Alameda Renters Coalition

 

With 2016 rapidly coming to a close, the Alameda Sun looks back over the top news stories in Alameda this past year. This week will cover January through June and next week will feature news from July through December.

January
The Water Emergency Transportation Authority worked to have a new dock for harbor seals delivered to Alameda Point in April, ahead of the start of construction for the ferry maintenance terminal. The maintenance facility’s berthing dock would displace the seals’ previous resting spot.

 

“Alamedans in Charge — A Coalition of Rental Property Owners, Businesses, and Tenants for Fair and Affordable Housing appeared at City Hall on Monday to turn in the signatures necessary to put its referendum on the November 2018 ballot.  The organization will soon turn its attention to putting a second item, an initiative on that ballot as well.  

 

A contentious 2016 election seasonn pitted Alameda landlords against tenants. A major premise in the heated contest concerned tenants’ rights surrounding evictions. Renters, business owners and homeowners teamed up to form Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC).

The group sought to write tenants’ rights into law as a City Charter amendment and put Measure M1 on the ballot. To give voters an alternative to ARC’s measure, the City put its “Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance — Ordinance 3148 for short — on the ballot as Measure L1. 

 

Several Alameda residents of an apartment complex in the West End were given notices to vacate the building last month in another battle between the property owner and its tenants.

 

There has been no end to accusations by the Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) concerning “off-Island investors,” also defined as nonresident investors, influencing the upcoming election with regards to measures L1 and M1. What is “off-Island”? 

 

Ordinance vs. Charter Amendment

With a pair of dueling measures on the Nov. 8 ballot, the city and the Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) are asking Alameda voters to either adopt an ordinance already on the books or amend the city’s charter. The city’s Measure L1 would affirm Ordinance 3148 that took effect on March 31. ARC’s Measure M1 would amend the City Charter to (in ARC’s words) “put in place stronger renter protections than provided by Ordinance 3148.” 

 

The Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) began as and remains a local grassroots organization, despite false allegations to the contrary that often appear in local anti-renter letters to the editor and commentaries.

One recent commentary (“Let’s Not Repeat Failed Rental Policy,” Aug. 25), repeats two frequent but false claims about the ARC’s funding. Previous letter and op-ed authors have claimed — also falsely — that “outside agitators” somehow stirred up Alameda’s renters and turned us against local landlords. Neither set of allegations is correct.

 

An initiative backed by Alameda property owners that would offer an alternative rent ordinance option appears unlikely to make it on the November ballot.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voter’s office could not verify if the signatures attached to the initiative were valid during the random sample check process.

“It is a pretty complicated process,” said Alameda City Clerk Lara Weisiger. “The Registrar’s office has their own way for calculating whether the signatures are valid during a random sample.”

 

The Alameda Renter’s Coalition’s (ARC) initiative that calls for more renter’s rights protection against landlords was approved to be placed on the November ballot on July 6.

The Alameda Renter Protection and Community Stabilization Charter Amendment seeks to cap rent increases at 65 percent of the consumer price index, limit evictions and create an elected rent board. 

 

Coalition to put rent protection before Alameda voters

The Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) has begun a petition drive to collect the necessary 6,461 signatures to put its ballot Initiative — The Alameda Renter Protection and Community Stabilization Charter Amendment — on the November ballot. The coalition, which filed the initiative with the city on Feb. 29, is aiming to collect 9,000 signatures.  

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