Alameda councilman questions whether rent control measure can be defeated

Is Alameda Councilmember Tony Daysog really
fearful of the rent control measure passing or just
giving its proponents a false sense of security?

With two rent measures now slated for the ballot–down from a possible four a few weeks ago–the next three months will be crucial for both sides.

The Alameda Renters Coalition’s already formidable grassroots effort is already ramping up outreach, said Eric Strimling, a spokesperson for the group. But, one Alameda councilmember appears to be looking past the Nov. 8 election with dread.

During a special meeting Monday night, Councilmember Tony Daysog questioned on two separate occasions whether the city’s own rent measure stands a chance of beating the more organized Alameda Renters Coalition at the ballot box in November.

“I admit, it might be a losing battle,” said Daysog, who suggested the Alameda Renters Coalition’s ever-improving outreach in the community might be a difference maker against the city’s initiative, likely to attract support from landlords now hoping just to maintain the new status quo on rents regulations in Alameda. The council’s measure is based on the current rent ordinance.

Daysog’s candid admission is notable given he was amendable to landlords’ proposed initiative to ban rent control that failed to attract enough valid signatures for the fall ballot, in addition, to his own stalled measure seeking to tweak the existing rent ordinance approved in March.

He is also up for re-election this November, along with Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. In addition to Mayor Trish Spencer, Daysog is viewed negatively by the renters group.

Meanwhile, a number of questions over how the city’s rent initiative will get its message out against the more nimble rent control effort is unclear. By law, the city’s campaign cannot be funded with taxpayers’ money. Like the voter outreach the city is doing for the Utility Modernization Act ballot measure, it can only educate the public about the initiative, not openly advocate for it.

That job will likely fall on landlords and funding from the powerful California Apartment Association, which vehemently opposes any form of rent control anywhere in the state.

In addition, sources say the city’s initiative is already polling poorly with Alameda voters. Such outcomes, though, might be attributive to a lack of knowledge in the community over the city’s measure, which only came to the forefront as a possible initiative within the last month.

7 thoughts on “Alameda councilman questions whether rent control measure can be defeated

  1. Daysog 10:34.

    Just substitute “southern hospitality” for “neighbor to neighbor tradition” and “northerners” for “Berkeley and Santa Monica.”


  2. @8:11

    The problem is that, whether it's the City of Alameda “educating” the public on their rent control measure, their UMA measure, or the school district “educating” the public on their latest parcel tax, the “education,” amounts to advocacy, whether or not they use explicit language encourage people to vote one way or another.

    It's a problematic loophole in state election and campaign finance law.


  3. Thanks, Steve, for this write-up. I earnestly **do** think that when it comes to passing our ordinance it will be an uphill battle. It'll take a lot of work.

    But, make no mistake: our ordinance is the **right** thing because it reflects the Alameda tradition of working things-out via talking and mediation. That neighbor-to-neighbor tradition.

    My understanding is that the ARC initiative comes from Santa Monica or Berkeley. There's a knock-down drag-out quality to all-things Berkeley and Santa Monica that, in my opinion, just doesn't work in a small-town like Alameda.

    I think in the ordinance we just placed on the ballot, I think we have an Alameda-based solution to the problem of excessive rent increase.

    It might be an uphill battle getting the word out, but, it's one that I hope all Alameda — renters and homeowners alike — join in. Because it's about our city.

    /s/ tony daysog ( )


  4. ARC has continuously intimidated anyone who speaks out against their demands, not least of all with the “greedly landlords” epithets.

    There will be many, many, people quietly voting against their measure, but not willing to stick their neck out for ARC to chop it off.


  5. My opinion is that Daysog was making a fundraising pitch to his anti-rent control backers. ARC is watching the money, watching to see who the CAA backs.


  6. City government has been and continues to use public funds to influence the outcome of the election on the utility tax increase. At the August 8, 2016 meeting, councilmember Oddie said explicitly that the top priority for the council and city staff is to get the utility tax increase passed. This a flagrant violation of state law that carries criminal penalties. Those involved must be held accountable. The city is not “educating” the public about the measure. It is using public funds to provide a one-sided perspective that clearly advocates for the passage of the tax increase.


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