ELECTIONLINE: Alameda landlords’ Measure K dilemma; Newsom to speak at Wicks’ campaign headquarters

DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY: 61
DAYS UNTIL VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS SENT: 32


ALAMEDA MEASURE K
The Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) will open its campaign against Measure K, the landlords-backed ballot initiative to lock-in the city’s existing rent stabilization ordinance in the City Charter, with a rally this Sunday. Last Wednesday, supporters of No on K received the unanimously endorsement of the Alameda County Democratic Party. The history of the rent stabilization ordinance, however, is somewhat confusing. Two years ago, ARC advocated strongly for the ordinance that forces landlords to petition the city’s rent board if they seek an annual rent increase of more than five percent, among other restrictions. Landlords cried tyranny. Just cause protections were added one years later by the council, then rescinded after a landlord-backed repeal campaign was launched. Now ARC believes the ordinance is too weak and landlords laud it and want it included in the charter. But a new wrinkle in the Measure K story is emerging as the statewide initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act gains steam. If both Proposition 10 and Measure K is approved by voters, the landlords’ plan could backfire. That’s because the repeal of Costa-Hawkins, which currently bans rent control of single-family homes, would be also enshrined in Alameda’s charter amendment because of the ordinance’s broadly written wording. It’s a dilemma that Alameda landlords were indeed aware of, but at the time the signature-gathering campaign was planned last year, there were doubts the statewide repeal initiative would even make the ballot.

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 6
Much has been made of the decision by the field of four candidates in Oakland’s District 6 council race not to attack long-time Councilmember Desley Brooks for her involvement in the Elaine Brown incident during a forum two weeks ago. Following the event hosted by the Alameda Democratic Party, which also served as the party’s endorsement interview, Brooks told the East Bay Citizen that she was somewhat surprised the issue was not brought up and that she was prepared to defend herself nonetheless. She later called her opponents “cowards.” Loren Taylor, the District 6 challenger with by far the most campaign cash in the field (including Brooks) said this week that the Democratic Party forum was the first time all the candidates were in the same room together and the meeting amounted to a feeling-out process. Taylor said there will be many more opportunities for him and other candidates to bring up the Brooks/Brown episode and suggested he won’t extend the same amount of deference he did two weeks ago. In addition, this week Taylor’s campaign received the endorsement of East Bay State Sen. Nancy Skinner.

15TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
Buffy Wicks is again tapping into her large collection of Democratic Party bonafides. The former Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign aide is bringing in Gavin Newsom to appear at the campaign’s Berkeley headquarters on Shattuck Avenue next week. Newsom and Wicks will converse about the future of the state during the Sept. 13 event. This isn’t the first time Wicks’ campaign has invited statewide or national figures to her campaign headquarters. Earlier this year, she opened the same Berkeley office with an event featuring former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly. What’s the connection? Turns out Wicks’ husband, Peter Ambler, is executive director for the the gun control foundation founded by Giffords.

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