Yes on 21st Grassroots Coalition Protests California's Evacuation Compromise Bill Photo courtesy of Yes on 21st

LOS ANGELES – After COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball, devastating the lives and livelihoods of Californians, anxious tenants and housing law attorneys breathed a sigh of relief when Governor Gavin Newsom signed Bill 3088, a compromise law designed to prevent it a predicted tsunami of evictions. But the panting of panic soon began again when the tenants realized that AB 3088 was creating a confusing fog of war rather than clarity – a crisis Proposition 21 is intended to enlighten and alleviate, as the demonstrators made clear on September 1.

Supporters of the Yes-to-21 campaign joined a coalition action to stop evictions planned before the AB 3088 was signed. While Proposition 21 is an important element in solving the housing crisis, the Yes-21 campaign has not taken an official position on the new law while supporting grassroots activism, which draws attention to how millions of tenants are evicting or losing their homes are exposed.

Proposition 21 is November's electoral measure that puts limits on unfair, sky-high rent increases. It protects people from predatory landlords and keeps people in their homes. It is backed by trusted civil leaders and organizations such as Bernie Sanders of the United States, labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, Congressman Maxine Waters, the California Democratic Party, and numerous others.

The passage of AB 3088 resulted in local legislators becoming concerned that unintended consequences would undermine local control – a provision specifically made in Prop. 21.

"The new bill, known as the 2020 Tenants, Homeowners, and Small Landlords Ease and Stabilization Act, provides rental protection ordinances enacted by cities across California. Although the bills grandfathers enacted in local ordinances do not allow cities to renew them after they expire, ”reports Courthouse News.

"We'll likely see confusion among both landlords and tenants about what protections will apply to them – and likely a group of landlords will try to circumvent the new law. “Sasha Harnden, a public order advocate with the Inner City Law Center, said the Los Angeles times.

On September 1, when the LA City Council was debating the spending of nearly $ 10 million on a new "evacuation defense" program, Councilor Mitch O'Farrell said he was still studying state law, but said he was still studying state law Be aware that AB 3088 could override some local protection measures. Listed tenant protections in the city ordinance, O’Farrell said, "All of these protections are now in question."

"The legislative cycle has ended, and the window to help 17 million renters has been closed with AB 3088, the gruesome compromise law that Governor Newsom and lawmakers achieved with the blessings of the California Apartment Association (CAA) and other landlord lobby groups. “Coalition said in a press release prior to the demonstration. “AB 3088 is about landlords collecting rent rather than protecting tenants. AB 3088 will saddle tenants with almost a year of rent back without forgiveness and without protection from eviction. Rent debt will strain the economic futures of millions of California tenants, many of whom have lost their jobs and wages through no fault of their own. "

Tenants and housing law attorneys did not take the fearful confusion lightly. In Trinidad Ruiz, housing is a human right campaign organizer known as a “brilliant show of solidarity”, more than 10 organizations and nearly 200 tenants who have signs with slogans saying “#cancelrent” and “#noevictions” have the Stanley closed Mosk courthouse. They found it to be "the epicenter of eviction orders against tenants in Los Angeles".

"Until the governor and state assembly get it right, tenants will not stop fighting for our homes, for canceled rents and an end to evictions during a pandemic, ”said Rev. Rae Chen Huang, lead organizer of LA Voice, member of Believe in action.

"The weak protection Newsom underwent through AB 3088 and the recent unenforceable and unresourceful statement from the Trump administration do not provide long-term solutions for renters, ”Huang says. “Simply put, any safeguards that are offered delay and temporarily numb the cancer that has drained the working class of their dignity and livelihood. If our elected leaders are genuinely determined to fix the racist and classical structures that continue to crowd out our working families and individuals, they would create a legislative path to debt relief and community-based and community-based ownership of land and property. "

This article originally appeared on

Karen Ocamb is an award-winning journalist and contributor to the Yes on 21 movement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *