News and Updates

Berkeley Referendum Ends in Tears
“At issue was the redistricting map the council approved in December, with Worthington, Anderson and Arreguin dissenting. The city must adjust council boundary lines after each decennial census to equalize the population among council districts.The ordinance approving those boundaries was set aside after opponents collected some 7,800 signatures supporting the referendum. The city sued to have the judge temporarily lift the stay, in order to use the council district boundaries approved in December for the November election.”

Daily Planet: Mayor Used Public Resources
“These two public statements using government resources appear to violate the state law around misuse of public resources for political purposes…”

Robin Hood Initiatives Miss 2014 Ballot, Continue for 2016
Our friends at tell us that Robin Hood was unable to make the deadline for the 2014 ballot, so signature gathering will continue later in the summer, and these measures will be on the 2016 ballot.

BTU 1970
BTU 1970

Robin Hood in the Daily Planet–By-Katherine-Harr-Jesse-Townley-from-the-Robin-Hood-Committee

Judges own Banks?
East Bay Express: Are Foreclosure Cases Rigged?
Forty-two of California’s 105 appellate court judges (or 40 percent of the bench) own significant amounts of stock in at least one financial company. Seventeen justices disclosed owning stock or bonds in Bank of America in 2012, the most of any bank, followed by Citibank with ten judges owning at least $2,000 in securities.

Oakland Tenants Gain Small Victory
The Oakland City Council voted last night to tighten the city’s rent control law after landlords and tenants’ groups reached a compromise deal… The new rules, which take effect this summer, cap rent hikes to a total of 10 percent a year for upgrades to buildings. They also prohibit landlords from passing on all the costs of capital improvements to tenants, capping the total at 70 percent. Oakland’s rent control laws, however, are still weaker than other cities, including San Francisco and Berkeley.

San Francisco Cracks Down on Vacation Rentals
“Illegal short-term rental conversions of our scarce residential housing stock” are contributing to “a housing crisis of historic proportions,” City Attorney Herrera said in a statement.

Landlord Comments on Robin Hood Initiatives (April 29)
As you can tell, I don’t like this ‘windfall profits tax’, which I think is a cruel voter hoax; however, there is one good thing about it. I will be exempt from paying it! Yes, this ‘windfall profits tax’ ballot initiative specifically states that landlords who own single family houses and duplexes will not have to pay the new tax, and the only rentals I own in Berkeley are single family houses and duplexes. So even though I think this tax is a bad idea, I don’t plan to get involved in this campaign.