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Romney-Ryan Medicare Lies Take Their Campaign to New Chutzpah Heights

August 15, 2012

One thing that appears to define Mitt Romney’s, and now together with Paul Ryan’s, campaign for the White House, is that when they are a called out on their numerous draconian policy proposals they will either lie, run from it or flip-flop.

The most recent example of this is the Romney-Ryan outrageous claim that it is President Obama that is cutting Medicare, not them.

With this biggest of lies, one can’t imagine a room on this planet that can contain Rominocchio and his growing nose.

In attempt to deflect attacks and confuse voters, the Romney-Ryan is boldly stating that to pay for Obamacare, President Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare.

And while it is true that Obama made these cuts, what Romney-Ryan are refusing to reveal is that these cuts are coming solely from the healthcare industry, healthcare providers and drug companies in an effort to keep overall costs down and to help cut the deficit. None of the Obama cuts will in anyway impact or be passed on to Medicare recipients. fact-checked an earlier claim by Romney and found a Kaiser Family Health report that said the government will reduce Medicare spending, but won’t cut benefits. Kaiser said they expect Medicare spending to decrease because Obama’s Affordable Care Act will reduce fraud and overpayments to private insurers.

However, the Medicare plan under Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan will end Medicare care as we know it and will increase seniors health costs by $6,350 a year.

The Romney-Ryan plan demonstrates their commitment to defending the interests of corporate America and the super rich, by protecting the healthcare and drug industry and putting the entire burden of their $700 billion Medicare cuts on seniors.

The Romney-Ryan Medicare voucher plan to pay competing private insurance companies will shift the risk and increased costs for care from Medicare to the patient. Some patients would have to choose between paying for better coverage and having more money for food and other items.

If the bill for the hospital turns out to be much higher than expected, and the Medicare client had opted for a larger cost-sharing plan in exchange for not paying for wider coverage, they will face much bigger bills.

Judy Feder, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, warned that competition among private companies is also problematic to Medicare beneficiaries. Under the current Medicare system, costs and risks are pooled, lowering costs for the sick and raising them for the healthy. Under Romney-Ryan’s plan, private insurers will favor healthy individuals, who will favor cheaper private plans, so it could force sick beneficiaries to choose the Medicare option as a last resort, she said.

“What that does is separate the healthy from the sick,” she said, adding that if those sick people are forced to choose Medicare, it will become more expensive for them because the program would be overwhelmed with sick, costly patients.

Feder said she is also concerned Romney-Ryan’s vouchers would be limited to an arbitrary rate of growth, meaning that if they can’t keep up with heath care costs, Medicare beneficiaries will have to pay the difference.

For voters, especially seniors, the choice could not be clearer.


Job Opening – Coalition for Economic Survival is Looking for Good Tenant Organizers to Hire As HUD Awards Affordable Housing Preservation Grants

June 21, 2012

Qualified and committed individuals are being sought to apply for Tenant Outreach and Education Organizer positions in Los Angeles.

In an effort to help low-income tenants receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance and to preserve affordable housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded nearly $5 million to 15 nonprofit organizations through HUD’s new Tenant Resource Network (TRN).  The purpose of TRN is to make grants to qualified nonprofit organizations to assist, inform, educate and engage tenants living in certain Section 8-assisted properties at risk of losing affordability protections or project-based rental assistance.

“The Tenant Resource Network is designed to help working families who are at greatest risk of being

Boyle Apts, one of the many at-risk HUD subsidized affordable housing buildings in the Los Angeles area that CES has, thus far, helped to preserve.

priced out of their rental market,” said Carol Galante, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Housing.  “The whole purpose of this program is to empower families living in HUD-assisted housing, giving them the information and options they need to stay in their homes.”

The Los Angeles Center for Affordable Tenant Housing (LACATH) a non-profit community organization created and controlled by HUD tenants, which is a project of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), was awarded one of the 15 grants. CES, a leading Los Angeles tenants’ rights organization, has been organizing people for economic and social justice for the last 39 years.

LACATH and CES will assist tenants living in 2,501 HUD-identified units in 31 properties located in the Los Angeles Metro Area under the TRN program.

One goals of the TRN program is to assist tenants living in project-based Section 8 housing regarding their rights, responsibilities and options when a property owner ‘opts-out’ the program, pre-pays their mortgage, or repeatedly fails to meet HUD’s housing standards.  The second purpose of the program is preservation of HUD-assisted affordable housing by engaging tenants in efforts to preserve eligible properties as affordable housing.


To achieve this LACATH/CES is in the process of hiring Tenant Outreach and Education Organizers. If you are interested and qualified you are encouraged to apply. If you know someone who would be interest, let him or her know. D

The applicant MUST meet these qualifications: 1) MUST have the ability to communicate in English and Spanish or Korean, 2) Have Good writing, speaking and research skills, 3) A valid driver’s California license, insurance and a dependable car is a must, 4) Have the ability to work evenings and weekends. (On some occasions work will require irregular and long hours), and 5) Must be able to maintain accurate records and have the ability to write timely, required reports on work.

Click here to see job announcement, details and how to apply to seo companies.

A Spectacular Day for Tenants, Rent Control & Eviction Protections in the Courts of Law

April 23, 2012

On the same day that U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal that would have challenged New York City’s rent stabilization laws, and possible threaten rent control laws nationwide, the California Court of Appeals made a significant ruling in regards to providing tenants eviction protections.

Tenant activists were greatly concerned that, even though rent control has been held constitutional numerous times before, given the conservative and pro-business nature of the current Supreme Court majority, the future of rent control could be at-risk.

The case involved landlords James and Jeanne Harmon, who have lost earlier court attempts to get rent stabilization laws thrown out.

The Harmons inherited a building with three rent-controlled apartments near Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The Harmons say rent stabilization laws forces them to rent the apartments at rents 59 percent below market rate. They argue that by giving the tenants lifetime tenure with succession rights, the government has illegally taken their property.

A federal judge and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City threw out their lawsuit. Now the high court refused to review that decision.


