Tuesday’s Briefing: Rent Control Expansion Proposed for Ballot; Newsom Says State Needs to Build 3.5 Million Homes

Plus, the state Senate hires investigators to probe sexual harassment allegations.


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Stories you shouldn't miss for Oct. 24, 2017:

1. Tenants and housing activists are pushing to put a measure on the 2018 statewide ballot that would allow cities to expand rent control to single-family homes and apartment buildings constructed after 1995, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. The ballot measure would overturn Costa Hawkins, a 1995 statewide law that tightly restricted rent control throughout California. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit community organizing group, is the primary backer of the initiative.

2. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is the leading candidate for governor next year, said California needs to build 3.5 million units of housing by 2025 in order to help alleviate the state’s housing crunch, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. “Simply put, we’re experiencing a housing affordability crisis, driven by a simple economic argument,” Newsom wrote in a post on Medium. “California is leading the national recovery, but it’s producing far more jobs than homes. Providing adequate housing is fundamental to growing the state’s economy.”

3. State Senate President Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has hired two law firms to probe allegations of widespread sexual harassment in the Capitol and to review the Senate’s policies and how it responds to complaints, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The move by de León came after 300 women signed a letter stating that sexual harassment was common in Sacramento.

4. Another fall heat wave is expected to set temperature records in the Bay Area and throughout the state today, reports Mark Gomez of the Mercury News$. Temperatures in the mid-80s and low 90s are forecast for the region.

5. BART is evicting a homeless encampment on the Oakland-Berkeley border next to the “Here There” signs on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, underneath the train tracks, reports Emilie Raguso of Berkeleyside. The encampment, which is on BART property, was established last year.

6. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is poised to enact a temporary ban on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the county, reports Sam Richards of the East Bay Times$. The moratorium would remain in effect until county voters weigh in on a cannabis tax measure proposed for the November 2018 ballot.

7. BART has finished testing its pilot group of new train cars and is on track to put them in service by Thanksgiving, reports Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle. BART is expected to add hundreds of new train cars in the next several years.

8. And Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy dismissed felony charges against former Oakland police officer Ryan Walterhouse, ruling that there was insufficient evidence that he is guilty of conspiracy and bribery involving a 21-year-old sex worker, reports Angela Ruggiero of the East Bay Times$.

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