Mountain View voters rejected Measure D by a 70%-30% margin in March of this year. Measure D had been crafted to undermine the 2016 legislated rent stabilization measure (the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act or “CSFRA”). Under Measure D, rents this year would have risen 4%-8% when one includes amounts for liberalized pass through of costs to renters. Under the CSFRA, rent increases this year were limited to 2.9%. That difference counts, particularly when renters are struggling – along with all of us – with Covid-19.
Of those running for Council this November, three supported Measure D. They are Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak and Jose Gutierrez. Their support is consistent with long-term opposition to rent stabilization. Abe-Koga and Matichak were also supportive of the so-called “sneaky repeal”. The sneaky repeal would have rendered rent stabilization meaningless. That measure was recently withdrawn from the ballot when they and the large apartment ownership interests came to understand that (a) it would be defeated and (b) it would hurt the candidates who oppose rent stabilization. Those same apartment owner interests have provided material financial support to Council members Abe-Koga and Matichak.
We believe deeply in the benefits of rent stabilization. Under current circumstances, it gives hope for the continued Mountain View residency of service workers, seniors on fixed incomes, and others at the affordability margins. We value what they bring to us here in Mountain View.
We also tire of the repeated efforts of the property owners and their political advocates to undermine voter approved rent stabilization legislation. The CSFRA has been successful, limiting rent increases to 3.5% or so over the four years of its implementation. The administration of the Act through its Rental Housing Committee has not cost the City and us as residents one penny. There is no backlog of appeals on either the landlord or tenant side.
This Council election matters. We have so much to do to house, educate and secure our community. We must work on environmental issues. We have four Council candidates who are experienced, capable and have complementary sets of skills that can move us forward. Most important, they are looking out for all members of our community. We will be voting for Pat Showalter, Alex Nunez, Lenny Siegel, and Sally Lieber. We hope you will, too.
Keating and Carol Rhoads,
This is a version (revised by the authors) of the letter originally published in the Mountain View Voice.