An Open Letter to All Members of the California Assembly and Senate:
You must act immediately to prevent an epidemic of evictions that will reign more misery down on our beautiful state. You cannot get blood from a stone. With California's unemployment rate at a Depression-era 15% and a state of emergency still in place, our residents are already making hard choices between eating and keeping a roof over their heads. The current nerve-wracking limbo that tenants fact - not knowing if they can be evicted come September - represents a dereliction of duty by you, the legislature. The Judicial Council will not bail you out again. This emergency is clearly on your shoulders and you cannot fail to protect Californian's 17 million renters once again.
Stopping evictions should be your #1 priority right now. None of you should leave Sacramento for even a single day until the statewide eviction moratorium is extended. Everyone is watching. The moment of truth is at hand. We trust that you will do the right thing in time to stop this very preventable humanitarian tragedy.
We know that 25% of California legislators are also landlords: that you receive millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Big Real Estate: that their lobbyists swarm the Capitol and that the landlord lobby demonizes anyone who opposes them.
Nevertheless, in the extreme crisis we currently face with Depression-era unemployment, mass evictions right around the corner, homelessness skyrocketing and the toll of human suffering mounting by the hour, our legislature must be able to squeeze out some kind of relief for California's 17 million renters.
The legislature claims to be progressive but when it comes to renters needs, you always seem a day late and a dollar short. Right now, we are at war with a common enemy. The normal political sausage-making and special interest lobbying must give way to the survival needs of our residents.
Please have a heart. Yes, small landlords are hurting and need aid. However, no one needs the help more than the single mother without childcare, the college student living in their car or the minimum wage worker who just lost their supplemental unemployment benefits.
California needs profiles in courage right now.
The rich and powerful lobbies will have to wait and sacrifice like the rest of us.
History will be our judge.