The California Homeowners Protection Act: Real California Eminent Domain Reform Without Hidden Agendas2 min read


A Million Signatures to be Turned in Next Week

Rent control provides stability and peace of mind that retired seniors and individuals on fixed incomes will not be forced out of their home due to skyrocketing rents. That’s why CARA is outraged that recently a landlord-backed coalition announced they have submitted more than 1 million signatures to county elections offices to qualify their deceptive anti-senior measure for the June 2008 ballot. The landlords want voters to believe their measure is about eminent domain, but their true goal is to roll back rent control and other important renter protection laws that protect seniors.

These landlords are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters and have already spent close to $2 million to qualify this classic bait and switch measure. But they won’t be successful. The California Alliance for Retired Americans will be one of many senior and tenants groups who will wage an aggressive campaign to tell voters what this measure really is: a greedy scheme by landlords to eliminate rent control so they can make millions of dollars off the backs of seniors, veterans, working moms and other Californians.

While our organizations will be beating the drum of rent control, there is more to hate about this scheme. Environmentalists are concerned the scheme could erode environmental protections. Business and Ag groups are concerned that it will prevent needed water supply projects. Public safety groups are concerned that it will prevent important community protections.

CARA is a member of Eminent Domain Reform Now, a coalition of seniors, tenants’ rights advocates, renters, environmental groups, business groups and others who support real eminent domain reform without a hidden agenda. Next week, our coalition will submit more than a million signatures to qualify the Homeowners Protection Act for the June ballot. The Homeowners Protection Act will prohibit government agencies from taking homes through eminent domain to transfer to a private party. It is a straightforward response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London and does not attempt to surreptitiously loop in unrelated provisions or issues.

Real eminent domain reform. No Hidden Agendas, no adverse consequences.

We know that voters support real reform and dislike hidden agendas. And they particularly dislike the notion of abolishing rent control. A measure during the 90’s which would have abolished rent control went down in flames. And private polling shows that voters remain opposed to eliminating rent control. When given the choice, we are confident that voters will support straightforward protections for homeowners without all the adverse consequences of the Hidden Agendas’ Scheme.

CARA wants to keep California livable for our seniors, and working families. We at CARA, in conjunction with the Eminent Domain Reform Now coalition, will be working overtime until election day to alert the voters of the dangerous consequences of passing the landlords’ Hidden Agendas Scheme.

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