Richmond Activists Kick Off Renter Protection Signature-Gathering Campaign on Saturday

Friday, March 18, 2016
Lynda Carson

On Saturday March 19th, it will be a big day for the coalition group “Fair and Affordable Richmond”, as they start their signature gathering campaign to place their Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ballot measure on the November ballot. The Coalition will have until June to gather 4,198 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

Community members involved in the renter protection campaign will be meeting at Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave, Richmond, CA 94801, on Saturday morning, March 19, at 11am.

Volunteers are welcome to join the movement and signature gathering campaign, to support the Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ballot measure for the November ballot.

Richmond Councilwoman Gayle Mclaughlin said, ”Rent increases have reached a crisis level and we are doing something about it in Richmond. We welcome volunteers to join us gathering signatures for a ballot measure in November to stabilize rents and stop the displacement that occurs from skyrocketing rents."

The average monthly rent in Richmond is $1,172, and the rents just keep getting higher, and higher. Rent control and just cause eviction protections are a reasonable way to protect Richmond’s communities from unreasonable rent increases and unjust evictions, while at the same time allowing the landlords to have a fair return on their investments. It is a win, win, situation for landlords and tenants.

“A recent poll commissioned by Fair and Affordable Richmond shows that nearly two thirds of voters would vote today to enact rent control and just cause eviction protections. Richmond voters understood that similar limits on evictions and unreasonable rent increases have helped to prevent thousands of middle-class and low-income people from losing their homes, making communities safer and more stable for everyone, and they think the City of Richmond should have such protections.”

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition is made up of local elected officials, renters, homeowners, local community activists and labor. Coalition members, local renters and landlords will speak about the vital nature of the Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ballot measure. Members of the Coalition and volunteers will begin going door to door with petitions gathering signatures.

Dan Harper, Organizing Director for Tenants Together said, “We have reached a very exciting time in the fight for rent control in Richmond. This coming Saturday March 19th marks the kick off our campaign to collect signatures and put rent control and just cause protections on the ballot in November. Richmond renters, homeowners and allies will be gathering at the Nevin Center for a rally and mobilization at 11am. To get rent control on the ballot we will need to collect thousands of signatures and we will need your help! There will be a short rally and lunch followed by a training on how to properly collect signatures and talk to voters. Then we will go out into the community and be done by 2pm. As tenants and people of color get pushed further away from bay area cities, winning rent control is key to keeping people in their homes. Join us Saturday at 11am and be part of this historic moment! Housing is a human right!”

According to a release from the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, “The proposed ballot measure would establish a rent board that would set annual limits on rent increases for the City of Richmond, as well as provide a process for tenants to appeal rent increases. Richmond renters, living in units built before 1995, would be protected from outrageous increases in rent and evictions for reasons that are without cause. Additionally, the ordinance would cap rent increases at 1 percent to 3 percent a year, in addition to relocation compensation for renters that have been evicted unjustly.”

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition is made up of Tenants Together, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Richmond Progressive Alliance, SEIU 1021, AFSCME Local 3299, California Nurses Association, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, Centro Latino Cuscatlaán, Eviction Defense Center, Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council and Urban Habitat.

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