A recently published article on CalMatters.org stated that based on annual statement of economic interest forms (Form 700s) at least 30 state legislators are landlords. Asm. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who has voted against rent control on a state level, and locally Inglewood Mayor James Butts who proposed an 8% annual rent increase cap.
Former Inglewood Senator Rod Wright made an appearance at the city council meeting urging the city council to host a town hall meeting between renters, and landlords, in order for both sides to hear each other out. Rep. Maxine Waters was in attendance too.
One by one, residents came forward to share stories of their rental woes. Two years ago, a woman was paying $1100 for a two bedroom at 811 Austin. Next month her rent will rise above $2k. She has gone through to ownership changes in the last two years, which has prompted each increase.
A property owner, by way of a New York housing project, said rent control was a step backwards. “Rent control makes people not want to finish school and keep livin with they mama cause her rent is cheap” he said. Yes, he’s Black.
Many property owners claimed that they historically haven’t gone up on their residents rent. If they have, they have been modest increases. Now that a rent control ordinance is being proposed, they complain they should have the right to raise the rent to market value, especially if they need to make major repairs.
Estefany Castaneda, a member of the Centinela Valley Union School District Board of Trustees, came forward to question how Mayor Butts publicly heralded the efforts of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was working to counter the effects of gentrification, while working to rid the city of renters via relocation fees.
As the council continued to listen to a balance of renters and landlords, which required an overflow seating area be setup in Conference Room A, this author became increasingly suspicious that many of the speakers were planted there by the council. Then came confirmation.
A non-English speaking woman name Ms. Solda Padilla came forward, with her translator, at the 1:11:01 mark, to say that last week she got a 60 day notice to move. Councilman Eloy Morales then took over and began speaking directly to the woman in Spanish, and didn’t bother to translate for the non-Spanish speaking audience members. When an audience member complained, the mayor chided them for being “rude” and interrupting.
Apparently the city doesn’t employ a translator for city council meetings. Then they finished conversing then she left the podium to have a one on one with City Attorney Ken Campos.
Councilman Morales proceeded to give a synopsis of what was allegedly said, and we have no way of verifying what they were actually discussing.
Then Julia Wallace stepped to the podium. Regular city council meeting viewers remember her in an epic discussion, on the rent control topic, less than two weeks ago where they went back and forth on whether the council’s pockets were being lined.
Wallace brought up a good point. Majority of Inglewood renters don’t receive annual salary increases, and those on a fixed income receive a modest increase in SSI payments. Inglewood city employees don’t receive cost of living increases, despite the city’s master fee schedule increasing according to the consumer price index (CPI). The city’s proposed annual 8% rent cap doesn’t take these facts into consideration.
Then a miracle happened on Manchester Blvd.
In a span of less than THREE minutes, with all the news cameras watching, the council made a bold proclamation. Ms. Padilla, the woman who spoke directly prior to Ms. Wallace, received a “Hail Mary”. Mayor Butts stated that his assistant Melanie McDade had JUST received communication from her landlord that he was rescinding her eviction effective immediately.
It is unknown how Ms. Padilla’s landlord was aware she was in council chambers, at that exact moment, but Mayor Butts and this council needs to stop insulting our intelligence because the residents living at 4949 Century Blvd., a building co-owned by the city of Inglewood, are STILL facing eviction despite receiving a 60 day notice to vacate, during the moratorium, just as Ms. Padilla was. Where is THEIR notice of error by the property owner?
Click here to watch the meeting on the city’s Facebook page as they have yet to upload the video to YouTube.