Richmond has emerged as a key battleground for those on both sides of the rent control debate, as the fate of the city’s Measure L—and other Bay Area ballot measures like it—could set the tone for future legislation in cities across the state.
So far, the real estate industry has spent about $188,000 in opposition to Richmond’s Measure L—over triple the amount spent in support of the measure.
“We work vigorously to stop it wherever it’s proposed,” said Mike Nemeth, a spokesperson for the California Apartment Association (CAA), a housing industry trade group that has spent more than a million dollars fighting the Bay Area’s six rent control initiatives this election season. “Our spending reflects the level of our concern.”
Rent control advocates in Richmond say going head-to-head with CAA and its nationally-funded committee in such a high-stakes race has been an uphill battle.
“Rent control is popular,” said Dan Harper, organizing director of the state-wide renters’ rights group Tenants Together. “I think that’s why they’re spending so much money.”
Read the rest of the story by Catherine Schuknecht and Reis Theibault at the East Bay Times.