Endorsements

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 17 (East side of San Francisco) - SPECIAL ELECTION

Two of the Democrats running filled out our questionnaire. Responses are below. An endorsement ballot has been sent to members. Voting closed at 11:59pm on Monday, November 22. Neither candidate reached the 60% threshold for endorsement, so we are not taking a position in this election.

Matt Haney

David Campos

Video of Candidate Forum

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 18 (East Bay) - SPECIAL ELECTION

There are six Democrats running in this special election. Click on down arrows at the right to view the following candidates' answer to our questionairre. Candidate are listed in the order they appeared on the June 29 election ballot.

For the primary, with 124 member votes cast, no candidate achieved a simple majority of votes, which per our council bylaws, is currently required for an endorsement.

UPDATE 7/24: For the runoff, we have endorsed Mia Bonta for State Assembly District 18

Mia Bonta

mia@miabonta.com

Your ballot designation as approved to appear below your name on the ballot

School Board President

Ballot statement (if you are not submitting a ballot statement, please state briefly why you are seeking this office)

My education and qualifications are: As President of the Alameda School Board, a non-profit leader for 25+ years, and an Afro-Latina mother of three, I’ve dedicated my life to uplifting East Bay children and families. I’m running to bring my progressive values to Sacramento to fight for a California with more opportunity, equity, justice, and inclusion.

In the Assembly, my top priorities will be: Helping working families and small businesses recover from the pandemic so they can emerge stronger than before; increasing funding for public education so our students and teachers have the resources to thrive; addressing housing affordability and homelessness through production, preservation, and protection; passing transformative criminal justice reforms focused on public safety, accountability, and racial equality; fighting for justice by standing up to AAPI hate, elevating Black voices, and supporting immigrant, Latino, and LGBTQ+ communities; ensuring healthcare for all Californians; and protecting our planet for our children and grandchildren. These issues are personal to me. Growing up experiencing poverty, my mother and I faced housing insecurity, moving 13 times in 16 years, and discrimination. Education was my lifeline, and I juggled multiple jobs to put myself through college at Yale University and Yale Law School. My dream is for every California child to grow up with the foundation they need to realize their dreams.

I’m proud to be endorsed by Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, Oakland City Councilmembers Sheng Thao, Treva Reid, and Loren Taylor, San Leandro City Councilmember Corina López, BART Director Lateefah Simon, SEIU California, the California Legislative Black Caucus, NAACP Oakland Branch, Black Women Organizing for Political Action, and dozens of elected officials and community leaders. Vote Mia Bonta for an East Bay and California for all. MiaBonta.com

Why do you wish to seek our endorsement? How can an endorsement of the Renters Council be beneficial to your campaign?

I am seeking the endorsement of the Renters Council because of my shared experiences as a former renter who was subject to landlord violations and abuse and shared values with the Renters Council, renters of the 18th Assembly District, and the work that the renters do on behalf of the 18 million renters in California. I support the three Ps of Production, Protection, and Preservation, but with an emphasis on the Protection pillar to protect, support, and uplift the 18 million Californians who rent the place they call home. Tenants must be protected from displacement, unjust evictions, unaffordable rents, and other affronts to their dignity, livelihood, safety, and security. An endorsement of the Renters Council would be very meaningful to our campaign, as it will help us ensure that tenants concerns get centered in this election and so that we can educate voters on my pro-renter stance.

Please list your top individual and organizational endorsers (please limit each to no more than 5 per category.

Individual
US Senator Alex Padilla
Congressmember Jimmy Gomez
Secretary of State Shirley Weber
State Treasurer Fiona Ma
Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr

Organizational:
California Teachers Association (CTA)
California School Employees Association (CSEA)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) CA State Council
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 5
Black Women Organized for Political Action

Are you a tenant?

I am not presently a tenant, but was a tenant for the majority of my life, including my childhood, when I moved 13 times in 16 years and my mother and I faced serious housing discrimination and harassment.

Are you a landlord/property owner?

My partner and I do own our family home, which has ADUs intended for our elderly parents who could not afford rental.

About how many renters are in your district?

Based on the 2020 ACS Survey Data, we estimate that there are roughly 315,000 renters in the 18th Assembly District.

Please provide a brief description of your history of involvement with and support for tenants' rights with the Democratic Party and its candidates and ballot measure positions?

I have been a champion for tenants’ rights locally in the City of Alameda and Alameda County and within the California Democratic Party. I have supported pro-tenant candidates and ballot initiatives up and down the ticket, from Propositions 10 and 21 to opposing Measure K in Alameda, Rent Control Charter Amendment; Measure Z to create sustainable and affordable housing. For these local measures I have used my own campaign infrastructure--volunteers, street heat, and campaign messaging to lift up pro-tenant measures when I have been the candidate or when I have been running candidates for school board in Alameda. I proudly worked with the coalition of Alameda Progressives and Alameda Renters Council to ensure that Measure K was defeated. I helped to fundraise for the Yes on Measure Z and No on Measure K campaigns, held zoom party and got involved early in pro-renter measures.

