A Renters Revolution in Just 23 Words

Person holding a book titled ‘RENT CONTROL ACT’ on a desk with a laptop and office supplies.

Ballot initiatives can be very confusing. They are often lengthy and complicated. In 2020, if you were a strong supporter of rent control, you might not have been sure if you should vote “yes” or “no” based on what the ballot said. Authors of these propositions often want to dot every “I” and cross every “T” because they anticipate legal action if it passes. But that is putting the cart before the horse.

The Yes on 33 ballot initiative is making the choice very simple. The proposition is 23 words long:

“The state may not limit the right of any city, county, or city and county to maintain, enact or expand residential rent control.”

So if you want local government to have the ability to maintain, enact, or expand rent control, you must vote “yes.” If you oppose rent control, you should vote “no.”

As crystal clear as this is, corporate landlords will spend more than $100 million trying to confuse you. It is fair game for the landlords to make their arguments against rent control, but it is a great disservice to our democracy to mislead voters about what this initiative says.

Big Real Estate believes that if you tell the big lie that rent control hurts renters often enough, people will believe it. They are not out for the public good; they are in it for their billion-dollar profits. And they will spend through the nose to get you to believe it.

But don’t be fooled again. These oligarchs are not looking out for you. Every one of those attack ads you see from Big Real Estate is being paid for by exorbitant rents and outsized profits.

The Yes on 33 Act, on the other hand, is sponsored by Housing Is A Human Right and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and it’s supported by a statewide coalition of housing justice groups, social justice organizations, labor unions, and civic leaders.

Voters have told us that housing is a huge problem in California. We have to look at the root cause — the rent is too damn high!

Support the Yes on 33 Act. Vote “yes” for rent control in November.

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