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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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UncategorizedWhat's up for 2015 in SF? Well, sharing ....

What’s up for 2015 in SF? Well, sharing ….

Mayor Lee has promised a lot more affordable housing -- but can he deliver?
Mayor Lee has promised a lot more affordable housing — but can he deliver?

By Tim Redmond

JANUARY 5, 2014 – It’s all going to be about sharing in 2015. That’s what the Mayor’s Office is saying. But the “sharing economy” and its role in San Francisco are a matter of some dispute.

I suppose it’s good news that Mayor Ed Lee has figured out that the great new wealth in this city isn’t being shared by all:

“Jobs are back, the economy has rebounded, and for the first time in decades, the mayor’s not asking department heads to cut their budgets for a year,” said Christine Falvey, the mayor’s spokeswoman. “Next year, it’s going to be about sharing that prosperity. It’s not hitting all levels in the city.”

A little late to come to that realization; one might think that a mayor who has been around City Hall this long, and seen this many booms and busts, would have been able to predict that attracting thousands of new high-paid tech workers would lead to displacement – that, in fact, prosperity for some has meant homelessness and poverty for others. In San Francisco, rising tides don’t lift all boats; the lift a few, and sink a lot more.

But whatever: We’re in a crisis that Lee helped create, and he’s going to have a challenging time fixing it. It’s going to be even more challenging if the way City Hall tries to fight economic inequality is to ask the rich to volunteer:

City Hall is also expected to continue to press private businesses to give to the needy — such as Google’s recent $2 million donation to homeless services and Kaiser Permanente’s $5.5 million in new grants to programs for low-income people, including $3 million to rehabilitate decrepit public housing projects.

Supervisor London Breed, who represents the Western Addition where there are several public housing developments, recently persuaded the San Francisco Association of Realtors to donate staging furniture, kitchen appliances and other goods to homeless families moving into public housing projects. So far, 42 families have moved into vacant public housing units, and many have received help from the realty group.

“I think it’s time for everyone to be part of helping to make this city better for those who are less fortunate,” Breed said. “There are a lot of folks who have built a lot of wealth, and I would just hope that many of them feel obligated to give back.”

Again, I would think that after about two centuries of industrial capitalism, politicians would have figured out that wealth is never voluntarily shared at a level that’s needed to create any kind of stable society. Taxation, public spending, and redistribution works; that was one lesson of the post-War era. Trickle-down and charity doesn’t; that’s the clear lesson of the post-Reagan era.

Remember, in San Francisco, it’s not as if the economic booms make a few rich and leave everyone else behind. I wouldn’t begrudge the tech folks their millions (or billions) if they could just get rich and leave the rest of us in peace. But great wealth here does great harm, because it drives up the cost of housing, which means longtime residents who aren’t rich have to leave town or spend so much money on rent that they have little left for anything else.

Until we fix that – until we have rules in place that ensure that nobody who lives here has to leave because they don’t make as much money as someone who wants to take their place – then economic booms will do more harm than good.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what some of the key issues in 2015 will be (in no particular order):

Airbnb and short-term rentals. Any time Calvin Welch and Dianne Feinstein are on the same side, along with the Tenants Union and the Apartment Association, you have the makings of a serious political campaign. There’s going to be a ballot measure to change the rules on short-term rentals, and it’s probably going to be well funded. (Gee, maybe there will be a fundraiser at Feinstein’s house! She’s never invited me over before!)

The tech folks will spend a lot of money to defeat it, so look for a high-profile campaign.

Mayor Lee signed the Chiu bill, so he’ll almost certainly oppose the ballot measure. Other local officials will have to take a position. And this is one (like Prop. M in 1986) that could bring together neighborhood people from the West side of town and progressives from the East.

How we vote. If there was ever any doubt about it, the Campos-Chiu election settled the question: Progressives can no longer win in this town without an effective absentee voter strategy. Elections don’t take place on Election Day anymore; they start about a month earlier.

So as the Airbnb campaign emerges, there’s going to be a lot of talk about how San Franciscans vote – and Campos has delivered a fascinating idea that, if the City Attorney’s Office approves and there’s a legal way to do this, could be the most significant electoral reform in this town in years. He wants the city to mail out ballots to every single registered voter. It would move San Francisco one step in the direction of Oregon, where all elections are vote-by-mail – and turnout is consistently among the highest in the nation.

