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Registrar Of Voters Says Renters Have Enough Valid Signatures

The Alameda Renters Coalition's rent control measure will appear on the November ballot. (File photo)

The Alameda Renters Coalition’s rent control measure will appear on the November ballot. (File photo)

The Alameda city clerk’s office confirmed today that through statistical sampling, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters has determined that the Alameda Renters Coalition secured enough valid petition signatures to get its rent control measure on the November ballot.

The group submitted over 7,800 signatures to the city clerk on May 24th in support of a stringent rent control and just cause eviction ballot measure.

The coalition’s website now sports a Fair Political Practices Commission campaign committee identification number, a necessary step for the group to collect and expend campaign contributions.

Organization filings for the committee with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters date back to March of this year and list Jennifer Orsolini and Monty J Heying of Alameda as treasurers. Coalition spokesperson Catherine Pauling is listed as a principal officer. However, there are no filings indicating money raised to date.

At last night’s city council meeting, that body considered whether or not to file an argument for or against the coalition’s ballot measure, and whether or not to put its own ordinance, enacted earlier this year, on the ballot too, to ask for voter ratification.

Mayor Trish Spencer told Action Alameda News today that she supports putting the city’s ordinance on the ballot, even if it makes it harder to change in the future, to ensure voters know that the coalition’s measure is not the only protection for renters.

“If the city ordinance is not on the ballot, the public may think it’s not in force,” she said.

She also said that she doesn’t support the renters coalition’s measure.

A motion supported by Councilmembers Frank Matarrese and Marilyn Ashcraft to not put the city’s ordinance on the ballot failed, Spencer explained.

Asked about criticism on social media that she didn’t let some teenagers speak on the rent control item, Spencer said that the group approached the podium and started to speak out of order. So, she explained, she called a recess during which she spoke to them about city council meeting process.

Spencer said she worked to move the rent control item up earlier in the agenda so the item didn’t run so late.

With the petition signatures for the renters coalition measure validated, the matter will come back to city council on July 19th, the last meeting before the August recess, and the last meeting for city council to, as a formality, “order an election” for coalition’s measure as part of the general election on November 8.

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