RELEASE: Jane Kim Calls for “Compassion Clause” in Costa-Hawkins to Help Families that Have Suffered Loss of Loved Ones

Jane Kim Calls for “Compassion Clause” in Costa-Hawkins to Help Families that Have
Suffered Loss of Loved Ones
Call Comes in the Wake of a San Francisco Man Facing Doubling of Rent After Death of Partner

San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Supervisor and State Senate candidate Jane Kim today called upon elected leaders in Sacramento to work to reform Costa-Hawkins to provide a compassion exemption on rent increases in cases where there is a loss of close family members. Costa-Hawkins allows landlords to raise rents with any change in the occupancy of a unit; recently, in San Francisco, a management company raised the rent of a man within weeks of his partner having committed suicide.

“There is no doubt we need wholesale reform of Costa-Hawkins and I’ll push for that in Sacramento,” said Kim. “But we can start by helping people like Chris Holden who first suffered from the loss of his longtime partner and then was hit with an unaffordable rent increase. When tenants lose loved ones, they shouldn’t also face losing their homes.”

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Christopher Holden shared a studio apartment with his partner of five years. Two weeks after his partner committed suicide, the management company holding their lease notified Holden that his rent would nearly double. Chris’ partner had been the primary leaseholder and the increase was allowable under Costa-Hawkins.

Today, Jane Kim is calling for a “compassion clause” to Costa-Hawkins that would prohibit rent increases for one year after the death of a family member, even if that resulted in a change in occupancy. Annual rent adjustments would still be allowed.

“The very least we can do as a compassionate society is to allow family to have time to grieve, pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild their lives. The law right now, however, allows landlords to pile economic distress onto emotional upheaval,” said Kim. “And while I know the vast majority of landlords would never use such a tragedy as an excuse to increase prices, we need to have protections for people like Chris.”

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Jane Kim: It’s Time for the People’s Pledge to End Special Interest Spending

State Senate Candidate Urges Opponent Scott Wiener to Join with Her to Discourage Outside “Independent Expenditure” Spending by Adopting Elizabeth Warren’s People’s Pledge

San Francisco, CA – Last week, San Francisco Supervisor and State Senate candidate Jane Kim urged her opponent, Scott Wiener, to sign a clean campaign pledge to take negative advertising and personal attacks out of the race. Wiener responded by hotly defending his “right” to attack Kim and then later to ridicule the entire idea of running a positive campaign. Today, Kim is urging Wiener to sign the well-known People’s Pledge to keep independent expenditures and third parties out of the race.

“It’s clear now that Scott wants to run a negative campaign and that’s unfortunate for voters. I’m happy to consider any counterproposals from him on how to keep our own campaigns directed on the issues. But we must also address the outside forces that could enter into this local debate. That’s why we are redoubling our efforts to create a clean and substantive campaign by urging Scott to sign the People’s Pledge to discourage outside negative attacks. In a time of Citizens United, outside spending by special interests has gotten out of control. It’s time for the People’s Pledge because this is one thing we both can do to leave the decision to voters, not big corporations and special interests,” said Kim.

The People’s Pledge was first created in the U.S. Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in 2012. It required that if any independent groups ran advertising in the race, the person benefitting from those ads would donate half the total spend to the charity of their opponent’s choice. For example, if a third party group ran a TV ad benefitting Brown with a total budget of $100,000, Brown would have been required to donate $50,000 to a charity of Warren’s choice.

The Pledge was largely successful in reducing the role of third parties; a later study from Common Cause Massachusetts found, “Outside group spending made up just 9% of total spending in Massachusetts. By comparison, outside groups outspent the candidates in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio by 34% on average. Outside group spending in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio made up 62%, 64%, and 47% of total spending respectively.”

In the primary election for State Senate, independent expenditure organizations spent more than $340,000 to assist Scott Wiener (more than 5 times the amount such groups spent supporting Kim).

Text of the People’s Pledge sent from Kim to Wiener is below.

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The People’s Pledge

Because outside third party organizations – including but not limited to individuals, corporations, 527 organizations, 501(c) organizations, SuperPACs, and national and state party committees – may air, and may continue to air, and/or direct mail independent expenditure advertisements and issue advertisements either supporting or attacking Supervisor Jane Kim or Supervisor Scott Wiener (individually the “Candidate” and collectively the “Candidates”); and

Because these groups function as independent expenditure organizations that are outside the direct control of any of the Candidates; and

Because the Candidates agree that they do not approve of such independent expenditure advertisements and/or direct mail, and want those advertisements and/or direct mail to immediately cease and desist for the duration of the 2016 general election cycle; and

Because the Candidates recognize that, in order to help provide for a State Senate runoff election free of advertisements paid for by third party organizations, the Candidates must agree to, and abide by, an enforcement mechanism that runs not to the third party organizations, but, instead to the Candidates’ own campaigns.

The Candidates on behalf of their respective campaigns hereby agree to the following:

  1. In the event that a third party organization airs any independent expenditure broadcast (including radio), cable, satellite, online advertising and/or direct mail in support of a named, referenced (including by title) or otherwise identified Candidate, that Candidate’s campaign shall, within three (3) days of discovery of the advertisement buy’s cost, duration and source, pay 50% of the cost of that advertising buy and related costs to a charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.
  2. In the event that a third party organization airs any independent expenditure broadcast (including radio), cable, satellite, online advertising and/or direct mail in opposition of a named, referenced (including by title) or otherwise identified Candidate, the opposing Candidate’s campaign shall, within three (3) days of discovery of the advertisement buy’s cost, duration and source, pay 50% of the cost of that advertising buy and related costs to a charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.
  3. In the event that a third party organization airs any broadcast (including radio), cable, satellite, online advertising and/or direct mail that promotes or supports a named, referenced (including by title) or otherwise identified Candidate, that Candidate’s campaign shall, within three (3) days of discovery of the advertisement buy’s cost, duration and source, pay 50% of the cost of that advertising buy and related costs to a charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.
  4. In the event that a third party organization airs any broadcast (including radio), cable, satellite, online advertising and/or direct mail that attacks or opposes a named, referenced (including by title) or otherwise identified Candidate, that Candidate’s campaign shall, within three (3) days of discovery of the advertisement buy’s cost, duration and source, pay 50% of the cost of that advertising buy and related costs to a charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.
  5. The Candidates and their campaigns agree that neither they nor anyone acting on their behalf shall coordinate with any third party on any paid advertising and/or direct mail for the duration of the 2016 election cycle. In the event that either Candidate or their campaign or anyone acting on their behalf coordinates any paid advertisement and/or direct mail with a third party organization that Candidate’s campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement buy and/or direct mail to a charity of the opposing Candidate’s choice.

Penalties for Breach

In the event that the undersigned candidate fails to make the charitable donation within the three-day time requirement, then the charitable donation shall double the required amount for an additional five days after which if the charitable contribution is not made, then the charitable donation shall increase an additional amount representing an increase of 50% to the immediately preceding required charitable amount.

The Candidates and their campaigns agree to continue to work together to limit the influence of third party advertisements and to close any loopholes (including coverage of sham ads) that arise in this agreement during the course of the campaign.