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.