Leaders of Protect Culver City Political Action Committee held a press conference Monday morning, March 30, 2020 at City Hall to hand over the signatures required for a petition that would end the current rent control measure in Culver City and put the issue up to a vote on the November ballot.
Ron Bassilian, president and spokesperson of PCC, stood in front of City Hall, metal handcuffs chaining him to the briefcase apparently containing 4,190 signatures, several thousand more than the 2,801 signatures the City required.
“This is an auspicious moment for all of us.” Bassilian said to an empty courtyard, except for the PCC affiliates standing behind him. He continued, “We felt that our city government had overreach on rent control.”
PCC got a great deal of push back on the petitions, which many said were not fairly represented by those canvassing for support. The PAC spent five months collecting the signatures, which now have to be verified by the City. The City Clerk said they would wait until the next day, March 31 to review the signatures to ensure they were not contaminated with COVID-19, a brief moment that underscored the current state of things.
Bassilian has said several times that this is not about rent control, but about “forcing the conversation” with City Council on the issue.
“A lot of people try to drag us into a conversation about how we feel about rent control,” he said. “Even people who are for rent control said they like this because they want to hold Culver City accountable,” he said.
The city will report out on the authentication of signatures early next month.