Letters to the Editor

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Just cause is on the Nov. 6 ballot, although you will not find it listed. Measure K and the candidacies of Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, John Knox White and Jim Oddie are all representative of that fact. These candidates have expressed their support in adding just cause to the current rent stabilization ordinance.

Measure K is seeking to reaffirm the 2016 vote that established Alameda’s rent stabilization with Measure L1. Within months of the 2016 election, Councilmembers Ashcraft and Oddie joined Vice Mayor Malia Vella in voting to add just cause to the ordinance. 

That did not happen as a group of Alamedans petitioned to overturn their decision. Measure K will put the rent program into the City Charter so that the politics of the City Council are removed from the equation. Shouldn’t the owner of a property be in control of who lives there? Just cause basically assigns a life estate to tenants. You can never get rid of them. 

There are reasons that you may want to evict a tenant that are not necessarily one of the “covered” reasons that are in the ordinance for cause. In addition getting a tenant out for cause is a very expensive process. I was quoted $50,000 if it went to a court trial. I have a neighbor who has spent more than $30,000, and the tenant is still there. 

The current rent stabilization restricts the replacing tenants rent to just 5 percent more than the tenant who has been evicted. That way there is no motivation to evict anyone unless there is a powerful reason. Vote “yes” on Measure K and “no” on Ashcraft, Oddie and Knox White.


Karen Miller

I am an 88-year-old, life-long advocate for civil rights and a professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona. I think that the school district should retain Henry Huntly Haight’s name on the elementary school. Even his critics recognize the leading role he played in the community and the state in the post-Civil War era. He is honored for his contribution to society as it existed. 

Had most of his modern critics lived in Alameda in 1870, they, too, would have cringed at the specter of the supposed hordes of Chinese about to descend on California. They would have wondered why (thanks to the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution on Feb. 3, 1870) an uneducated black man should be granted the ballot while an educated white woman was denied voting rights. 

They would have drawn the line, as most Republicans and even black leaders did in the 1870s, at the thought of social equality between whites and blacks.

Don’t strike the name Haight from a school, or even a street.


Ralph E. Shaffer

BART Board President Robert Raburn deserves re-election to the District 4 seat on the BART board of directors on Nov. 6. Since 2010, Raburn has led BART’s efforts to bring 1,081 new BART cars into service, clean up and modernize its core stations and train cars, upgrade elevators and escalators, improve system maintenance and increase security. He always puts BART’s riders first, the people who take 400,000 trips every weekday.

We have known Raburn for 20 years. He is organized, smart, a meticulous researcher and a tireless, principled public servant. His applied transportation experience has made BART more sustainable and more accessible for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. 

Raburn brings people together to apply “best practices” to Bay Area transportation needs. BART taxpayers and riders need trustworthy leaders like Raburn who are careful when conducting its business. Register to vote by Oct. 22 and re-elect Robert Raburn in BART District 4 on Nov. 6. 


Linda L. Hudson & Jon M. Spangler