Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Katy Tang on rent control

Last year I wrote this about Supervisor Tang:

And Supervisor Tang, like her predecessors, Fiona Ma and Carmen Chu, is a political cipher whose main qualification for office in District Four is that she's ethnically Chinese. (That's why carpetbagger Jane Kim ran in District 6, not in District 4.) Like her undistinguished predecessors, Tang will keep her head down and never say anything interesting or, more importantly, dissent on important city policy and projects.

After reading the story in the Examiner, I have to make one amendment to that harsh judgment. Tang actually makes a good point about rent control:

"She is the only supervisor I am aware of who has publicly expressed that she is anti-rent control," [Sara]Shortt said. "We would not be comfortable with her role being anything more than a caretaker one until a new member is voted in next year." 

Tang refutes the charge, saying that in fact "I support rent control right now," although she added that she was "open to looking" at proposals to amend the law. "Rent control was put into place for very particular reasons," Tang said of the law that applies to units constructed before 1979. "We had to protect our most vulnerable populations, whether it's seniors or the disabled community. Now obviously over time it has morphed into people who are able to pay market rent are not paying market rent. That's where the problems lie." (Katy Tang brings vastly different perspective to Board of Supervisors presidency)

Yes, indeed. Tang may not have had Supervisor Breed in mind, but she could be the poster child for amending the law, since Breed lives in rent-controlled housing, even though she makes $100,000 a year plus benefits as District 5 Supervisor (See Breed's 2013 interview on Hoodline: Meet London Breed, Your New Supervisor).

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