Market Overview

L.A. African-American Leaders and Organizations Strongly Support 'Yes on 10'


November Statewide California Ballot Measure Would Allow for
Expansion of Rent Control by Repeal of Costa-Hawkins Restoring
Decision-making to the Local Level

On Monday, July 30, African-American leaders came together with Los
Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to announce their
united support for Proposition 10, which would expand rent control by
repealing the onerous state law known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental
Housing Act. They urged Californians to vote Yes on 10 in November.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson speaks while (from left to right) Los Angeles Coun ...

Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson speaks while (from left to right) Los Angeles Councilmember Robert Farrell (Ret.), representatives of Los Angeles Black Worker Center, Church Without Walls Pastor Cue Jn-Marie, National Action Network's Jonathan Moseley, Southern Christian Leadership Conference-Greater Southern California President Rev. William D. Smart Jr. and AFSCME 3090 Past President Alice Goff look on at the Yes on 10 campaign press conference at Vision Theater on Monday, July 30, 2018 in Los Angeles. African-American leaders come together with Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to decry gentrification and announce their support for Proposition 10 on the November ballot in California to expand rent control. (Jordan Strauss/AP Images for Yes on 10 campaign)

"We say ‘Yes' very enthusiastically to Proposition 10," Harris-Dawson
said at a press conference outside the historic Vision Theater in South
Los Angeles' Leimert Park Village. "Prop. 10 takes us a long way towards
fixing [the housing affordability] problem and clearing a path so our
community can grow and prosper."

Damien Goodmon, an African-American and Yes on 10 Campaign
Director, pointed out that in addition to himself, Christina Livingston,
who is also African-American and the state director of Alliance of
Californians for Community Empowerment, is an official proponent of the

"Black leaders have been calling for the repeal of Costa-Hawkins for
years, because we know that rent control is essential to ensuring that
we still have space in our changing cities," said Goodmon.

Every major African-American housing justice group in California, as
well as housing justice groups that are led by African Americans, has
endorsed Proposition 10.

The long list includes: Institute of the Black World 21st Century (led
by Ron Daniels), Advocates for Black Strategic Alternatives (led
by Larry Aubry), African-American Cultural Center (led by Dr.
Maulana Karenga
), Brotherhood Crusade (led by Charisse
), California Calls (led by Anthony Thigpenn),
Crenshaw Subway Coalition, Dellums Institute for Social Justice, People
of Color Sustainable Housing Network, PICO California (co-led by Rev.
Ben McBride
) PolicyLink (led by Angela Glover), SCOPE (led by Gloria
), Ward AME Church Pastor John Cager, and Women
Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases. Key African-American
leaders including Rev. James Lawson, Rev. Kelvin Sauls,
and Professor Melina Abdullah are also endorsers.

Numerous African-American leaders who back Proposition 10 and were at
the press conference: retired California Assemblymember Mike Davis,
retired Los Angeles Councilmember Robert Farrell, Los Angeles
Urban League President Michael Lawson, Southern Christian
Leadership Conference-Greater Southern California President Rev.
William D. Smart Jr
., National Action Network-Los Angeles' Rev.
Jonathan Moseley
, AFSCME 3090 Past President Alice Goff,
Black Community Clergy & Labor Alliance Executive Board Member Jackie
, Black Women for Wellness Executive Director Janette
, Church Without Walls Pastor Cue Jn-Marie,
Fannie Lou Hamer Institute Director Akili, Holman United
Methodist Church Rev. Oliver Bouie, Hyde Park Organizational
Partnership for Empowerment, LA CAN Executive Director Pete White,
Los Angeles Worker Center's Malcolm Harris, and Poor People's
Campaign & McCarty Memorial Church Pastor Eddie Anderson.

Speakers noted that the African-American communities throughout the
state have been particularly impacted by California's
housing-affordability crisis, which has destabilized cultural, business,
social, and political centers and uprooted African-American families.

In Los Angeles, there's been a decrease of 100,000 African Americans
since the 1990s while the median rent for a two-bedroom in South L.A.
has shot up 50 percent in the past five years. In Oakland, the
African-American population has dropped nearly one-third while 61
percent of African Americans are rent burdened.

"Whatever gain we make at the bargaining table," said AFSCME 3090
Past President Alice Goff
, "are negated by the increases for rent."

She added, "Rent control is critical for timely addressing the needs
within all our communities."

The pockets of the African-American community that remain in cities such
as Los Angeles and San Francisco are largely due to rent control and
mandated affordable housing. African-American leaders point out that
rent control slows gentrification and helps low-income families to stay
in their longtime neighborhoods.

Kim Yergan, a senior-citizen homeowner who had to battle banks in
order to keep her home in LA's Crenshaw District, explained, "The high
rental prices and high housing costs are surely intended to displace me…
The housing costs take up 50 percent of my fixed income."

The human cost of rising rents and sky-high housing costs -- such as
increasing homelessness and poverty -- is an obvious moral issue in
African-American communities throughout the state.

Rev. Eddie Anderson, the California co-chair of the nationwide
Poor People's Campaign, said, "Poverty is immoral, and we must call it
out wherever we see it. Dramatically raising the rents in this
neighborhood is immoral. So today we stand to say, ‘Yes on 10' -- that
we stabilize the rents. For the rent is too damn high, and our people
can't take it anymore."

The three proponents of the Yes on Prop 10 campaign are the AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF),
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE
) and Eviction Defense Network (EDN).
It has earned the broad support of over 150 labor, housing advocacy,
community, and faith-based organizations throughout the state:

View Comments and Join the Discussion!