Meeting Minutes
Saturday August 24, 2019
CA Dem Executive Board conference, DoubleTree Hotel, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose.

Chair—Mari Perez-Ruiz (ADEM 18)
Secretary—Alfred Twu (ADEM 15)
Treasurer—Rachelanne Vander Werf (ADEM 7) (not present)
Northern Region Vice Chair—Igor Tregub (ADEM 15)
Central Region Vice Chair—Arturo Rodriguez (ADEM 26)
Southern Region Vice Chair—Andrew Lewis (ADEM 54)

Definitions and Abbreviations
AB – Assembly Bill
ADEM – California Democratic Party delegate elected by voters at an Assembly District Election Meeting
CAA – California Apartment Association, a landlord industry association
CPI - Consumer Price Index, commonly referred to as the rate of inflation
Just Cause – laws that limit evictions to a limited list of “just causes”, such as failure to pay rent
LIHTC – Low Income Housing Tax Credit, a program that allows corporations to fund affordable housing to reduce their tax bill
SB – Senate Bill
Section 8 – a government voucher that provides monthly rent assistance to cover the gap between what a tenant can afford and the asking rent.

1. Update from Emily Ramos, Mountain View Rental Housing Commissioner
Mountain View used to be cheap until Google got big. In 2016, Mountain View passed rent control via Measure V. The California Apartment Association has been attempting to roll it back. Their attempt at a “sneaky repeal” failed to qualify for the 2018 ballot, but made it onto the 2020 ballot. It would suspend rent control if the vacancy rate exceeds 3%. For reference, nowhere has a vacancy rate under 3%, since vacancy includes units being renovated, as well as units that are between tenants.

MV city council now considering a compromise that would weaken rent control to get the CAA to drop their ballot measure. MV also needs demolition ordinances as a couple of complexes have been demolished and replaced by townhouses. An anti-displacement study session will also look at a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) to make it easier for tenants to buy their homes when a landlord sells.

2. Update from Mari Perez-Ruiz, Alameda Renters Coalition
Alameda has rent control, with increases limited to 78% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, a standard measure of inflation). Landlords discriminating against Section 8 voucher tenants is an issue. Tenants are rallying to support an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor facing eviction.

Note: on September 3, 2019, the Alameda City Council passed a law that banned discrimination against Section 8 tenants.

3. Treasurer's Report from Rachelanne



AIDS Healthcare Foundation


CA Dem Party /Moscone Center Suite for Our Time is Now Convention Hospitality Mixer


Asm. Tim Grayson


Catering for mixer – Savor Cater


Asm. Rob Bonta


Asm. David Chiu


Membership Dues


Total Income


Total Expenses




MOTION: Art Rodriguez moved to accept the report, Andrew seconded, approved by voice vote

4. Update from Christian Ollano of Bay Area Regional Tenant Organizers
45% of Californians are renters. Less than 1% of state legislators are (just one assemblymember).
The struggle against displacement is a global issue. Lots of injustices in Silicon Valley. For example,

San Jose has a pro-Google mayor. Rents went up the moment Google announced a new office building near downtown. Tenants showed up for an epic city council hearing that went from 1pm to 2:30am to demand stronger rent control. Allowable annual rent increase lowered from 8% to 5%. Just Cause protections were passed at a later meeting.

Sacramento city council adopted a compromise rent control measure that limits rent increases to CPI + 5% with exceptions. There is still a ballot measure coming up in 2020 with a lower cap.

El Cerrito City Council passed Just Cause protections, but the CAA got signatures for a ballot measure to repeal it. Then the City Council voted to repeal the protections.

5. Update from Tonya Love from Assemblymember Rob Bonta's office
Advice: Show that tenants are part of the community: announce that you're a tenant when speaking at city council meetings, homeowners often say they're a homeowner.

State budget has $1 billion for affordable housing. $500 million in expansion of the LIHTC Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. $500 million in Housing and Community Development funding. $650 million to address homelessness.

6. Caucus Chartering Update from Alfred Twu, Caucus Secretary
- Application and bylaws to be a caucus was submitted in July ahead of the deadline on August 1, 2019
- Rules Committee Chair requested a statement of measurable goals and reason as to why the Renters Caucus should be a Caucus instead of a Statewide Chartered Organization. Response was provided, highlighting how Caucuses are about organizing an under-represented group, whereas statewide chartered organizations are more about fundraising. Current plan is for chartering to be voted on at next E-Board meeting in spring 2020.

