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Landlord Says ARC’s Next Move Is To Coerce Councilmember

Local rent control activists haven't given up the fight. (File Photo)

Local rent control activists haven’t given up the fight. (File Photo)

According to a local landlord, the Alameda Renters Coalition’s next move is to use Councilmember Marilyn Ashcraft’s mayoral ambitions against her to pressure her into supporting more strict rent control measures.

Doug Smith, the president of Fuller Enterprises which owns 63 rental units in Alameda, sent an e-mail earlier this week to all city councilmembers, the city manager and city attorney, members of the local press, and other landlords, addressing Councilmember Marilyn Ashcraft.

Smith wrote, “I would like to share with you some information that the ARC [Alameda Renters Coalition] is disseminating among their members and supporters. It appears that they feel you are the key vote on getting rent control in Alameda. They feel you [Ashcraft] aspire to be Mayor and since they “put you here”, if you don’t side with them, they can take you down like they did Tony [Daysog]. The blog below was sent to me from an insider who joined because they felt the cause needed support, however they now see that this is not about the citizens of Alameda but rather a radical social agenda that will ultimately hurt the citizens of Alameda that are most in need.

“None of this comes as a surprise to me nor do I believe to you. We have seen the tactics that ARC and Tenants Together have used for years and they will stop at nothing to further their social platform. This behavior seem to take it to the next level and I am requesting that the City Attorney look into this matter.

“The voters of Alameda have spoken and they DON’T want rent control. Furthermore, rents peaked in 2016 and are now headed down. We are now seeing concessions not seen since the 2001 bubble burst, 1-2 months free rent is now becoming the norm. Increases have all but stopped short of those owners who were late to start. The RRAC cases have slowed despite all the new restrictions the board adopted in 2016. In short, as we have been stating for 3 years, the market will correct it self and any attempt to manipulate it will only cause rents to be higher like in Oakland and San Francisco.

“Please take this matter serious and take action now. For a group like ARC to try and influence a sitting Council Member to further their cause is criminal.”

Smith included a copy of Facebook messages exchanged among ARC members which could not be independently verified as they are shared within a closed group.

Clicking links in the copied message thread leads to https://www.facebook.com/groups/alamedarenters/# and returns the message “The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you’re not in.”

According to the exchange provided by Smith, one participant wrote, “So I have been thinking about the Ashcroft [sic] problem. We are pretty much the reason she is in office. Now the whole CC knows we are a force to be reckoned with. So Here what I think may work. We Need to start by asking Why we have no rent control when the folks of Alameda overwhelming voted for it? Rumor has that they are thinking of getting rid of RRAC. So what is the plan? Then I would address Ashcroft like this. You do know that we put you here right. We know you have aspirations to be Mayor. If you dont get it done we will make sure that does not happen. I might add look what happened to Daysong.

“I also think that our new pres should be the one to do it. This Brings her in form a place of power, I will help write the speech if you want. Your thoughts please.”

Another responded, “Ashcraft is a mediator. She wants to eliminate the RRAC and change to a mediation/arbitration system. Behind closed doors. The advantage here is that the tenant doesn’t have to feel like their privacy is being violated through a public process. The disadvantage is that it is not a public process. How will the results be published? What data could be or would be gathered?

“We know that the landlords want this. That doesn’t make it automatically bad, but we need to be careful. Tenants do want privacy, for themselves. But not for the landlords. How do we maneuver that?

“In my view Ashcraft is lie [sic] every other politician, she works in her own self interest. If we want to influence her than we need to let her know what we, as a substantial part of her base, want. End No-Cause eviction and put a hard cap on rents. There will not be peace in the tenant community until those two things happen. No justice, No peace!”

Ashcraft did not respond to a written invitation to comment before press time.

5 comments to Landlord Says ARC’s Next Move Is To Coerce Councilmember

  • Judge Muscat

    What exactly is “criminal” about asking, lobbying or pressuring an elected official to do something? If anything, the allegation of criminality is criminal.

  • Monty J Heying

    One person’s comment does not represent a declaration of ARC policy. It is only one member, not even a steering committee member, making a suggestion.

    You’re twisting it out of shape to fit your own political agenda. We’ve had enough lies and distortion from the radicals in the realty opposition who blanketed the city with deception funded by $766K in off-island money before the November election. The people didn’t get to speak because they were deceived. When they learn the truth, the next vote will be different.

  • Monty – it’s been well documented that the $766k figure you cite was money raised for campaigns across several cities and does not reflect the spending in alameda

    https://alamedamgr.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/mail-call/#more-7575

  • Mickey Neill

    Matarrese is the only smart choice for Mayor. He is by far the most intelligent informed and willing to represent ALL of the city residents.

  • dave jackson

    Thank you for your fair reporting. I just left this on the Alameda Sun article that was so one sided. thank you for not giving us more “fake news”.

    Dennis (Alameda Sun), I read a similar story in the Action-Alameda news, however they were more detailed on what was in the facebook post from ARC members. Below is what they said. I think the issue is that in November the voters in Alameda made it clear by an overwhelming majority that they DONT want rent control. Now, for ARC to tell the Council that they better listen to the “people” and vote rent control is absurd. ARC is the MINORITY in wanting rent control, over 66% of voters said NO. The ARC saying that they “put” Ashcraft in office is not correct, ALL voters in Alameda did and they ones said they don’t want rent control. Using threats to kill her attempt at Mayor if she doesn’t support rent control is a joke, she and the rest of the Council are going to listen to the MAJORITY of the people and over 2/3 of them said NO RENT CONTROL.
    Please stop being biased in your reporting and just report the facts, all of them please. We don’t need any more “fake news”.

    They feel you [Ashcraft] aspire to be Mayor and since they “put you here”, if you don’t side with them, they can take you down like they did Tony [Daysog]. The blog below was sent to me from an insider who joined because they felt the cause needed support, however they now see that this is not about the citizens of Alameda but rather a radical social agenda that will ultimately hurt the citizens of Alameda that are most in need.

    “None of this comes as a surprise to me nor do I believe to you. We have seen the tactics that ARC and Tenants Together have used for years and they will stop at nothing to further their social platform. This behavior seem to take it to the next level and I am requesting that the City Attorney look into this matter.

    “The voters of Alameda have spoken and they DON’T want rent control. Furthermore, rents peaked in 2016 and are now headed down. We are now seeing concessions not seen since the 2001 bubble burst, 1-2 months free rent is now becoming the norm. Increases have all but stopped short of those owners who were late to start. The RRAC cases have slowed despite all the new restrictions the board adopted in 2016. In short, as we have been stating for 3 years, the market will correct it self and any attempt to manipulate it will only cause rents to be higher like in Oakland and San Francisco.

    “Please take this matter serious and take action now. For a group like ARC to try and influence a sitting Council Member to further their cause is criminal.”

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