Flaws and all, I have loved Pasadena for all my 44 years. Now that I have a five year old daughter, it is even more important to me to remain in this city. I want her to be able to experience the pride, the culture, the people, and the love that contributed to my upbringing and contributions to public service. One of the reasons for that is that my parents worked hard to purchase our family home in Northwest Pasadena. Our family has been the stabilizing force in my life and others. It afforded me the opportunity to grow up among my peers and teachers who are now my friends, mentors, and even colleagues on the City Council.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like that is in jeopardy. As they say, the rent is too damn high!: a feeling and reality that is resonating not just here in Pasadena, but the entire State of California. While there are market and economy forces in place that none of us can do anything about, we can in fact do what is within our power to ensure Pasadenans, young and old, have the protections they need to stay housed and contribute within our City. One of the solutions is YES on Measure H.
National rhetoric and my experience of serving as an local elected official can be misleading in that every decision is portrayed as an either-or decision. Life is not black and white. Nor is policy. Most of us live our lives in the grey. Supporting Measure H is no different. We can have rent control that protects tenants AND landlords. AND we can continue to pursue opportunities to increase affordable housing supply.
Opponents of Measure H want you to believe this effort came from left field without any input from the Mayor and City Council. For decades, the City Council has not collectively made any effort to develop a Council led plan for rent control, much less a governance structure by the Mayor and Council. As the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and there has been near zero will from a majority of City Hall elected leaders to develop rent control policy, one that is local and unique to Pasadena. I commend Councilmember Jess Rivas on her public endorsement of the Yes on H campaign. She recognizes the current and long term harm that rent burdens have had on our community, affecting every industry from our public school system to local restaurant and business economy.
So for the second time, the people have taken this into their own hands. Over 300 members of the Pasadena community gathered 15,000 valid signatures to qualify this for Tuesday’s ballot. Yes on Measure H has secured wide ranging, community based support from community organizations and civic leaders like myself who want to see the rich people history of this community preserved in the same urgency we provide to historical structures and otherwise. The preservation of the diversity of Pasadena, in all its forms, for generations to come is at stake. Please join me in voting YES ON MEASURE H.
**I am also supporting and voting Yes on State Proposition 1, Yes on Measure L, Yes on Measure PCC, Michelle Richardson Bailey for PUSD 3, Patrice Marshall McKenzie for PUSD 5, Yarma Velazquez for PUSD 7, and Chris Holden for Assembly District 41. I appreciate consideration of your vote for these candidates and measures.
Hon. Jacque Robinson-Baisley
Councilmember District 1 (2007-2015)