“Without sufficient representation on the state and local levels, any effort that a property owner makes on behalf of their investment is a waste of time,” Danielle Elliott said firmly. “AAGLA is our voice—without our voice, we have nothing.” Elliott originally heard about AAGLA via word of mouth and it was not long thereafter that she realized the operational advice, forms, and educational events and seminars were only minor benefits of being a member. “The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles has played a key role in educating me as a property owner.  As the years have passed, I’ve recognized the increasing need for political representation.”

Shifting focus towards the November 2018 election, specifically Proposition 10 which would repeal Costa-Hawkins if passed, Ms. Elliott was crystal clear as to its impact on her. “The passage of Prop 10 would change everything, and that’s not being overdramatic. Prop 10 is the most serious threat to the real estate industry in the history of California; where goes California goes the rest of the nation.”

Having joined the multi-family rental housing industry at the age of twenty-three, Danielle recalls an era in which women had to push past restrictions and over hurdles in order to invest in real estate. “When I joined AAGLA, I was an idealist and a feminist. I bought the ideology that a woman could do it all—I believed it then and I believe it now more than ever. Up until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, a woman couldn’t even get a loan! If a woman received credit it was through her husband.” Understanding this piece of history is paramount in grasping why Danielle’s concerns regarding a Costa-Hawkins repeal stretch beyond the effect it would have on her personally. “Single women, divorced women, widows, your mother, your sister—it will reduce all of our efforts to the point that we will no longer be able to support ourselves,” Danielle said in a tone reflecting the deep and valid concerns she holds. “If Prop. 10 passes, myself and countless other women will find themselves in a situation where everything we’ve worked for will be ripped away from us and we’ll be robbed of our financial freedom. The real estate industry gave us the ability to support ourselves and our families….but, Prop. 10 would effectively eliminate the financial independence we’ve fought so hard to achieve.”

While acknowledging the very real housing crisis, Elliott refuses to assign blame to multifamily rental housing providers. “Landlords and property owners did not create this problem,” she said definitively. “Opportunistic politicians who have no solution and no vision, aside from their own re-election, caused this housing catastrophe. Every study shows that Rent Control has failed! As a society, we have been there and done that!” According to Danielle: “We need new solutions, not old failures. Now is the time to fight against rent control, not to expand it!”

During a conversation riddled with the horrific consequences should Costa-Hawkins be repealed, Ms. Elliott has hope that the general public will not be duped into believing what she confidently labels as propaganda. “When people begin to recognize what the so-called ‘Affordable Housing Act’ will actually do, I believe that they will rise up and vote against it.”