Stop the Sale of California & its Corporate Real Estate-Backed Lies: California’s Future is on the Line! 

CAA Donations and Political Influence Moves Gov. Newsom to Veto Holiday Eviction Protections

For decades, Big Real Estate has rigged the system for their profit at our expense. They’ve used their money and influence to corrupt many of our politicians to do their bidding.

In 2020 CAA’s corporate landlords shelled out tens of millions of dollars to oppose Prop. 15 & 21 to protect and increase their profits over people and our communities.

In 2021, CAA and mega landlords capitalized on the September recall to buy influence over Governor Newsom.  A July 2021 report found $3.3 million in early donations from real estate developers, investors, brokers and organizations to support Gov. Newsom fight the Sept. 14 recall election

On October 9th, CAA claimed credit for defeating AB1487 – critical legislation to create a Homeless Prevention Fund to help vulnerable renters receive eviction defense and eviction protections over the holidays.  Despite AB1487 passing both the Assembly and Senate, Gov. Newsom refused to sign it in to law, an action that only exacerbates the risk of displacement and increased homelessness.

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The Backstory

In 2020, over 120 million dollars was raised from mostly corporate interests and funnelled through 15 different political committees to target voters and defeat Propositions 15 and 21.

The Schools and Community First Initiative (Prop 15) and initiative to allow local cities to pass rent stabilization policies to address their individual housing needs (Prop 21) were both outspent and both failed.

Both of these campaigns built on years of work to create tax fairness and regulation over powerful corporate interests causing many of the housing problems our state faces.

How did we get here?
1978 was a pivotal year in California tax fairness as corporations created tax loopholes within Proposition 13 to pay little in property taxes resulting in less funding for our schools and public services and more taxes on the rest of us.

1995 was a pivotal year limiting what cities could do to address their housing needs. After local cities passed rent control laws to protect tenants, for 20 years, Big Real Estate fought for loopholes in state law to limit the effectiveness of rent control and to exempt hundreds of thousands of rental units. In 1995, that loophole was signed into law, known as the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

It is during this twenty-year fight that Big Real Estate cemented their stranglehold over Sacramento.

Who’s Fighting Back?
Following the 2008 Great Recession, California’s schools were facing the lowest spending per pupil in the country and skyrocketing tuition for higher education.

In 2011, a coalition of community and education groups came together to gather signatures for a “millionaires tax,” to tax the state’s top income tax brackets. Four years later, the coalition extended that temporary tax increase through 2030 with passage of Prop 55.

63% of voters supported the Prop 55 extension securing between seven and nine billion dollars a year for state needs like help saving our K-12 public schools, increasing access to higher education and restoring tens of thousands of jobs and many important social programs lost during the Great Recession.

Today, a similar group of community-led groups is led the fight to protect and fully invest in communities with Propositions 15 & Prop. 21.

Prop 15 and 21 Explainer

California’s Future is Not for Sale –  Support Prop. 15 & 21
California’s unfair tax system and out-of-control housing costs are driven by wealthy corporations and the Big Real Estate lobby that protect tax loopholes, pre-empt what local cities can do to address their housing and homeless crisis and continue outdated rent control and property tax laws. Their drive for profits hurts Californians.

Props 15 and 21 are necessary to address California’s housing affordability, high cost education and low per pupil spending challenges.

The Schools and Communities First Initiative (Prop 15)
Prop 15 will reclaim $10 to $12 billion greedy and wealthy corporations $10 to $12 billion (5% to 6% of our CA budget) each year for EVERY county to invest in things like public education, health care, fighting homelessness, safe drinking water and preparing for and responding to future disasters like wildfires. Currently, California’s tax loophole allows corporations to only pay 1% of their property’s purchase price in taxes, no matter how long ago that transaction occurred or how much the property has appreciated since. Almost all other states tax commercial property based on current market value. Corporations like Disney and Chevron are underpaying their rightful tax obligations by tens of millions each year.

The Rental Affordability Act (Prop 21)
Proposition 21 will support the expansion of rent control throughout California. If passed, the measure would give local governments the power to implement tenant-friendly protections that limit annual rent increases, prevent displacement, and make living in California affordable for all. Top experts at USC, UCLA, and UC Berkeley agree that sensible rent limits are key for stabilizing California’s housing affordability crisis.

Call Off the Sale of California
Massive out-of-state corporations, special interests and Trump’s biggest donors are all bankrolling the opposition to Prop 15 and Prop 21.

These billionaires and wealthy corporations are  spending tens of millions of dollars in political donations, lobbying, and employing highly paid lawyers to avoid regulations that protect renters, maximize rents, minimize tax payments, and stop fair property tax reassessments.

These wealthy corporate interests have paid influential Black and Latino leaders to front their lies and deceptions using scare tactics to maximize their profits and continue to exploit loopholes.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and CA NAACP President Alice Huffman have each received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to publicly support or oppose ballot initiatives. Villaraigosa’s 2018 Governor’s committee is still open and has received nearly a million dollars since the Governor’s race was over, some donations from companies now opposing Proposition 15.

The top contributor to the “No on Prop 15” campaign committee against the initiative is $15.7 million from the California Business Roundtable who has also spent $5.6 million on the No on Prop 21. The CA Business Roundtable’s biggest donors in the last two years are New York-based Blackstone Property Partners, which gave $7 million, and $4.5 million from Michael Hayde, CEO of the Western National Group, a real estate investment firm based in Irvine, CA.

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Paid for by Committee to Save Our Neighborhoods, Sponsored by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action. Committee major funding from: The San Francisco Foundation.