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Rent Control Campaign Kickoff and Party

Sunday, February 11, 2018
2:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Type:
Party/Street Party
Santa Cruz For Rent Control
Location Details:
Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA

Please share and invite your friends!

Join us to kickoff this important phase of our campaign- the petition drive, which will get our rent control ordinance on the ballot for November.

We will be meeting at The Resource Center for Nonviolence at 612 Ocean St on Sunday, February 11th at 2:30pm.

Join us to be trained in how to gather signatures to get Rent Control on the ballot and then go out into the streets with everyone and start circulating our petitions. Then come back to the Resource Center for Nonviolence to return petitions and join us for the after party!

Everything you need will be provided, just bring yourself and some friends!

Please RSVP here so we know how many clipboards bring or if you can't make this event but would like to help out another time:

Santa Cruz For Rent Control

Added to the calendar on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 9:08PM
by Santa Cruz For Rent Control

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by Chris Krohn
[ Photo: Meeting of the minds on Homelessness in Santa Cruz at Police Community room: SCPD Chief Andy Mills, Analyst Susie O'Hara, Santa Cruz city manager Martin Bernal, Santa Cruz County administrator Carlos Palacios, and county homeless services coordinator Rayne Marr. ]

Chris Krohn
Majority Report
Feb.21-16 2018

Radical Times Reveal a Pragmatic Council

Rent Freeze Passes Unanimously

This Santa Cruz City Council fell into the history books last Tuesday night. While myself and Councilmember Cynthia Mathews were sidelined as spectators having been advised by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) not to participate in this historic vote, likely one of the most consequential city council decisions in decades, did not seem to matter. The five remaining members--Terrazas, Brown, Watkins, Noroyan, and Chase--voted unanimously to freeze Santa Cruz rents. By 11pm on February 13th both a rent freeze and a just-cause eviction ordinance were enacted on an emergency basis "to make it safe for renters to discuss rent control without fear of being evicted," was how the Movement for Housing Justice put it. They're the community group behind the rent control petition ( now being circulated.

The rent freeze only applies to multi-unit homes and limits increases to about 2% a year while affecting about 24% of the rental housing market in Santa Cruz. Only rental properties built before 1995 are subject to the rent freeze because of state law. Mathews and I did not vote because we faced a "conflict of interest" in that we both own rentals. Despite over 200 tenants, landlords, real estate moguls and homeowners coming out to hear arguments for and against these ordinances, only 56 spoke before the council.

My final, unofficial tally, was 28 in favor of a rent freeze and 27, mostly landlords and real estate people, opposed. Several real estate people bemoaned the fact that rent control allows tenants to stay longer in their homes thus making the case for many of us worried about losing a cohesive community. High school physics teacher, Stacey Falls said because of the market "renter's lives are being destroyed."

Long-time organizer Glen Schaller supported the rent freeze because "we want a stable community," while a UCSC student, Kate, who said she lived in one house with 15 other students, argued that "housing needs to be treated as a community right."

Perhaps resident Dave Willis said it most poignantly when he urged the city council to "come on over to the right side of history."

It was a night to remember as pro-rent freeze people lingered long after the vote hugging and laughing. This night was the culmination of months of planning, walking neighborhoods, and gathering community input by a group known as the Organizing Circle. Their input was crucial in gaining unanimity along with the 1500 signatures they presented to the council, which supported passage of both ordinances.

Now, it is up to some of the same people to continue their historic democratic movement of gathering enough signatures to rent control and an elected rent board on the November ballot. While it will not be easy, perhaps the $2370 studios now advertised at the new Five55 Swenson development on Pacific Avenue, will have voters siding with the plight of renters who are just looking for some relief.

Updates--More News from February 13th Council Meeting

Remember I said I'd get back to you concerning the various outcomes on the last city council agenda? Well, I am and it was quite a consequential set of results. One item, "Conference with legal counsel," had to do with how the city might respond to letter received the previous week from UCSC Chief Counsel, Lorena Penaloza. She wrote in a December 20, 2017 letter to the city, "The University is evaluating its available remedial options, and therefore requests that the City confirm its obligation to provide water service to the Santa Cruz Campus."

