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Judge denies TRO against Measure L renter protections in Richmond

Sunday, January 8, 2017 10:43
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(Before It's News)

by Lynda Carson

After Richmond residents of all stripes rallied and rallied and walked door to door for months to drum up support for Measure L’s renter protections, L, which stands for LOVE, they say, won by a landslide. – Photo: Richmond Progressive Alliance

In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections passed by the voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan 6.

As part of their notorious on-going efforts to meddle in the affairs of Richmond in opposition to the voters, the CAA continues with its vicious campaign to deny renters their rights under local, state and federal law, as the pro-landlord organization ignores the will of the people.

Despite having the TRO tossed out by the court, additionally the CAA has filed for a preliminary injunction. In a release from Tenant’s Together, a state organization that represents renters: “While the Temporary Restraining Order was denied, the hearing for a preliminary injunction is on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Martinez courthouse.”

If an injunction is granted, rent control could be on hold while the lawsuit continues. The City of Richmond and Bay Area Legal Aid plan to intervene in the lawsuit.

Leah Simon-Weisberg, legal director at Tenants Together says, “It is horrifying that special corporate interests can try to use their money and influence to overturn the will of the people. Rent control has already been found to be constitutional, and this ordinance was modeled off similar laws in effect for decades. The California Apartment Association is wasting our time with a frivolous lawsuit.”

In a release from Tenant’s Together, a state organization that represents renters: “While the Temporary Restraining Order was denied, the hearing for a preliminary injunction is on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Martinez courthouse.”

During a discussion with City Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, she said, “It’s wonderful that the voters have passed Measure L to protect the renters of Richmond. I have been hearing from some renters who have told me that their rents have been rolled back as much as $400 to $500 a month since Measure L went into effect on Dec. 30, 2016.”

Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin said, “Richmond is standing strong for our voters and tenant community. Measure L is a solid ordinance that was approved by two thirds of the voters because we value stable neighborhoods and a strong, diverse community. I am more than delighted that the City prevailed in court today, and I know we will continue to prevail.”

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, including SEIU Local 1021, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Alliance of California Communities for Empowerment Action and Tenants Together, attended the court hearing to defend rent control. “The California Apartment Association wants landlords to continue gouging tenants with unlimited rent increases, but the voters have spoken.

“It is our right to regulate rents and evictions in California. It’s time for the landlord lobbyists to accept the voice of the people,” said Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together.

Indeed, renters have been calling to ask if it is really true that their rents have been rolled back to July 21, 2015, levels. One woman with children mentioned that she lives in a four-plex in Richmond and has been struggling since her landlord raised her rent by several hundred dollars during the past year.

She is afraid of being evicted. She heard about the rollback in rents from a recent KRON story and was very grateful for all of the people who worked so hard and struggled to make this possible. She said that she is going to tell her neighbors and everyone she knows in Richmond, about the rollback in rents and the renter protections that exist in Richmond presently.

“It is our right to regulate rents and evictions in California. It’s time for the landlord lobbyists to accept the voice of the people,” said Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together.

Despite the mass evictions occurring in Richmond during September 2016, Mayor Tom Butt, who condones them, voted against an emergency moratorium against rent hikes and evictions. It was reported that Butt is in bed with the notorious California Apartment Association, CAA.

The CAA is a wealthy pro-landlord organization that opposes renter protections. The CAA spent a fortune in its effort to block renter protections on ballots around the Bay from taking effect in the Bay Area.

For the renters and their advocates, it has been a long hard struggle of opposition against the California Apartment Association, landlords, realtors and speculators. The “Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance,” known as Measure L, was passed by the voters on Nov. 8, when ballot measures were passed by voters in three Bay Area cities.

The Richmond City Council certified the results of the November election at its Dec. 20 meeting, and the ordinance became effective on Dec. 30. It is expected to protect tens of thousands of renters against landlords involved in price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes.

The “Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance,” known as Measure L, was passed by the voters on Nov. 8, when ballot measures were passed by voters in three Bay Area cities.

Richmond has joined at least 12 other cities in California that have adopted rent control to protect renters from greedy landlords.

The City is moving forward in setting up its new Rent Control Board and residents are invited to a community workshop on Jan. 18, 6-7:320 p.m., at the Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza, to learn about their rights.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule@yahoo.com.



Source: http://sfbayview.com/2017/01/judge-denies-tro-against-measure-l-renter-protections-in-richmond/

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