California Voice - San Francisco Bay View
COMMENTARY: ‘Yes on Prop 10,’ says Danny Glover
SAN FRANCISCO BAY VIEW — Today, few middle-class families can afford to purchase a home in California. There is a housing crisis in my state – and across the United States of America.
By Danny Glover
When I bought my own home in 1975 – the house I still live in today – I was working for the Model Cities Program in the Office of Community Development. I was born in San Francisco and raised in the same neighborhood that I live in today [Bayview Hunters Point – ed.]. When I was 11 years old, my parents – both postal workers – were able to buy a home.
Today, few middle-class families can afford to purchase a home in California. There is a housing crisis in my state – and across the United States of America.
More than 500,000 people experience homelessness on a single night, and for those who do have a roof over their heads, 11 million households spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent. This disproportionately affects low income and minority households.
This housing crisis is happening not because these people aren’t working hard enough or long enough. This situation exists because rents have skyrocketed around the country while wages have remained stagnant, and our governments have done next to nothing to ensure that hard-working lower- and middle-class families don’t fall behind.
But this does not have to be the case.
In California and across the country, progressives are coming together to demand change. We need affordable housing for our communities.
On Nov. 6, voters in California will be able to vote on Proposition 10, an amendment that will let local governments determine if housing in their area should be rent controlled based on the needs of those in their communities.
Prop 10 is a key example of how we can make California and the rest of the United States affordable for all families. Vote Yes on 10!
Here, Danny Glover is speaking on behalf of the Sanders Institute and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors endorses Proposition 10
by Lynda Carson
A huge David vs. Goliath battle in California for the heart and soul of the future is being fought over the “landlord vs. tenant” ballot measure known as Proposition 10, the Affordable Housing Act. Click here for the Proposition 10 fact sheet.
A Yes vote on Proposition 10 supports allowing local governments to adopt rent control, repealing the draconian Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which prohibits local governments from enacting rent control on certain buildings.
The “Rent Is Too Damn High” Bus Tour stopped recently outside of City Hall, where San Francisco tenants, the SF Tenants Union, United Educators of San Francisco and Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Hillary Ronen rallied in support of a resolution supporting Prop 10. “I’m thrilled that my board colleagues recognize the importance of addressing the housing affordability crisis that is facing San Francisco,” said San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the sponsor of the resolution.
“Stabilizing rents is the single most effective way to stabilize communities and to build better neighborhoods. It’s long past time to untie the hands of local policymakers to address the crisis we watch unfold every day, and I’m encouraged that the energy and momentum behind this initiative continues to build.”
“We must do everything we can to address the housing affordability and homelessness crises facing our community. As a working mom, I know that too many parents struggle to pay for child care and skyrocketing rents and too many families with small children cannot afford to live in the Bay Area,” said San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
“Anybody who is displaced from their home not only has to leave the city, but has to leave the region entirely. This is wrong. When we pass Proposition 10, we can then pass laws locally that deal with the sky-high rent and protect the residents and citizens of San Francisco.”
“It’s great to see the Supervisors agree it’s time to end Sacramento’s needless control on our rights here in SF, stop the rampant evictions and rein in sky-high rents,” said Deepa Varma of the San Francisco Tenants Union.
“The people of San Francisco know firsthand that the status quo isn’t working, and we need real solutions now. We must pass Proposition 10 so we can update our laws and keep our neighbors from getting pushed out.”
“We’ve seen the impact of skyrocketing rents in our schools here in San Francisco. In every classroom, there’s a child who is homeless, as more than 2,500 do not have a place to call home – and these are just the students we know about. Many of our educators – just like our families – are just one paycheck away from being homeless,” said Anabel Ibanez of the United Educators of San Francisco.
“Passing Prop 10 means that our cities and counties will have the ability to protect and preserve our affordable housing and community. This also means our educators will be able to live where they teach and continue to provide a quality education for every child. When we pass Prop 10, we’ll untie the hands of our local communities.
“For many Californians, including many in the Bay Area, the rent is too damn high. Proposition 10 is a key step towards solving California’s housing affordability crisis because it will protect California’s renters and guarantee landlords a fair rate of return, all while laying the foundation for stronger communities. By empowering local communities to limit rent increases and curtail predatory housing practices, cities and counties will be able to create thoughtful laws to address their local housing situations.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution of support for Prop. 10 on Oct. 3, voting 9-2. Supervisors Katy Tang and Catherine Stefani cast the No votes.
They join a broad coalition of organizations and advocates – from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and City Council, League of Women Voters and ACLU to the California Democratic Party, California Labor Federation, California Teachers and Nurses associations, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, Our Revolution, Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee and elected officials Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Kevin de Leon, Phil Ting and Tony Thurmond and many more – who are all urging Californians to vote YES on Proposition 10.
Voting YES on Prop. 10, they say, will allow cities that need it to pass laws limiting rent increases. Prop. 10 does NOT mandate rent control. It does NOT force any community to adopt any rent control measures that would not be a good fit for their own housing situation. It does NOT force any one-size-fits-all solutions on any city.
Instead, Prop. 10 simply allows communities that are struggling with skyrocketing housing costs to put an annual limit on how much rents can be raised. Communities are free to bring more fairness to housing, ensuring that tenants have protections against huge rent increases, while ensuring that landlords receive a fair rate of return with reasonable yearly increases.
There are multiple, compelling, reasons for supporting Proposition 10 and the campaign for its passage.
- It presents the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to clear the way for strong rent control protections, which are the single most viable policy approach to stemming the mass displacement – particularly of low income African Americans and Latinos – from the urban areas of the state. If we do not succeed on this, this year or soon, all of California’s urban areas, not just San Francisco, will be mostly wealthy and white. The ramifications of this, for peoples’ well-being and for progressive political power, are enormous and devastating.
- With the political importance of these mid-term elections in mind, Prop 10 is one of the major issues on the November ballot to motivate the progressive base to vote. A recent poll conducted by David Binder Research has 31 percent of an “expanded electorate” saying they would be much more likely to vote if this measure is on the ballot, and another 18 percent saying they would be somewhat more likely to vote – for a total of 49 percent.
However, some of the biggest corporate property owners in the country, including the Wall Street giant Blackstone, are pouring in millions to crush this citizen initiative intended to give the 17 million Californians who rent some minimal protections. They’ve spent $68.4 million so far as of Oct. 22 and expect to spend close to $100 million by Election Day Nov. 6!
Lynda Carson may be reached at email@example.com.
Corporate Landlords: The Fight for Affordable Housing in California _FINAL_MASTER_CLEAN_092518 from Brave New Films on Vimeo.
This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay View.