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Judge denies TRO against Measure L - renter protections in Richmond
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Friday Jan 6th, 2017 8:13 PM
In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections that were passed by the voters on November 8, 2016!
Judge denies TRO against Measure L - renter protections in Richmond

By Lynda Carson - January 6, 2017

In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections that were passed by the voters on November 8, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30 A.M. this morning.

As part of their notorious on-going efforts to meddle in the affairs of Richmond in opposition to the voters, the CAA continues with it’s vicious campaign to deny renters their rights under local, state and federal law, as the pro-landlord organization ignores the will of the people.

Despite having the TRO tossed out by the court, additionally the CAA has filed a preliminary injunction in it’s attempt to defy the will of the people. In a release from Tenant’s Together, a state organization that represents renters: “While the Temporary Restraining Order was denied, the hearing for a preliminary injunction is on January 27th at 1pm at the Martinez courthouse. If an injunction is granted rent control could be on hold while the lawsuit continues. The City of Richmond and Bay Area Legal Aid plans to intervene in the lawsuit. Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director at Tenants Together says, “It is horrifying that special corporate interests can try to use their money and influence to overturn the will of the people. Rent control has already been found to be constitutional, and this ordinance was modeled off similar laws in effect for decades. The California Apartment Association is wasting our time with a frivolous lawsuit.”

During a discussion with City Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, she said, “It’s wonderful that the voters have passed Measure L to protect the renters of Richmond. I have been hearing from some renters who have told me that their rents have been rolled back as much as $400 to $500 a month since Measure L went into effect on December 30, 2016.”

Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin said, “Richmond is standing strong for our voters and tenant community.  Measure L is a solid ordinance that was approved by 2/3 of the voters because we value stable neighborhoods and a strong diverse community.  I am more than delighted that the City prevailed in court today and I know we will continue to prevail.”

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, including SEIU Local 1021, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Alliance of California Communities for Empowerment Action, and Tenants Together attended the court hearing to defend rent control. "The California Apartment Association wants landlords to continue gouging tenants with unlimited rent increases, but the voters have spoken. It is our right to regulate rents and evictions in California. It's time for the landlord lobbyists to accept the voice of the people," said Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together.

Indeed, renters have been calling to ask if it is really true that their rents have been rolled back to July 21, 2015, levels. One woman with children mentioned that she lives in a four-plex in Richmond and has been struggling since her landlord raised her rent by several hundred dollars during the past year. She is afraid of being evicted. She heard about the roll back in rents from a recent KRON story, and was very grateful for all of the people who worked so hard and struggled to make this possible. She said that she is going to tell her neighbors and everyone she knows in Richmond, about the rollback in rents and renter protections that exist in Richmond presently.

Despite the mass evictions occurring in Richmond, during September 2016, Mayor Tom Butt who condones the mass evictions occurring in Richmond, voted against an emergency moratorium against rent hikes and evictions. It was reported that Mayor Tom Butt is in bed with the notorious California Apartment Association, CAA. The CAA is a wealthy pro-landlord organization that opposes renter protections. The CAA recently spent a fortune in the effort to block renter protections from taking effect in the Bay Area.

For the renters and their advocates, it has been a long hard struggle of opposition against the California Apartment Association, landlords, realtors and speculators. The “Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance,” known as Measure L, was passed by the voters on November 8. Additional renter protection ballot measures were passed by the voters in three Bay Area cities on November 8, including Richmond.

The Richmond City Council certified the results of the November 8 election, that passed Measure L, at it’s December 20, 2016, meeting, and the ordinance became effective on December 30. The ordinance is expected to protect tens of thousands of renters against landlords involved in price gouging, and eviction-for-profit schemes.

Richmond has joined at least 12 other cities in California that has rent control to protect renters from landlords involved in price gouging, and eviction for profit schemes.

The City is moving forward in setting up it’s new Rent Control Board and residents are invited to a January 18 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.) community workshop to learn about their rights at the Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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§Correction: Preliminay Injunction link is here...
by Lynda Carson Friday Jan 6th, 2017 11:20 PM
Preliminary Injunction Filed Against Richmond

https://caanet.org/app/uploads/2017/01/Verified-Complaint-00507711xA2093.pdf
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