Monday, March 11, 2019

Rent control in Oregon---and California

...In California, only 15 out of 478 municipalities have voluntarily passed rent control, and larger efforts to strengthen the statewide policy have failed. Last November, California voters shot down Proposition 10, a ballot measure that would have overturned the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which weakened rent control policies statewide when it was passed in 1995.

After the failure of Proposition 10, a handful of California cities have passed new tenant protections on their own which specifically address urgent concerns about displacement.

Just this week, in the Southern California city of Inglewood, the city council adopted an “emergency rent control” ordinance. For the next 45 days, property owners will not be allowed to raise rents more than 5 percent and cannot evict tenants except for reasons of “criminality or drug use.” The council has the option to extend the moratorium for up to a year 

“After years of advocacy, we are proud to have gotten the city to take this important step to send the message to corporate landlords that rent gouging is not okay in the City of Inglewood,” said D’Artagnan Scorza, a member of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition.

Tenant advocates from Uplift Inglewood claim that evictions and rent hikes increased after construction began on a new NFL stadium. Corresponding data from CoStar showed that rents in Inglewood have been increasing at a faster rate than the county average—up 10.8 percent last year, compared to 7 percent across Los Angeles County—creating worries about rising rents pushing out longtime members of the city’s black community...(Oregon just enacted statewide rent control—and it could be a model for the country)

See also California's message: You built that, now get out!

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Anti-Semitism and the Republicans

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce a legislative package that would lower prescription drug prices in the U.S. on January 10, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept:

So let me get this straight: The president of the United States has called neo-Nazis “very fine people”; retweeted neo-Nazis; told an audience of Jewish-Americans that Israel is “your country”; and indulged in viciously anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

While running for office, he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton inside a Star of David, next to a pile of cash; told an audience of Jewish donors, “You want to control your politicians, that’s fine”; and put out a campaign ad that attacked three rich and powerful Jewish figures. While a private citizen, he insisted only “short guys that wear yarmulkes” should count his money and kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table.

He has never apologized for any of this. Nor has he been censured by Congress.

Since coming to office, he has hired, among others, Sebastian Gorka — who made the Nazi-linked Hungarian group Vitézi Rend “proud” when he wore its medal to an inauguration ball — and Steve Bannon, who didn’t want his daughters attending a particular school in Los Angeles because of “the number of Jews.”

Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

In the Senate, Ted Cruz has denounced “New York values” while on the campaign trail, and Senator Chuck Grassley has suggested that Jewish philanthropist George Soros paid the protesters who confronted then-Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator with their stories of sexual assault last October.

Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

In the House, Republican members have referred to themselves as “David Duke without the baggage,” accused Soros of turning on his “fellow Jews” and taking “the property that they owned,” claimed that Soros funded the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, sat on panels with white nationalists, invited a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union, and tweeted that three Jewish billionaires — Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — were trying to “buy” the midterms. On Sunday, Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted that Steyer — whose name he spelled as “$teyer” and whose father is Jewish — was trying to influence Rep. Jerry Nadler (who is Jewish) to investigate Donald Trump.

None of these Republicans have ever apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

Trump and the Republicans’ favorite cable channels, Fox News and Fox Business Network, have run segments in which guests have referred to the State Department as “Soros-occupied” and accused Soros of working with the Nazis, while top-rated Fox host Sean Hannity used to regularly interview a neo-Nazi on his radio show. 

Their favorite news website, Breitbart, has referred to columnist Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew” and to columnist Anne Applebaum as a “Polish, Jewish, American elitist.” Their favorite talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has spoken of a “Jewish lobby” and was accused of “borderline” anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League for his comments about Jewish bankers...

Later: Ex-Maine governor: Democrats' 'money comes from' Jews 'for the most part'

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