Your article about the Berkeley Rent Board candidates election forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters is biased and inaccurate — and perpetuates the falsehood that only tenants who don’t own or work in the rental property industry are suitable to serve on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.
First, showing his bias, your writer labels members of the CALI Slate of Rent Board candidates as “pro-tenant,” suggesting that the other candidates who are not part of that slate are not “pro-tenant.” Every candidate running for the Rent Board who appeared at the forum believes and is committed to approaches and policies they consider in the interests of Berkeley tenants.
Secondly, your writer stated incorrectly that Rent Board candidates appearing at the forum who are FAIR Slate members “emphasized withdrawing rent control.” That was neither said nor inferred — and is utterly preposterous, though it was corrected about two weeks later. FAIR Slate candidates Judy Hunt and Nathan Wollman are supportive of Berkeley rent control and willingly and happily own and manage property in full accordance with the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
Last, and perhaps most important, is your writer’s hewing to the false notion that Berkeley tenants are somehow better off with a Rent Board dominated by people with no substantive experience owning, managing or maintaining rental property. We need more representation on the Rent Board by people who appreciate both what it takes to find a place to rent at a price one can afford and people who have experience providing quality rental housing in Berkeley at affordable prices.
FAIR Slate candidates Hunt and Wollman are committed to a cooperative and transparent Rent Board — and a local rental housing market that works for Berkeley tenants and rental property providers alike.