November 2023

Convention Meeting and Mixer

The CADEM Fall Endorsing Convention is coming up in November 17-19 in Sacramento.

Renters Reception will be on Saturday, November 18, 4-7pm in Sacramento at Prelude, 1117 11th Street, Sacramento, one block from the convention center.  Sponsorships are available here.

Special Election for Renters Council SoCal Vice Chair

After leading the fight to win rent control in Pasadena, Ryan Bell is now Chair of the Pasadena Rent Board. In order to fully focus on starting up this new city department for protecting Pasadena tenants, Ryan will be stepping down as Renters Council SoCal Vice Chair. We thank him for his leadership and organizing work over the past year. 

Per our bylaws, our Chair may appoint a temporary SoCal Vice Chair, and there will be a special election at our upcoming Membership Meeting for a permanent SoCal Vice Chair to fill out the rest of the 2023-2025 term.  If you are interested in running, please fill out this form before our November 12 meeting.

October 2023

Rally for Rent Control in Sacramento, Wednesday Oct 25

This Wednesday, join the Justice for Renters campaign at noon at the state capitol to urge the Governor to support the 2024 Rent Control ballot measure!  RSVP at 

Legislation Update

The Governor has signed the following bills that we supported:

SB567 Stronger enforcement of tenant protections
SB555 State plan for low and middle income housing
AB1418 Ban on discriminatory crime-free-housing laws.
AB12 Cap on how much landlords can charge for Security Deposits
SB267 Allow Section 8 tenants attempting to qualify for housing to use alternatives to credit score
AB318 Manufactured home tenant protections
SB355 Rooftop Solar
AB671 Community land trust accessory dwelling units
AB1218 Requiring replacement housing for demolitions

Unfortunately, Gavin Newsom vetoed SB403 Ban on caste discrimination.

April 2023

2023-2025 Renters Council Board Elections
Elections for the 2023-2025 California Democratic Renters Council Board will be held online using OpaVote from May 8 to May 17. Those elected will hold office from the May 2023 convention meeting until the first 2025 convention meeting.  For information on the Board responsibilities, please refer to Article III.

Ballots will be emailed by OpaVote.  Per our bylaws, you must be a member in good standing (dues paid or fee waiver filed on Jan 1, 2022 or later) before you vote, ballots will be emailed to all members who join up until May 17 at 9pm.  Dues can be renewed at 
The following people have filed. Candidates are listed in order of filing.  Scroll down for candidate statements.

Mari Perez-Ruiz

Alfred Twu

Vinnie Bacon

Northern Vice Chair
Soli Alpert
Igor Tregub

Central Vice Chair
Art Rodriguez

Southern Vice Chair
Ryan Bell
Andrew Lewis
Martha Camacho Rodriguez

Officer at Large (5 seats)
Annie Koruga
Bodie Shargel
Susie Shannon
Monica Madrid
Esther Malkin
Larry Gross
Efrem R. Williams 

Candidate Statements for Board Elections: Click to view -->

California Democratic Renters Council 2023-2025 Board Elections
Note: Not all candidates provided a Candidate Statement

Mari Perez-Ruiz - No statement provided

Alfred Twu
As the current Secretary, I worked on getting our organization chartered with CADEM, running our endorsement votes, online meetings, newsletters, social media, website, and legislation support. I look forward to continuing to grow our membership and connect with candidates and elected officials to pass more tenant protection and housing legislation in the next two years.

Vinnie Bacon
I’m proud to have served as the Treasurer of the Renter’s Caucus for the last year and a half, getting all of the Act Blue checks deposited, paying out all expenses, and providing timely reports to the other Caucus members. I’m a progressive Democrat who understands the pernicious nature of corporate money in our political system. I’ve run for office myself five times always refusing all corporate donations from developers, real estate interests and especially not the California Apartment Association. I served two terms on the Fremont City Council. I was a strong advocate for tenants concerns. I brought a referral to implement rent stabilization. Sadly, the rest of the Democrats on the Council at the time didn’t go along with me. I also made progressive referrals for sanctuary city status, minimum wage increases, marijuana delivery and reform of Prop 13. I consistently argued for more affordable housing at every opportunity. Unfortunately, developers consistently wanted to do purely market rate developments in Fremont, and the developer-friendly Council usually accommodated their wishes. I will always be an active ally of renters and would like to continue serving as your Treasurer as a part of those efforts.

