Proposition 21! – California Rent Control Ballot Measure Now Heads to Voters in November as Campaign Rolls Out 200+ Endorsements

·8 min read

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office today assigned Proposition Number 21 to the Rental Affordability Act (RAA), an initiative that will allow for the expansion of rent control throughout California

Housing justice advocates and backers of the Rental Affordability Act (RAA), a November 2020 state ballot initiative that will allow for the expansion of rent control throughout California, today welcomed news from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office that it has formally assigned an official number for the ballot initiative, which will now be known as Proposition 21.

The news comes as the Prop. 21 campaign gains steam, adding key endorsements from federal and state elected officials; local city councils; and social, housing, and racial justice organizations. The measure has also received the endorsement of the Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, as well as the endorsements of Senator Bernie Sanders, labor and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, California Senate Pro Tempore Emeritus and L.A. City Councilman-elect Kevin de León (CD-14), and a suite of California’s tenant advocacy and social justice organizations, including the statewide Housing Now! California coalition (which consists of over 100 labor and housing justice organizations), the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the Urban League of Los Angeles and the Eviction Defense Network (EDN), as well as major labor unions, such as UNITE HERE Local 11. The Campaign has also locked-in the endorsements of every elected rent control board member in the state. (See Full List Below)

"Today's announcement marks the end of the long on-ramp to the November election and the fight for housing justice. Our initiative is more urgent than ever, as millions of renters face the worst economy in this country for a century. We cannot afford to carry on as we have to address our deteriorating housing crisis," said René Christian Moya, campaign director of the Rental Affordability Act campaign. "Onward with Prop. 21!"

The measure first qualified for placement on the November California ballot in early February after the backers submitted over one-million voter signatures in support of the measure. Signatures of 623,212 California voters were needed to qualify the measure. (For random sample qualification, the number was 685,534 signatures).

"Proposition 21 is an important way for California voters to weigh in and really help address the twin crises of housing affordability and homelessness in California," said Cynthia Davis, MPH, one of the five (5) citizen proponents of the ballot measure and co-chair of AHF’s Board of Directors. "Even before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with the economy, California’s housing affordability was among the worst in the nation. The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995—which passed in Sacramento by just one vote—currently limits rent control across the state. Prop. 21 will amend the misguided law to allow for wider implementation of rent control—something I believe is a key way to help keep people in stable, affordable housing and to prevent more Californians from falling into homelessness."

The rent control ballot measure has gained increasing urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions of Californians already struggling with the state’s high housing costs have now lost work and income in the nation’s shuttered economy.

California is home to one in four homeless people in the United States. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released its 2020 Los Angeles homeless count—which took place in January before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked medical, social, and economic havoc across the region. The report showed a double-digit percentage increase: up 13% in Los Angeles County to 66,433 individuals despite hundreds of millions spent by city and county officials. In the City of Los Angeles, the count jumped 14% to 41,290 homeless individuals living unsheltered or on the streets.

The Rental Affordability Act

When passed, The Rental Affordability Act 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

Housing Is A Human Right (HHR) is the housing advocacy division of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), and the leading sponsor of the RAA. The full slate of endorsements includes:

Federal Leaders
Senator Bernie Sanders
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Barbara Lee

State Leaders
Kevin de León,
CA Senate Pro Tempore Emeritus
Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization Tony Vazquez
State Senator María Elena Durazo
State Senator Ben Allen
State Assembly Member Rob Bonta
State Assembly Member Miguel Santiago
State Assembly Member Wendy Carrillo
Dolores Huerta

Cities and Local City Leaders
City of West Hollywood
City of Santa Monica
City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath
City of Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown
Alameda City Council Member Jim Oddie
Antioch Unified School District Board Member Debra Vinson
Los Angeles City Council Member David Ryu
Los Angeles City Council Member Herb Wesson
Los Angeles City Council Member Mike Bonin
Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz
Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Jackie Goldberg
Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb
Riverside Community College Board of Trustees Jose Alcala
Santa Monica City Council Member Sue Himmelrich

Local Rent Stabilization Board Members
Berkeley Rent Board Chair Paola Laverde
Berkeley Rent Board Vice-Chair Leah Simon-Weisberg
Berkeley Rent Board Member Alejandro Soto-Vigil
Berkeley Rent Board Member Igor Tregub
Berkeley Rent Board Member James Chang
Berkeley Rent Board Member John Selawsky
Berkeley Rent Board Member Mari Mendonca
Berkeley Rent Board Member Maria Poblet
Berkeley Rent Board Member Soli Alpert
Santa Monica Rent Board Chair Nicole Phillis
Santa Monica Rent Board Vice-Chair Naomi Sultan
Santa Monica Rent Board Member Anastasia Foster
Santa Monica Rent Board Member Caroline Torosis
Santa Monica Rent Board Member Steve Duron

