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 Board President’s Message
14
JANUARY 2021 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG
effort for sure.
Now, as I had previously noted, this year has been extremely challenging and difficult for all. We have had to face not only a global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic in which many lives, too many lives, have been lost, but we also were faced with an economic and social shut down. Our cities were already suffering from a severe homelessness crisis before the pandemic but now due to “on” and “off again” stay-at-home orders the shutdown of multiple businesses, even our gainfully employed citizens are faced with high unemployment which “in many but not all cases” has made it difficult for our tenants to pay their rent.
Our State’s legislators and the tenant advocacy groups have blamed rental housing providers for the plight of the homeless and rent burdened renters. As a result, our State legislators have made restricting the rights of housing providers with more and more regulation to reduce our ability to collect, even reasonable rent, their number one priority. As we all know, although there are many large corporate landlords with sufficient resources, access to capital markets, and rental income from their many other paying tenants to sustain them, we are and we must continue to repeatedly emphasize that there are smaller housing providers who are suffering economically along with their renters due to the pandemic and are having difficulty paying mortgages, property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses, among others, without receipt of rental income while their tenants are staying housed. These costs and the responsibilities for housing the tenant population, should not be borne solely by housing providers. The government should and must help. And it must help us soon.
I joined the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles when I purchased my first rental property and I have stayed with the Association after seeing how committed it is in fighting for and advocating on behalf of the rights of the small-to-medium sized rental housing providers, the “moms and pops.” Experiencing this, I soon learned there were many opportunities to become involved at the Association and to assist it with its many initiatives undertaken daily on behalf of all members.
One of the many highlights I have experienced during
my time as a member of the Board of Directors was having the opportunity to serve as the Association’s State Legislative Committee Chairperson. I want you to know that this past year there were approximately 105 proposed pieces of legislation by our State’s legislature that could have impacted housing and our investments in rental property. Our State Legislative Committee reviewed each of the bills, we worked tirelessly with our lobbyists in Sacramento to create arguments and positions on these bills, and combined forces with other apartment associations throughout the state to either defeat many of the proposed bills or make significant changes to them. Although there were some significant bills that the Governor did end up signing into law last year, be assured that we are reviewing some of those bills to determine whether to file a lawsuit or initiate the filing of a referendum to have them overturned should they violate property owners’ constitutional rights. In fact, to that point, the Association has already filed 4 Federal lawsuits challenging the rent registries in the City of Beverly Hills and City of Los Angeles and challenging the City of Los Angeles’ the trash hauling monopoly and excessive fees, and the City’s eviction and rent increase moratoria.
With the generous support of our members though their hundreds of contributions, our Political Action Committee also participated in the November 2020 election to help attempt to defeat local rent control in Culver City and in the City of Burbank, and to support local political candidates that support housing providers and assist us with the issues we face. While we all deserve a moment to celebrate our successes and to take a breather, we must remain vigilant for there are many new threats to the rights of housing providers on the horizon. So, I ask that all of you continue to support our Political Action Committee and Legal Fund with your contributions.
During 2021, we will continue to advocate for your rights by improving our relationships with local, state, and Federal lawmakers so that we will be invited to the table and be consulted when policy decisions are being made and before those decisions become laws that adversely impact us. We will not only defend ourselves against bad laws that restrict our rights but at the same time, we will advocate for good laws that improve and protect our rights, and we will
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