How can anyone be against that? Just watch.

Another tenant measure. Prop. G, the anti-speculation tax, lost – but did a lot better than expected considering the vast sums of money directed against it. It’s likely that state Sen. Mark Leno will re-introduce some version of his Ellis Act bill in Sacramento, and it might make it through the Assembly intact this time around – but that’s still a hard slog. And while the Ellis Act evictions have slowed (thanks to tenant organizing), the pressure is still on tenants. So there’s a good chance that another tenant measure could make it onto the fall ballot. (My favorite idea, which is floating around: leave rent control in place anytime there’s a no-fault eviction. I suspect that would run into trouble with state law, but it would have a huge impact on preventing displacement.)

Affordable housing. The city is far behind Mayor Lee’s goal for the creation of affordable housing, and as long as it’s largely a private-sector endeavor, that’s not going to change. At what point will he have to admit that there’s no way to get to 30 percent or more affordable housing while allowing market-rate developers to drive the conversation? There may well be an affordable-housing ballot measure in November, something that seeks a way to raise money. There will almost certainly be a proposal for a tax on vacant housing units. This is a make-or-break moment for the mayor; he’s made “the affordability agenda” a key part of his re-election, and he’s going to have to take some big risks and show some real leadership to deliver.

Because building enough affordable housing is going to mean finding ways to take money from the wealthy – not ask nicely, but take it.

2016. The political world of San Francisco (and California) starts to shift next year when Leno is termed out and Sen. Barbara Boxer (almost certainly) retires. Tom Ammiano has taken out preliminary papers to run for Leno’s seat, but I would be very surprised if none of the current supervisors also entered the race.

That’s just for starters. Even without much of a mayor’s race, it’s going to be a wild year.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. Of course my “ideas” must be built on a weak foundation…because I disagree with you.

    Tell me, did you start citing Hugo Chavez as a mentor while he was a general trying to overthrow the government, or after he was elected president. My conjecture: You loved him better when he was a general plotting a golpe del estado.

  2. Motor voter went through the courts for years in some states, it was thought that it would be a boon for democrats, it turned out more right wing retired people started to vote more by mail.

    Likely the same case here.

  3. Surely the point of vote-by-mail for everyone is that you can save all the expense of election day and all the costs associated with staffing election day?

    I could support that, but I don’t believe it would bias the results as some progressives seem all excited about.

  4. I’ve done a fair amount of work in Oregon and would support an all mail ballot system. In 2006 we ran the governor’s campaign and despite a storm that created a state of emergency; turnout was over 70%. It is not a progressive or conservative panacea but it increases opportunities for people to vote. Currently many off year elections in California 80%+ of votes cast are cast absentee.

    Progressives in San Francisco don’t invest the resources necessary in VBM, we saw this in the Newsom race in 2003 and have frequently since that election. I can think of several low-cost, high impact programs progressives could implement.

  5. Wrong again, Russo. This is what Tim wrote:

    “My favorite idea, which is floating around: leave rent control in place anytime there’s a no-fault eviction. I suspect that would run into trouble with state law, but it would have a huge impact on preventing displacement.”

  6. A tax on vacant units is not the same as vacancy control, Spam. Neither this article nor the one that’s linked above are calling for it.

  7. I don’t have a problem with increasing the turn out. But this proposal is going to be typically ineffective.

    There is no reason to believe that all of these people who are just too lazy to vote are Progressives. If you read this blog you constantly hear about people being thrown out on the streets and driven into poverty by Ed Lee and yet nobody even bothers to vote for Campos?

    Ask any junk mailer what happens when you blanket everyone with a mail piece that they didn’t ask for. 2% would be a good response. Because people who aren’t interested in the election aren’t going to suddenly become interested because you send them a ballot.

    They are already getting volumes of voter guides and mountains of paid mailers, but a ballot is going to make all the difference?

    So give it a try. But the prospect of distributing thousands of ballots that nobody asked for presents a great new opportunity for fraud.

    But I get it…Progressives need to try SOMETHING;.

  8. We have as much workplace democracy as the people want. In fact, I had part-ownership in my last three employers, prior to working for myself, and that worked out fine.

