Dear Editor – More Bait & Switch from the Measure B Campaign

Dear Editor,

About 60% of Culver City voters have already cast their ballots by mail, and many (like me) have voted in person. In this last crucial day before the most important election in my lifetime, I wanted to make sure Culver City voters are presented the truth about a local ballot measure that would have a lasting negative impact on our community.

The Measure B campaign is trafficking in misinformation. They distributed a flyer this weekend, which contained a number of falsehoods. So I’m sharing an annotated version to correct the record, and am highlighting some of the most egregious assertions here:

Flyer: “Measure B requires voter approval for rent control”
This is a true statement, however, it neglects to include crucial information: Measure B will also take away the rent control that is currently in place. Written into the measure is language that explicitly repeals the rent control ordinance passed by City Council, and makes it impossible for any future Council to legislate this key issue.

Flyer: The City Council has created “a permanent rent control board”
This is utterly false: there is no rent control board, and there are no plans to create one.

Flyer: There was “little no no resident input” and “nobody was consulted on this rent control”
These statements couldn’t be further from the truth. There was over a year of public meetings, with hundreds of public comments and several hundred emails. In addition, there were multiple in person meetings (when that was possible) and calls with stakeholder groups representing residents, renters and landlords, and direct mailers sent to every Culver City resident and most every landlord. The level of public engagement was tremendous, and the ordinance the Council passed reflected that input all the way up to final approval.

Flyer: “No one ran on rent control”
This is a false premise: the City Council took up the issue of rent control in direct response to Culver City residents, who asked for it to be considered and passed. Like many issues the Council considers, we addressed it not because it was part of a platform, but because it’s a major priority for many in our community. In addition, the issue of rent control was raised in the 2016 and 2018 City Council elections. Many of the current City Council Members, including myself, talked about the need to help renters and address extreme rent hikes, during their campaigns.

Flyer: “California already passed strict statewide rent control”
While it’s true that a Statewide rent control law passed in 2019, it allows yearly rent increases more than twice as high as Culver City’s. Under Culver City’s rent control – yearly rent increases range from 2% up to a 5% maximum, based on the level of inflation. (Right now, the allowable increase is 2.25%.) If Measure B passes, local rent control will be taken away, and renters will have to pay between 5% and up to 10% depending on inflation. In other words, the maximum allowable increase in Culver City, is the minimum increase for the State. Let’s say your rent is $1500. The yearly increase in Culver City would be between $30-$75, whereas the State rent control means a $75-$150 increase. Year in, year out, this adds up fast for Culver City residents. Furthermore, the State Rent Control expires in 10 years. So if Measure B passes, Culver City’s renters would find themselves without these protective measures, unless another expensive ballot measure is proposed and passed.

Find out the facts about Culver City’s rent control and tenant protection measures on the City’s dedicated website: www.culvercity.org/rent.

The Measure B campaign has gone to great lengths to confuse voters and hide the truth about its effects on every day residents.
B is BAD for Culver City.

Meghan Sahli-Wells

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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