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Rent Control and the Election in Santa Monica

August 30, 1992

The article regarding the forthcoming Santa Monica City Council elections (Times, Aug. 16) is a prime illustration of why every council election is improperly turned into a referendum on rent control by Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR). This very sophisticated political machine has succeeded in convincing even The Times that rent control in Santa Monica is dependent upon a "friendly City Council."

The true facts are that rent control in Santa Monica is built into the City Charter and may be changed only by a majority vote of the people of Santa Monica. Furthermore, day-to-day interpretation and application of rent control provisions is made by an elected rent control board, not by the City Council. In actuality, the City Council does not and cannot affect the rent control law in any way, shape or form. As a candidate for City Council I do not perceive the existence of a move to abolish or eviscerate rent control; rent control is the law of Santa Monica and it should be enforced. Unlike City Atty. Robert M. Myers, I do not believe in selective law enforcement.

SMRR's attempt to make rent control an issue again this year is yet another cynical political move calculated to confuse and frighten the renters in Santa Monica and to deflect attention from the real issues: crime and inadequate prosecution. It is unfortunate that The Times has become an unwitting ally in this distorted and misleading campaign. I am confident that the voters will see through SMRR's fraudulent rhetoric and vote for the best candidate, putting aside the nonexistent issue of rent control. They will be looking to the media to provide them with accurate information in this regard.

ASHA GREENBERG

Santa Monica

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