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Editorials • June 10, 2007

Support for a Statewide Ballot Initiative

 Howard Jarvis and apartment associations around the state are asking you to support a statewide ballot initiative concerning eminent domain and rent control.  If this initiative passes, rent control in Berkeley would be wiped out in few years as units become permanently decontrolled.

I cannot think of any other real chance to do this since I do not believe the voters of Berkeley would pass a local preemption initiative and having spent the last twelve years in Sacramento since passage of Costa Hawkins, I am convinced that no major relief will come from the state legislature.  Nor, can we realistically look for a sweeping court decision. While litigation is extremely important to deal with excesses, I have talked with too many legal experts to know that there is nothing on the horizon that will create a death blow to rent control.

I have said this many times but it is appropriate to repeat it now.  At its core rent control is a political problem and a solution to it will be political. 

From my vantage point Berkeley owners have nothing to lose (except money) and everything to gain. 

Greg McConnell

 California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act - Proposed 2008 Ballot Measure

The Alliance has joined the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Farm Bureau Federation to qualify the “California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act” for the June 2008 ballot.

This measure would protect homeowners, businesses and family farms from government's ability to profit by seizing private property from unwilling sellers and giving it to others, often for development projects that benefit the wealthy and politically connected.

The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, previously referred to as the California Property Owners Protection Act, was resubmitted to the Attorney General's Office May 1, 2007, with some key modifications;

  • Since the measure will protect California's farmland and food supply from eminent domain abuse, the measure's title was modified to include “Farmland.”
  • To protect government's ability to provide environmental protections, there are no “regulatory taking” provisions that could impede the health and safety of the public.
  • The measure's rent regulation provision has been modified from eliminating rent control after a three year period to phasing rent control out only after the tenant has vacated the property. What hasn't changed is the belief that government should not be able to dictate the price a property owner can rent or sell their property.

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