There are 47,000 signatures supporting a rent control measure in the city of Sacramento, but the City Council hasn’t put it on the March 2020 ballot. Supporters say they'll sue if it isn't.
John Shaban with SEIU Local 1021 helped hang a large gray banner on the windows at Tuesday's City Hall meeting.
"The city has a qualified initiative that has been lawfully submitted,” Shaban said. “The county elections and the city clerk have accepted this initiative. They have 88 days ahead of the next election to place it on the ballot and tell us that they're doing it so that we can run our part of the campaign."
But the Sacramento City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood says the Council may place charter initiatives before the voters at the next regularly scheduled general municipal election, which is in November 2020.
Alcala Wood says the council actually has until June 2020 to put it on the ballot.
A news release by the measure’s supporters, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, also says the initiative must be placed “on the next established statewide general election.”
An agreement among the mayor, landlords, builders, and some rent control proponents created a compromise version of the measure which the Sacramento City Council has already approved.
The charter amendment supporters say that agreement doesn't go far enough. Their proposal would provide relocation assistance for evicted tenants and would establish a rental review board.
Michelle Pariset is one of the driving forces behind the initiative.
"Forty seven thousand Sacramentans said that they want permanent rent control on the ballot and that is what they will get," she said in a statement. "There is no scenario in which I would undermine the will of the voters by removing the initiative from the ballot."
Pariset thanked the council for working on a deal back in August and called it a "fantastic first step."
Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a statement that said the council adopted rent control measures after extensive negotiations.
"We have lived by our word," he wrote. Others who gave their word should do the same."