A voter measure to nullify most provisions of Mountain View's rent control program is headed for the 2020 ballot.
The so-called "Mountain View Homeowner, Renter and Taxpayer Protection Initiative," passed its last major hurdle this week when Santa Clara County elections officials announced that thousands of voter signatures submitted with the measure appear to be valid.
The measure needed at least 5,150 signatures from registered voters to qualify, and it surpassed that requirement by about 600, according to City Clerk Lisa Natusch. On Thursday morning, she informed the City Council that the measure would be added to its Nov. 27 meeting agenda, so that it could be certified for the 2020 ballot.
A summary and full text of the measure can be found here.
The proposed ballot initiative is being spearheaded by the California Apartment Association with funding from several of Mountain View's largest apartment owners, according to mandatory financial disclosures. Since first announcing the measure in April, advocates have spent more than $260,000. Much of that money went toward hiring a team of signature gatherers, who were reportedly paid a premium for any names they could collect. Several hundred people requested that their signatures be withdrawn, saying they were duped into believing the measure would preserve or expand rent control.
Ever since its inception, the proposed measure has been denounced as a "sneaky repeal" by activists who passed the original Measure V rent control program in 2016. While the landlord-backed measure purports to fix problems in the city's rent control program, they point out that it would actually repeal nearly all of its tenant protections.
The new landlord-backed measure was originally intended to be placed on the 2018 ballot, but it failed to meet a June deadline for submitting its required signatures.