In Anchor Pacifica Management v. Sharon Green, the California Court of Appeals ruled that a management company operating a senior apartment complex developed with assistance from a local redevelopment agency and subject to agency oversight must have good cause when it evicts a tenant upon expiration of the tenants’ lease.

The groups that lined up to support Sharon Green best demonstrated the importance of this case.

An Amicus Curiae was filed for the Coalition for Economic Survival by Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Housing Law Project, on behalf of Defendant and Appellant Sharon Green.

In 2009, Anchor Pacifica Management served Sharon Green, who is disabled 
and receives federal income-supplement benefits, with a 90-day eviction notice. The notice did not provide any reason for the termination of her tenancy at the conclusion of her lease.

The City of Glendora Community Redevelopment Agency funded the building of Heritage Oaks Apartments by Anchor Pacifica, a private developer, which included affordable housing side aside units. Ms. Green lived in one of these affordable units.

Ms Green contended a trial court erred when it denied her motion to dismiss the eviction action on the ground it was without cause and it violated her right to due process under the state and federal constitutions or, in the alternative, failed to allow her to present this defense to the jury.

The Court of Appeals ruled in her favor.

Walmart Workers & Supporters Rally and Demand Justice at South L.A. Walmart

April 20, 2012

Various labor unions and community groups, including the Coalition for Economic Survival demonstrated outside a Walmart store at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles to demand higher wages, guaranteed health insurance and Walmart’s promise that it will invest profits in communities. The rally, sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Warehouse Workers United took place on Thursday, April 19. 2012.

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo

Speakers included Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles President Rev. Eric Lee, as well as Walmart retail and warehouse workers.

The rally was a culmination of a two-day National Action Summit organized by the UFCW, which brought together organizers from across the country working on the Making Change at Walmart, a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families.

Anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers, Making Change at Walmart is a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, community organizations, women’s advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.

As the largest private employer in the United States and the world, Walmart is setting the standard for jobs. That standard is so low that hundreds of thousands of its employees are living in poverty—even many that work full-time.

Because of its size and political influence, Walmart is affecting much more than just working conditions. Although it has gained much fanfare for its efforts in environmentalism, sustainability has mostly been a public relations campaign for Walmart.

Across the country, workers and communities are coming together as one to say enough is enough. It is time for fundamental change at Walmart.

The largest Walmart demonstration in the history of the U.S. is now being planned in Los Angeles on June 30, 2012 to protest the plans to open a new Walmart grocery store in L.A.’s Chinatown. The protest will send a loud, unified and strong message, “No Walmart in Chinatown.”


L.A. City Council Housing Committee Unanimously Votes for Motion to Prohibit Rent Only Online Demands by Landlords

April 18, 2012

Woodlake Manor Apartment Tenants Association testify at L.A. City Council hearing in their ongoing battle to outlaw their landlord's rent online only policy

The L.A. City Council’s Housing, Community Economic and Development (HCED) Committee unanimously voted on April 16, 2012 in support of a motion by Councilmember Paul Krekorian and seconded by Council Member Dennis Zine to prohibit landlords from demanding that their tenants pay their rent only online.

The motion is similar to a state bill, SB 1055, introduced by California State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) that would that require landlords throughout the state to continue to accept rent by check or money order.

Larry Gross, Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) Executive Director testified at the Committee hearing that “many of these tenants are seniors, disabled and low income, and have lived in their homes for decades and, thus, are paying the lowest rent. In addition, many of these tenants do not own computers, are not computer literate, and are living on fixed incomes.”

Gross charged that, this policy is nothing more than a scheme to target long-term, low-rent tenants for eviction to obtain higher rents.”

Last September, tenants living in over 30 buildings owned by Jones and Jones Property Management, received notices informing them that a new rent online only policy would begin in December. Tenants from the Woodlake Manor Apartments Tenants Association, a Jones and Jones property in South Los Angeles where the rent online only policy was instituted, attended the hearing and also testified. CES has been assisting the tenant association.

In a major surprise to some, representatives of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and California Apartment Association, as well as some individuals landlords testified in support of the motion and denounced the Jones and Jones rent online policy as unjust.

The motion will now head to the full City Council, which is expected to approve instructing City Attorney to draft the actual law.

In addition, Bet Tzedek Legal Services has filed a law suit against Jones and Jones on behalf of the tenants.

Court Provides Huge Victory for Low Income Section 8 Tenants Facing Eviction

April 17, 2012

On April 12, 2012, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County ruled that Section 8 renters in the City of Los Angeles are protected by just cause eviction protections when landlords attempt to terminate their Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) contract. The court clarified that landlords may not terminate a Section 8 voucher contract in jurisdictions that have just cause eviction protections.

In the recent case of Tobias Crisales v. Monica Estrada, the landlord received a total of $950 per month in rent from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) with the Section 8 tenant, Monica Estrada, paying $392 of the total rent.

The landlord, Tobias Crisales, wanted to evict the tenant in order to jack up the rent. The tenant was served a 90-day notice terminating the Section 8 contact citing it was for “business and economic reasons.”

After the 90 days were up the landlord then demanded the entire $950 rent from the tenant, an amount the tenant being of low income could not afford. The landlord than served the tenant with a 3 day pay or quit eviction notice. The tenant attempted to pay her portion of the rent, but the landlord refused to accept it.

The tenant was represented, pro bono, in this unjust eviction case by Michael Soloff of the high-powered downtown L.A. law firm of Munger, Tolless & Olson, together with Lane Nussbaum and Gurdeep Dhaliwal of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. The attorneys argued that the eviction was a violation of the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance’s (LARSO) just cause eviction provisions.

The landlord was represented by the notorious eviction attorney, Dennis Block.

In making its ruling, the court cited the previousd major tenants’ rights victory in the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruling in BARRIENTOS v. 1801-1825 MORTON LLC, that Los Angeles’ rent control law is not preempted by federal laws or regulations.

That decision, which has had a national impact, specially provided Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) Section 8 tenants living at Morton Gardens Apartments in Echo Park protection against their landlord’s attempt to evict them. CES had been assisting tenants at that building for many years.

In this case, Tobias Crisales v. Monica Estrada, the court found that, “The general ground of a business or economic reason as stated in the plaintiff’s 90-day notice to defendant does not fall within any of the enumerated categories for eviction under LARSO.

Accordingly, the plaintiff’s notice failed to terminate the Section 8 tenancy, and therefore the plaintiff’s subsequent three-day notice was improper, and the plaintiff was not entitled to possession of the premises.

The bottom line is that this is another huge victory for low-income Section 8 families that have been threatened and faced unjust evictions.

Spectacular Tribute to Woody Guthrie at Los Angeles Concert Honoring Legendary Icon

April 16, 2012

On Saturday night, April 14, 2012, downtown Los Angeles’ Club Nokia was the scene of a joyous celebration of the life and times of Woody Guthrie in a concert bill as, “This Land is Your Land – The Woody Guthrie Centennial Concert.”

The concert was a culmination of Los Angeles events and part of a nationwide year-long series of conferences, concerts, and museum exhibits celebrating the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth.  Other local events included the naming the intersection of Fifth and Main streets in downtown LA, not far from Skid Row, as “Woody Guthrie Square” and a day-long conference with discussions at the University of Southern California that explored Woody Guthrie’s rise to fame in depression-era Los Angeles.

Jackson Browne & John Henry

The rousing concert included performances from Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Dawes, John Doe, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion, Joe Henry, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Morello, Van Dyke Parks, Joel Rafael, Cindy Wasserman and Rob Wasserman.

The festivities appropriately began with Sarah Lee Guthrie (Woody’s granddaughter and Arlo’s daughter) and Johnny Irion launching into “Union Maid.” “Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union ’til the day I die.”

Following were one after another of remarkable renditions of Guthrie’s classics, as well as new songs in which a number of these artists put music to writings by Guthrie that were not previously published.

Tom Morello

Tom Morello, whose performances blew the roof off Club Nokia, said it best stating to the crowd that Woody Guthrie was “the spirit that inhabits social-justice movements around the world.”

The music tells the story best. Following are a list of links to the videos I shot of the concert. Click on the songs to view and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed:

> The Ghost of Tom Joad, Tom Joad, Ease My Revolutionary Mind – Tom Morello
> Which Side Are You On? – Jackson Browne
Almost Gone (Ballad Of Bradley Manning) – Graham Nash
> Do Re Mi – John Doe, Val McCallum & Cindy Wasserman
> Pastures of Plenty – Van Dyke Parks
> New York Town – Joe Henry & Jackson Browne
> Here Comes That Rainbow – Kris Kristofferson

> Ramblin’ Round – Joe Henry & Kris Kristofferson
> There’ll Be No Church Tonight –  Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
> Bound for Glory – Entire Ensemble
> This Land is Your Land (Rousing Finale) – Entire Ensemble

Does West Hollywood City Councilmember John D’Amico’s Proposal to Subsidize Landlords With Public Affordable Housing Funds Indicate He’s the Apartment Association’s New Point Person?

April 6, 2012

Is John D'Amico the Landlord's New Point Person?

Days after West Hollywood Council Member John D’Amico’s shocking proposal to raid the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which provides a resource to create desperately needed affordable housing, in order to subsidize landlords by financially helping them make repairs to their building was firmly rejected by his Council colleagues, D’Amico was the featured guest at a meeting of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) West Hollywood Chapter.

Addressed to West Hollywood Rental Property Owners the invite states, “We look forward to welcoming our guest speaker WEHO City Councilmember John D’Amico.”

Landlord Meeting Invite

The meeting held at West Hollywood’s Plummer Park on April 5, urges landlords to attend to help “AAGLA build and reinforce a much stronger group of owners.”

Some might say that there is nothing wrong with landlords meeting with elected officials to express their concerns. While I agreed there is nothing wrong with that and clearly the meeting was planned in advance, it is extremely suspect given that the meeting did come three days after D’Amico acted as if he was AAGLA’s front person for a plan to pay landlords to rehab their building with public affordable housing funds.

Of course, remember that AAGLA and landlords contributed hefty amounts of money to get their guy, D’Amico, elected.

Since we reported on the Council meeting where D’Amico’s landlord-supported plan went down to defeat, he has rallied his supporters to criticize how the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has portrayed the plan and the Council meeting events.

D’Amico supporters take exception to a previous story on this site that states that the people testifying in support of the landlord subsidy plan were mainly landlord and realtor organization representatives, individual landlords, homeowners, condo owners and the head of a Republican club.

It is true that they were mainly landlord and realtor organization representatives, individual landlords, homeowners, condo owners and the head of a Republican club. We firmly stand by that statement. And, yes there were a couple of  tenants who are regular Council gadfly opponents that did also speak in favor of the plan.

The fact is West Hollywood tenants need to be concerned. One reason to have concern is clearly demonstrated by a position put forth by one of D’Amico’s landlord supporters who testified that the City had the right to “means test” tenants to be eligible for rent control protections. That would mean the City could set an income criteria and a tenant would have prove their income qualified them to be protected by rent control. This extremist position would leave West Hollywood’s working class and middle-income tenants unprotected from rent gouging and unjust evictions. No other rent controlled city in the nation has means testing a proposal, long advocated by landlord groups opposed to rent control.

For way too many years West Hollywood tenants may have believed the rent control law CES fought for and won was in safe hands. But, it now appears that landlords have a point person on the West Hollywood Council who may come up with even more proposals he and his supporters will try to sell as benefiting the housing stock when in reality may be new initiatives to weaken rent control and strip away the hard fought tenants’ rights the city was founded on.

It is time for tenants to become active again and join CES.

West Hollywood City Councilmember’s Proposal to Subsidize Landlords With Affordable Housing Funds Gets Slapped Down

April 4, 2012

West Hollywood City Council Meeting - Photo by Richard Settle

West Hollywood Council Member John D’Amico’s shocking proposal to raid the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which provides a resource to create desperately needed affordable housing, in order to subsidize landlords by financially helping them make repairs to their building was firmly rejected by his colleagues at West Hollywood’s April 2 City Council Meeting.

