Its election time again and voters can expect the usual deluge of misleading rhetoric and scare tactics intended to demonize candidates for office. West Hollywood voters are much more sophisticated than in many other communities and less susceptible to such tactics, but that doesn’t mean opposing campaigns won’t try.
State Assemblymember Betsy Butler’s campaign is the latest target of such misleading campaign rhetoric. Betsy is a principled progressive and a very effective legislator. She was recently endorsed by the association representing apartment owners, which was a signal to her opponents to try and scare voters into believing that she must subscribe to the associations more objectionable policies - she does not.
Any candidate for office works diligently to get as much support from as broad of a base of people and organizations as possible. Elections work like this: the candidate with the most votes wins. Thus, getting support from a broad base of individual and organizations is critical. Every candidate does it.
Despite the endorsement by the apartment association, Assemblymember Betsy Butler has one of the best records on renters' rights in the State Legislature, something I am sure the association finds difficult to stomach.
Last year, Betsy was one the few legislators to support AB 934 (Feuer), a law which would have made it harder for landlords to unfairly evict tenants from their homes, a bill strongly supported by the City of West Hollywood. While most legislators caved in to the landlord lobby, Betsy stood up and fought for the rights of tenants. This year, Betsy has supported AB 1865 (Alejo), which expands access to information and lawyer referral programs for defendants against landlords in eviction cases.
The Golden State Mobile Home Owners League has endorsed Betsy in her re-election because they know she is fighting landlords as they try to change state law to eliminate local rent control ordinances for mobile home park tenants.
Betsy is a consumer champion. She has won the prestigious endorsement of the California Consumer Federation because she is an advocate for consumers and renters.
This year, Betsy is waging a battle for unmarried property owners to keep their homes from being reassessed for higher property taxes when one of the co-tenants dies. For our seniors, our veterans and the LGBT community, this is a huge step toward fairness and ensuring that owners aren’t unfairly taxed.
Make no mistake. Betsy has been a great advocate for all of us. She is already in the Assembly, doing the hard work and bringing multiple interests to the table to come up with solutions that will protect renters. She has proven that she can deliver on this issue, and many more, and should be returned to the Assembly.
Mayor Jeffrey Prang