Local Tenants' Rights Groups Coalesce for New Rent Control, Eviction Protections Ballot Initiative

Published : Monday, May 20, 2019 | 7:21 PM

Members of one of a new coalition's founding groups, the Pasadena Tenants Union, spearheaded a 2018 effort to collect enough signatures to qualify a rent control measure for the 2018 ballot, but fell 2,112 signatures short of their goal. The Union is now joining four other groups to form a coalition aimed at the 2020 election. Image via Facebook.

Five area tenants’ rights organizations have formed a coalition to get behind a rent control and eviction protections ballot initiative for the November 2020 general election.

The Pasadena Tenant Justice Coalition (PTJC) is launching a signature drive to ballot a voters initiative restricting rent increases to the rate of inflation, and restricting the ability of landlords to evict tenants without cause.

The group said in a statement that it will begin collecting petition signatures in the fall for the purpose of placing a referendum on the ballot next year.

“The Pasadena Tenant Justice Coalition is founded in direct response to Pasadena’s tenant housing crisis,” the statement said. “PTJC is an alliance of organizations and supporters who are not standing by to watch the horrific displacement of tenants in our community.”

The coalition includes Pasadena Tenants Union (PTU), formed to advance tenant solidarity for housing rights; the Socialist Scientists of Pasadena (SsoP), made up of students and post-doctoral researchers; Affordable Housing Services (AHS), which advocates on behalf of Pasadena’s low and no income tenants; the The American Civil Liberties Union-Southern California (ACLU SoCal) and its Pasadena-Foothills Chapter,; and the Democratic Socialists of America Los Angeles (DSA-LA).

According to a timeline published on the coalition’s website, the campaign will proceed in four distinct phases, starting with building community support between now and September, gathering signatures for the petition from September to April 2020, getting out the vote between April and November 2020, and from then on implementing the measure by ensuring follow through from the Pasadena City Council.

“Our campaign will address the lack of tenant protections in Pasadena resulting in unconscionable rent increases, as well as the city’s allowance of the practice of evicting tenants who are in full observance of their lease obligations, resulting in extreme housing instability for many tenants,” the PTJC statement continued. “Low and moderate income tenants of color have been especially hard hit by the city’s failure to control rents and its permission of arbitrary evictions.”

On Thursday, May 23, the PTJC will hold a community event at Throop Church, at 300 South Los Robles Avenue, to celebrate the launch of the campaign and introduce ways on how neighbors and volunteers can help to pursue the movement for tenant rights. The launch party begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.ptjc2020.org.







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