After public testimony and a Council debate on the proposal, it was a little after midnight when D’Amico conceded stating, “I hear that using funds from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund is pretty much not going to happen.”

The proposal D’Amico was advancing asked that the City Attorney be directed to draft an amendment to the city’s Municipal Code to no longer mandate developers to provide on-site inclusionary affordable housing units in their new developments. All they would be required to do is pay an in-lieu fee instead. It also

WeHo City Council Member John D'Amico's plan to subsidize landlords with affordable housing funds gets shot down.

asked for an amendment to the Municipal Code to allow the city’s affordable housing funds to be used to assist landlords in upgrading their property and doing ‘green’ renovations.

D’Amico had his share of supporters for the landlord subsidy program present who testified. They were mainly landlord and realtor organization representatives, individual landlords, homeowners, condo owners and the head of a Republican club. Not a surprise given that D’Amico got significant financial support for his election from the landlord group West Hollywood Concerned Citizens and the Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association.

Their testimony was symbolized by the outrageous statement from West Hollywood Planning Commission Chair Alan Bernstein who said, “I’m tired of landlord bashing. It’s cheap and pseudo populist.” He then stated, “Our rent stabilized housing is our affordable housing and we could legally means test,” a position that has been consistently put forth by strident rent control opponents. Bernstein also heads an apartment management company.

CES West Hollywood member Joe Praml denounced the proposal to give landlords affordable housing funds to fix up their building

On the other hand there was strong community opposition to the plan. CES West Hollywood activist Joe Praml, who has been a key person to the development of CES’ Tenants’ Rights Clinic, testified, “I’m voicing my opposition Council Member D’Amico’s proposal to take funds from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and use it to fix up buildings that some landlords have allowed to become run down.”

Praml added, “At our Clinic I’ve seen the dark underside of the tenant-landlord relationship.  It’s my experience that landlords who allow their properties to run down likely are to be landlords pathologically opposed to our Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and who harass their tenants, refuse to make repairs, and try evicting one way or another their long term tenants under rent control so they can jack up rents with the vacancy. What’s to stop these landlords from intensifying their efforts after their building gets spiffed up.”

Former West Hollywood City Council Member Lindsey Horvath said, “To take money away from low income affordable housing to give it to property owners, it’s not the right use of public funds.”

West Hollywood Rent Stabilization Commissioner and former CES staff member Agassi Topchian warned, “This amendment is very dangerous to the city. We need this Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create affordable housing units.”

West Hollywood Transportation Commission Chair Steve Wayland stated, “By giving landlords Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars to upgrade their existing housing stock means that when vacated the rents will be higher thanks to us providing them with funds to upgrade their units.

Then it was City Council Members turn to chime in.

City Council Member Abbe Land in her opposition to subsidizing landlords and changing the in-lieu fee law said, “There are some things in here that are very troubling to me.”

City Council Member John Heilman stated, “I am adamantly opposed to using the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for this landlord improvement program."

City Council Member John Heilman strongly stated, “I am adamantly opposed to using the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for this landlord improvement program. I don’t think that’s the right use of those funds.”

Mayor John Duran added that, “He was going to support the item to get the discussion going, but a hiccup would be the use of Affordable Housing Trust Funds to landlords if there was no benefit to the city. That could be problematic.”

Finally, City Council Member Jeff Prang echoed, “I have some trepidation about using Affordable Housing Trust Funds to assist with upgrades.”

It was at this point that D’Amico conceded in defeat of his landlord subsidy program, but did attempt one last ditch effort to get support for directing the City Attorney to draft an amendment to the  Municipal Code to amend the on-site affordable housing requirements and allow for in-lieu fee collection to be paid into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for mixed-use developments to satisfy his anti-density homeowner/condo owner supporters.

Sierra Bonita Apts, 42 units of low income mixed-use housing with environmentally sound green features, built by West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation that uses Affordable Housing Trust Funds.

Council Member Prang responded by proposing to rather direct staff to take all the suggestions that were discussed, such as finding alternative ways to upgrade and green existing housing, increasing in-lieu fees to developers (which CES acutally does support) and seeking additional affordable housing funding sources, and reporting back.

It was this direction that ended up receiving an unanimous Council vote.


West Hollywood’s New Vision Could Spell Big Trouble for Affordable Housing and Rent Control

March 30, 2012

West Hollywood City Councilmember John D'Amico proposes to raid city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund to subsidize landlords.

West Hollywood’s newest Council Member John D’Amico has introduced a proposal that is shocking for a city built on rent control and that has had a firm commitment to affordable housing. D’Amico is proposing that the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which provides a resource to create desperately needed affordable housing, be raided to subsidize landlords to financially help them make repairs to their building. Now mind you, West Hollywood landlords are far from property owners in great financial need.

When D’Amico was running for office in 2011, which resulted in a surprising upset victory for him, he stated, “I have a different vision for West Hollywood.” Little did voters know at the time that his vision was to undermine the core principles in which this city was founded on and undo policies that have been overwhelmingly supported by the city, as well as by residents, of who more then 80% are tenants.

Maybe this should not be such a surprise given the fact that D’Amico got significant financial support for his election from the landlord group West Hollywood Concerned Citizens and the Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association.

The proposal D’Amico is advancing would direct the City Attorney to draft an amendment to the city’s Municipal Code to no longer mandate developers to provide onsite inclusionary affordable housing units in their new developments. All they would be required to do is pay an in-lieu fee instead. It also asks for an amendment to the Municipal Code to allow the city’s affordable housing funds to be used to assist landlords in upgrading their property and doing ‘green’ renovation.

CES Rally Launches West Hollywood Cityhood Campaign in 1984 held in Plummer Park

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) led the effort to incorporate the City of West Hollywood in 1984, mainly based on the goal of maintaining and strengthening rent control and preserving affordable housing.