Northern Vice Chair
Soli Alpert
Hello friends! I am Soli Alpert, Vice Chair of the Berkeley Rent Board, proudly elected twice with the nomination of the Berkeley Tenants Convention. I first became involved in Berkeley activism with UC Berkeley Students for Bernie and then with the campaign of Councilmember Kate Harrison in 2017. After her victory, I joined her staff as a Legislative Assistant. In 2019 I worked with my co-workers to unionize the City of Berkeley Legislative Assistants with SEIU 1021. I served as a Legislative Assistant and 1021 Union Steward and COPE representative until 2022. My legislative focus has been on workers’ and tenants’ rights, affordable housing and anti-speculation and anti-displacement policy, and open and transparent governance reforms. As a Commissioner and now Vice Chair, I have collaborated on proposals to expand the coverage of eviction control to more Berkeley tenants, shone a light on government inaction to protect tenants facing dangerous living conditions, and advocated for mitigations in City upzoning proposals to protect vulnerable communities from displacement. As Northern California Vice Chair, I will uplift local efforts to secure rent and eviction control, and support candidates who have earned the support of their local tenants unions and renters advocacy organizations.

Igor Tregub
I humbly ask for your vote because, together, we still have work to do to secure a California that we can all call home. As a founding member of the Council, I've played a key role in every aspect of shaping it into the powerhouse it is today – including, after years of struggle, winning our charter with the CDP; coordinating the endorsements of nearly 200 candidates and ballot measures over the past four years; representing our Council in various statewide coalitions; and crafting pro-renter platform planks, resolutions, and legislation that are now the positions of our Party. As a former two-term elected Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner, I’ve worked to secure the strongest eviction moratoriums in the nation during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and am now fighting to ensure that California and local jurisdictions do not leave tenants behind as they exit the state of emergency. As a clean energy practitioner, I’m advancing tenant access to renewable energy – because no one should have to choose between paying their rent and their utility bills. An active member of Housing NOW!, ACCE, and Tenants Together, I’ll continue the work of connecting our Council with the grassroots. Thanks for your consideration!

Central Vice Chair
Art Rodriguez - No statement provided

Southern Vice Chair
Ryan Bell
I have been fighting for housing justice and security in Southern California for 18 years. Over those years my efforts have focused on preserving affordable housing from market rate conversions, production of affordable and permanent supportive housing, and homelessness prevention, including tenant protections. Throughout COVID, I worked to stop evictions and eliminate rent debt. Today I am the Southern California Regional Coordinator with Tenants Together. In this role, I support and provide tangible resources and organizing training to tenants in communities from San Diego to Santa Barbara. I am a member of the Steering Committee of Keep LA Housed, which has passed landmark legislation to protect tenants in Los Angeles City and County. I am also a member organizer with the Pasadena Tenants Union (PTU) where for the past seven years I have helped to grow our union and pass groundbreaking local legislation. In 2006, when PTU began, we had no tenant protections. Today, we have some of the strongest protections in the state. I was a member of the steering committee that led the Measure H campaign, which was placed on the ballot by voters and then passed with 54% of the electorate approving.

Andrew Lewis - No statement provided

Martha Camacho Rodriguez - No statement provided

Officer at Large (5 seats)

Annie Koruga
Hi all! I’m Annie Koruga, a candidate running with the At-Large Progressive Renters Slate. I’m excited to step up once again for our party, and be a voice for tenants, while leaning on my previous experience. As a young, LGBTQ+ member of our party, I want to ensure that voices like mine are elevated into positions of leadership. I currently serve as the Alameda County Democratic Party (ACDP) Recording Secretary, where I have been a leader on modernization and transparency, building upon the foundations my predecessors laid. In my time in this position, I have modernized the process of taking roll, created a newbie welcome email, became the first Recording Secretary to record Executive Board Meeting Minutes, and later drafted a unanimously accepted bylaws amendment to require the practice. During my time on the ACDP, I also, as an proud LGBTQ+ member lead the effort to create a first in the state bylaws amendment explicitly prohibiting the endorsement of anti-LGBTQ+ candidates. I also served as a Political Action Committee Co-Chair throughout the 2022 election, getting our endorsed local Democrats elected; am the Chair of the CYD Progressive Caucus; serve on the board of the CYD Environmental Caucus; and am the Bay Area Regions Representative to the CYD Political Affairs Committee. If elected to the CaDem Renters Council, I’ll take all of this experience and energy to advocate for our rights as tenants. I wish to see us as a renters council expand our capacity and organize for the candidates and legislation which we endorse, by creating structures to empower members.

