Prop. 98 protest set for Saturday in Oakland

Opponents of Proposition 98 on this June’s ballot are gathering Bay Area seniors, renters and community activists to protest outside an apartment owners’ meeting this Saturday in Oakland.

The Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County — a nonprofit trade association representing more than 20,000 Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont rental property owners — is holding a trade show and expo Saturday in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, at 4700 Lincoln Ave.

Protesters plan to blitz it at 11 a.m. From their news release:

Inside, apartment owners will be scheming to trick voters into passing the deceptive Proposition 98 which abolishes rent control and jeopardizes important renter protections. Even though Prop. 98 was written by landlords, for the sole financial benefit of landlords, the proponents of this measure are trying to trick voters into believing their initiative is all about eminent domain reform. Opponents of Prop. 98 will urge voters to read the fine print, warning voters “don’t be deceived.”
Sherlock Holmes will be roaming the crowd “investigating” the deceit and deception in Prop. 98. The group will also unveil a giant magnifying glass – a symbol to voters to “read the fine print” of Prop. 98 so voters are not deceived by the landlords’ scheme.

Among those speaking at the protest will be Tenants Together executive director Dean Preston, co-chair of the Coalition to Protect California Renters; Hayward activist Jim Forsyth on behalf of the California Alliance for Retired Americans; folks from Just Cause Oakland and the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League; elected officials; and others.

The protesters say landlords are using Proposition 98’s promise to reform eminent domain — government’s power to force owners to sell their private property either to government or to a third party for development as a public use — as a smokescreen to eliminate rent control; cut renter protections such as the fair return of deposits; stop future water projects; gut local land-use planning; and erode environmental protections. They claim Proposition 99 would accomplish real eminent-domain reform without the hidden agendas.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • alain Thillois

    not sure to understand how an owner can assume the cost of repair and improvement while his property is controlled by a government agency to set and control the cost of rent… suppose you have a tenant who is plumber and pay a controlled rent… this person on daily basis is fixing plumbing and billing client with ajusted cost to labor, part, gas, index etc … that does not make sense…. if control by governement is a way to go, I can accept that, so why these agencies are buying properties and offering for rent with controlled cost ????