How do you view yourself as a champion or ally of tenants rights?

I have campaigned for pro-tenant candidates and ballot measures locally and across the state, and supported pro-tenant activists. I show up, I use my status as a candidate, and elected official to broadcast the importance of tenant protections and have fought on behalf of these tenant protections.

How will you fund affordable housing?

I will fund affordable housing through the state’s $100 billion surplus, through a statewide housing bond, through reforms to California’s Proposition 13, and through impact fees on developers building non-affordable housing or commercial / industrial developments.I would support AB 71, to dedicate repatriated overseas tax revenues to fund affordable housing in the state.

In general, where should new housing be built?

In general, new housing developments should be built 1.) in traditionally single family neighborhoods which held exclusionary zoning ordinances that discouraged growth and discriminated against communities of color, and 2.) near transit hubs as a form of transit-oriented development to address the nexus between the climate crisis and transportation / vehicle miles traveled to and from employment. However, above all else, it is critical that new housing developments not fuel displacement and gentrification.

Which Tenant/Housing groups support you?

I am in the process of seeking support from groups such as ACCE. I did not receive the support of the Housing Action Coalition when I indicated a need to fully engaged tenant advocates groups like Causa Justa and Tenants Together, and indicated that AB 50 would have been stronger if more tenant protections had been built into the legislation.

What is your stance on rent control? What is your stance on just-cause eviction protections?

I support rent control and repealing Costa-Hawkins, and support strengthening just-cause eviction protections through a repeal of the Ellis Act, thereby limiting the ability to evict due to a landlord exiting the rental industry.

What is your stance on the Costa-Hawkins Act? What is your stance on the Ellis Act?

I support repealing Costa-Hawkins and implementing a state standard for rent control as well as allowing local governments to enact stronger renter protections. II support repealing the Ellis Act and, if landlords are still allowed to exit the rental market, placing additional conditions on that exit. While the 5%+ CPI rent control of AB 1482 was an important start, the exclusions in the act, including the first 15 years of occupancy for all units, could have done more to prevent renters and help ensure rents do not continue to outpace wage growth.

What was your stance on Prop 21?

I supported Proposition 21 and campaigned for it as part of my advocacy for candidates and ballot measures endorsed by the California Democratic Party.

What was your stance on AB1436? What was your stance on SB 91?

I support AB 1436, which would have taken the critical and necessary steps California needed to keep tenants housing secure during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also supported SB 91 but wish it had gone further in protecting tenants and cancelling rent. We need to ensure that the emergency relief encapsulated in AB 1436 gets extended, recognizing that while COVID-19 exposure is lessening, it will take years before people will economically recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

What is your stance on the Renter’s Tax Credit? Do you wish to see any modifications to it? If so, please describe.

The Renter’s Tax Credit should both be expanded in the amount of the credit, and have the income eligibility ceiling raised to reflect higher cost of living counties like Alameda and San Francisco.

Please describe your positions on the following recent or pending legislation. A “support”/”oppose”/”support if amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see)/”oppose unless amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see) will suffice for this section.

SB 50: Planning and zoning: housing development: streamlined approval: incentives: Oppose unless amended: SB 50 did not do enough to help keep tenants in their homes, prevent displacement and gentrification from large developments at transit hubs, and ensure that those communities most negatively impacted by past planning decisions are not once again the victims of future decisions. I agree with this statement from the Western Center on Law and Poverty regarding the failure of SB 50:

“The debate around SB 50, and SB 827 before it, has too often been reduced to a false choice: protect the status quo of exclusionary zoning or embrace a trickle-down market-based model. While this simple NIMBY-YIMBY binary fuels online arguments and frames the public narrative, millions of Californians continue to suffer without appropriate solutions. We reject the status quo, but we also reject the notion that the low-income communities and communities of color most harmed by the planning and zoning decisions of the past should be forced to accept new policies that fall short of true equity and inclusion.”

AB 1482: Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps: Support

AB 854: Residential real property: withdrawal of accommodations: Support

SB 9: Housing development: approvals: Oppose Unless Amended: I stand with Housing Now and Tenants Together. While the bill ensures, for proposed housing developments containing two residential units, a requirement, within single-family residential zones to be managed ministerially, without the NIMBY-ish barriers of discretionary review and hearing, the bill does not explicitly promote affordable housing or make explicit to ensure tenant protections. Infilling and upzoning to promote housing production, without assurances that we are building affordable housing will not fulfill our need in California to promote affordable housing that keeps members of our community from being displaced.

SB10: Opposed Unless Amended: Similarly, for SB 10, which would allow cities to choose to zone for up to 10 units per parcel, does address the need to increase housing density and offers the ability to produce more housing. The bill, however, does not explicitly call for this housing to be affordable. As a value, I believe that producing affordable housing needs to be explicitly prioritized in housing production legislation.

