Proposition 21 Endorsed by AFSCME California PEOPLE

Union joins growing list of supporters of initiative that will allow for the expansion of rent control throughout California

LOS ANGELES–Housing justice advocates and champions of the Proposition 21, a November 2020 state ballot initiative that will allow for the expansion of rent control throughout California, today announced that AFSCME California PEOPLE endorsed the ballot measure. As part of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME is one of the nation’s leading advocates for working women and men.

The union joins an ever-expanding list of federal and state elected officials; local city councils; and social, housing, and racial justice organizations to support the fight for housing justice in California. Supporters include Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, Senator Bernie Sanders, labor and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, and Barbara Lee, California Senate Pro Tempore Emeritus and L.A. City Councilman-elect Kevin de León (CD-14), and a suite of California’s tenant advocacy and social justice organizations, including the statewide Housing Now! California coalition (which consists of over 100 labor and housing justice organizations), the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the Urban League of Los Angeles, and the Eviction Defense Network (EDN), as well as major labor unions, such as UNITE HERE Local 11. The Campaign has also secured the endorsements of every elected rent control board member in the state.

“AFSCME California PEOPLE is proud to endorse Prop 21 and be a part of the fight for fair housing. Millions of working-class Californians who already faced displacement and homelessness due to the ongoing affordable housing crisis now see their fears becoming a certain reality as COVID-19 continues to ravage the state. We can’t stand by and allow such an injustice. We must pass Prop 21 in November to keep families in their homes,” said Jason Haenel AFSCME Political Action Representative for California.

Calls for rapid intervention to curb the ongoing housing affordability and homeless crises have gained increasing urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Californians already struggling with the state’s high housing costs have lost work and income in the nation’s shuttered economy.

“We are proud to have the support of AFSCME California, which represents thousands of California workers, many of who are both directly and indirectly affected by the state’s on-going housing affordability crisis,” said René Christian Moya, campaign director for the Proposition 21 campaign. “It is time we finally use proven solutions to end this solvable issue that makes living in California an increasing struggle for millions of people.”

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) recently released its 2020 Los Angeles homeless count—which took place in January before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked medical, social, and economic havoc across the region. The report showed a double-digit percentage increase: up 13% in Los Angeles County to 66,433 individuals despite hundreds of millions spent by city and county officials. In the City of Los Angeles, the count jumped 14% to 41,290 homeless individuals living unsheltered or on the streets. LAHSA identified wage stagnation and rising rents, systematic racism (which has fueled rapid gentrification), and the economic impact of COVID-19, as key causes of the increased homelessness.

Proposition 21

When passed, Proposition 21 will remove current state law restrictions, giving cities and counties the power to implement and expand rent control policies that limit how much rents can increase each year. It would allow local communities to:

• Expand rent control to more buildings while exempting newly constructed buildings.
• Exempts Single-Family homeowners who own up to two homes.
• Allow limits on rent increases when a new renter moves in.

Housing Is A Human Right (HHR) is the housing advocacy division of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), and the leading sponsor of Proposition 21.

Proposition 21 is sponsored by Homeowners & Tenants United, with significant funding by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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