Pasadena voters will soon get the chance to decide on one of the most pressing and contentious issues: housing affordability.
By Chasity Jennings-Nuñez
On May 5th, the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office certified that The Pasadena Tenants Union (PTU) had obtained a sufficient number of signatures to place “The Pasadena Fair and Equitable Housing Charter Amendment” on the November, 2022 ballot.
The amendment to the City Charter, if approved by Pasadena voters, would provide additional protections for renters. Evictions would need to meet Just Cause guidelines and rent increases would be limited to once a year and no more than 75% of the rate of inflation. Renters would also be eligible for relocation assistance if a landlord is reclaiming an apartment or removing a unit from the rental market for renovations. Tenants would be allowed to petition for rent decreases if repairs are not made or services are withheld under the new amendment and an autonomous Rental Housing Board created with a broad range of powers.
15,101 valid signatures
To get the charter amendment placed on the November, 2022 ballot, signatures of Pasadena registered voters were required on the petition. The PTU coordinated a massive effort by over 300 volunteers starting in October 2021 and gathered over 20,000 signatures. After verification, 15,101 signatures were found to be valid, more than the 15% required to move the amendment forward. “With this news, we are ready to launch the second phase of our work and ensure our charter amendment wins this November,” says Jane Panangaden, an organizer with the campaign.
California is only the second State in the United States, behind Oregon, to have State-wide rent control measures. Assembly Bill 1482 went into effect on January 1, 2020, and places limits on rent increases for the next 10 years. This does not prevent individual cities from enacting their own local rent control ordinances, with cities like Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles creating their own regulations. The PTU hopes to add Pasadena to this list of cities with more renter protections and “promote neighborhood and community stability.”
“The community response to this initiative was inspiring. So many donated their time to collect signatures. Many who signed the petition told us that we needed this measure years ago and that they couldn’t wait to vote for it in November,” says Liberty McCoy, a volunteer for the campaign.
A launch party on May 21st will kick off efforts by the Pasadena Tenants Union to reach out to Pasadena voters to explain the importance of a yes vote.
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