    Most people don’t want the responsibility, however. Not even France is enacting what you propose. You really are in the wrong country.

  9. Russo, you were the one who introduced me to 48 Hills, Russo, back before Mission Local killed their comments session a few months ago.

    You recommended I read something here, and I’ve stuck around.

    So if some folks here don’t like my truth-telling, they should blame you for bringing me here.

  10. You don’t really fancy yourself the intellectual counterweight of Tim, do you, Spam? You’re no writer, you’re too doctrinaire and, in the end, you’re a comment troll. If you really want to be the great white knight of landlords everywhere, get your own blog.

  11. “Capitalist an democratic” is an oxymoron. Without democracy in the workplace, where people spend half their waking time, the concept of democracy is empty and meaningless.

  12. Please! I wish! We’ve been trying to get relatives of mine into public housing for years now, and it’s impossible because there are far more people desiring it than availability.

    Taxpayer-funded public housing would be one great alternative to subsidizing the rentier class, if only we had the political will to build or expropriate enough of it.

  13. Greg, I haven’t seen any proposals that I believe would increase voter turnout.

    What is clear is that you are supporting higher turnout not because you give a fig about democracy but because you (falsely) believe that it would give you results that you prefer.

    So i am afraid I am calling hypocrisy on those advocating for this change.

  14. “I’ve seen no evidence that the people who don’t vote think differently, and more progressively, than the people who do vote.”

    Great. Then you shouldn’t have a problem with helping to increase voter turnout.

  15. I didn’t know about that movie, and I just found it on Youtube. Thanks for posting about it! Here is the link:


    And FYI, like Dan wrote, since the new year, I no longer participate in the ‘exchange of ideas’ on this blog because of Sam and I’ve stopped the email notifications of new articles.

    I do come here from time to time to see if there is anything interesting. It’s a shame that we can’t have a cogent blog with moderated comments that allows for the exchange of ideas and disagreement without Sam-spam.

    Again, thanks!

  16. Well, there is an alternative to renting from a landlord, it’s called public housing. Let me know how that works out for you.

  17. Greg, I notice that fantasies play a large role in your thinking.

    I understand why. you are not happy with and in America, and you long to see it become more like the socialist hellhole that your family left to move to America to escape from.

    And so you fantasize about a future where American workers take over the means of production.

    But of course union membership is declining, work is de-centralizing and, thanks to stock options, many workers now are owners and capitalists as well

    The new model is what you see in the knowledge economy, small, smart groups of owner-workers making great money and driving innovation.

    The manufacturing is mostly outsourced to places like Chiba, where the workers are of course the bosses, right?


  18. Pure speculation. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support any of that,

    And in fact you laud China for its growth and success, but that has happened because China has embraced capitalism, despite remaining notionally communist.

    The world may become multi-polar, but it will also become more capitalist and democratic.

  19. Dan, nobody reads your blog. It’s a joke.

    Lots of people read 48 Hills. So clearly your strategy of removing every comment that disagrees with you does not lead to a diverse forum for debating ideas and issues. It just becomes a vehicle for your ego, stultifying in a vacuum.

  20. Greg, it’s the exact opposite. you must really lack confidence in your progressive dieas if you think they are threatened by one enthusiastic and articulate opponent.

    Why do I scare you so much if my arguments are ineffective? Why do you need censorship here to appear credible?

  21. Greg, I’ve seen no evidence that the people who don’t vote think differently, and more progressively, than the people who do vote.

    In fact, it’s a reasonable conclusion that those who can’t be bothered to vote care less about politics in general, and so are probably moderates.

    Of course money is a factor in elections. That is why progressives generally only win if either SEIU throws money at the cause or, as in the case of 8-Wash, a one percenter.

    But then the left can put “feet on the ground”, and do so. So overall there is a balance in our system.

  22. I agree with you Greg. Tim is pimping for hits. That’s why he allows this blog to be Sam’s blog with Tim serving as Sam’s contributing writer. Sam writes more than Tim does! Clearly, Sam is well paid by some entity because no sane and rationale person would generate that much content for free.

