Monday - Dec 17, 2018

Local victories power California tenant movement, despite Prop. 10 loss


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by the El Reportero’s wire services

Proposition 10, the proposed initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, was stymied at the state ballot Tuesday thanks to an unprecedented $74 million in real estate industry opposition money, but there were also victories for rent control at local ballots across California.

In Oakland, voters approved Measure Y to close eviction loopholes, a significant expansion of Oakland’s local eviction protections to cover thousands of smaller buildings that were previously exempt. Nearby in Alameda, renters defeated Measure K, a real-estate industry measure to preempt rent control efforts, despite heavy spending in favor. Measure K was a trial balloon by the real estate industry of a recent strategy to gut local momentum for rent control and its failure has statewide significance.

In 2018, ten California municipalities gathered signatures, most for the first time, to put rent control on the ballot. With rent control maintaining broad popularity across the California electorate, more campaigns plan to launch for local rent control expansions, including the Sacramento rent control ballot measure already confirmed to appear on the November 2020 ballot. Los Angeles County is poised to adopt rent increase limits at a meeting next week, one of the most extensive expansions of renter protections in recent history. Meanwhile, a recent Los Angeles Times poll showed that “lack of rent control” was cited by Californians as the primary reason why housing in California remains unaffordable.

“Since the first new local rent control ordinances in over 30 years passed in Richmond and Mountain View, we’ve seen an incredible wave of interest in rent control to stabilize communities,” said Dean Preston, executive director of Tenants Together. “The more the real estate industry attempts to enforce a broken status quo at the expense of working-class renters, the harder California renters will fight for protections from unfair rent hikes and evictions. These local fights are the heart of this movement.”

Migrant minors and adolescents assisted in Mexico

The National System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) informed that 106 unaccompanied children and 45 teenage migrants who are now housed in the Palillo Martinez Stadium in this capital have been counseled.

The DIF also attended to 85 families from the first migrant caravan, mostly Hondurans, who remain in the sports facility of Iztacalco.

The institution said that it had restored the rights to six children traveling alone to begin the process of obtaining refugee status, and had assisted others to return to their countries.

The DIF added that it has provided immediate attention to the seven precautionary measures issued by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), which involve inter-institutional coordination, always aiming at the protection and restoration of the rights of children and adolescents. It said in a statement that it maintains coordinated work with the CNDH and agreed on actions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The DIF explained that it has been providing assistance to minors in the caravan since October 24, in the state of Chiapas, and now in the capital of the country.