Out of Control
Housing boom in 98: Yes on Proposition 98 ["Eminently Logical," Matt Smith, 5/28]. Renters have nothing to worry about. First, all rent-controlled units are grandfathered. They will still have rent control as long as those tenants live there. Second, remove the rent control, and housing and rents become more affordable for all except those whose rent is held at artificially low rates.
You help those who are poor and seek housing. Prop. 99 exists only to protect the government from 98. If you want to protect private property and help the poor, you should support 98.
Stop spreading Prop(98)aganda: Matt Smith argues against rent control byrepeating landlord propaganda, writingthat "studies also show that rent controldiscourages construction of new rental apartments." Then, to bolster his case, he notes that housing construction fell after the passage of rent control and during the 1990s. (He conveniently omits other time periods that saw a housing construction boom.)
The argument that rent control in California discourages the constructionof new housing has no merit whatsoever. Rent control does not apply to new construction, and therefore could not possibly discourage the construction of new housing.
State law (Civil Code 1954.50 et seq.) prohibits rent control on any propertybuilt after Feb. 1, 1995. Likewise, eventhe strongest local rent control laws inCalifornia provide that new constructionis exempt from rent control.
Mr. Smith is entitled to his misguided opinions about rent control, but he should refrain from spreading landlord propaganda that has no basis in fact. Rent control does not discourage the construction of new housing, period.
Executive Director,Tenants Together
California's Statewide Organization for Renters' Rights
Kamala in the Doghouse
Who's protecting the witnesses' pets?: I'm a concerned citizen who is legally blind from a traumatic brain injury. I have used a trained service animal since 1985. I am deeply concerned after reading the 5/21 cover story, "Snitch," by Ashley Harrell.
The witness relocation and assistance program was started by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in 1960, and unfortunately the D.A.'s office is still using the same format. It needs to be improved upon to reflect what's going on in society. If witnesses have animals, they should be allowed to go with them in all circumstances. It's important for the well-being of both the animal and the guardian. Funds should be allocated for just this purpose. You would not take a child away from its mother, so why should you take an animal that's already in the home and has bonded with the family? I say to the D.A., Kamala Harris, shame on you! Because of her lack of action, this animal may be put to death. The likelihood of pit bulls finding a home is nil.
I'd like Kamala to reevaluate this program to please include all family members, either human or animal. I want her to earn my vote. I voted for her and I was very proud of her then.