Two thirds of California residents are tenants, but only a small percentage of the tenants actually vote. That means when the politicians are deciding whether to favor the landlords who give them money or the few tenants who might show up at the polls to vote for the name they see the most, they favor the landlords. This new law is an example of that. If tenants voted in the numbers that homeowners do, politicians would be tripping over each other to write strong laws for tenants. If you don’t register to vote AND VOTE, you are part of your own problem. And that’s the truth.
Tenants as a group are “disenfranchised,” excluded from consideration and the process, in that vicious cycle. We don’t register to vote, so when the politicians look at where their votes will be coming from, the R-4 apartment zones show very low registration. If tenants don’t register to vote, that means you don’t care what they do. If you don’t care, they don’t care. You end up with a choice at the polls between politicians who never mention the tenants’ needs, because they don’t want to offend the landlords who use your rent money to pay for the politicians’ campaign. You have nobody “worth” voting for, and so you don’t vote, and don’t even register. You need to break out of that vicious cycle.
You may have been registered to vote, but then forgot to re-register in the hassle of your move to a new place. Times goes on and it’s entirely forgotten until the election comes but you don’t get a ballot, because you’re not registered. Another election, another silence, and another signal to the politicians that you don’t care. Register. It takes only 5 minutes on line: https://registertovote.ca.gov.
There was a statewide rent control petition on the ballot recently, that got a 40% vote. That’s only 11% from winning. If tenants start registering to vote now, when that petition gets back on the ballot, we can win, and have a real rent control law that finally provides us with the protection we want and need. You are only one of 20 million tenants, but this sleeping giant can take control. It starts with you.
Landlords are only 2% of the entire population. Tenants are a 66% majority. Why are the laws so one-sided in favor of landlords? It’s no mystery: only about 5% of tenants vote. Why should a politician protect tenants when he can get huge campaign contributions from the landlords if he helps landlords, instead?
Change that. When politicians see the voter registration numbers change, so will the laws. If you were registered at your old address, you need to re-register at your current one. Don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution. Register to vote, on line, right now. It only takes a minute to complete. Do it for your own sake. And vote!