    I rarely come here anymore because I don’t like to support blogs in any way who are complicit in the problems, which this blog is. I see nothing has changed since the last time I was here. The comment section is dominated by one conservative troll. It does boggle the mind why Tim gives the right-wing/conservatives and the people who are destroying this city a platform to promote their agenda (Sam’s agenda). That makes Tim part of the problem, he is complicit in the problems but he doesn’t seem to understand that, or care. I run a blog and I don’t allow that on my blog. No right-wing trolls are allowed. I block them and Tim could too if he wanted to. The conservative/right-wing trolls have any site they want to spam their elitist agenda and they’re not using my blog for that.

    I sense Tim doesn’t even read these comments for the most part. He’s using this “Sam” to generate comments to bait people. The problem is that people take Sam’s bait instead of ignoring his ass and that generates more and more comments and more and more hits and it makes this blogs Alexa rating rise. I know what Tim’s doing, and what he’s doing is pretty low.

    He’s allowing this site to turn into another Bay Guardian including the comment section—and the BG’s comment section was a cesspool—and we all know what happened to the BG.

  23. Now we are talking!

    A poster suggested in another thread, “If there were no landlords, there would be no units for rent” – seriously? Whatever exists now, always existed and will always exist, and nothing other than whatever exists now, can ever exist? Why such poverty of imagination?

    People need houses, people don’t need landlords.

    Capitalism creates so many unsolvable problems, that there is a huge overpaid class of experts, pundits and consultants who have to work “hard”, inventing Robe Goldberg-style contraption to make America marginally livable. (Read on “bullshit jobs”: http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/bullshit-jobs.html) The problem with Robe Goldberg machines is, you can’t run a country on them, not for long. Not when the whole system is based on rotten premises.

    “Suddenly it became possible to see that if there’s a rule, it’s that the more obviously your work benefits others, the less you’re paid for it. CEOs and financial consultants that are actually making other people’s lives worse were paid millions, useless paper-pushers got handsomely compensated, people fulfilling obviously useful functions like taking care of the sick or teaching children or repairing broken heating systems or picking vegetables were the least rewarded.”

    Instead of inventing yet another Robe Goldberg schema on how to keep people who are actually working housed, we need to send the whole “capitalism” atrocity to where it belongs — a dumpster.

  24. I think Mr. Redmond is just giving the bought-and-paid-for troll enough rope. And when he gives that rope the inevitable little jerk, the results are always hilarious. Kudos to “Sam’s” paymasters for all the laughs!

  25. The American military empire… certainly. China will be most powerful nation on earth much earlier than that, both militarily and economically. But military might will mean less and less. I don’t see China or any other country supplanting the US; instead I see a multipolar world where several regional powers serve to balance each other. However, the Yuan will probably be the world’s reserve currency, and that will spell the end of the American empire just as surely as any military defeat. Probably more efficiently. The US will find itself simply unable to support its massive military budget and its 700 bases worldwide, and unable to dictate anything economically to anyone.

    Capitalism will take longer to relegate to the trashbin of history. But by 2105 it will be on the wane. I think economist Richard Wolff is right when he says worker cooperatives are the way of the future. Some traditionally-organized businesses will likely still be around in some form, somewhere. But as the world begins to see workplace democracy as a human rights issue, traditional corporate organization without workplace democracy will be regarded as backwards, much like sweatshops are looked at today.

  26. “Theft.” Talk about old ideas.

    Reminds me of the movie “The Take,” about how workers took over shuttered companies in Argentina following the 2002 financial crisis, restarted them, and began to run them as cooperatives. In one scene, a worker in a ceramics factory is telling the narrator how they run the factory in the wake of the takeover -cooperatively, democratically, with every worker making the same amount of money. At one point, the narrator plays devils advocate and asks, “but wait -in the US -people would look at this and say that this is ‘theft.'”

    Without skipping a beat the worker, still in his fatigues, replies in rapid-fire Spanish, “We have another word for it. Expropriation.”

    Just wait Sam. It can happen here. It will happen here. It actually almost did happen here. When things get bad enough, the politics will change. And things will get bad enough. Last time, the capitalists could thank their lucky stars that they had FDR to save them from themselves. This time, I believe that the system has made the ascendency of another FDR impossible; the capitalists have become so greedy that they have made the system unreformable.

    Incidentally, remembering this film made me curious to see how it all worked out, so I googled the company. It’s still going strong. The workers renamed it “FabricaSinPatrones” (“factory without bosses”) and managed to grow substantially. They recently built a health clinic in their community.

