Friday, September 28, 2018

#271 / Your Vote For Local Control

My hometown, Santa Cruz, California, is debating rent control in the context of a voter initiative, Measure M, qualified for a local vote by citizen action. It's a fierce debate. The need for some sort of action to help ordinary and below average income people survive in the local housing market is undeniable. Even those who strongly oppose Measure M agree to that. Most of those who oppose Measure M are not contending that some sort of regulation of rents would not be justified. Their argument is that Measure M is "flawed." 

Maybe a majority of city voters will conclude, as the opponents say, that Measure M is not going to have a positive impact because of problems with its exact language. Maybe they won't, and a majority will support Measure M, alleged flaws and all. 

The fact is, we are not going to know what the local community thinks about Measure M until election night, or even later, depending on how close the vote is. 

Whatever happens with Measure M, it is also a fact, as I say above, that some sort of action is needed, to help ordinary and below average income people survive in the local housing market. Whatever a voter's position is on the specifics of Measure M, that truth remains. 

Therefore, this blog posting is my plea for a "YES" vote on Proposition 10. Proposition 10 is on the statewide ballot, and it will give local communities the ability to make local decisions on rent control issues. 

When I first served in elected office, local governments at the city and county level did have that power. The State Legislature took away that local control option, providing only a very narrow area within which rent control could be enacted at the local level.

Let's give ourselves, in our local communities, the right to allow our elected representatives to take the actions they decide are needed. If Proposition 10 is approved by the voters, statewide, our local governments can enact local ordinances that go through the regular legislative process. 

If Proposition  10 is approved, local communities, acting through their elected local governments, can do something positive to provide help to those who are being driven out of this community by spiraling housing costs, driven by global speculation in California coastal real estate and by the demand associated with Silicon Valley workers, almost all of whom can "outbid" local working families for rental housing. 

I believe in the ability of our local governments to find the right, "unflawed" approaches to our local problems. 

Your "YES" vote on Proposition 10 will say that you agree!

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