Two years later, in 1986, CES was successful in advocating for the establishment of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) to buy, build, rehabilitate, manage and advocate for affordable housing for lower-income people in West Hollywood. WHCHC, which is the main recipient of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund has since developed 13 apartment complexes in West Hollywood to serve seniors living on fixed-incomes, people living with disabilities including HIV/AIDS, and low-income working households.

This proposal could open the door to undermining these types of accomplishments in the present and future.

D’Amico’s proposal presents grave public policy consequences for West Hollywood, a city that has always stood for equality and justice. By letting developers off the hook and not requiring them to provide onsite inclusionsary affordable units it denies ensuring some level of income integration and the ability for low-income tenants to enjoy some of the same amenities afforded higher income people.

The D’Amico proposal will greatly speed up the gentrification already taking place in West Hollywood and smacks of the worst in NIMBYism (Not in My Back Yard). This is demonstrated by D’Amico’s statement that according to him West Hollywood residents are “tired of seeing us oversize their neighborhoods to build affordable units they’ll never get into.”

In addition, the proposal to subsidize landlords with Affordable Housing Trust Funds to fix up their buildings is appears to be illegal in that it would likely be seen as a gift of public funds.

Residents must make their voices heard and let the West Hollywood City Council know that they must stand up to this attack on affordable housing and must resoundingly reject the D’Amico proposal. The proposal will get its first discussion at the Monday night, April 2, West Hollywood City Council meeting.

CES Opposes Attacks on African American Section 8 Tenants by City of Lancaster

March 21, 2012

CES Executive Director Debates Lancaster Mayor Over City’s Attacks on Section 8 Tenants on March 16, 2012!

KTLK AM 1150 -The David Cruz Show

Weekdays, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM.


Officials of the City of Lancaster in the high desert area of Los Angeles County has been waging a war against low-income Section 8 rent subsidy tenants for some time. Lancaster officials have attempted to reduce the number of its Section 8 tenants by accusing them of being responsible for crime in the area, hiring housing authority inspectors to intimidate and harass them and attempting to pass laws to deny business licenses to landlords who accept Section 8 vouchers. These actions have created an atmosphere of fear for low income tenants and has even result in physical attacks to Section 8 renters.

Civil rights groups have filed discrimination suits against Lancaster, the Los Angeles County Bound of Supervisors have eliminated funds of the additional housing inspectors and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has threatened to cut hundreds of thousand of dollars in federal funds to the city.

Now Lancaster has out done its previous actions. The city has filed a complaint alleging Los Angeles County and its housing authority unlawfully favor African Americans when granting vouchers for Section 8 housing.

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross debated Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris on Lancaster’s latest attempt to rid the city of Section 8 tenants on Friday, March 16, 2012 on the David Cruz radio program heard on KTLK 1150 am between 3 and 6 p.m.

Gross states that the city’s action, “brings racism to new heights, or rather new lows.” Gross charges that, “Lancaster officials seem to be wishing that their city was located in 1963 Mississippi, instead of 2012 LA County.”





Recent newspaper articles, some including CES’ responses, reporting on the various attacks on Lancaster African America Section 8 tenants. Click on article to read.

March 15, 2012 – Lancaster complaint accuses Los Angeles County of bias in housing

Thursday, January 26, 2012 – L.A. County to Stop Funding Extra High Desert Housing Investigators

Friday April 10, 2009 – Lancaster Proposes Limiting Section 8

Los Angeles Tenants Face High Rents, Little Legal Help – CES on KPFK Radio

March 15, 2012


Mar 15 2012

Los Angeles Tenants Face High Rents, Little Legal Help


> Listen to  this radio program segment



Being a renter in Los Angeles can be difficult, but a group of local tenants are suing their landlord because they say the company is making it impossible to do the most basic thing a tenant does — pay rent. In September 2011 the Jones and Jones Property management company notified tenants at its 300-unit south LA Woodlake Manor Apartments that it would only accept online rent payments.* The Coalition for Economic Survival and Bet Tzedek Legal Services announced last week that a lawsuit against Jones and Jones was filed on behalf of the tenants, who want to retain the right to pay rent by more traditional means. Many of the plaintiffs are elderly, and some are self-identified as “computer-illiterate.”

Larry Gross, executive director of CES, said the online-only rent policy, “is nothing more than a scheme to target the long-term, low rent tenants for eviction to obtain higher rents.” His suspicion is well founded. Landlords file approximately 70,000 evictions in LA County alone every year, and tenant advocates say not all of the evictions are for fair, or even legal, reasons. The Woodlake Manor Apartments’ tenants have lived in the building for years and enjoy affordable rent, something they would be unlikely to find elsewhere. California rental rates are the second highest in the nation. According to a report just released by the National Low Income Coalition, California’s fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment is $1,350 a month, with San Francisco holding the distinction of highest rent nationwide at $1,900 a month. The NLIC found that affordable rent is that which takes up no more than 30% of a household’s income. For a California household to meet this affordability threshold, it must earn a estimated monthly income of $4,500 a month, but on average most tenants fall short by hundreds of dollars.

GUEST: Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival
For more information, visit

*ADDENDUM: Jones and Jones notified the thousands of tenants living in 34 of its buildings, of which Woodlake Manor Apartments was one, that rents would only be accepted online.

CES All Over the News: Rising Rents, Trash Overcharges, Lawsuit Against Landlord

March 14, 2012

Over a one week period, starting on March 5, 2012, CES has been all over the media in numerous media outlets and newspapers responding to a host of issues affecting tenants and affordable housing.

We wanted to shared these news reports with you. Clink on the story headline links below to read these stories that include CES’ efforts to block a landlord from forcing tenants to pay rent only online, rents on the rise, DWP overcharging tenants and a response to the selection of the new head of the Los Angeles Housing Authority.