AB 71: Permanent Source of Homelessness Funding- Corporate tax : Support

AB 1188: Rental Registries: Support

AB 328: Reentry Housing Program: Support

AB 854: Reform of Ellis Act: Support

AB 1199: Corporate Landlord Transparency & Excise Tax: Support

AB 1487: Legal assistance for renters: Support

AB 1516: Affordable Housing Tax Preservation Tax Credit: Support

SCA 2: Repeal of Article 34: Support

AB 1139: Net Energy Metering: Oppose unless amended. I am concerned, as written, that there are not clear limitations on pass through expenses, placing undue burden on renters.

Janani Ramachandran

Janani@jananiforca.com

Your ballot designation as approved to appear below your name on the ballot:
Social Justice Attorney

Ballot statement (if you are not submitting a ballot statement, please state briefly why you are seeking this office)

This is our moment to be fearless in the fight for justice. California doesn’t need another timid Democrat in Sacramento – we need leaders willing to take on the giant corporations trying to buy our elections and block progressive change. I will fight for the changes communities need –starting with a $22/hour minimum wage in 2022 and a wealth tax on billionaires and mega-millionaires. I will fight for tenants so that communities stop being displaced because of gentrification. I will fight to pass Medicare for All because healthcare is a human right. I will work to ensure that every violent cop is held accountable, take no money from cop unions or corporations, and re-invest in community-driven solutions to safety and mental health care. And I will fight for a Green New Deal with a racial equity lens – creating hundreds of thousands of high-wage jobs. As a social justice attorney in Oakland, I have defended elderly tenants being evicted from their homes, helped survivors of domestic violence achieve safety, and supported individuals in mental health crises.

I worked to clean up corrupt politics as an Oakland Public Ethics Commissioner, and I serve as a California Commissioner for API American Affairs. I’m a graduate of Berkeley Law and Stanford, born and raised in the East Bay. Progressive unions and organizations, including Our Revolution, Indivisible East Bay, Oakland Tenants Union, Sunrise Movement, and ILWU, and individual progressive leaders including Assm. Alex Lee, have endorsed me because they agree - we need a leader who will fight for justice now.

Why do you wish to seek our endorsement? How can an endorsement of the Renters Council be beneficial to your campaign?

The California Democratic Renters Council does groundbreaking work in advancing and enforcing the rights and protections of California renters, and ensuring that our voices are heard in the state Democratic Party - which has not historically been tenant-centered. If elected, I would be one of 3 renters in the California Legislature of 120 people. One of the primary reasons why I chose to run for State Assembly is because of the massive injustices that I personally witnessed tenants facing during the pandemic – and the failure of our supermajority of Democrats to take action and enact a true eviction moratorium and equitable rental relief program. Long before the pandemic, I have spent my career working with tenants, representing tenants exploited by predatory landlords, informing community members about their legal protections as tenants, and investigating the activities of corrupt developers and code inspectors within the Oakland community. It is time to take reclaim power as tenants – and amplify the voices of tenants within the state legislature. I will fight to further the meaningful work begun by this council, and the passionate advocates that comprise the council. Addressing many of these challenges as an Assemblywoman will be my absolute top priority in partnership with colleagues at the California Democratic Renters Council. I am seeking the endorsement of this council to pursue the relationships I wish to build and the meaningful policy I intend to work towards.

Please list your top individual and organizational endorsers (please limit each to no more than 5 per category.)
Organizations
Our Revolution East Bay

Oakland Tenants Union
Indivisible East Bay
ILWU Northern California District Council
East Bay Times


Individuals
Alex Lee (CA Assemblymember)
Desley Brooks (former Oakland City Councilmember)
Ken Berrick (Alameda County Board of Trustees Area 3)
Randy Shaw (Founder and ED, Tenderloin Housing Clinic)
Minister Cherri Murphy (Lead Organizer with Gig Workers Rising and Faith Organizer with EBASE)

Full list available at https://jananiforca.com/endorsements/?lang=en

Are you a tenant?
Yes

Are you a landlord/property owner?

No

About how many renters are in your district?
230,800

Please provide a brief description of your history of involvement with and support for tenants' rights with the Democratic Party and its candidates and ballot measure positions?
I have always amplified of the voices of tenants within the Democratic Party when possible, supporting candidates endorsed by tenant unions and especially candidates who are tenants themselves. I actively supported measures like Prop 21, and measures at a local level including Oakland’s Prop 10.

Most recently, I helped lead efforts in early 2021 to organize a coalition on Ellis Act reform, in partnership with Tenderloin Housing Clinic. I advocated with legislators and advocacy organizations for the need to include the Ellis Act in our ongoing and future eviction moratorium, and to implement long-term reform influenced by the voices of tenants that I have personally worked with, and my peers who have represented Ellis Act cases across California. Our efforts led to hundreds of East Bay organizations and city councilmembers signing onto an Ellis petition that I co-drafted. Although our efforts were not passed within SB 91, or even within the proposed language of AB 15, our efforts spearheaded a coalition to implement AB 854. Once introduced, I worked with drafters to ensure an equity lens – particularly for counties within California that had not yet implemented an Ellis Act enabling ordinance, who had been left out by the many protections that other counties due to vague language. Our work ensured that the language of AB 854 took into consideration the legal ambiguities of protections to extend Ellis Act protections such as a 120-day notice period – critical because many, many individuals during the pandemic had seen 30-day Ellis Act notices.

