“You probably got your voter guide in the mail, because it’s just about that time when Californians go to the polls and are asked to vote on propositions. This year they cover everything from whether or not to change Daylight Savings time, to whether EMT workers should get uninterrupted lunch breaks when someone nearby is in need of paramedics.

Every two years you might ask yourself, why do we vote on these things? Don’t we elect politicians to decide this stuff? And didn’t we vote on this very same topic a few years ago? The second installment of this guide will answer those questions, but for now, let’s dive right into one of the most contested initiatives on the ballot for this Tuesday, November 6.

Prop 10 is a tough one, because it perfectly displays the prop-system’s history of addressing nice-sounding proposals that end up having very real and very troubling unintended consequences … This is Part 1 of the L.A. Taco 2018 California Voter Guide.


It’s all about rent control, and getting rid of the shackles that have prevented housing-strapped cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles from passing rent control laws during this sustained period of skyrocketing housing costs in our state.

Nobody living in California needs a reminder of how expensive it is to rent here. Overall California is the second most expensive state in the country to rent in, after Hawaii.


Maybe the hottest and most misunderstood proposition on this year’s ballot, Prop 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and make it possible for city and county governments to pass rent control policies at will. Costa-Hawkins passed the Legislature in 1995, limiting municipalities’ ability to enact new or expansive rent control policies. If Prop 10 passes, it wouldn’t enact rent control itself. It would just give the opportunity for local governments to enact their own rent control policy in the future, which is what local housing activists want to do.

The proposition has brought together interesting coalitions both for and against it. Both Mayor Garcetti and the California Democratic Party have come out in support of the proposition, along with a broad coalition of activist groups that often differ with the mayor and the Democratic Party, including Ground Game L.A., and a host of local Democratic Socialist chapters across the state. The opposing side, led by the California Republican Party, includes the California State Conference of the NAACP in its coalition. The main argument for passing the proposition is that rents across the state are out of control, and to stop rents from rising even more, cities and counties need the flexibility to adopt rent control policies that are crafted for their own unique jurisdictions.

One thing it isn’t about is veterans’ housing. A particularly weird No on Prop 10 ad that disingenuously connects the proposition to worsening the housing crisis and to veterans. It’s showing up on local television, so tell your old folks that Prop 10 has nothing to do with veterans specifically at all.”

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