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WeHo News
Thursday February 07, 2013

Tenants' Rights Organization Endorses

Op-Ed by Larry Gross, Los Angeles, California

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) announced that it is endorsing Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Council Member John Duran in the West Hollywood City Council election on March 5, 2013.

CES, the organization responsible for the incorporation of the City of West Hollywood and the adoption of the city's rent control law, stated that "there is no doubt that Jeff Prang and John Duran are the best qualified candidates and the only candidates who can be counted on to protect rent control in West Hollywood."

CES was instrumental in the 1984 cityhood efforts, and the CES enters rights slate of candidates won four out of the five City Council seats.

CES Executive Director Larry Gross said, "Some may say rent control is no longer an issue in West Hollywood. But, as long as the City Council has the power to amend or eliminate the law, renters need to be vigilant in protecting it. Each election poses a threat to rent control based on who gets elected.

"In this election there are a number of candidates who lack experience or knowledge and could easily be influenced by landlord and developer lobbyists. One perennial candidate has an anti-rent control track record and would be a disaster for renters and the city as a whole if elected. This is why renters must vote on March 5 and we strongly urge that they cast their ballots for Jeff Prang and John Duran."

Mr. Gross stated that, "Mayor Jeffrey Prang has a history of defending the rights of renters in West Hollywood. As a former Rent Stabilization Commission member, Prang could be counted on to protect West Hollywood's affordable housing stock."

In regards to Mr. Duran, Mr. Gross stated that, "John Duran's commitment to tenants' rights was demonstrated long before he was elected to the City Council. John was a volunteer attorney counseling renters in need at CES' Tenants Rights Clinic.

He was also a strong tenant advocate and protector of the city's rent control law when he was a Rent Stabilization Commissioner."In response to receiving CES' endorsement Mayor Prang said, "The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) is a strong advocate for renters, and I am honored that such a noble organization has vetted my record and examined my vision for West Hollywood and subsequently endorsed my candidacy. I know that together we can keep West Hollywood's lower and middle income units affordable for all, especially seniors and others on fixed incomes."

Council Member Duran stated, "I feel honored for the endorsement of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES). Having worked for the organization for years, I know first-hand the important role CES plays in our community and especially for renters like me. I hope to continue my work on the council protecting affordable housing for all."

NO on Measure C

Earlier the Coalition for Economic Survival came out strongly in opposition to Measure C, the West Hollywood Term Limit proposal, also on the March 5 ballot.

Larry Gross commented, "The measure is supported by a host of Republican activists and a number of people who have run for City Council many times but can't get elected. It was put on the ballot with the help of the same tea-party people who passed Proposition 8, the proposition that denied marriage equality in California."

CES Executive Director Larry Gross

The implementation of term limits in West Hollywood, said Gross, "would present a major threat to rent control and tenants’ rights. It is undemocratic and must be defeated as it was the previous time it was on the ballot."

CES has been active in West Hollywood since 1976. In 1979, CES' efforts resulted in the adoption of a rent stabilization law for the Los Angeles County unincorporated areas.

With rent control threatened by a conservative majority elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors in 1980, who pledged to eventually eliminate rent control, CES led efforts to qualify Proposition M which was a rent control measure for unincorporated LA County area. And, while Prop M was defeated, largely due to a large number of homeowner voters in the outlying unincorporated areas being influenced by the significant amount of landlord money opposing the measure, it was supported in West Hollywood by a greater than 5-1 margin.

That vote opened the door to the successful West Hollywood Cityhood campaign just one year later.

CES was instrumental in the cityhood efforts, and the CES enters rights slate of candidates won four out of the five City Council seats.

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