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August 17, 2014



You all know that when someone gets my attention, I stick with it. That is true of this "renters' advocate" who is approaching the insufferably-stupid point of no return.

Here is her letter in today's DJ at http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2014-10-14/letter-important-burlingame-city-council-meetings-for-renters-and-housing-advocates/1776425131571.html:


This Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., the Burlingame City Council will be interviewing applicants for the empty council seat recently vacated by Jerry Deal.

Although this position will only be for one year, it is vital that renters attend the interview sessions to find out if any of the applicants are educated about the housing issues in Burlingame, and what their positions are on affordable housing and rent stabilization.

The vote to choose the applicant will follow up at the regular council meeting 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20. Renters and housing advocates should let the council know now that we need the new councilmember to be educated about the rental crisis, displacement issues and affordable housing possibilities.

Cynthia Cornell


I'm curious. Cynthia, when a B'game renter is "displaced" who takes their place? Answer: another renter. So apparently you have some magic formula to distinguish good renters from bad ones. Please elaborate for us.

Anybody who has paid an iota of attention to what happens when government rent control kicks in knows it distorts the market and ends up hurting the very people it is intended to help. Please stop.

Bruce Dickinson

Three cowbell rings for Joe. Your are 100% correct, my friend. As you know, I don't like to waste time on the same sticky flypaper attracting the same gadflies, but I would be remiss if I didn't say in a quite humorous twist of irony, this Cynthia person calling for educated applicants is the one who needs a basic education about business and economics. Bruce Dickinson has a non-minced message for Cynthia: go take a basic economics course, understand the concepts, and let Google Search be your best friend. What you'll find is that both in theory and in practice, what you are saying is dead wrong and defies cold facts. No, the earth is not flat, and is overwhelming evidence to prove it.

Bruce Dickinson has sympathy, yes, a lot of sympathy for lower income groups, but I can smell self-interest a mile away. Other than not appearing to understand the issues, she is also ironically, in a purported "defense" of the rental population, as it were, is actually saying: "I don't care about future renters, who will pay 3 times as much as I do in five years, I only really care about my rent being capped from here on out." Sorry to say, Cynthia it's not all about you, its about securing some semblance of rental housing availability for the future children and immigrants that will move to Burlingame. You are but one minnow in a big sea that is 4 billions years old on a planet that is round and revolves around the Sun. When you have housing shortages in the Bay Area due to land constraints, you have got to have a mindset about the greatest good for the greatest number of people over time.

I agree, enough is enough. Cased closed and rest assured Bruce Dickinson will not be talking again about this issue nor the anticipated "retorts".


Local John Horgan is pretty much on track with the perspective I have on "affordable housing" with his T-day column. As a public service I will give you the link here since it is not the easiest thing to find on the Mercury/Time/Inside Bay Area/Whatever website:


And my favorite parts in case you only want the punchline are:

The Sustainable San Mateo County report puts the local housing dilemma in some perspective. To wit: For all practical purposes, there is plenty of land that could be developed since nearly two-thirds of the entire county is pristine (117,000 acres are said to be "protected"), or what is dubbed "rural."

Much of that property is already firmly safe from development courtesy of local governments or open-space advocates; some is being used for agriculture; the rest is in private hands.

So, at the same time there is a cry for more housing countywide, the few places left on which to build even insignificant homes, apartments or condos are located in towns that are already built-out.

We have boxed ourselves in. Many of the same fine folks who want more housing, especially of the affordable variety, are the same people who want all of that open space noted above (and more, if possible) protected and kept out of the conversation entirely.

They want it both ways. Obviously, that can't possibly work. Most recently, they have been promoting four- and five-story apartment/condo complexes near transit corridors as their enlightened answer to a problem they have helped to create.

It's not clear yet whether residents of the communities now stuck with some of these unsightly creations really wanted them in the first place. But, as they cast their tacky shadows over certain unfortunate neighborhoods, we're starting to discover that, no, these structures aren't all that popular after all.

As for their affordability factor, that remains to be seen. For every relatively low-cost unit in a given complex, that prices have to be adjusted upward in the remaining market-rate units to compensate. Someone has to pay the piper for such social engineering. It's a vicious circle.

Read the whole thing for some of the more quantified back-up. Nice job, John!


Here is a clip from the Daily Journal article about 200 people rallying in RWC.

“Rent control is what we’re talking about ... but what it’s really about is protection. Housing, food and safety are the core needs of a community,” Diana Reddy, with the Housing Leadership Council, said at Saturday’s march in downtown Redwood City.

The latest effort to pass a rent control ordinance is a joint effort between the Housing Leadership Council and San Francisco Organizing Project/Peninsula Interfaith Action.

The march included many Redwood City business owners who contend the region has become too expensive for the wages they can afford to pay.


pat giorni

From an email received today...
Tenants and Landlords Forum

You're Invited to Attend a
Free Tenants and Landlords Informational Forum

Dear Friend,

Informational Forum Learn about the current issues in the San Mateo County rental market for both landlords and tenants, and learn about roles, responsibilities, rights, and recourse in the tenant/landlord relationship.

Presenters include:

Ann Marquart, executive director of Project Sentinel, a non-profit organization providing fair housing services, landlord-tenant mediation and mortgage counseling in several Northern California counties.

Jody Marshall is the Executive Director of Westwood Properties and is a rental housing expert on operations and property management.

Joel Golub, a contract attorney with San Mateo Superior Court, providing assistance to landlords through the Court's Self-Help Services.

Shirley Gibson, directing attorney with Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, whose legal practice is focused on eviction defense and enforcement of tenants' rights.

A question and answer period will follow the presentations. For more information, please contact my office at (650) 349-2200.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
6 - 7:45 p.m.

San Mateo Public Library
Oak Room
55 West 3rd Avenue
San Mateo CA 94402



Kevin Mullin
Speaker pro Tempore, 22nd District

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