Our goals include voter registration and turnout in close 2020 state legislature races, running local candidates, drafting and lobbying for legislation and housing funding, as well as making sure tenants get counted in the Census.

7. Recap of the Hospitality Suite Event at the May 2019 California Democratic Party Convention
Hospitality suite held at the CA Dem Convention in San Francisco, Co-sponsored with Central Valley Empowerment Alliance. Event was well attended, with a few hundred people stopping by, including elected officials and CA Dem chair Rusty Hicks.

8. Resolution in Support of Providing Supportive Housing

RESOLUTION 19-05.178L Providing Supportive Housing

WHEREAS on March 20, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously committed to building at least 222 units of supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in each City Council district by July 1, 2020, and further agreed on April 17, 2018 to A Bridge Home, a plan to streamline the construction of emergency shelters throughout the city;

WHEREAS the population experiencing homelessness of the City of Los Angeles has grown by 75% in the last six years, creating a dire need for supportive housing in all parts of the city;

WHEREAS the 2018 California Democratic Party platform states that California Democrats will “[p]rotect and promote the construction of affordable housing to alleviate and prevent homelessness, and develop supportive housing with continuum-of-care services to help homeless people reestablish themselves as self-sufficient contributors to society;”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party commends efforts within the Los Angeles City Council to build more supportive housing and encourages all of California’s Cities and Counties to learn from its example and join the City of Los Angeles in a fight against the“Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY) resistance to these vital services, too often the NIMBY argument is couched in racist or classist rhetoric and such voices should not keep us fromfully meeting the housing needs of the homeless and all those struggling to keep a roof over their heads in the second largest city in our nation.

Author: Ilissa Gold, AD50

Sponsored by Los Angeles County Democratic Party02/12/2019

MOTION: Art Rodriguez moved to adopt the resolution, Andrew seconded, approved by voice vote

9. Northern California Update – Igor Tregub
Oakland recently closed a loophole in its rent control ordinance that had allowed landlords of some 2-4 unit buildings to be exempt from rent control. Berkeley still has some duplexes that are exempt and is working on closing that loophole.

TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) legislation is being drafted. This would give tenants right of first refusal as well as more time to put together an offer when a landlord wants to sell their home.

10. Southern California Update – Andrew Lewis
Los Angeles City Council elections – in the San Fernando Valley, the Republican candidate beat pro-housing Democrat Loraine Lundquist in a low-turnout special election. However, there is likely to be a rematch in the upcoming general election

11. Central Valley Update – Art Rodriguez
The Central Valley Empowerment Alliance went into the reddest districts and worked on local city council races. Farmersville in Tulare County held a Housing Town Hall in April 2019. Lot of media coverage and was a popular topic on talk radio for a few weeks after.

One challenge in the Valley is undocumented tenants who are afraid to speak up, and also not eligible for legal aid services.

12. Update on AB1482 Assemblymember Rob Bonta
This bill now combines text from two bills, and covers both Just Cause protections and puts a cap on rent increases in cities that don't already have a stronger rent control law.

Previously, tenant bills died in committee, this is a big deal that this one has gotten this far. Governor has said he will sign it.

This bill has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party. CA Apartment Association is neutral. California Association of Realtors opposes.

Bill has until Sept 13 to pass. Messaging advice: Tell your stories to your legislators. Remind homeowners of their previous days as tenants.

Note: Bill's most recent amendments set the maximum allowed rent increase at 5% + CPI per year. Just Cause protections apply to tenants who have been in the same unit for 12 months.

13. SB 329 (Statewide ban on discriminating against section 8 tenants)
Caucus members attended the Legislation Committee meeting. SB329 was endorsed by the California Democratic Party the next day.

Meeting adjourned at 1:30pm

- Legislative Update
- 2019-2020 Goals and Work Plan

California Renters Caucus Legislative Update
Bill Status as of August 21, 2019

Already Endorsed by CDP at May 2019 Convention

AB-10 Income taxes: credits low-income housing: farmworker housing. (Chiu)
Expands Low Income Housing Tax Credit program by $500 million for low income housing and farmerworker housing.

