After pleas from seniors to enact an emergency moratorium barring their last-minute no-fault evictions, the Burlingame City Council set a “study session” for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, instead of setting an emergency session when a vote could be taken.
Redwood City, San Mateo, Daly City and other California cities easily passed these emergency moratoriums without “study sessions.” They saved their constituents from evictions and homelessness during the holidays before a new law barring no-fault evictions takes effect Jan. 1.
Why then is Burlingame delaying a vote, forcing seniors and families to scramble to find housing in less than two months? Because Burlingame has the most reactionary and regressive council on the Peninsula when it comes to protecting renters.
Councilwoman Ann Keighran, celebrated by the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, and whose parents own apartments in Burlingame, asked the clerk to include the text of Measure R, a 2016 rent stabilization initiative, in study materials. The reason for this may be that she wants to show that voters earlier rejected eviction protections; however, the only relevant language is in AB 1482 which takes effect Jan. 1. She wishes to deny even this crumb to renters.
The Burlingame City Council never fails to disappoint renters and defers, delays and denies on issues not favored by the real estate lobby. How refreshing it would be to see them join neighboring cities and pass a moratorium before people are forced to move or become homeless.
The letter writer is the founder of Housing for All Burlingame.