From time to time in the newspaper we read a lament about rents and housing prices being increased, driving citizens out of their homes. Nothing new about this, it is established real estate practice. In America, your fellow citizen exists to be used and then discarded, like an old T-shirt used to change your oil. When a citizen is pitched out onto the street, it certainly nullifies any concept of community.

When I was a kid in grammar school, Nov. 11 was called Armistice Day. And at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, our teacher would have everyone stand and be quiet for a minute. Doing so, we acknowledged that moment in 1918 when an armistice was signed and the dreadful carnage of World War I finally ended.
We were also honoring those who were fighting in the second of the World Wars. The war that was still underway. For me, it was to honor my Dad, away in the Navy, and my uncles and neighbors who were in uniform around the world.

Part two of two
In last week’s issue I offered my point of view of the how the rents have evolved in Alameda (“Rent Control Raises Its Head in Town,” Nov. 12.) This week I’d like to offer my brief summary of how renters and landlords addressed rent control at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting, as well as my perspective on rent control. 

Reprinted with permission
“Still, a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”
Those lines, which our readers surely will recognize from Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” are getting to be the theme song of those on a mission to trash Mayor Trish Spencer. No longer are they content simply to denigrate the mayor for something she’s said or done; now, they’ve resorted to disparaging her for things she didn’t actually say or do.

We are a tale of two cities.

One Alameda is of homeowners generally well off, as the BAE Urban Economics study shows. And another Alameda is of renters whose constrained incomes have lagged behind rising rents, especially in the face of excessive rent increases.

It’s time to act to bring our city together again.

Over the past months, in talking with friends I grew up with here and in meeting residents during my office hours, the problem I have heard is that a number of out-of-town landlords have gone off the deep end with excessive rent increases.