Status: Passed Assembly, in Senate Appropriations Committee, next hearing August 26, 2019

AB-36 Residential tenancies: rent control. (Bloom)

Costa-Hawkins Reform. Would allow cities to extend rent control to houses, condos, as well as new buildings after 10 years from date of completion. Exemption for landlords that own two or fewer homes in a city.

Status: Failed to make it out of committee. A ballot measure with similar text, the Rental Affordability Act, has been filed and is currently gathering signatures. The RAA is similar to 2018's Prop 10, with a few exemptions.

AB-1399 Residential real property: rent control: withdrawal of accommodations. (Bloom)
Closes an Ellis Act loophole, so that the Ellis Act is only to be used by a landlord who intends to go out of the rental business permanently. The measure also clarifies that landlords cannot then return units to the market in a piecemeal fashion.

Status: Passed Assembly and Senate committees, now on Senate floor.

AB-1482 Tenancy: rent caps. (Chiu)
Rent cap: Statewide limit to annual rent increases. Also known as anti-gouging, this cap would apply statewide to all homes not already covered by a stronger local rent control ordinance. The max annual rent increase allowed would be inflation (CPI) + 7%, 10% max. Just cause protections covering tenants who have rented in the same unit for more than a year. Exempts new buildings for 10 years, and detached houses owned by natural persons (not corporations) that own 10 or fewer detached houses are also exempt.

Status: Passed Assembly, in Senate Appropriations Committee, next hearing August 30, 2019.

SB-13 Accessory dwelling units. (Wieckowski)
Limits fees and restrictions on building new accessory dwelling units. For example, ADUs created by converting a garage would not be required to have replacement parking.

Status: Passed Senate, in Assembly Appropriations Committee, first hearing was August 21, 2019

SB-529 Tenant associations: eviction for cause. (Durazo)

Protections for tenant organizing. Prohibits landlords from evicting tenants in retaliation for organizing. Allows tenants to hold 30-day rent strikes to protest lack of maintenance, etc.

Status: Failed by 1 vote when voted on by the full State Senate.

Housing Bills on the August 2019 CA Dem Legislative Committee Agenda

SCA-1 Public housing projects. (Allen, Wiener)
Eliminates requirement that public housing be approved by ballot measure. Currently cities have to pass ballot measures every few years to authorize new quantities of affordable housing. Also known as Article 34 repeal. As a state constitutional amendment, this would go to the ballot for voter approval.

Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB-1279 Planning and zoning: housing development: high-resource areas. (Bloom)
AB 1279 identifies high-resource areas (defined as high income suburbs not experiencing gentrification) with strong indicators of exclusionary patterns and subjects these areas to zoning overrides to encourage the production of both small-scale market-rate housing projects and larger-scale mixed-income affordable projects.

Status: Passed Assembly, did not make it out of Senate committees, now a 2 year bill.

Legislation Endorsed by Tenants Together

SB 329 (Mitchell)

SB 329 expands the definition of “source of income” under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). If enacted, SB 329 would prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants who rely upon housing assistance, such as a Section 8 voucher, to help pay the rent.

AB 701 (Weber)

AB 701 requires the Department of Corrections to provide $5,000 to any person exonerated of a crime and released, for the purposes of securing housing, and on-going housing assistance for up to 4 years. Providing housing assistance to previously encarcerated individuals who were exonerated helps alleviate some of the hardship in obtaining/maintaining housing and creating long-term stability.

AB 1232 (Gloria)

AB 1232 would require recipients of energy efficient low-income weatherization funds to maintain the housing for low-income residents for a specified period. This is only fair. Landlords should not be able to obtain government funding to make improvements that are conditioned on their having low-income tenants, and then turn around and cease providing the housing to low-income tenants. We are disappointed that the period of the bill was reduced from 20 to 10 years. While we continue to support the bill, we caution against any further reduction of this period, and may need to revisit our support if the applicable period is further reduced.

