Council Reject Arguments Against Rent Control

Dear Editor,

We are deeply troubled, though unfortunately not surprised, by Culver City council’s 4-1 decision to pass last night’s 3% 12-month rent freeze urgency ordinance. Regardless of one’s opinion on rent control, council’s lack of transparency and dialogue in passing this ordinance should concern all residents.

Many multifamily owners tried to argue for a good faith compromise on the rent freeze, invoking other local cities like Glendale and Long Beach. Council’s consultants pointed out that, among multifamily owners, rents only rose about 3% annually in the past five years, calling their urgency claims into question. Their own staff suggested a 4% freeze. On a 4-1 vote, council rejected all of them.

On this, mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells said: “Last night the City Council took an important step to protect tenants while we discuss long-term solutions addressing displacement and soaring rent prices in Culver City. Without this measure, no fair and meaningful dialogue can happen.”

When council rejects staff, consultants, and residents, it’s obvious there is no conversation. We at Protect Culver City are confident this one-year rent freeze is in name only. During this time, council will build a full rent control board and rent registry, before they rubber stamp the freeze into permanence. They will ignore all implications on surcharges to tenants, landlords going under and selling to developers, divisions this will deepen in our city, or any other issues that arise.

This matter is made even worse by a 4-1 council that never ran on this issue. Indeed, they gave the impression they opposed it. They misrepresented themselves as against rent control, giving false assurances to a significant number of residents, just to get themselves elected.

For a council whose very inaugural meeting was a Brown Act violation, we at Protect Culver City were planning for this situation. We believe council has undeniably become a political machine. They can’t be reasoned with or bargained with, they feel no pain, remorse, or pity. And they will not stop, ever, until we force their hand via ballot measures or litigation.

We respect and admire all the valiant efforts are fellow residents have made to plead and reason with council. That time is over. Ballot measures and litigation are the only avenues we have left.

We also plead to all residents to understand, rent control is only the beginning. Our council has an agenda on weakening our law enforcement and vagrancy laws, reckless and limitless upzoning, changing all single family home areas to multifamily homes, and gutting protections for all homeowners. Their goal is an end to the oasis we call Culver City - a city indistinguishable from the urban chaos around us.

We call on all residents to join us, ask us about our stance on other issues, and get involved. You may not be interested in this council, but they’re interested in you.

For more information, contact Ron Bassilian, president at or at 310-347-8255.

Protect Culver City

Ron Bassilian, President

Editor’s Note: Ron Bassilian is an candidate for the 37th Congressional District which serves Culver City.


Reader Comments(3)

Jazz4111 writes:

temporary freeze expires in 12 months, really? So then please explain why the email address on the Culver City official website states: for additional information please email: Not rent freeze - RENT CONTROL!

CCresident writes:

Another NIMBY spreading misinformation. Here are the facts: -It's a temporary measure (set to expire in 1 year's time) & was put in place to allow for some time to CONTINUE the discussion with the community. Landlords are STILL ALLOWED to raise rent, up to 3%. And renters have some relief knowing there's a limit to those increases. It's called compromise and it's an idea that America is build on. - It only effects buildings built on or before Feb. 1, 1995.

MKS writes:

I have lived in Culver City for 10 years and have had normal increases every year until the last 4 years. My rent has increase a total of 40%! More than half my income goes to rent. This is wrong. It’s price gauging. Just remember everyone - pigs get fat...hogs get slaughtered.