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please pass Option B of the Tenant Relocation Assistance proposal

From: domainremoved <Amy>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 10:40:36 -0800

Dear Menlo Park City Council,


My name is Amy Tannenbaum and I am a resident of District Three in Menlo
Park. I am writing to strongly urge you to support Tenant Relocation
Assistance, Option B at tonight’s City Council meeting. This proposal
offers meaningful anti-poverty protections for tenants in our city, and it
is the right thing to do.


I work as a public attorney at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto,
providing pro bono legal services to individuals facing discrimination and
wage theft at work and assisting people with criminal records to get a fair
second chance at jobs and other opportunities. This work is rewarding, but
not lucrative. I feel lucky to be able to live in Menlo Park, in a
neighborhood with racially diverse tenants that include young families,
elderly folks, students, and public servants. This sort of diversity makes
me proud to live in Menlo Park.


Under current law, if my apartment’s management company decided to
institute a large rent increase, my neighbors and I would be left out to
dry. We would be financially devastated at trying to find another place to
live nearby within our budgets. I see in my work every day the way that
rent increases of even $100 or $200 are enough to push families who are
already struggling to make ends meet to the edge, forcing them to live in
their cars or move out of the area entirely. The constant precariousness
is stressful and can wreak havoc on already vulnerable community members.


Passing the Tenant Relocation Ordinance would provide meaningful
protections for me and my neighbors in the event of a large and unexpected
rent increase. It might mean the difference between a family living in
their car or being able to find a new apartment; the difference between
children getting to stay rooted in their schools and hometown rather than
being displaced; the difference between public servants being able to live
near work and be more productive rather than facing exhausting and
environmentally damaging commutes—or being forced to leave their public
service jobs altogether.


I urge you to pass Option B because it provides modest but essential
assistance payment for tenants displaced by a large rent increase or a
no-fault eviction, and it protects more people. The loopholes in Option A
would make many tenants ineligible for relocation assistance in the event
of rent gouging, and would exclude those who rent single-family homes or
duplexes. Passing Option B is the right choice to protect as many of our
community members as possible and to prevent them from facing homelessness
at no fault of their own in the event of a no-fault eviction or large rent
increase.


Menlo Park has the opportunity here to do the right thing, to be a leader
in San Mateo County in passing a bill that protects tenants and helps to
prevent poverty and homelessness amongst the people who make up our city.
Please vote to pass Option B of the Tenant Relocation Assistance proposal.


Thank you,



Amy Tannenbaum


Received on Tue Feb 26 2019 - 10:37:26 PST

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