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Residents Defend Recently-Enacted Rent Stabilization Protections, Urge Voters Not to Sign Deceptively Titled “Mountain View Homeowner, Renter and Taxpayer Protection Initiative”
Mountain View, CA– Today 18 residents of Mountain View filed a complaint with the City Attorney alleging that a recently proposed landlord initiative is rife with misleading statements and inaccuracies. The complaint demands that the City Attorney reject the proposed initiative unless the landlord campaign corrects the falsehoods.
“We know that the landlord lobby will stop at nothing to protect their profits, including by lying to voters,” said Trevoli Welsh, one of the signatories of the complaint. “Our rent stabilization program is fully funded by a nominal fee on landlords and is actually expected to come in underbudget this year. Yet the landlord campaign is based on using fear-mongering about the alleged cost of the program, when the truth is that it protects over 30,000 residents at no cost to taxpayers. That’s a bargain price to ensure that teachers, nurses, first responders and our neighbors can afford to stay in our community and thrive.”
In November 2016, Mountain View voters approved Measure V, instituting one of the first new rent stabilization programs in California in over 30 years. Over 15,000 households in Mountain View have since enjoyed protections against massive rent hikes and no-cause evictions. The complaint was filed in response to an initiative submitted by landlords that seek to upend those new protections.
“Let’s be clear, this initiative is the landlords’ attempt to kill tenant protections in Mountain View,” said Kara Sanchez, another of the signatories of the complaint. “They lost the election less than two years ago, and this is nothing more than an attempt at a sneaky repeal of the voters’ decision to protect the diversity of Mountain View.”
Depending on the outcome of the complaint, the next step for the landlord initiative is to gather the signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot.
Landlord campaigns to overturn rent control have faced widespread allegations of misconduct during signature gathering campaigns across the state in recent years. Signature-gathering drives backed by landlord trade groups like the California Apartment Association have been criticized for employing paid signature-gatherers who have misrepresented petitions in order to obtain signatures in Richmond, Santa Rosa, Pacifica, and Alameda. Just last month, the District Attorney of San Mateo County filed twenty-one felony charges against signature gatherers financed by the California Apartment Association for forging signatures in a Pacifica anti-rent control campaign.
“We want to spread the word to voters about the truth of this initiative,” said Heather Phipps, another person who signed the complaint. “We urge voters not to sign this ‘Landlord Profit Protection Act.’ Our new tenant protections are an important part of the puzzle in addressing the housing crisis in Mountain View. The landlord initiative is an attack on the people who help make our town strong, it’s an attack on Mountain View as a Human Rights City. Don’t sign the landlord petition!”