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California Apartment Association is stalking the tenants’ movement

April 3, 2016

by Lynda Carson

Oakland – On March 3, the same day that Oakland tenant activists filed a ballot initiative to strengthen renter protections called the “Renters Upgrade,” the California Apartment Association (CAA) announced that they were keeping an eye on things and are coming up with their own plan to counter the tenant’s movement efforts somehow, including in Richmond and Alameda.

Tenants fight gentrification as apartment buildings are flipped and rents raised in Highland Park, Los Angeles. – Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez, LA Times

Tenants fight gentrification as apartment buildings are flipped and rents raised in Highland Park, Los Angeles. – Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez, LA Times

The CAA announced to its 13,000 members, affiliates and partners: “Tenant advocates in Richmond and Alameda have filed preliminary paperwork to place rent control initiatives on the November ballot. In both East Bay cities, the initiative efforts are in the early stages, and in neither case has signature-gathering begun. The California Apartment Association, which remains opposed to rent control, is studying the filings and working to determine the best response in each city.”

The CAA has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California, stalking the tenant’s movement every step of the way in an effort to stop any and all reasonable renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists and their supporters.

The CAA has also been stalking and targeting the tenants’ movement in the cities of San Jose, Mountain View, Healdsburg, Lafayette, Pacifica, Santa Rosa and San Mateo.

When the CAA and its partners in the multi-billion dollar housing and real estate industry try to stop the momentum of the tenants’ movement in cities that are considering reasonable renter protections, or when an initiative is on the ballot to bring renter protections to the voters to be voted on, the CAA may come up with their own ballot initiative to counter or sabotage the tenants’ renter protection ballot initiative.

At times the CAA and its partners create astro-turf websites to launch their attacks on the tenants’ movement and cities considering reasonable renter protections, and often they falsely claim that tenants are against renter protections.

The CAA has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California, stalking the tenant’s movement every step of the way in an effort to stop any and all reasonable renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists and their supporters.

When the tenants’ movement filed their ballot initiative in Richmond for renter protections recently, they were quickly targeted by the CAA and its partners. The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition announced: “The Coalition’s campaign has already elicited a reaction from Richmond landlords and property owners. They filed a Charter Amendment with the City of Richmond just weeks after the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition filed their ordinance.

“The potential conflicting amendment, ‘Richmond Homeowners and Private Property Rights Act,’ if it qualifies for the November ballot and passes, would restrict the City of Richmond from implementing any policy that imposes direct restrictions on the price for which real property may be sold, leased, rented, transferred or exchanged.”

The California Apartment Association (CAA) and CAAPAC

Thomas K. Bannon of Sacramento is the CEO of the CAA. In 2013, he raked in a whopping $324,918.

In 2013, the gross receipts of the CAA were $7,195,599, with net assets or a fund balance of $6,744,247 at the end of the year.

During 2013, Debra Carlton of the CAA raked in $207,270. Joshua Howard raked in $164,138. Shant Apekian raked in $170,244. Jeff Klein raked in $167,041. Heidi Palutke raked in $106,243, plus $9,049 in other compensation. Timothy Johnson raked in $113,832 plus $11,473 in other compensation. Robyn Boyer raked in $116,373.

Related organizations to the CAA are the California Rental Housing Services Corp., with assets of $265,000, and the CAA Rental Housing Insurance Brokers Inc., with assets of $158,193.

CAAPAC is their political action committee, and according to the last 990 tax filing for CAAPAC in 2007, it had $574,924 in assets. The filing contains a long “three-page list” of payouts, revealing the corrupting influence of the CAA and its payments to California politicians in 2007.

Recent contributions to CAAPAC reveal that they had $886,525 on hand as of June 30, 2015, and that since then they have collected an additional $659,662 in contributions – contributions that can be used to buy corrupt politicians, corrupt elections and corrupt political campaigns. The big money can also be used for efforts to place ballot initiatives before the voters to kill any and all reasonable renter protections throughout the state of California.

The CAA has handed out $2,161,312 to politicians and their campaigns. Since 2012 the CAA handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians on the take, and politicians in the pocket of the rental housing industry and big business.

Contributions to CAAPAC can be used to buy corrupt politicians, corrupt elections and corrupt political campaigns. The big money can also be used for efforts to place ballot initiatives before the voters to kill any and all reasonable renter protections throughout the state of California.

The corrupting influence of the CAA stretches from Sacramento, to Lake Forest City, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Richmond, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and beyond.

The CAA stalks the tenants’ movement and meddles in the affairs of cities to make sure that tenants do not have any reasonable renter protections from the professionals in the multi-billion dollar housing and real estate industry – professionals who are involved in economic cleansing, eviction for profit schemes, landlords who are ripping off the security deposits of renters, and greedy landlords jacking up the rents to unreasonable amounts.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule@yahoo.

3 thoughts on “California Apartment Association is stalking the tenants’ movement

  1. J Meyers

    The problem with rent control advocates is that they have no ability to moderate their notion of what is fair. "Fair" is a two-way street – and it should take into consideration both the owner of the property as well as the tenant. So far, all we have seen in San Francisco is a tenants' rights movement that is based on the assumption that everyone who owns property is a villain and should be punished as much as possible for committing the crime of owning property. The movement in tenants' rights suffers from the same inertia that infects other movements – nobody knows when to put on the brakes and enough is never enough.

    Reply

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