    “Expropriation,” Sam. Learn to say it. The boss said “I’m closing the factory because it’s not profitable.” The workers answered, “Fine. You can leave. We’re staying and we’re taking it over.” Well, you might just live to see a time in America when the landlord says, “I’m getting out of the landlord business, because I can make more money by selling it.” And the tenants will answer, “Fine, you can leave then. We’re staying.”

  27. By the way the typo said “in 2105”. I’d love someone to tell me what things will be like then. Hopefully Capitalism and the American military empire will be things of the past!

  28. Thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s 18.1M toward defeating Prop 45, they have an endless source of benevolent contributions to programs like these in San Francisco: your elevating healthcare premiums!!
    And not just yours, but they’re now looking to profit from their nurses, NP’s and other workers by downgrading benefits and retirement plans over the next 15 years. So that 5.5M “grant” accompanied by a press release from the Mayor’s office and a publicized nod in the Sunday Chron? Well, it’s on the backs of the nurses, NP’s and mental health providers who care for you and your family. And your back. And at the expense of patient care and safety.
    So that comment about getting money from wealthy businesses? It comes at a price.
    Adam bit the apple. Can we make a better choice?

  29. All of your “ideas” must be built on a very weak foundation indeed, if you are so afraid they won’t survive in the absence of a full-time troll.

  30. Dave, no amount of reductio ad absurdum will change the basic fact that money influences elections. If spending more money didn’t correlate to results, then rich people wouldn’t invest so much of it.

    Another basic fact: regardless of what Tim would’ve supported if such-and-such was the case, the fact remains that the position of increasing turnout is a position favoring more democracy.

    Interesting too, that inherent in all of your arguments against this no-brainer of a proposal, is the acknowledgement that more democracy does equal better outcomes for progressives.

  31. Greg jumped the shark on this one when I out’ed his real identity. He has seemingly devoted most of his time since then to trying to suppress my commentary.

    Fear is a terrible thing.

  32. The left has always favored confiscation from the successful. Which is why the left has never gained much purchase in the United States – a country that proudly celebrates self-reliance, individualism and self-actualization over mandated social engineering and class war.

    Tim’s a nice guy but his ideology is hopelessly mired in old-school socialism. He is a dying breed, which is inevitable if your ethos is predicated on theft.

  33. “…finding ways to take money from the wealthy – not ask nicely, but take it.” At gunpoint, perhaps? Maybe we should even divide up their Pac Heights homes to make room for 20 families each.

  34. Are you proposing that there be restrictions on ‘reply space’ on 48 Hills? Say, 700 words per day?

    That’s nonsense. When people have ideas, they should be able to express them. That’s democracy. If you do not like another poster’s ideas, offer counterpoints, or simply ignore those posters and move on.

  35. Dave, how can we ever know “the will of the electorate” and the “true will of the people” other than by examining election results?

  36. If 72% of the discourse is Sam, then 27% of the remainder is all of you complaining on and on about him and insisting he be banned. None of you have anything to say in his absence, to the point where the first comment on quiet posts is “Where is Sam?”

    You keep complaining about how disruptive he is, yet there’s almost never been any actual conversation outside of that for him to disrupt. It’s kind of entertaining, actually.

  37. There are two type of elections in this town:

    One type (8 Washington, Mirkarimi for Sheriff) accurately reflect the will of the electorate.

    The rest (Chiu-Campos, Lee-Avalos, all of the PG&E votes) are all invalid because the true will of the people as not expressed.

    There seems to be two reasons for this. One is that the electorate just bends over in blind servility when money is spent to promote one side.

    The other is that Progressives are too lazy to actually vote.

  38. Greg, you’ve been trying to intimidate and blackmail Tim into introducing censorship of free speech here for months now and, to Tim’s credit, he recognizes that freedom and liberty are more important concepts than any particular ideology.

    The real reason you seek to suppress and silence my free speech here is because I routinely demolish and debunk your commentary, and that irks you. If I trotted out the same platitudes as you, you would have no issue.

    To which I would say this. If you cannot convince and persuade even in an ideologically favorable forum, then what chance do you have of winning over the silent majority to your extremist views?

