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.
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.
The city of Alameda is both blessed and cursed by Measure A, the 1973 density restriction ballot measure that changed the City Charter in a way that prohibited the construction of any residential unit larger than a duplex in any individual building. Thus: no more apartment buildings! The goal, then, of course, was to prevent the demolition of the huge Victorian houses and the replacement of those treasures with ugly eight-, 10-, or 20-unit apartment buildings.
Were you as unsurprised as I was by the chaotic, violent scene that played out at City Hall at the Nov. 4 special meeting? The build up to this has been years in the making. If Mayor Trish Spencer and staff thought they could play the game with the same old rules, hopefully that meeting taught them otherwise.