflected in Ordinance 3180 were permanently set aside, and the same or substantially same amendments cannot be enacted for a period of one year after the repeal. The original Ordinance 3148, the version approved by the voters of Alameda, is once again the governing rule of law in Alameda. However, at any time, the radicalized City Council could act to put other parts of M1 into our rent control ordinance, and even add new schemes to fix problems that don't exist except in the agendas of radical rent-control activists.
The only way to halt this subversion of the will of the voters of Alameda is to take away the ability of the Council to modify the Ordinance by making it a Charter Amendment. Unlike an Ordinance, Charter Amendments can only be put in place and modified by the voters of Alameda.
On September 5th the Charter Amendment Petition was submitted to the County Registrar of Voters with 10,284 signatures – 3,073 more signatures than are required to be placed on the ballot. Once the signatures are verified, the City Council will decide when the measure will be put on the ballot.
About the Charter Amendment
The Charter Amendment, which is nearly identical to the 2016 Rent Stabilization Ordinance 3148 (Measure L1), will endure that Alameda's rent control system is protected and prevent radical politicians from making any changes in the future. The Charter Amendment will:
- Prevents Price Gouging: The amendment includes a rent increase limitation of 5% and requires hearings before any larger rent increases can be implemented.
- Limits Evictions: Housing providers should not evict tenants just to get new tenants who will pay higher rents. State law (the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act) and the 2016 Rent Stabilization Law (Ordinance 3148) limits post-eviction rent increases, and those laws will be followed in Alameda. The Charter Amendment still prohibits rent increases of more than 5% to new tenants following and eviction other than for nonpayment of rent or other bad conduct. This is the same amount that could have been charged to the evicted tenant. This eliminates any incentive to evict for financial gain.
- Provides Relocation Assistance: The Charter Amendment will provide relocation assistance where tenants, through no fault of their own, must relocate.
This Charter Amendment puts the people of Alameda back in charge. The reality is that Alameda voters supported Alameda's original rent control law, not the radical activist's version of extreme rent control that carries unintended consequences.