Really, it's H20 for North Campus development they seek. It's how UCSC/UC Regents is spelling g-r-o-w-t-h these days. Stay tuned, the legal wrangling is just beginning with the Town seemingly more unified than ever against any Gown growth exceeding 19,500. Our beef is really with Oakland, and that's where we need to take the growth fight. De acuerdo!?

A Fiscal Emergency was discussed and then put on hold until some rather simple and necessary questions get responded to by city staff:

Further explanation of the definition of fiscal emergency requirements under Article XIII C of the California Constitution, item in our Feb 13 agenda report, and any other relevant codes pertaining to other powers granted to local government under a fiscal emergency declaration.

The council needs written proof that the fiscal emergency does not give the city authority, with respect to budgeting, beyond placing tax measures on the ballot. 

How long does the fiscal emergency last? Until staff recommends we vote to rescind it? Do we need to regularly re-approve it (e.g. every council meeting, every month, at budget time)?

Please provide a list of proposed cutbacks, should the sales tax and sugary beverage taxes not reach the ballot, or not pass, including:

represented bargaining units — temporary and permanent workers (SEIU temp,SEIU perm, OE3, POA, and Fire) and non-represented personnel (shorthand for, the admin. bloat portion of the equation)

Given that the sales tax polling was close to within the margin of error and did not take into account the negative campaigning, which has already begun for those who have read their council emails, why is it we could not use reserves to plug the CALPERS (pensions) hole this year and give the voters more time to consider what kinds of taxes they might approve?

While I appreciate the role that tourism plays in our economy in terms of jobs and revenues, we all know there are significant infrastructure and service costs (roads, traffic, trash, public nuisance, and public safety to name the big ones— items that several colleagues raised during discussion at our Feb 13th meeting on many agenda items), why are we not considering a 3% increase in the TOT, for $3 million — a fallback should the sales tax not pass and perhaps an easier sell to the voters?

Deadline for county elections is March 9, so couldn’t we call a special meeting if we cannot work out our revenue enhancement efforts in time for Feb. 27 meeting?

Hence, the two tax measures that were discussed, 1/4-cent sales tax and a sweetened 2-cent per ounce beverage tax, were put on hold until the February 27th city council meeting. Again, stay tuned! Funding for a first-ever city-sponsored campsite at 1220 River Street was approved unanimously. At first, it appears to be a Cadillac version(?), somewhere between $1000-$1500 per month per campsite. Up to 60 tent sites are being contemplated with a staff of 30. This is all new for the city, so once again, stay tuned, most of this revolution will not be televised of course, until it's too late.

On My Radar Screen this Week

Student Environmental Center, at 230p on Tuesday at the Rachel Carson College Red Room at UCSC to discuss campus Long Range Development Plan with students.

Wed. 2/21, UCSC Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor will be addressing faculty and staff at Stevenson Events center at 230p.

Meeting with Gail McNulty of Greenways (“trail only people”) at Coffee Roasting at 830a on Tuesday (2/20) morning?

There’s a good old-fashioned SEIU informational picket line starting at 11a at Dominican Hospital on Tuesday (2/20).

Zoning Administrator will decide on the cutting of several heritage trees at 10a on Wed., city council chambers, (2/21).

I highly recommend the "Santa Cruz Neighbors” meeting Wed. night (2/21) at 7p...might be pretty interesting…the SC city manager, county CAO, and SC police chief will be there, likely discussing homeless and housing issues. This meeting will be held at police community room at Center and Laurel streets in Santa Cruz.

On Friday (2/23), there will be meeting to discuss UCSC "Dreamers," Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. It will take place at 330p in Stevenson 175, UCSC campus. 

Of course, the state Democratic convention will begin on Friday in San Diego, (2/23-2/25).


Of course, so much happens in this town every week. Don't forget to also go listen to some music at Kuumbwa, or on the new patio of the MAH; or watch a movie at the Nick, or attend a play at Actor's or Colligan theatres! Then again, there's always free Sunday yoga at 8:30a at Patagonia on River Street.

Bernie Tweet, Taking Care of the Weak

"It is absolutely imperative that the Mueller investigation be allowed to go forward without obstruction from the Trump administration or Congress." (Feb. 16)
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