Leading Statewide Labor and Advocacy Organizations
UAW Local 2865
Our Revolution
ACCE Action
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Courage California
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Housing Now! California
Urban League of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
Eviction Defense Network
Los Angeles Tenants Union (LATU)
Democratic Socialists of America – Los Angeles
Inquilinos Unidos
LA Voice
Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR)
Southern CA Americans for Democratic Action
Black Skeptics Los Angeles
Brown Beret National Organization (BBNO)
Burbank Tenants’ Rights Committee
Burrito Project L.A.
California Democratic Party's Renters Caucus
CALOR (AIDS Service Organization)
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED)
Ground Game Los Angeles
Healthy Housing Foundation
HEART LA (Housing Equality & Advocacy Resource Team)
Helping Hands of USA
Impulse Group
Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action (LACCLA)
National Lawyers Guild - Los Angeles
Peninsula for Everyone
Pomona Economic Opportunity Center
Pomona United for Stable Housing (PUSH)
Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Reed For Hope Foundation
San Diego Tenants United
San Francisco Berniecrats
Small Property Owners for Reasonable Controls - Long Beach
Union de Vecinos
WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases)

Democratic Party Leaders
DNC Members/ Members-Elect:
Ada Briceno
Christine Pelosi
Derek Devermont
Carolyn Fowler
Sean Dugar
Malehat Rafeiei
Garry Shay
Laurence Zakson
Susie Shannon
Mary Ellen Early
Steven Alari
Otto Lee
Becca Doten
Andrew Lachman
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
Kerman Maddox
Keith Umemoto

CDP Caucus Chairs:
Taisha Brown - African American Caucus
Carlos Alcala, Chicano Latino Caucus
Mahmoud Zahriya - Arab American Caucus
Christine Pelosi - Women's Caucus
Ruth Carter - Senior Caucus
Lester Aponte - LGBT Caucus
Tiffany Wood - LGBT Caucus
Hene Kelly - Disabilities Caucus
Amar Shergill - Progressive Caucus
Ray Bishop - Business and Professions Caucus
Thom O'Shaughnessy - Irish American Caucus
Jillynn Molina-Williams - Veterans Caucus
Brigette Hunley - Computer and Internet Caucus

Regional Directors:
Sergio Carrillo
Deborah Cunningham-Skurnik
Rocky Fernandez
Humberto Gomez
Eric Sunderland
Diana Love
Larry Gross
Hene Kelly
Michelle Krug
William Monroe
Maha Rizvi
Omar Torres
Amy Champ (Past RD)

Assembly District Representatives:
Wendy Bloom
Sean Dugar
Amy Hines-Shaikh
Susana Williams
Cary Brown
Sue Himmelrich
Michelle Pariset
Steveonna Evans
Ana Gonzalez
Nick Andre
Prameela Bartholomeusz
Elizabeth Talbott
Amar Shergill
Tom Camarella
Francisco Ramos
Ruth Lopez
Jonathan Aboud

County Central Committee and CDP Committee Representatives:
David Campos - San Francisco County Chair
Ada Briceno - Orange County Chair
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy - San Diego County
Deb Baumann - Lake County Chair
Chris Robles - San Bernardino Chair
Brigette Hunley - Solano County Chair
Tisa Rodriguez, Riverside County Chair
Rosemary Wren, San Luis Obispo Chair
Michael Barnett
Andy Kelley
Michael Nye
Debra Baumann
Bobbie Jean Anderson
Victor Castellano
Marcella Cortez
George Bates
Jordan Eldrige
Tristan Brown
Gabriel Haaland
Jeff Daar
Stacy Fortner
Stephen Gale
Leah Herzberg
Deana Igelsrud
Ron Lozano
Dorothy Reik
Cara Robin
Patt Sanders
Dotty Lemiuex
Ted Perle
Mike Curran
Wendy Eccles
Cody Petterson
David Campos
Petra De Jesus
James Johnson
Shane Parmely
Jimmie Woods-Gray
Denise Penn
Caro Avanessian
Jonathan Lyens
Lanny Swerdlow
Royce Kelley
Elizabeth "Nikki" Linnerman
Bob Nelson
Andrea Reyna
Julie Waters
Debra Vinson
Barbara Calhoun
Richard Matthews
Iyad Afalqa
Kevin Sabellico
Lisa Andres
Ted Perle
Drexel Heard II
Mary Rose Ortega
Shannon Ross
Jerilyn Stapleton
Jane Wishon
Barbara Leary
Ralph Miller

Other Individuals
Reverend Al Sharpton

The Rental Affordability Act is sponsored by Homeowners & Tenants United, with significant funding by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. To learn more go to and

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Ruthie Thomas, Communications Director, Rental Affordability Act (RAA),, (310) 663-4159 cell
Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Dir.,, (323) 791-5526 cell