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Landlord Petition Puts Just Cause Evictions Provisions on Hold

Just Cause Evictions provisions are on hold for now. (File photo)

Changes recently made by Alameda City Council to the local rent control ordinance are on hold pending resolution of the outcome of a landlord ballot measure petition to reverse the just cause evictions provisions of those changes.

Ordinance 3180 would gone into effect on July 6. However, the ballot measure petition was submitted to the city clerk on June 26, which delays effect of the ordinance until either (1) it is determined that less than the 4,808 signatures necessary to require further action are valid, or (2) it is decided on by voters in an election.

The landlords submitted some 7,300 signatures with the petition.

In 2009, SunCal gathered signatures to put Measure B on the ballot, in Feburary 2010, asking voters to approve their development plan for Alameda Point.

Then, as now, opponents of the measure complained about the use of paid signature gathers, and their tactics.

In both cases, opponents of the measures complained that the paid signature gatherers misrepresented the nature of the petition to acquire signatures.

City officials say that with regards to the current petition, the City of Alameda received numerous complaints from individuals on both sides of the issue.

The city received written forms from 120 persons seeking to withdraw their signatures from the petition and 51 affidavits asserting wrong doings; the city is consulting with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether any crimes have been committed.

No charges were ever filed against SunCal’s paid signature gatherers.

Two tenant activists arrested during a fracas at city hall in November 2015 subsequently saw the district attorney’s office drop their charges.

A media release from city hall yesterday seemed to take pains to warn both sides, citing law about misrepresenting petitions to gain signatures, about threats to people circulating petitions, and about threats and intimidation against voters during a ballot measure election.

The release states “the California Elections Code provides that intentionally misrepresenting the contents, purpose, or effect of a petition while attempting to collect signatures is a violation of the law. Threatening signature gatherers is also a violation of the law.”

The county registrar of voters has 60 days to determine if the petition qualifies for the ballot, and, if it does, city council must decide whether to rescind the ordinance in question, or put the question to voters.

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