    Very little, I’d aver. The truth will

  39. You can never beat Sam to the punch, and I think you nailed the reason why. The bigger question, once again, is why is Tim once again allowing the discussion to be dominated by one troll? On almost all the recent threads, 40% of the posts are from “Sam,” give or take. And even that masks the real level to which one troll is allowed to control the discourse -I counted 62 of 86 lines so far belonging to “Sam,” meaning that about 72% of the discourse on this thread is “Sam.” Not much different on most other threads. So basically you have a whole comment section dominated by one troll.

    I think Tim would agree that right-wing domination of the mainstream media by just a few individuals, is destructive to the US media landscape (if you care about diversity, democracy, and free speech). So it continues to boggle my mind why this is being allowed on a micro level on his own blog.

  40. The only real point by now is desperation. Progressives have passed everything they ever wanted that was viable, and of course they made the housing problem continued to get worse and worse.

    So they pushed it so far that the courts now routinely bounce their efforts, because they are extreme.

    In fact, much of what they try and pass now is trying to fix the loopholes in the earlier stuff they passed. Their problem is the law of unintended consequences – every new law creates the incentive to find a way around it, so they pass a law to fix that, which creates another loophole, and so on.

    Ultimately the people finding the loopholes are smarter than the people trying to close them. ‘Twas ever so.

  41. It seems that a large part of the Progressive agenda is pushing legislation which they know will be tossed by the courts. What is the point of this strategy?

  42. LOL. Of course, given the chance, you’d kill off all condo development too. Don’t pretend that’s all this is about.

  43. Robert, Tim didn’t express himself very well but I think what he means to say is that the city should adopt vacancy control for any unit that has a no-fault eviction.

    Meaning that if at some later point in time, the owner decides to rent the unit again, he can only charge the same rent the evicted tenants were paying, plus allowable increases.

    As I noted above, not only is that illegal under state law, but when it was legal to do that, the SF voters rejected it. (Berkeley and Santa Monica both had that system before it was declared illegal).

  44. Your statistic is irrelevant to the points I was making.

    But even if it is true, so what? Of course a new LL will feel a greater incentive to perform a no-fault eviction than the previous LL, because the new LL has a much higher cost base but the same crappy rents.

    The only tenants at risk are those who have had artificially low rents for years and who have done very well indeed.

  45. What does it mean to “leave rent control in place anytime there’s a no-fault eviction”? Are you referring to condo conversions?

  46. You should read more closely. I didn’t say anything about Campos’s voting idea.

    But since you raised the issue, Tim issues a challenge to people to oppose it. A trap, obviously, because he will then accuse whoever opposes it as opposing democracy.

    But consider this. Tim supports the idea not because it is more democratic but because he predicts that it will make the elections more progressive. He only supports it because he thinks he will like the results better. He thinks maybe Campos would have beaten Chiu had this been in place.

    It is much like the way progressives loved RCV/IRV not because it saves money (which it does) but because they figured it would give them better results (jury is out, but probably not).

    Tim isn’t ultimately interested in cost savings, efficiency or democracy. He is interested in jigging the system to favor the policies that he personally prefers.

    If a higher turnout harmed his candidates and issues, he would be the one opposing it.

  47. “(Campos) wants the city to mail out ballots to every single registered voter. It would move San Francisco one step in the direction of Oregon, where all elections are vote-by-mail – and turnout is consistently among the highest in the nation. How can anyone be against that? Just watch.”

    Enter… SAM!

  48. Your idea of imposing vacancy control whenever there is a no-fault eviction is of course a non-starter for the reason that you mention but then skirt over. Vacancy control is illegal in this state (and almost all others).

    There is a temporary exception enshrined in the statutes for the Ellis Act. And where the law says that a unit has to be re-offered to a former tenant (some cases with OMI’s and remodelling evictions). But you would need to repeal Costa-Hawkins in Sac to even have a shot at vacancy control.

    And SF voters have rejected it in the past as a step too far. While Santa Monica’s adoption of vacancy control led indirectly to the Ellis Act. Be careful of what you wish for,

    Anyway, it would not help in the majority of cases because most no-fault evictions happen because a property owner is sick of being a landlord because of the very laws that you support. So the TIC conversion path is greatly preferred and, again, the city can do nothing about that because state laws prevails.

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