|(July 23, 2019, 8:30 a.m.) -- Tenant advocacy groups -- and now some audible landlord advocates -- have both signaled political pushback likely to be heard at tonight's (July 23) City Council meeting after four Council incumbents (two seeking re-election in 2020) used a short-notice Council maneuver to agendize proposed changes to LB's "Tenant Relocation Ordinance" (enacted June 11 on a 6-3 vote with then-exiting Councilwoman (now state Senator) Lena Gonzalez voting "yes" on her final Council day.
Housing Long Beach and allied renter advocacy groups have exploded in anger, visible on Facebook (mutiple postings below), urging the item's four Council co-agendizers -- Austin, Supernaw, Richardson and Mungo -- to withdraw their proposed item.
And in a separate and unexpected development, some landlord advocates who opposed the initial ordinance are urging the Council to vote "no" on the proposed changes, arguing that one of them would make the current ordinance worse from their standpoint.
On his Long Beach Politics Facebook page, Ian Sean Patton -- who strongly opposed the Tenant Relocation Ordinance -- writes in pertinent part (July 22):
...[T]hese amendments are absolute BS! a 180-day notice to vacate option to avoid the relocation payment means, as Lauren Boland pointed out to me today, rent payments stop the day that jerk you have to evict -- whose disturbing, scaring, harassing everyone in the building--gets that six-month notice! He knows how to work the system, and he knows that once you then give him a 3-day notice he can play out eviction court way longer than 6 months anyway!
[Scroll down for further.]
The landlord pushback is potentially significant politically. It means the two co-agendizers seeking re-election in March 2020 (Austin and Supernaw) can no longer assume unified property-owned/landlord support. Council incumbent Austin faces re-election challenges on his political left from Tunua Thrash-Ntuk (spouse of LBCC Trustee Uduak-Joe Ntuk and an ally of Council incumbent Rex Richardson) and from an anti-incumbent position from Juan Ovalle, a boardmember of LB's Reform Coalition (for which Mr. Patton is Executive Director.)
The proposed revisions may also backfire on landlords in another way: by giving a high visibility platform to 1st district Council candidate Mary Zendejas among multiple candidates seeking to fill the 1st dist. Council seat in a November 2019 winner-take-all special election. Ms. Zendejas supported an unsuccessful petition-initiated attempt to enact a Long Beach rent control ordinance and testified in support of the current Tenant Relocation Ordinance. [Speculation: she may use tonight's Council meeting or the issue if it progresses further to spotlight her position as a renter advocate.]
Ms. Zendejas has been endorsed by immediate-past 1st dist. Councilwoman Gonzalez and by Mayor Garcia. Landlord interests have quietly hoped 1st dist. candidate Ray Morquecho might provide a way to move the Council balance more to the center, not further leftward.
From the renter -advocacy perspective:
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