CES’ Fight to Block a Landlord’s Rent Only Online Policy



L.A. Tenants Battle Landlord’s Online-Only Rent Payment Rule Los Angeles Times, 3/7/12

Online-Only Rents Spur Tenant Suit Los Angeles Daily News, 3/7/12

Online-Only Rent Creates Digital Divide Ventura County Star, 3/10/12

Crenshaw Residents File suit to Reserve the Right to Pay Rent Offline USC’s Intersections South LA, 3/7/12

The Soulvine: Achieving Change Los Angeles Wave, 3/8/12


Rents Are Beginning to Soar, Again

Rising Rents May Signal a Housing Market Recovery Los Angeles Times, 3/13/12

The Economy is a Little Better; Time to Pay More Rent! KPCC Radio, 3/5/12



LA Department of Water & Power Overcharge Tenants for Trash

DWP Charged Some Apartment Residents for City Trash Service They Never Received Los Angeles Daily News, 3/6/12



Los Angeles Housing Department Head Moves Over to Lead Los Angeles Housing Authority

Los Angeles Housing Authority Names New CEO Eastern Group Publications, 3/8/12

Lawsuit Filed to Block Landlord Illegal Rent Only Online Policy

March 7, 2012

Shaking Out Tenants

Lawsuit Filed to Block Landlord Illegal Rent
Only Online Policy

On March 6, 2012, the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) organized a news conference to announce that a lawsuit was filed the day before by Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Jones and Jones Property Management Company on behalf of tenants who are illegally being required to pay their rent only online.

CES charges that rent online only policy is nothing more than a scheme to target the long-term, low-rent tenants for eviction to obtain higher rents.

CES Featured on KPCC’s Patt Morrison’s Radio Show

March 7, 2012

CES Featured on KPCC’s Patt Morrison’s Radio Show

On March 5, 2012, CES Executive Director Larry Gross was featured on KPCC’s Patt Morrison’s radio show discussing the reasons why while the housing market has plummeted rents continue to soar.



Report on New Threats to HUD Affordable Housing in Los Angeles by CES & Public Counsel

March 2, 2012


A Report on At-Risk Affordable Housing in Los Angeles by Public Counsel and the Coalition for Economic Survival


Los Angeles continues to face a shortage of housing that is affordable to low-income residents. Meanwhile, much of the City’s affordable housing is at risk of being lost in the next few years due to the maturity of HUD-subsidized mortgages. This report describes what’s at risk and why, and outlines some responses that are needed to keep this housing affordable.

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has been providing outreach, training and organizing assistance to tenants living in HUD subsidized housing where owners are seeking to opt-out of the project-based Section 8 rent subsidy contract or prepay the HUD subsidized mortgage, thus removing federal rent restrictions for over two decades. CES’ work has resulted in many subsidized housing units being preserved as affordable. But, many more units are still at-risk. This report describes the crisis that is upon us.

CES tenant leaders living at an at-risk HUD subsidized housing complex explain their fight to preserve their affordable housing to United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik in November 2009. La Villa Hermosa Apartments is in South Los Angeles close to the University of Southern California where many landlords have been pushing out long term, low rent tenants in order to get higher rents from short term USC students.

Calif. State Senator Introduces Bill to Block Rent Online Only Landlord Scheme

February 22, 2012

After reading CES’ E-Newsletters regarding our efforts to organize tenants in 34 apartment complexes owned by Jones and Jone Management Company

Tenants Organized by CES at Woodlake Manor apartments in the Crenshaw District Fighting Rent Online Rent Payment Landlord Scheme.

throughout L.A. to oppose their landlords demands for their rent to only be paid online, California State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) responded by taking decisive action against this abuse. Senator Lieu has just introduced Senate Bill (SB) 1055 that would require landlord to continue to accept rent by check or money order.

Here are the links to the emails that prompted Senator Lieu to take this important action:

 CES Fights New Landlord Scheme Demanding Online Rent Payment

CES Fight Escalates Against New Landlord Eviction Scheme

Contact Your State Senator and State Assembly Member to urge their support for SB 1055.

Below is a news release from Senator Lieu announcing the introduction of his bill SB 1055.

Sen. Lieu introduces bill to block landlords from requiring tenants to pay rent only online
February 22, 2012

Complaints from residents prompt renter-protection bill

SACRAMENTO – In response to complaints from residents that more and more landlords are requiring rental payments be made only online, Sen. Ted W. Lieu today announced introduction of a bill that would ensure residents can continuing paying with check or money order.

“A growing number of landlords are no longer accepting checks or money orders from tenants,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said about Senate Bill 1055. “Instead, they have begun to change rental agreements to require tenants – including the elderly, disabled and poor – to pay their rent online.”

The issue came to light late in 2011 when hundreds of tenants in apartment complexes in Los Angeles objected when the property-management group notified residents of a 300-unit complex that the only way they could soon pay rent was online.

Current law does not specify how rent is to be paid. SB 1055 revises the law to prohibit landlords from requiring online only rental payments.

“Many residents of the rent-controlled complexes are elderly, live on fixed incomes and either have no computer or know little about computers,” Lieu said, adding that it was unreasonable to ask renters who may be struggling to make ends meet to invest in a computer, Internet access and related expenses in order to rent a residence.

“We applaud Sen. Ted Lieu for introducing this important tenants’-rights legislation to protect renters,” Larry Gross, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Economic Survival said. “We believe this rent-online scheme is just another way to increase rent-controlled rents by evicting long-term, low-rent tenants who just happen to be, for the most part, seniors and the disabled. In other words, this affects those who likely are least able to pay online.”

SB 1055 is waiting to be assigned to a policy committee for review, which should occur within the next month.

For more, here’s a Fact Sheet on SB 1055.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit

21 Calif Assembly Democrats Join GOP in Vote Against Low-Income/Senior Mobile Home Owners & Rent Control

February 7, 2012

Much too many times Democratic elected officials have let us down, voting on key issues like there were Republicans. This is nowhere truer than in the California Legislature. Away from media coverage in Sacramento where the influence of lobbyists and campaign contributors are greater than ever, Democrats all too often cast votes against the 99% and in flavor of the 1%. Those of us fighting for renters’ rights and for affordable housing have been consistently disappointed by the actions of state legislators over the years.

A recent example of this is AB 317, which revises the conditions and terms of tenancy in a mobile home park for a tenant to receive rent control protections. The bill is being advanced by Democratic State Assembly Majority Leader Charles M. Calderon who represents portions of Downey, Whittier, East La Mirada, East Los Angeles, Hacienda Heights, Industry, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Rowland Heights.

Calderon has become the mobile home park owners’ point person in their quest to eliminate the over 100 local rent control laws throughout California that protects mobile home owners.

Two year ago, Calderon unsuccessfully sponsored  AB 761, which would have extended Costa-Hawkins mandated vacancy decontrol to all of the state’s mobile home rent control laws. Mobile park owners would have been able to raise rents on mobile home spaces without limits when a mobile home is sold to a new owner. This would have grave consequences for mobile home owners who own the mobile home, but rent the space it sits on. It would have likely wiped out the investments of senior and low-income mobile home owners by instantly de-valuing the worth of their mobile home coaches.

Assembly Majority Leader Charles M. Calderon

The new attack on senior and low-income mobile home owners in the form of Calderon’s AB 317, would change the rules for determining when a mobile home is considered a vacation home and, thus, would be exempt from rent control protections. Under AB 317, instead of defining a home as one’s “principle” place of residence to receive protection, which is the standard rules used for tax purposes, the bill would limit protections to residents “sole” place of residence. This means if someone owned any other property or had interest in any other property they would be exempt from rent control So, for example, if someone was left a home by their deceased parents, or if it’s a shared ownership with their siblings, or they had property in their name that their kids were living in it, they would forfeit their protections against rent gouging and unjust evictions.

Incredibility, this unfair bill passed the state Assembly by a 44 to 22 vote with 14 not voting. Almost half the votes came from Democrats. Nineteen Democrats joined Assembly Member Charles Calderon and Assembly Speaker John Pérez (Los Angeles), and with all but four Republicans in supporting AB 317. The bill would not have passed if it were not for the support of all these Democrats.

Voting Against Rent Control and the Rights of Tenants

In addition to Pérez and Calderon, listed here are the other Democrats that turned their backs on senior and low-income mobile home owners:

Toni Atkins (San Diego), Jim Beall (San Jose), Marty Block (Lemon Grove), Steven Bradford (Inglewood), Joan Buchanan (San Ramon), Nora Campos (San Jose), Wilmer Amina Carter (Rialto), Mike Eng (Alhambra), Mike Gatto (L.A., who is considering running for L.A. Council District 13), Richard Gordon (Los Altos), Isadore Hall (Rancho Dominguez), Roger Hernández (West Covina), Ricardo Lara (South Gate), Fiona Ma (San Francisco), Tony Mendoza (Democrat), Richard Pan (Sacramento), Henry Perea (Fresno), Jose Solorio (Anaheim), Norma Torres (Chino),

Assembly Members Standing in Support of Rent Control and Tenants’ Rights

At the same time there were Assembly Members who held firm to their principled stand in support of tenants’/mobile home owners rights and affordable housing, and should be thanked. They are:

Luis Alejo (Salinas), Michael Allen (Santa Rosa), Tom Ammiano (San Francisco), Bob Blumenfield (Van Nuys), Susan Bonilla (Concord) Julia Brownley (Santa Monica), Gil Cedillo (L.A.), Wesley Chesbro (Santa Rosa), Mike Feuer (L.A.), Warren Furutani (San Pedro), Mary Hayashi (Hayward), Jerry Hill (San Mateo), Alyson Huber (Lodi), Jared Huffman (San Rafael), William Monning (Santa Cruz), Anthony Portantino (Pasadena), Nancy Skinner (Oakland), Sandree Swanson (Oakland), Bob Wieckowski (Fremont), Das Williams (Santa Barbara), Mariko Yamada (Vacaville).

Assembly Members Not Voting

In situations like this not voting at all or abstaining is the equivalent to a No vote. And, while we appreciate these members withholding their vote from undermining rent control, it clearly is not the same as those member who had the courage to take a firm principled stand against this attempt to destroy or weaken rent control protections. Those Assembly Democrats not voting were:

Betsy Butler (El Segundo), Mike Davis (L.A., who has filed to run for L.A. Council District 9), Roger Dickinson (Sacramento), Paul Fong (Mountain View), Felipe Fuentes (Arleta),  Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton), Ben Hueso (Cula Vista), Bonnie Lowenthal (Long Beach), Holly Mitchell (Culver City), V. Manuel Pérez (Indio).

Let These Assembly Member Know

Let these Assembly Members know what you think of their votes. Let the ones who voted against mobile home owners and rent control know outraged you are. And, thank the ones who stood up for economic justice. You can email them directly by clicking on the name of the Assembly Members or get addition contact information at

AB 317 now goes to the state Senator where there is a much better chance of killing the bill.

Crucial Tenant Protections Won for Foreclosure Evictions in Los Angeles

December 7, 2011

On December 6, 2011, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to extend the City’s Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance to protect tenants Living in rental properties not subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) from eviction on the grounds of foreclosure for another year. This Ordinance prohibits lenders from evicting any tenants in the City merely because of foreclosure on their landlords. Tenants living in rent controlled units have had these protections.

Multi-family rental units built after 1978 and all single-family home rentals are not subject to the City’s rent control law.

The Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance was originally passed in December 17, 2008 and extended every year since in response to a national crisis that has not subsided.

Testifying before the LA City Council in support of the extension, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross stated, “The foreclosure crisis and its impact on hardworking Americans is a national disgrace. It’s especially unjust for the forgotten victims — tenants.

They’ve done nothing wrong. Paid their rent on time. But, suddenly these heartless banks want to evict them simply because they’re living in foreclosed rental property.

Yet, these same bank bandits received billions in bailout paid for by these tenants and other taxpayers.”

Gross went on to say, “We applaud this Council for its decisive action three years ago, in providing national leadership by enacting the strongest tenant foreclosure protections in the country. It provides tenants with a little bit of hope and justice. This action is an action needed to help keep these banks accountable.”

