Letters to the Editor
I have no personal stake in Measure K. I am neither a landlord nor am I a tenant and I have never been evicted from a residence. Yet, I am a concerned citizen, and as such, I think that the passage of Measure K would be bad for Alameda.
K is meant to make rent law part of the City Charter. Therefore, it would be very costly and difficult to change in the future. This takes the opportunity to be flexible and to address changing needs in the future away from the community. We just recently voted in a rent law. Things are changing fast in the Bay Area and the last thing that we need to hamper our ability to change with it. I believe the ones who benefit the most from K are large landlords, most of whom do not live here.
K would also protect landlords from no-fault evictions. I think that landlords should be able to get rid of troublesome tenants but with cause. Kicking folks out so that the building can be upgraded and turned into housing for the affluent is unfair and will lead to a community with no diversity. Is this the kind of Charter we want for Alameda? I think not!
Political campaigns cost money, and even in a town the size of Alameda, it’s expensive to run for public office. The League of Women Voters (LWV) supports campaign-finance practices that ensure full disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures. The League of Women Voters of Alameda has developed tools to help the public see how much candidates for Mayor and City Council have raised, and, more importantly, the source(s) of the money.
Our website LWVAlameda.org posts this financial information accompanied by charts and clear explanations. All the data comes from publicly available Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) required filings for the Nov. 6 election.
Did you know that candidates for the Alameda City Council in the 2016 race spent an average of $30,000 each? And the two winning candidates spent just under $50,000 each? Would you like to know how much each candidate has received thus far in this year’s race? The City Clerk hosts a website where candidates and local ballot measure committees are required to file the mandated reports at bit.ly/2E6TAwa.
Providing public access to the flow of money in politics empowers oversight and accountability in the government decision-making process. LWV’s commitment is to transparency and helping voters make informed decisions.
Money talks. And when there is a lot of money thrown into one side of an election, it seems to hold a lot of power. The proponents at the state level of Proposition 5 and the opponents of Propositions 8 and 10 are outspending the other side by a huge factor. Will they be able to “buy” this election? You may think you’re above all that, but if all you see on TV is convincing-sounding advertisements, and your mailbox and newspaper is filled with lots of slick advertisements explaining just one side, you’re probably going to be swayed by it all.
We have a similar fight here in Alameda. The Measure K proponents — mostly big out-of-town corporations — are outspending the homegrown opposition to K by an astronomical factor. In fact, they are outspending every single local campaign combined by a factor of two or more!
Next time you hear or see an advertisement of any kind related to local measures like K, or statewide propositions, find out who its corporate supporters are and how much money they are willing to pay for your vote.