As residents of the city of Inglewood prepare to elect a Mayor this November, some of us are keeping a watchful eye over a bill that will have devastating impacts on the community at-large. Although current Inglewood Mayor James Butts is praised for raising property values in Districts 1 and 2, he is also being blamed for steep rents that are forcing long-term residents out of the city they call home.
Political insiders, particularly members of the Los Angeles African-American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAWPPI) share with 2UrbanGirls their disappointment in newly elected Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove.
They point out she talks a good game but her voting record and “Ray Charles” position on gentrification is troublesome.
“We never pictured her to be a ‘yes woman’ but that’s exactly what she has turned out to be” said one LAAWPPI member on condition of anonymity. For disclosure, this author is a member of LAAWPPI.
Many had high hopes for Kamlager-Dove but find her voting record on rent control abuse and now a bill aimed at creating havoc in Inglewood to be a calculated move which explains the more than $500,000 spent to get her elected. Kamlager-Dove proudly boasts on social media she has voted on more than 700 bills in less than three months but most worrisome was her failure to get behind two bills to stop arbitrary evictions of renters.
On May 31, two bills aiming to prevent arbitrary evictions of renters and close a commonly used loophole for displacing tenants–AB 2925 and AB 2364–died when several Democratic Assembly members chose to ignore the housing crisis and voted against our most basic interests.
AB 2925, introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, an Oakland Democrat, would have removed state-imposed limits on how “cause” for eviction is determined and would have allowed local municipalities to define “just cause” locally. As it stands, cities cannot currently decide for themselves what rules should exist to protect renters from unfair evictions because state law is pre-emptive.
Related: LA Area Democratic Lawmakers Betray Renters, Again
In addition, AB 2364, sponsored by Richard Bloom, a Democrat from Santa Monica and representing much of Westside LA, would have closed loopholes in the Ellis Act that have allowed some landlords to force out tenants and raise the price of rent-controlled units. This bill would have also created a pathway for displaced tenants to return to their building, with a similar rental agreement, if the unit was re-offered for rent within 5 years of when the tenant was displaced.
Democratic members in the L.A. area who did not vote include Autumn Burke (Inglewood, Venice, Marina del Rey), Cristina Garcia (Downey, Bell Gardens, Cerritos), Mike Gipson (Carson, Compton, Gardena), and Al Muratsuchi (Torrance, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes) along with Sydney Kamlager and Miguel Santiago. Santiago, who is meeting with community leaders to explore a run for City Council District 14 in 2020, did not vote on either of the tenants’ rights bills.
In an interesting twist, Sen. Steve Bradford, whose Senate District includes Inglewood, failed miserably in trying to get his original bill passed, SB 789, due to his colleagues not working with him. Translation, they don’t like him and NO ONE is asking why the Inglewood Assemblymember Autumn Burke isn’t carrying this bill for HER district. Oh, they don’t like her in Sacramento either. Insiders say she is stuck up and refuses to participate in regularly scheduled activities to get to know her colleagues better.
Inglewood doesn’t need fake black folks like Asm. Autumn Burke, Sydney Kamlager-Dove or Mayor James Butts in a position to further pander to Black voters while simultaneously stabbing us in the back on behalf of the corporate friends (donors).
Inglewood will look forward to electing representatives who represent ALL members of the community, not the handful that donate to their campaign coffers.
Steve Ballmer and Murphy’s Bowl LLC found Kamlager-Dove to be more likeable and able to get the bill pushed through. Based on the voting record, she is succeeding. Funny thing is, Bradford is a co-author and he is on record voting NO on Kamlager-Dove’s new bill on June 13th. Look for yourself by clicking here. The bill was sent back to the Appropriations Committee on June 26th where Asm. Bonta could very well change his vote to NO.
Another juicy tidbit is this entire project could be entangled in further mess due to the how the city of Inglewood handled the transaction with Murphy’s Bowl and we aren’t talking about the current lawsuit that is pending. Stay tuned.
“Although current Inglewood Mayor James Butts is praised for raising property values in Districts 1 and 2, he is also being blamed for steep rents that are forcing long-term residents out of the city they call home.”
That’s not the way things work. Property owners sell (whether seniors, or people just moving on) properties at a higher value than they paid for the property. The new owners have a higher mortgage and property tax bill than the previous owner did. They need to charge more for the property to cover their costs. And if they improve the property, then it’s fair to charge more still.
I realize that you would probably like for your landlord to improve the building you live in and not increase the rent. But that’s wishful thinking and we both know it. They have to make money – period. Otherwise the bank forecloses and everyone gets evicted.
Your position on this is naive and unrealistic.
When buildings/units are upgraded, yes, increased rents are acceptable, however, that is not always the case in INGLEWOOD. Typically my rent rises annually by $25. This year it went up $100. The owner has done ZERO upgrades to justify the increase nor do we have any ammenities or sound proof windows despite living directly under the flight path. As units become vacant, the owner upgrades THOSE units and the rent increases which is understandable.
Not every renter has an owner that is upgrading so to call me naive and unrealistic means you know nothing about what is going on in MY city.
With our city not having rent control it is that much easier to increase rent without adding value to the property.