LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of National Coming Out Day (NCOD) and as the nation continues to mark LGBT History Month celebrated each October, backers of California’s Proposition 21, a ballot measure that will allow cities to enact or expand rent control policies that limit rent increases and help keep families—gay and straight—in their homes, are proud to celebrate a bounty of key endorsements earned over the past few months from LGBT+ elected officials, individuals, communities as well as from the two preeminent LGBT+ media outlets, the Los Angeles Blade and the Bay Area Reporter.
LGBT+ endorsements for Prop. 21 include:
- Hon. Ricardo Lara, California’s insurance commissioner, the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California history. As a member of the California LGBT Statewide Caucus, he knows both what the state and community need: renter protections.
- Hon. Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 11
- Elena Popp, executive director of the Eviction Defense Network (EDN)
- The City of West Hollywood, led by longtime LGBT+ ally Mayor Lindsey Horvath: “We’re a rent control city,” says West Hollywood City Councilmember John Heilman, one of the city’s founding fathers and a longtime, nationally recognized gay elected official. “It has given some protection to long-term tenants and even for newer tenants. It has limited rent increases.”
- Stonewall Democratic Club, the home for progressive Democrats who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight allies of the LGBT community endorsed Prop. 21.
Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club: "Localities like San Francisco should have more ability to expand rent control. Many members of our club, and on the board, are working class and could not live in San Francisco at all if not for rent control,” said Edward Wright of the Milk Club.
Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club: the first registered Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Democratic Club in the nation endorsed Prop. 21.
- Impulse United, now the largest HIV/Wellness group in the world, comprised entirely of volunteers working in collaboration with AHF whose purpose is to promote sexual & lifestyle wellness using modern social approaches.
- The Los Angeles Blade, the premiere resource for local and national LGBT news, said in its September 15th endorsement of Prop. 21: “The Los Angeles Blade agrees that renters need more protections in California’s expensive housing market and the proposition would afford local governments the ability to expand more of those protections.” It also called out to Prop. 21 as “A firewall for renters against COVID-19 economy.”
- The Bay Area Reporter, which since 1971 has been the newspaper of record for the San Francisco Bay Area Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community, enthusiastically endorsed Prop. 21 on August 12th, writing “Given the eviction tsunami that is expected after moratoriums that were instituted because of COVID-19 expire, we hope that voters will decide that rent control is essential to keep people housed, especially during the pandemic. Vote YES on Prop 21.”
As Prop. 21 backers continue to welcome additional support and endorsements, the Los Angeles Times—which endorsed Prop 21 in an editorial on September 10th—published an explainer article last week (10/9/20) offering comprehensive information on the importance of the measure. The Times noted:
- “By one estimate, as many as 5.4 million tenants could be facing eviction in the coming months. Federal, state and local governments have passed varying forms of eviction protections, but few programs are providing financial relief so that tenants and landlords can make their rent and mortgage payments.”
The paper also reported that the two largest LGBT population centers in the state, San Francisco and Los Angeles, could see immediate benefit from Prop. 21, should those cities choose to expand rent limits, if Prop 21 passes:
- “In San Francisco, about 45,000 more apartments could become eligible for rent control immediately, according to a city estimate, a 26% increase over those currently subject to rent control.”
- “In Los Angeles, another 141,000 apartments could become eligible, according to a city estimate, an increase of 23%.”
Key Facts on Rent Burdened Tenants and LGBT+ Communities
- Almost 20% of transgender individuals will experience homelessness at some point in their lives.
- Prop 21 includes increased renter protections, which will help protect transgender renters against discriminatory housing practices and keep rents affordable, reducing their risk of becoming homeless.
- 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. And LGBT youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their heterosexual peers.
When passed, Proposition 21 will remove current state law restrictions, giving cities and counties the power to implement and expand rent control policies that limit how much rents can increase each year. It would allow local communities to:
- Expand rent control to more buildings while exempting newly constructed buildings.
- Exempt Single-Family homeowners who own up to two homes.
- Allow limits on rent increases when a new renter moves in.