Alameda has a rental crisis — skyrocketing rents and frequent increases have renters reeling — especially renters with low and fixed incomes.

Alameda renters deserve fair treatment — and our community needs better ways to keep more people in their homes. Today, landlords can raise rents as high as they want without limits, displacing tenants.

As Plato is alleged to have said, "Those who would want to rule are unfit to rule." The corollary would read, "Those who would resist public office are possibly fit to rule."

Or as specifically spelled out in Plato’s Republic, "Can you name any other type or ideal of life that looks with scorn on political office except the life of true philosophers? What others then, will you compel to undertake the guardianship of the city?"

In Plato’s utopian and unrealized republic, philosophers govern the Arcadian city state.

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of letters trying to restrict the newly elected City Council’s choices regarding building agreements that were approved by the departing Council members. According to the majority of these letters repealing even part of the building agreements would send the wrong message to companies considering moving to Alameda, and as a result have long-term grave consequences for the business environment in Alameda.

Wood burning can cause health issues for neighbors

I am becoming more and more aware of a problem impacting whole blocks of my East End neighborhood: an overall degradation of air quality due to wood-smoke pollution. To get the New Year off to a good, clean air start, I want to share some basic facts about wood smoke pollution with my fellow Alameda residents.

 Wood-smoke does not have to be visible to be toxic. According to the California Air Resources Board, "if you can smell smoke, you have a problem."

As more and more companies consider Alameda as a place to relocate and/or expand, one pressing issue they will face is a housing shortage. Due to the housing crisis that the Bay Area is facing, more and more companies will want reassurance that there will be ample housing for their employees should they choose to relocate to Alameda.

The housing crisis and the ability for cities to provide housing as part of their "total package" will be a key part of their consideration.