Bodie Shargel
I’m a student at UC Santa Cruz, a renter, an activist and organizer. As a first-time delegate to the State Convention, I’m excited to be more involved with the work of the Renters’ Council. That said, I’m happy to offer my support to the 5-candidate slate that’s been assembled for the available at-large board positions. These candidates have extensive experience in both housing and tenant advocacy and I trust that their abilities to collaborate and work together will prove beneficial in leading the Council. I’m looking forward to supporting the work of the Renters’ Council and collaborating on future efforts as a member.

Susie Shannon
As a life-long renter I have worked on both Proposition 10 and Proposition 21 to repeal Costa Hawkins (a bill passed in the 1990’s which places a partial ban on rent control in CA). I ran the campaign to secure the endorsement of the CA Democratic Party for both statewide initiatives. In addition, I have drafted and sponsored multiple resolutions at the CA Democratic Party for renters rights and preservation of rent controlled units. I also work on the National level to help secure renters rights in private and public buildings and helped to save public housing stock from privatization. It is important to preserve and protect our affordable housing stock and rent controlled units. In addition, we must build housing that our low-income renters can afford - seniors on a fixed income, hotel workers, people with disabilities, Starbucks workers, school workers, retail clerks, caregivers, minimum wage workers, children who live in poverty, people on public assistance and others who are not making enough to afford the “luxury” apartments that keep getting built. Finally, we must call out the corporate landlords who amass billions of dollars in profit every day and who are now using “price fixing” software like Real Page’s Yield Star to raise and fix rents throughout the country. Skyrocketing rents are hurting communities, leading to gentrification, homelessness and disenrollment in California’s public schools as more families leave the state for lower housing costs. The State of CA has the highest rent-burdened tenants in the entire country. The Democratic Party and elected officials who are registered Democrats must work to be a countervailing force to corporate landlords. We empower renters by registering them to vote and compelling them to participate in elections! I hope you will support me as an At-Large member of the CA Democratic Party Renters Council. I am running on the At-Large Progressive Renters Slate and the Progressives for Renters Slate.

Monica Madrid
I am running for re-election to be a Board member at large because It is time for the Party to start taking renters seriously! I have been organizing with Sacramento ACCE for the past 3 years, we have helped get the Rental Assistance Program is Sacramento and are working with the City and County to pass a Tenant AntiHarassment Ordinance. It is important that as tenants we fight back and hold our elected officials accountable when they vote against what Renters want. Please vote for Me and All of the At Large Progressive Renters Slate!

Esther Malkin


We must:

Hold bilingual webinars especially during election seasons.

Closely partner with a number of organizations as well as Housing Now.

- During Covid consulted cities & county on creating & implementation of their renter assistance programs & currently on creating a permanent one in the city of Monterey.

Was asked to participate on the tri-county COVID Housing Task Force.

Have successfully advanced a renters resolution unanimously adopted at county & regional levels that is currently on the state party's list to be considered.

Since on the Renters Council I've encouraged monthly meetings, elevating it's visibility within the state party & encouraged more focus on fundraising to support our mission.


Endorsed by: Congressman Panetta: “Esther has been a strong voice for our community in her role on the California Democratic Renters Council. I look forward to continuing to work with her and seeing her continued service to renters on the central coast and throughout the state." 3 Mayors Williamson, Oglesby & Velasquez 2 County Supervisors Askew& Church Multiple City Councilmembers (current & previous) Monterey County Dem Central Committee

Progressives At- Large Slate Member

Larry Gross
Larry Gross is Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), the oldest and one of the most effective tenants’ rights organization in the state serving renters throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Since 2017, Larry has been the elected Region 12 Director of the California Democratic Party (CDP). Larry also serves on the Board of the statewide tenants’ rights organization Tenants Together. Under Larry’s leadership some of CES accomplishment include: • Leading campaigns to win rent control in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood; • Leading efforts to incorporate the City of West Hollywood and elected CES tenant leaders to the City Council; • Winning L.A.'s Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) and Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) which address slum housing conditions and housing code violations; • Assisting four HUD subsidized tenant associations in purchasing their complexes to maintain as permanent affordable housing. Larry is currently the President of the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commissioners, appointed by former LA Mayor in 2014. Larry was a California Public Utilities Commission appointee to its Low-Income Oversight Board (LIOB) 2012 to 2020. Larry was a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU/Southern California, from 2012 to 2015.

Efrem R. Williams
I genuinely believe in being a driving force in the development of tenant’s rights and protections for the

benefit of 18 million California renters.

The continued Growth of Homeless and Displaced tenants is due primarily to LARGE Billion Dollar Real

Estate Investors who seek rental properties in places which have the weakest tenant protections.