How do you view yourself as a champion or ally of tenants rights?

I fundamentally believe that housing is a human right. But I don’t simply use this rhetoric in the way often co-opted by leaders who pretend to care – public policy must actually reflect that human right, and I will ensure to enact actionable policies to curb the efforts of market speculators and greedy landlords as soon as immediately possible.

My work as a pro-tenant activist began when I worked at a home-visiting community health clinic primarily working with low-income teen and immigrant women who were housing insecure or experiencing houselessness. In this work, I helped navigate complex and unjust legal and social services systems on their own. I advocated for my clients as much as I could, and liaised with social workers, shelter staff, and hospital personnel. I was later promoted to become the clinic’s Social Services Coordinator, where I trained medical staff, case managers, patients, youth groups, and partner agencies on the impacts of intimate partner abuse, and also the protection of tenants.

Because my direct services experiences exposed me to the grave injustices in our legal and governance systems, and the way that the voices of tenants so often fell through the cracks, I was driven to make change as a lawyer and attended Berkeley Law. In law school, I continued to work with tenants at various legal aid agencies, including with East Bay Community Law Center’s Tenants Rights Workshop, and later directly representing tenants with EBCLC’s Housing Clinic. In particular, some of my work representing tenants facing eviction from some of Oakland’s most notoriously corrupt landlords inspired me to want to affect change at a higher level; I was able to help crack down on a slice of the city’s corruption, especially among corrupt building inspectors and developers, by serving on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission.

In addition to local nonprofits whose primary populations served are tenants – including APTP’s MHFirst and Men Creating Peace, I recently worked as an attorney at Family Violence Appellate Project. In this role, I supported individual survivors of violence being evicted, or threatened to be evicted, during the pandemic – often due to loopholes in our eviction moratoriums AB 3088 and SB 91, including evictions due to the Ellis Act, or as a result of tenants’ status as survivors of abuse. Throughout the pandemic, I have organized and presented bilingual “know-your-rights” legal tenant workshops to organizations including ACCE’s East Oakland local (which I am a part of as a sustainining member), with Tenants and Neighborhood Councils (which I am also a member of), and with various tribal, LGBTQ, and rural organizations. These trainings review state and local tenant protections and rent relief programs, and legal rights for tenants who are survivors of abuse or stalking. I am also a proud member of Oakland Tenants Union, and have helped advocate for local policy efforts.

I fundamentally believe we must protect tenants from being evicted, build more affordable housing, provide better services for our houseless neighbors, and reform anti-tenant state laws. I personally intend to introduce legislation to repeal the Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins, a bill to implement a “right to free counsel” for tenants facing eviction, and a bill to amend and extend our eviction moratorium to prevent evictions and foreclosure moratoriums during the pandemic and post-pandemic economic recovery period. Tenants’ rights and affordable housing is a priority issue in my district because thousands of individuals in recent years have been displaced out of the district due to gentrification and rising housing costs. The majority of the district are renters, and evictions are at the forefront of people’s minds because many are unable to pay rent and are concerned about losing their homes when the state and county moratoriums end shortly. I intend on standing up and fighting for these renters by fighting for true renters protections and renters rights.

How will you fund affordable housing?

As an Assemblywoman, I understand the importance of implementing a plan to meet our RHNA goals (an estimate 250,000 new units a year over the next few years)– but specifically hope to prioritize meeting goals for low-income and very-low income housing, rather than market-rate housing. I would also define affordable housing as housing in which an individual need not spend over 30% of their income on rent. Too many individuals, particularly in my district, over “rent-burdened” and spend over 50% of their income on housing.

This would involve funding social housing programs along the lines of AB 387– because the private market is not doing enough to build housing that is truly affordable and high quality. I intend on working to fund this by building support for and implementing a true wealth tax in California, starting with a tax on all individuals with a net worth of over $50 million, which will increase our state revenues by billions of dollars.. During the first 11 months of the pandemic, the wealth of US billionaires, who own many of these large corporations, increased by $1.3 trillion, while our communities suffered. Many of these US billionaires are right in California, and it is essential that they pay their fair share in taxes.

In general, where should new housing be built?

I support building affordable properties, especially multi-family units, in high-transit areas, while also investing in expanding transit hubs.

Which Tenant/Housing groups support you?
Oakland Tenants Union has endorsed me, as have groups that care deeply about tenants rights including Our Revolution East Bay, Indivisible East Bay, and ILWU. I have a host of individuals endorsements from community housing leaders including Marc Janowitz (Senior Housing Attorney with East Bay Community Law Center), Randy Shaw (ED and founder, Tenderloin Housing Clinic), Nino Parker (Unhoused Community Leader), Eddie Ytuarte (Oakland Tenants Rights leader), among others.
What is your stance on rent control? What is your stance on just-cause eviction protections?