Additional Housing Legislation Still Pending as of 8/21/2019

Bill Number


What it does



Allows Accessory Dwelling Units (in-law units) to be built in more places



Lowers cost of construction for ADUs and other small homes under 800 square feet



Allows homeless students to live in vehicles in community college parking lots



Allocates bond funding in Santa Cruz for affordable housing



Establishes program to provide move-in loans to cover first/last and security deposits



Allows ADUs to be sold to nonprofits or low-income residents



Incentives for ADUs rented to very low, low or moderate income households



Clarifies ADU laws to allow ADUs in more places



Allows tenants and landlords to sign agreements that would allow friends or relatives facing homelessness to stay for up to 12 months to stay in their unit



Requires cities/counties to provide state data on number of homes being built each year



Requires cities/counties to post list of housing development fees on their website



Streamlines approval process in cities that have not built enough housing. Applies to projects that contain some low income or moderate income units



Surplus public land for housing



Creates new regional agency to fund affordable housing via new taxes in the Bay Area.


Garcia, C

Requires cities and counties to consider the impact of housing development decisions on communities of color.



Density bonus for affordable housing projects.


Rivas, R

Streamlines approval process for farmworker housing



Lowers threshold to pass housing or infrastructure ballot measures from 2/3 to 55%



Creates statewide database and map on where housing can be built, based on zoning provided by cities and counties



Exempts community land trusts from property taxes



Expands renters tax credit to $434 for households with children, and $220 for other renters



Streamlines approval process for housing that complies with zoning. Bans cities from reducing density allowed by current zoning.



Creates statewide strategic plan to address homelessness



Tax credit for repairing historic buildings



Strengthens the existing Housing Accountability Act, which requires that housing that meets existing zoning requirements be approved

California Renters Caucus

2019-2020 Goals and Work Plan


1. Register 50,000 New Tenant Voters to Defend or Flip seats in Purple Districts

2. Build the Pipeline with 100 Local Tenant Candidates

3. Propose and Pass Tenant Legislation
- Support statewide Costa-Hawkins reform
- Support statewide and at least 20 local affordable housing funding bond and tax measures

- Pass rent control by ordinance or ballot measure in 10 cities
- Pass statewide Rent Cap and Just Cause

- Bring back Tenant Right to Organize bill in 2020

4. Identify Best Practices for counting all Tenants in 2020 Census
- Identify what different areas are doing to ensure that tenants in previously undercounted housing get counted (such as room rentals in a house, or unauthorized units). Compile and publish list of best practices for distribution to Complete County Committees statewide.

Work Plan
Fall 2019 – Voter Registration / Ballot measure signature gathering campaign, identify or draft priority tenant legislation for 2020 legislative session

Winter 2019 – Work with Census efforts to ensure that plans will get tenants counted

Spring 2020 – Voter Registration / voter turnout campaign around Primary Election. Census Day publicity and media outreach.

Summer 2020 – Follow Up on legislation

Fall 2020 – Voter Registration / voter turnout campaign around General Election

Assembly Districts – Close Races in 2018


Currently held by

Margin of victory

Total Voter turnout



D - Bauer-Kahan

4,539 votes

217,905 votes

Alameda and Contra Costa


D - Salas

9,239 votes

69,417 votes

Kern, King


R - Lackey

5,274 votes

127,894 votes

Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino


D - Smith

5,453 votes

186,049 votes

Los Angeles, Ventura


D - Cervantes

10,240 votes

125,660 votes



R - Choi

11,447 votes

181,775 votes



R - Diep

5,141 votes

161,301 votes



D - Maienschein (switched to Dem in 2019)

607 votes

199,153 votes

San Diego

Congressional Districts – Close Races in 2018


Currently held by

Margin of victory

Total Voter turnout



D - Harder

9,990 votes

221,900 votes

San Joaquin, Stanislaus


D - Cox

862 votes

113,616 votes

Fresno, Kern, Kings


R - Nunes

12,107 votes

222,379 votes

Fresno, Tulare


D - Cisneros

7,611 votes

244,393 votes

Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino


D - Porter

12,523 votes

305,289 votes



R – Hunter

8,914 votes

259,810 votes

Riverside, San Diego

State Senate Districts – Close Races in 2016


Currently held by

Margin of victory

Total Voter turnout



R – Wilk

17,157 votes

302,929 votes

Los Angeles, San Bernardino


R- Chang

25,695 votes
(2018 recall)

158,089 votes

Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino