Page 30 - aagla4-2021
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 Member Update
San Francisco’s Commercial Rent Tax
(Editor’s Note: An initiative to impose an additional tax on certain commercial rents can be passed by a simple majority of voters in the City and County of San Francisco; neither Proposition 13, Proposition 218 nor the San Francisco City Charter compel a supermajority vote for passage. Propositions 13 and 218 do not apply to voter initiatives when promoted by elected officials.)
The remedy for these types of decisions, is just to move out of town. This decision lauds the power of the voters, yet it is the fear of the majority which led our founding fathers to establish a republic and not a democracy.
When rent control passed in Santa Monica on April 10, 1979, James Baker was at the lead of the housing provider opposition. However, he would always criticize owners who wanted to just quit the business. He would always say: “Don’t burn down the barn to get rid of the rats.” I think he was wrong. We should have left the business. We should have stopped working for the City Government by housing their favorite voters. Now we are fully seeing the results of the government takeover. It is clearly a chapter out of Atlas Shrugged.
Rosario P., Santa Monica
Glendale’s Proposed Rental Registry?
My take on City of Glendale’s proposal for a rental registry is that Councilmember Brotman truly meant well by it. But, for those of us who have experienced the toxic relationship that has emerged in cities with these bureaucracies, it is anathema to us. The experiences in cities such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and others with these bureaucracies has transformed the politics and tone of elections, council meetings and created an extremely divisive and contentious relationships across these communities.
The same attitude of right-wing extremists that we saw in Washington on January 6th we will also experience on the left. Every yahoo and loudmouth who can get an ear from city council or the press will vie for attention constantly. Three years ago, a mob of 300 of these tenant activists stormed the offices of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and took over its office building while threatening and endangering its staff members. At that time, they had just published a magazine issue focusing on homelessness and developed many initiatives to address Los Angeles area homelessness. But, despite efforts to suggest solutions to housing affordability and homelessness, the crowd of protestors that day was unhinged and very threatening.
But enervated and misguided activists will wreak havoc with city affairs too. The process of creating an even-
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