What occurs is that Large Corporations such as Rockpoint / Blackstone and many others are only

interested in one thing and that is to receive service fees passed onto to renters (known as Pass-through

fees) for instituting Capital Improvement Plans. Every city in California has developed ordinances on the

amount tenants will pay for the California Improvements rather than holding property owners

accountable for improvements on their properties – whether the improvements are inside the dwelling

units or in common areas outside. internal or external of renter’s dwellings.

Recently, I co-chaired a group of tenants fighting for their rights at South Shore Apartments, which

houses 450 units, and is one of the largest residential properties dwelling in Alameda California. Tenants

were organizing to STOP large real estate investor corporations Rockpoint/Blackstone, who wants

tenants to pay 100% of the cost of the capital improvements in the amount of $24,412,945 over 15

years. This may cause each tenant to pay a monthly amount of up to $301.39, on top of their regular

monthly rents that recently increased by 3.5 % along with a Banked increase up to 3%. Collectively, this

would force tenants to pay an additional monthly increase between the amounts of $500.00 - $700.00.

Large Corporations causes home displacement, resulting in long-term renters and seniors with strict

incomes to now become homeless.

Assisting humans with rights and housing protection is NOT an OPTION. Neglecting them and not

advocating for their rights is NOT AN OPTION. It is NOT an OPTION to abandon human beings who need


It is our responsibility and obligation to help and assist everyone in need to have acceptable living

conditions with protections from Landlords and Large Corporations. We have to speak and assist those

who are unable to speak for those who are physically challenged, seniors who are on strict incomes, so

that they are not to not be displaced out of their homes.

My many years in Management and Mediation have allowed me to focus on the needs of helping

others. I believe in helping others to not be dismissed, overlooked, and put into categories as not being

instrumental in Society. Every human being is here for and with a purpose and their voices should not be


So, I ask for your support to assist me in becoming part of the Democratic Renters Council.

Thank you

March 17, 2023 Newsletter

Housing Now! Lobby Day - April 24 in Sacramento

Please register to attend our IN PERSON Housing Now Action and Lobby day in Sacramento on April 24!


Housing Now! is moving steadily in winning our 2023 Housing is a Human Right agenda this year, advocating for:

Draft Schedule for the Event (may change):

9- 10 am              Breakfast and Registration

10am- 12 pm      Lobby visits

12-3 pm              Rally and Action, Lunch, Lobby visits

3:30 pm               Conclusion & Debrief


Register how many people you would like to bring from your organization and actual names if you need a flight and are in Southern California. It is helpful to plan the transportation to know your turnout goals.  As in past years, we are providing rides and accommodations for those coming from LA & San Diego (or far away, in general) and register by March 24.  Bay Area attendees can get a ride from buses leaving Oakland or Richmond. Please register by March 24.  We will try to coordinate transportation from other locations. Please let us know your needs.  We can also support with accommodations if members are coming from a distance.



Pass a #RentersVote Resolution at your Democratic County Central Committee

Esther Malkin has been leading an effort to get the party to turn out the renter vote during elections. So far, Alameda County and Monterey County central committees have passed the resolution.

You can use the text here:

Tenant Stories needed from Unincorporated Alameda County

As the Board of Supervisors continues to discuss critical tenant protections next week, we are asking all residents, partners, service providers and allies to share how urgent the need is to protect our most vulnerable families in unincorporated Alameda County.

Do you have a story to share of difficulties being a renting family in Ashland, Cherryland, Hayward Acres, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, or Fairview?

We need your help in uplifting these issues so the Board of Supervisors can make the right decision, by March 20th.

Three ways to submit a story:

1) Email directly, HCD staff: Michelle Starratt, Housing Director, and Jennifer Pearce, Deputy Director,, your testimony that includes:




District #

Housing Issue:

Example story:


Laurel St.


District 4

Ariana’s landlord increased the rent to $500 after her family from Mexico needed a temporary place to stay. She received verbal threats from her landlord. Ariana was told while applying for rent assistance the State’s Sept 30 eviction moratorium was over. Since she was fearful of being evicted, she decided to self-evict and move into a small apartment in Cherryland with two other families.


2) Fill out a Google Form (below), or click on the following link:

3) Share your story at the next Unincorporated Services Committee:

Wednesday, March 22, @ 6PM, San Lorenzo Library, 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo, CA 94580


2023 CA Democratic Party Convention will be in Los Angeles

The 2023 convention will be May 25-28 in Los Angeles, at the LA Convention Center.  The Renters Council will meet during the Convention and will be electing the board for 2023-2025.  Information on how to run will be available soon.  To renew your membership for 2023, please go to