I fully support rent control, and I support just-cause eviction protections. I have advocated alongside local tenant organizers, to expand Oakland’s just cause protection, and advocate for the rights of renters facing eviction. We need to enact vacancy control at a statewide level, and expansion of rent control to single family homes and newly constructed homes – which can be achieved by repealing Costa Hawkins.

What is your stance on the Costa-Hawkins Act? What is your stance on the Ellis Act?
I oppose both heavily, and support repealing both as some of my first initiatives once elected.

Costa-Hawkins allows far too many units to be exempt from rent control protections of local jurisdictions. Cities deserve the ability to protect tenants living in single-family homes, and to implement vacancy control in the ways that suit the needs of tenants. This is especially critical as cities are choosing to upzone and allow new building – we cannot simply “build, build, build” without creating protections for tenants who already live in these communities – which starts with ensuring new properties are rent controlled.

I helped advocate for AB 854 - and helped spearhead its initial iterations with a broad-based coalition. I worked to ensure its language was inclusive and relevant to the wide variety of communities across California experiencing Ellis Act evictions especially during the pandemic. One of my driving reasons for choosing to enter this race was in fact, was working with numerous individuals who were being evicted during the pandemic because of the Ellis Act and the fact that such evictions were not covered by the statewide (nor more local) eviction moratoriums.

What was your stance on Prop 21?

I fully supported Prop 21 – and worked to educate community members on the importance of getting it passed.

What was your stance on AB1436? What was your stance on SB 91?

I support AB 1436 and SB 91 and the protections they offer – but as explained earlier, these are woefully inadequate to protect the rights of tenants long before the pandemic, and certainly during the pandemic. The many unintended consequences of AB 1436 are being made clear, and I will work to fill the many loopholes as a legislator based on my lens as a tenant and experiences working as a tenants rights attorney and advocate.

What is your stance on the Renter’s Tax Credit? Do you wish to see any modifications to it? If so, please describe.
I support Renter’s Tax Credit and we should make modifications such as having the certain amount a single filer and joint filer make less than should be higher than currently $43,533 for single filers and $87,066 for married filers. Also, the tax credit should be much larger.

Please describe your positions on the following recent or pending legislation. A “support”/”oppose”/”support if amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see)/”oppose unless amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see) will suffice for this section.

SB 50: Planning and zoning: housing development: streamlined approval: incentives - Support*
*Candidate asked for this to be corrected after returning the questionnaire, original answer was Support and changed to oppose post questionnaire submission deadline.

AB 1482: Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps Support

AB 854: Housing development: approvals Support – [note – I support AB 854, but believe this description is a typo]

SB 9: Residential real property: withdrawal of accommodations Support

AB 71: Permanent Source of Homelessness Funding- Corporate tax . Support

AB 1188: Rental Registries Support

AB 328: Reentry Housing Program Support

AB 854: Reform of Ellis Act Support

AB 1199: Corporate Landlord Transparency & Excise Tax Support

AB 1487: Legal assistance for renters. Support

AB 1516: Affordable Housing Tax Preservation Tax Credit. Support

SCA 2: Repeal of Article 34. Support

AB 1139: Net Energy Metering. Oppose*
*Candidate asked for this to be corrected after returning the questionairre, original answer was Support

Malia Vella

info@maliavella.com

Your ballot designation as approved to appear below your name on the ballot:

Vice Mayor

Ballot statement (if you are not submitting a ballot statement, please state briefly why you are seeking this office)

As Vice Mayor, I'm accessible and proactive in engaging with the community. I'm committed to working with you to enact state policy that's equitable and fair. COVID-19 presented personal challenges and loss, and affected how we live. I've provided steady leadership and innovative thinking during these challenging times, with a focus on a just economic recovery. We need affordable, quality housing options for all residents at all income levels. School district teachers and employees, local workers, and seniors and families experiencing homelessness will have new affordable housing options at Alameda Point. I established a model collaboration with nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, and local government to provide mental health, drug treatment and job training services to the unhoused. I've worked to cap annual rent increases and enact just cause tenant protections, raise the minimum wage and address climate change and sea level rise. I encouraged creation of a community-led effort to examine police policy and tactics and root out inherent racism. I'll continue to stand up, speak out and be a force for racial justice.

I have deep roots here. I was born in Alameda, grew up in San Leandro, swimming with the Drowning Darryls and went to high school in Oakland, rowing for the Strokes. My record of accomplishment and experience as Vice Mayor, and my perspective as a mom to two young children, is needed in the Assembly. I'm supported by Controller Betty Yee, working families, and local elected officials. I'd be honored to have your vote. maliavella.com

Why do you wish to seek our endorsement? How can an endorsement of the Renters Council be beneficial to your campaign?

Yes, because as a Councilmember I have fought for tenant’s rights and enacted meaningful tenant protections. Over 95,000 voters in the 18th Assembly District are renters and an endorsement from this group would resonate with those constituents.

Please list your top individual and organizational endorsers (please limit each to no more than

Organizations
The Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus State
The Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
SEIU
CFT
Bay Rising

Individuals
State Controller & CDP Vice Chair Betty Yee
Assemblymember Alex Lee
Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
Berkeley Rent Board Member/Former Tenants Together & Centro Legal Attorney Leah Simon-Weisberg
Berkeley Rent Board Member Soli Alpert

Are you a tenant?

No

Are you a landlord/property owner?

No

About how many renters are in your district?

95,000 voters.

Please provide a brief description of your history of involvement with and support for tenants' rights with the Democratic Party and its candidates and ballot measure positions?

As a councilmember I enacted a hard rent cap that is a percentage of CPI, just cause eviction protections, created a rent registry, and funded free legal services for tenants. When the pandemic hit, I voted to enact a moratorium on rent increases and evictions(beyond what the state enacted) and to provide city funded grants to tenants. I have also supported all the local and statewide tenant-backed measures. As an elected delegate to the CDP, I also supported the formation of this caucus.

How do you view yourself as a champion or ally of tenants rights?

I have been a champion of tenants rights based on my record above. I have demonstrated that I am willing to carry the legislation and lead on this issue.

How will you fund affordable housing?

Developers and corporations that contribute to displacement should be subsidizing affordable housing projects through corporate taxes and inclusionary housing requirements.

In general, where should new housing be built?

We need to increase housing stock all over, but especially at our job centers.

Which Tenant/Housing groups support you?

Bay Rising

What is your stance on rent control? What is your stance on just-cause eviction protections?

I fought for and delivered on these in my first year on city council. They are critical to prevent unnecessary price gouging, to prevent displacement, and allow for housing stability.

What is your stance on the Costa-Hawkins Act? What is your stance on the Ellis Act?

I support the repeal of both. We can’t have multiple classes of tenants. Either we believe housing is a human right, or not. Ellis Act evictions are hard to track and enforce and create a huge, unnecessary loophole for landlords. It also allows for landbanking at a time when housing is in demand.

What was your stance on Prop 21?

I publicly endorsed, campaigned for and supported Prop 21.

What was your stance on AB1436? What was your stance on SB 91?

I supported SB 91 but would have liked to have seen more tenant protections and an inclusion of the renters protections.

What is your stance on the Renter’s Tax Credit? Do you wish to see any modifications to it? If so, please describe.

I support the Renter’s Tax Credit. I would have liked to have seen it expanded.

Please describe your positions on the following recent or pending legislation. A “support”/”oppose”/”support if amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see)/”oppose unless amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see) will suffice for this section.

SB 50: Planning and zoning: housing development: streamlined approval: incentives - Support

AB 1482: Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps - Supported

AB 854: Housing development: approvals - Support

SB 9: Residential real property: withdrawal of accommodations - Support

AB 71: Permanent Source of Homelessness Funding- Corporate tax - Support

AB 1188: Rental Registries - Support

AB 328: Reentry Housing Program - Support

AB 854: Reform of Ellis Act - Support

AB 1199: Corporate Landlord Transparency & Excise Tax -Support

AB 1487: Legal assistance for renters. - Support

AB 1516: Affordable Housing Tax Preservation Tax Credit - Support

SCA 2: Repeal of Article 34 - Support

AB 1139: Net Energy Metering -Support

Eugene Canson

Candidate did not complete our questionnairre.

James Aguilar

info@jamesforcalifornia.com

Your ballot designation as approved to appear below your name on the ballot

School Board Member

Ballot statement (if you are not submitting a ballot statement, please state briefly why you are seeking this office)

I’m running to represent our community in the Assembly because I am rooted in our district, and also rooted in the fact that we have work to do. California is in a unique position of opportunity to address the racial, environmental, and political mandate before us. I am empowered by my mother’s experience being thrown around the California healthcare system, of increased prescription costs. I am empowered by our family’s experience as renters being run out by a predatory landlord who didn’t care we were low-income. I am empowered by the many students that I serve in both k-12 and higher education. I am the voice at the table and in this race who will bring our community together, uplift the voices of marginalized communities, and get the good work done.

Why do you wish to seek our endorsement? How can an endorsement of the Renters Council be beneficial to your campaign?

I am a renter. I understand what it is like to live under a predatory landlord – one who didn’t care my mom was experiencing health issues due to mold he wouldn’t take care of, and didn’t care that we were low-income and barely making it. I know what it is like to live in the midst of the housing crisis, living with five people to one bedroom. It’s a story all too familiar to many throughout our beautiful Bay Area and across California. With the endorsement of the California Democratic Renters Council, we will stand in solidarity together to fight for the renters of our state, and shout two major messages: housing is a human right, and the rent is too damn high.

Please list your top individual and organizational endorsers (please limit each to no more than 5 per category.

Delaine Eastin, California Superintendent of Public Instruction (fmr.)
Evelyn Gonzalez, President, San Leandro School Board
Dianne Jones, Vice President, Fremont School Board
Mike Kusiak, Castro Valley School Board Member
Consuelo Lara, Contra Costa County School Board Member

Are you a tenant?

Yes.

Are you a landlord/property owner?

No.

About how many renters are in your district?

Out of the best data, we estimate that 95,770 households in Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro are renter-occupied, which make up respectively large chunks of AD18.

Please provide a brief description of your history of involvement with and support for tenants' rights with the Democratic Party and its candidates and ballot measure positions?

When I was 18, while running for school board, I also worked on a local campaign for Mayor headed by Jeromey Shafer. Working with Jeromey and a slate of individuals running for city council, we partnered with community-based organizations in fighting for and promoting tenants rights. In 2018, I also actively endorsed and supported Prop 10. In 2020, I not only endorsed Prop 21 as an elected official – but I phone banked and canvassed in support.

How do you view yourself as a champion or ally of tenants rights?

I do! I do, because not only am I a tenant but I have felt the brunt of tenants issues since my childhood, and still do today. While I may not be on a city council, and may not be a tenant’s rights attorney - I have always been a vocal advocate and have uplifted candidates who are the same. It’s just a part of my life advocating for tenants rights and championing change.

How will you fund affordable housing?

We have to completely reprioritize the California state budget in the areas of education, transit, and especially affordable housing. We have to fight to implement a comprehensive wealth tax, as well as a tax on the sale of luxury homes and vehicles, a property-transfer tax, and a comprehensive vacancy tax. Billions of dollars of hard working Californians needs to be redistributed from the top back down.

In general, where should new housing be built?

We have nowhere else to go, specifically in the Bay Area, but up. We need to build transit-oriented mixed-use units.

Which Tenant/Housing groups support you?

No official endorsements from tenant/housing groups.

What is your stance on rent control? What is your stance on just-cause eviction protections?

What is your stance on the Costa-Hawkins Act? What is your stance on the Ellis Act?

We need to repeal Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Act, period. These bills have done nothing but to hurt working Californians for years, and it is a long time coming for legislation that supports renters as opposed to alienating them.

What was your stance on Prop 21?

I not only endorsed Prop 21 as an elected official – but I phone banked and canvassed in support.

What was your stance on AB1436? What was your stance on SB 91?

I support AB1436 and SB91, but they are not enough to sustain supports after the lasting effects of COVID-19. We need to legislate an indefinite eviction moratorium and additional relief for California’s tenants.

What is your stance on the Renter’s Tax Credit? Do you wish to see any modifications to it? If so, please describe.

With the cost of living going up and the housing crisis only getting worse, I would love to see the Renter’s Tax Credit increased - this would help so many low-income workers and families, senior tenants, Californians with disabilities, and many more.

Please describe your positions on the following recent or pending legislation. A “support”/”oppose”/”support if amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see)/”oppose unless amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see) will suffice for this section.

SB 50: Planning and zoning: housing development: streamlined approval: incentives Oppose unless amended / Tenants need to be included in the conversation as the bill is crafted, and shift focus to increasing the focus on transit oriented development.

AB 1482: Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps Support

AB 854: Housing development: approvals Support

SB 9: Residential real property: withdrawal of accommodations Support

AB 71: Permanent Source of Homelessness Funding- Corporate tax Support

AB 1188: Rental Registries Support

AB 328: Reentry Housing Program Support

AB 854: Reform of Ellis Act Support / Would like to see the Ellis Act repealed altogether.

AB 1199: Corporate Landlord Transparency & Excise Tax Support

AB 1487: Legal assistance for renters Support

AB 1516: Affordable Housing Tax Preservation Tax Credit Support

SCA 2: Repeal of Article 34 Support

AB 1139: Net Energy Metering Oppose

Victor Aguilar

victor.aguilarjr@gmail.com

Your ballot designation as approved to appear below your name on the ballot

Vice Mayor, San Leandro

Ballot statement (if you are not submitting a ballot statement, please state briefly why you are seeking this office)

I am running for Assembly because I believe that every Californian deserves universal healthcare, affordable housing, and justice. That’s not a slogan. Those are my core values. I was raised in a union-household by parents whose families emigrated from Mexico. My parents taught me to respond to hard times with a love for family, community, and a passion for social justice. From serving as President of Lavender Seniors of the East Bay to holding elected office, I have worked to lift up those in need. As San Leandro’s first openly gay Vice-Mayor, I have championed progressive policies that make a lasting difference in people’s lives, from hazard pay for grocery workers to rent stabilization and civilian police oversight. The pandemic has personally affected us all. My family are frontline workers. I lost my loving mother to COVID-19. Her hospital bills were over $800,000. Without medical coverage from her union job, my father would have not only lost his wife, but he would’ve been financially devastated. To me, it’s simple. California’s response to COVID-19 would have been different if the profit motive was removed from our healthcare system. I will fight tirelessly for universal single payer healthcare. I will champion affordable housing. I will be a voice for racial, economic and environmental justice. Visit www.VictorforCa.com to learn how I will address these issues. My values are consistent. I refuse to take donations from corporations. Your vote has the power to make change. Thank you for your support.

Why do you wish to seek our endorsement? How can an endorsement of the Renters Council be beneficial to your campaign?

One of the main platforms of my campaign is housing for all. I believe the goals of CADEM Renter’s Council and my own align very well. With your endorsement, I can more effectively relay the message of housing for all, to all of the residents of AD18. I would also look to utilize your expertise in organizing volunteers to push our campaign forward.

Please list your top individual and organizational endorsers (please limit each to no more than 5 per category)

Bryan Azevedo San Leandro City Council
Fred Simon San Leandro City Council
Abel Guillian Former Oakland City Council
Sean Dugar DNC Delegate
Evelyn Gonazles School Board Member, San Leandro

Our Revolution: San Leandro

Are you a tenant?

No.

Are you a landlord/property owner?

I own my own house.

About how many renters are in your district?

There are about 200,000 renters in District 18.

Please provide a brief description of your history of involvement with and support for tenants' rights with the Democratic Party and its candidates and ballot measure positions?

I am a fierce supporter of tenants’ rights including protections against no-cause evictions, rent controls, and tenant right to council. As a councilmember in San Leandro I was able to help pass a mobile home park rent stabilization ordinance and an eviction moratorium during Covid. I am currently working to find a way to protect more tenants in our city. I supported both propositions to repeal or amend Costa-Hawkins (Prop 10 in 2018 and Prop 21 in 2020). I was elected in 2020 to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and now serve as the vice-chair for AD 18.

How do you view yourself as a champion or ally of tenants rights?

I have worked to pass tenant protections on our council, having some success in some areas and still working on others. I would like to see more protections including just cause for eviction protections and a rent increase cap below the area CPI. I see myself as a Champion of tenants rights.

How will you fund affordable housing?

Our state and local governments have operated for too long under a siege mentality that pits our communities against each other in a zero-sum competition for resources. It’s time for a new spirit of bold leadership and technological innovation with new development and finance models that will create a new California with shared prosperity for all.

The idea of having a California Public Bank is not new, but can be transformative. Rather than depositing the hundreds of billions of dollars of California’s annual local and state tax revenues in private banks, California would create its own bank and put those funds to work for Californians by financing socially responsible projects and partnering with private lenders to drive down the cost of borrowing.

I also support existing proposals to generate revenue by:

● Reforming Prop 13

● Creating a California estate tax

● Making the Prop 30 taxes (extended by Prop 55), permanent

In general, where should new housing be built?

Near Public Transit. Effectively serving communities that are in a lower socioeconomic bracket

Which Tenant/Housing groups support you?

Our Revolution San Leandro (Their Affordable Housing working group was instrumental in pushing for mobile home park rent stabilization).

What is your stance on rent control? What is your stance on just-cause eviction protections?

With Costa-Hawkins in place there is only so far we can take rent controls. True rent control would apply whether a unit went vacant or not. It would also apply to single family homes. All tenants should have just-cause for eviction protections.

What is your stance on the Costa-Hawkins Act? What is your stance on the Ellis Act?

We should repeal Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Act.

What was your stance on Prop 21?

Prop 21 was a good compromise. It removed a lot of the barriers to tenant protections in Costa-Hawkins, but did not repeal Costa-Hawkins completely. I would have preferred if Prop 10 passed with the full repeal but Prop 21 was a smart reaction to the most outlandish claims by the opposition to Prop 10. The same claims were repeated for the campaign against Prop 21, even though they had been addressed. This shows us that there is little desire on the part of the apartment associations and landlords to compromise on this issue.

What was your stance on AB1436? What was your stance on SB 91?

I would have liked to have seen AB 1436 go through, rather than the watered down version, AB 3088, that did get passed. AB 1436 was less burdensome on tenants and had a more reasonable expiration date. AB 3088’s short-sighted expiration date had to be extended by SB 91 which I support.

What is your stance on the Renter’s Tax Credit? Do you wish to see any modifications to it? If so, please describe.

I support any way in which economic burdens can be reduced on renters. I would rather see this done through lower caps on rent increases. If a tenant does not have rent control or only has the protections of the state (such as AB 1482) then they can get quickly priced out.

Please describe your positions on the following recent or pending legislation. A “support”/”oppose”/”support if amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see)/”oppose unless amended” (with an explanation of which amendments you would like to see) will suffice for this section.

SB 50: Planning and zoning: housing development: streamlined approval: incentives - oppose

AB 1482: Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps - support (though we could do better)

AB 854: Housing development: approvals- Support

SB 9: Residential real property: withdrawal of accommodations- Support

AB 71: Permanent Source of Homelessness Funding- Corporate tax . - Support

AB 1188: Rental Registries - Support

AB 328: Reentry Housing Program - Support

AB 854: Reform of Ellis Act - Support

AB 1199: Corporate Landlord Transparency & Excise Tax - Support

AB 1487: Legal assistance for renters. - Support

AB 1516: Affordable Housing Tax Preservation Tax Credit - Support

SCA 2: Repeal of Article 34- Support

AB 1139: Net Energy Metering- Oppose