By Tim Redmond
FEB. 25, 2014 – The campaigns for supervisor and state Assembly get real March 17, when the first seriously controversial housing bill of the year comes before the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee.
The measure, by Sup. David Campos, would significantly increase the amount landlords have to pay to evict tenants under the Ellis Act. And in the Year of the Tenant, when the eviction epidemic and housing costs are at the top of every poll of voter concerns, the way the committee members, and later the 11 supervisors, respond could have an impact on how the fall races shape up.
All three committee members – Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, and Scott Wiener – are up for re-election in the fall. Cohen already has an opponent, Tony Kelly, and although nobody has filed to run against Wiener, there’s plenty of talk.
If any of the three votes against the Campos bill, or tries to water it down, tenant organizations will be furious – and anyone who is opposed by the growing and increasingly organized tenant movement this fall will face serious trouble. If Wiener doesn’t support the bill (and he told me he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but is open to the measure) there will almost certainly be a challenger running against him, in part on that issue, in November. (more after the jump)