Your mission

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Friends,

When we started two years ago, we started with a city government so opposed to rent control that it refused to study what an ordinance could look like. Then a new City Council passed rent control in 2015, but the California Apartment Association gathered signatures to repeal by misleading voters to believe they would support rent control by signing. So, we went to the ballot, and with 64.4% of the vote, Measure L passed.

Thank you for your support. Now in this time of uncertainty our neighbors can at least count on the stability of rent control and just cause for eviction protection. Instead of being stuck in worry, thousands can now plan for the future-- lay down their spirit for a richer community life and work toward stronger schools and safer neighborhoods.

Thank you, volunteers, some of whom came every week. Thank you, homeowners, for volunteering your time for your neighbors, and thanks to the tenants who worked even while dealing with an eviction themselves.

Thank you, endorsers and donors, so many of whom offered their help early on, critical for having successful campaigns.

Thank you core coalition partners in the San Francisco Foundation, Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Alliance of California Communities for Empowerment Action, Tenants Together, Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action, California Nurses Association, Communities for a Better Environment Action and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3299. Without the support of your members to work on affordable housing, we wouldn’t have Measure L.

Finally, thanks for the core individuals who made Measure L their mission. Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin and Claudia Jimenez, the primary proponents of the measure. Councilmember-elects Ben Choi and Melvin Willis for helping put Measure L on the ballot and making Measure L the core of their campaigns. Councilmembers Jael Myrick, Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez for endorsing Measure L and speaking on its’ behalf. Zak Wear for contributing as Campaign Manager. Jim Ross and Gabriella Miroglio for helping produce our literature/TV ad and fulfill other less glamorous functions. David Sharples for leading Richmond Working Families on the ground in support of Measure L. Leah Simon-Weisberg (congratulations to her for winning in the Berkeley Rent Board race) for drafting Measure L with Gayle McLaughlin. Gabriel Haaland as senior advisor, Mike Parker and Marilyn Langlois for their support throughout. There are many, many more who deserve our thanks.

Congratulations to Ben Choi and Melvin Willis for their election and Jael Myrick for his re-election to the Richmond City Council. Staring January ’17 Richmond will enjoy a 6/7 super majority that supports rent control policies. We wish them the best of luck in their work for our community and pledge to be strong partners in a successful implementation of Measure L.

Next steps

Measure L will go into effect 10 days after the election results are certified. Contra Costa County Board of Elections must certify by December 8th, 2016. It is possible Measure L will go into effect earlier if the County certifies earlier.

The rent rollback will go into effect immediately with Measure L. Tenants will pay as their new base rent whatever was charged as of July 21st, 2015. If you started your tenancy after July 21st 2015, the base rent shall be the rent that was charged on the first date of the tenancy. If you paid $1250/mo for your apartment on July 21st 2015, and now pay $1600/mo, as of December 18th (or when the ordinance goes into effect) you will return to owing $1250/mo plus adjustment for inflation as determined by the Richmond Rent Board.

If you have been issued a notice of eviction, do not ignore it because Measure L passed. You still need to respond. The courts will be notified when rent control and just cause is in effect and most no-fault evictions will be immediately dismissed. If you need legal consultation, you can reach out to Tenants Together’s hotline: 1-888-495-8020 or visit Bay Area Legal Aid at 1025 Macdonald Ave. Richmond, CA 94801. If you are 62 or older, Contra Costa County Senior Legal Services at (925) 609-7900 is also a great resource. Refrain from calling the Measure L campaign line for legal assistance, it will only be answered periodically and the campaign volunteers will only reference to the above organizations.

Watch out for cash for keys deals. Some landlords might try to trick tenants into thinking they are being evicted, and offer a sum of $5k-10k to entice them to vacate. Often it’s a ploy and you should seek legal help before agreeing to or even discussing such a deal with your landlord.

The City of Richmond will now be working to implement rent control. We will take care to disseminate notices issued by the City regarding rules and logistics around implementation. The goal now is to build a rent board that is effective, efficient and responsive to the community’s needs. If you have the skill and spirit to support that goal, consider applying for the Richmond Rent Board through the City of Richmond Boards and Commissions webpage here. If you choose to apply, please keep in touch!

Again, thank you for supporting a more fair and affordable Richmond. We were so happy to see the letter, “L” represent this work because love for Richmond is exactly what drew us in to do it. Be well, have a restful holiday, and see you soon.

With L-OVE,

Fair and Affordable Richmond


Who We Are

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  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative 
  • CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization)
  • Centro Latino Cuscatlán
  • CUIDO (Communities United in Support of Olmstead) 
  • Eviction Defense Center 
  • EBHO (East Bay Housing Organization)
  • Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council
  • Saffron Strand
  • Urban Habitat
  • Urban Tilth
  • West County Concilio Latino