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CES In The News

Monday May 26, 2008
Prop 98 Eliminates Rent Control, Endangers Renters
Op-Ed By Larry Gross, Executive Director, Coalition for Economic Survival, Los Angeles.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California - Proposition 98 on the statewide ballot will eliminate rent control in California . Every West Hollywood voter should make it a point to go to the polls on Tuesday, June 3 to vote against it.

The measure is a Trojan Horse; this deceptive scheme is full of hidden agendas and attacks renters, our environment, our water quality and supply, and our economy.

While Yes on 98 ads funded by landlords attempt to deceive voters into believing this measure is really about “eminent domain reform,” the broad and harmful provisions included in Prop. 98 will have profound negative impacts on all Californians.

We don’t think voters are so easily fooled.

Nearly 90% of the funding for the Yes on 98 campaign has come from wealthy landlords trying to pass Prop. 98 for their own financial gain.

In West Hollywood the overwhelming majority of residents live in rent-controlled apartments.

On top of that, Prop. 98 also jeopardizes numerous laws that protect all 14 million California renters, including the fair return of rental security deposits and laws protecting tenants from unfair and unjust evictions.

The problems with Proposition 98 don’t end with the provisions impacting renters.

The landlords also wrote loopholes in Prop. 98 that allow them to get around important environmental protections.

These loopholes would undermine environmental laws and regulations like California ’s landmark new law to combat climate change and global warming, and regulations that protect our air, coast, open spaces and water quality from pollution and unplanned developments.

Proposition 98 is strongly opposed by the AARP, California Professional Firefighters, California Teachers Association, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, US Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Labor Federation and the California Chamber of Commerce and by every major environmental group in the state.

It takes a deeply flawed measure to earn opposition from all of these diverse leaders and groups, but Prop. 98 has earned this dubious distinction.

Fortunately, while the landlords’ Prop. 98 is a deceptive and dangerous measure, the June ballot does offer voters an opportunity to enact strong and responsible eminent domain reform in Proposition 99, the Homeowners Protection Act.

Proposition 99 would prevent the government from taking a home to transfer to a private developer.

Prop. 99 is simple and straightforward, without the hidden agendas and negative consequences of Prop. 98.

All voters, but especially those in West Hollywood and other rent controlled areas, should vote No on 98 and Yes on 99 on June 3.

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