Another local rent control effort has come up short on the required number of signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
On Monday, the Glendale City Clerk deemed 4,000 signatures collected by the Glendale Tenants Union (GTU) “insufficient.”
The GTU, which needed 10,529 valid signatures to qualify for the general election, is the latest to fall short in attempts to force a rent control initiative onto a local ballot.
“That Glendale, Long Beach, Inglewood and Pasadena were all ‘insufficient’ in their signature collection efforts is far more of an indictment of the voter-led initiative process itself,” GTU member Mike Van Gorder said in a prepared statement.
In May, officials with the Pasadena Tenants Union (PTU) also came up short in its efforts to get a rent control initiative on the November ballot. In May, the group had collected 8,679 signatures, with 12,300 valid signatures required, according to City Clerk Mark Jomsky.
One month later, the Secretary of State’s Office reported that backers of Proposition 10, an initiative that would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act of 1995 prohibiting cities from enacting their own rent-control laws, had collected far more signatures than needed to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot. Organizers collected nearly 600,000 signatures, with 365,880 valid signatures required.
“We calculated that we’d need $60,000 worth of time and money to collect enough signatures just to ask the voters a question,” Van Gorder said. The GTU will now attempt to force the Glendale City Council to adopt their measure — calling for a 4 percent a year cap on rents and a creation of a board to oversee compliance — and are planning a rally at the next upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to demand their support.
“If the City Council fails us again, we will launch another petition starting with the army we’ve built over the past year. There’s a lot you can do with thousands of motivated voters that are vocally tired of a city government that doesn’t protect them,” said Van Gorder.
About two-thirds of households in Glendale are renters, and, according to the city’s own data, 59 percent of renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
“We’re trying to protect the most vulnerable members of the community who have neither time nor money and needing five figures’ worth of money to participate in civics is absurd,” Van Gorder said.