LA City Council President Eric Garcetti

City Council President Eric Garcetti who has been the main supporter and author of the ordinance 3 1/2  years ago said, “We wanted to make sure tenants living in homes, and remember 20-25% of homes are occupied by renters, and apartment buildings would not be the innocent victims of the bank crisis.”

Garcetti proclaimed, ìThis is one of the most important things we have done in this City and each year we’ve extended it because the crisis simply is not over.

Today, we stand up again, and say Los Angeles won’t stand for this.”

LA City Council Member Bill Rosendahl

Council Member Bill Rosendahl echoed, “It provides tenants’ protection. It’s as simple as that.”

Since 2007, in the City of Los Angeles approximately 46,000 properties have been subject to foreclosure. Census data establishes that 20-25% of single-family homes in the City are occupied by renters.

Data for 2011 indicates that the foreclosure crisis has not abated since the Council adopted the Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance. Nearly 10,400 properties have been subject to foreclosure in 2010 and approximately 7,600 properties have been subject to foreclosure during the first nine months of 2011. Foreclosures also continue to occur in primarily lower-income neighborhoods where evicted tenants of foreclosed properties cannot afford unnecessary relocation costs.

CES Raises Concerns Over LA City Redistricting Contract to Landlord Lobbyist Firm That Opposed Rent Control

November 22, 2011

In today’s Los Angeles Times, the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) raises deep concerns about the granting of a contract by the City of Los Angeles Redistricting Commission to a major landlord lobbyists firm.

The contract is for the purpose of performing community outreach to solicit public participation in the crucial decision making process of redistricting that will determine the neighborhood make-up of City Council districts for the next decade. Thus, this process will contribute to determining the political direction of the City and the eventual impact on significant city policies, such as rent control, which will directly impact residents.

LOS ANGELES TIMES by David Zahniser – November 22, 2011

Concerns Raised Over Firms Vying for Work on L.A. Redistricting

Companies being considered for PR contracts to assist in redistricting efforts are lobbyists at City Hall, representing such interests as shopping malls, renewable energy developers and at least one billboard company.

Lobbying firms with an array of clients needing help from Los Angeles City Hall are vying for a consulting contract on a matter near to City Council members’ hearts: redrawing the political boundaries that can affect their power — and their reelection chances.

The council’s 21-member Redistricting Commission is slated to vote Tuesday to pay a public relations consultant up to $100,000 to inform residents of the plan to draw new borders for the council’s 15 districts.

The top three finalists are registered as lobbyists at City Hall, representing such interests as shopping malls, renewable energy developers and at least one billboard company. That has led some to question whether the tangle of interests between consultants and lawmakers will create a perception problem.

“I don’t think this will be viewed as a positive development,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who alleged earlier this month that new maps were being drawn out of public view.

Andrew Westall, the commission’s executive director, said nothing legally bars the panel from hiring lobbyists to perform public outreach. Still, redistricting Commissioner Helen Kim said she wished she had known about the lobbying connections before she and her colleagues put forward their recommendations on the consultants Monday.

“It would have been nice if someone raised that issue,” she said.

The redistricting panel is looking for someone to craft a media strategy and get the word out — in multiple languages — to scores of neighborhoods. The panel is charged with redrawing council districts to account for population changes reported in the 2010 census.

How the lines are shifted can help or hurt council members, depending on whether they gain or lose supportive constituencies capable of generating votes and campaign cash. Eleven public hearings are scheduled over the next month.

On Monday, three members of the commission’s search committee backed Cerrell Associates, a firm with 22 lobbying clients, ranging from concessions at Los Angeles International Airport to billboard company Van Wagner. The other three backed Dakota Communications, whose clients include Westfield, a shopping mall company that is seeking council approval of a 31-acre hotel, retail and office complex in Woodland Hills.

A third company, Diverse Strategies for Organizing, was not recommended. Three commissioners said they felt company representatives had not been forthcoming about a company affiliate’s financial ties to redistricting Commissioner Michael Trujillo.

Trujillo is a consultant to California Strategies, a subcontractor of Diverse Strategies. He said he would have recused himself had the proposal come up for a vote. Michael Bustamante, a principal with California Strategies, said he was surprised that Trujillo’s work was an issue for the commissioners.

“If I thought it would be, it would have been very easy to disclose. I was surprised that they even asked the question,” he said.

Robert Stern, former president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a watchdog group, doubted the contract would create a conflict of interest for the lobbying firms. But their involvement shows the redistricting process at City Hall is an insider’s game, he said. “I guess the question is, aren’t there any other PR firms that aren’t registered lobbyists?” he added. “It is a big city.”

Rick Taylor, a partner with Dakota, said his firm devotes no more than 10% of its time to lobbying. Lisa Gritzner, president of Cerrell, said she sees no connection between her firm’s lobbying work and the public relations contract. “There’s no agenda other than making sure that folks in Los Angeles have access to the redistricting conversation,” she said.

As part of its lobbying work, Cerrell recently bused backers of a Fresh and Easy grocery store in South Los Angeles to City Hall to testify. Dakota shuttled supporters of a proposed Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga to the council chambers.

Joe Barrett, co-director of the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance, a group that fought the Home Depot proposal, said he would be unhappy to see Dakota representing the redistricting process. “Dakota has a horrible reputation with our community,” he said.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, an advocacy group that represents tenants, voiced dismay that one of Cerrell’s clients is the L.A. chapter of the California Apartment Assn., which has opposed new limits on rent hikes by landlords.

“A firm that represents landlords and has been fighting against rent control…is going to have difficulty winning the trust of renters, who make up more than 60% of L.A. residents,” he said.



U P D A T E :

A day after this article the Los Angeles Time  now reports that the top two firms, including the firm that represents landlords in their fight against rent control and tenants’ rights,  which were competing to secure a $100,000 public relations contract from the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission abruptly dropped out of the running Tuesday. This represents a victory for tenants and others fights the influence of special interest lobbyists influence over government.

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