I was saddened to read the responses (“Incendiary Rhetoric Stains Public Dialog” Feb. 15) to my letter on the Sacramento action to repeal Costa Hawkins (“Open Letter on Rent Control Setback,” Jan 25). But first, while it stung, thank you so very much for caring enough to reach out. I am truly sorry if I came across as racist and xenophobic. If you look at my record or followed my work in Alameda I think you’ll see nothing could be further from the truth.
My concern after the Sacramento hearing on repealing Costa Hawkins remains that the large real estate and California Apartment Association lobbies who — through a long standing campaign of fear, threats and intimidation — have co-opted the legitimate concerns of our “mom-and-pop” small property owners. By doing so, they have leveraged a false equivalence that tears our community apart to this day.
This false equivalence is that the concerns of small property owners are the same as those of the international conglomerates. Seeing small owners lined up in Sacramento defending the huge lobbies was sad and concerning. We are being asked to believe that these two distinct stakeholders must have a “one size fits all” solution to “rent control.”
My objection to what transpired in Sacramento had nothing to do with the nationality of the investors, but rather the commodification of housing by large conglomerates. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on these two distinct markets: mom-and-pop vs. international conglomerates. Maybe we can help ease the fever in our community by re-introducing mom-and-pop to what we all know is a beautiful little city in which to be a landlord.
If I signed as co-president of the Democratic Club that was an error. I wear many hats and I cannot speak for the club, only myself. The open letter was written as Gaby Dolphin.
Thank you again for taking the time to make known your thoughts and concerns. I hope we don’t allow ourselves to be distracted from the issue at hand, which is providing housing and rent stabilization.