End rent control
At various times, I have been a renter, homeowner, and landlord in Mountain View. I'd like to correct an error about rent control recently published in the Voice's Viewpoint section. Despite what Yobs (Letters to the editor, May 4), Showalter, Rosenberg and Siegel say ("Don't sign the Measure V Too Costly petition," May 4), a 5 percent vacancy does not trigger an end to rent control; it only enables the Rent Control Committee to end rent control if it chooses to, and it might not, nobody knows!
For the business people who are the only ones who will ever truly solve the housing crisis by building and providing more housing, that's a huge problem because you can't base a business plan on the unpredictable whims of a government committee.
Further, much has been made of the fact that landlords rather than taxpayers are stuck with the cost of operating the Rental Housing Committee, as if this were a good thing. Property owners aren't evil people; why should they pay to run a bureaucracy that harms their investments; disincentivizes maintenance, repairs and upgrade; and discourages new investors from providing housing?
Alas, whether or not the rent control bureaucracy is too expensive or too unpredictable probably isn't even the right question to ask. Instead, let's ask, "What can we do to eliminate rent control and its committee altogether?" When committees, rather than markets, try to "solve" problems caused by market forces, the results are usually perverse. I once heard of a millionaire who kept her rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco because "it was too cheap to give it up," even though she only stayed there a few weeks per year. Obviously, her actions denied housing to others, but what's to stop this and other perverse outcomes from happening here too?
San Rafael Avenue
Sanjay Dave should resign
The Voice reported that Sanjay Dave, an MVLA high school district trustee, stated that AP science classes are for the "most serious students" and expressed the belief that they would have to be "adapted" and standards would need to be lowered in order to include more minority students ("MVLA teachers condemn comments about minority students," April 27). Decades of research shows that ethnoracial minority students have unequal access to educational resources; Mr. Dave's views represent the institutional racism that perpetuates these barriers to education access.
Mr. Dave's comments are also inconsistent with the district's policy about the education of ethnoracial minority students. Mr. Dave should immediately resign from the board. His views do not represent mere poor phrasing, they represent views that serve to perpetuate education inequity that sets up students up for a lifetime of disadvantage.
Lynn C. Waelde