I would like to address points made by Paul Hogarth in his letter of 2/2/02. He implies that Charles Ramsey’s campaign is somehow tainted by the support of property owners whom he calls “crapacious and callous” these inappropriate comments send chills up the spine when one considers that Mr. Hogarth sits on a board which is supposed to make unbiased determinations on tenant-landlord disputes. He is a clearly and viscerally biased against property owners.
Mr. Hogarth tries hard to portray Charles Ramsey’s support as one dimensional (real estate interests); but the standing-room-only Ramsey campaign kick off event two weeks ago told a different tale. If you wanted true diversity in Berkeley that is where you found it: African-Americans, Latinos, labor union representatives, property owners, members of the Berkeley fire department and families lined up to take their assignments to walk precincts.
If Charles Ramsey is in the pocket of landlords and real estate interests as Mr. Hogarth would have you believe, how does he explain his endorsements by Maudelle Shirek and Barbara Lee, icons of progressive politics in Berkeley.
Mr. Hogarth states that if any East Bay resident cares about the “housing crisis” they should vote for Loni Hancock. If my memory serves me well, it was Ms. Hancock who opposed the building of the Foothill dorms on UC property – she even went as far as standing in front of the bulldozers to prevent construction.
Mr. Hogarth is not concerned about student housing, he merely wants more rent control. Here is the paradox: almost all of the rent control programs in the nation (including Berkeley’s started out as a response to inflation – not a housing crisis. That came later.
Unfortunately, the more rent control a city has, the worse the housing crisis becomes, the more demand that rent control be expanded and enforced more severely (Mr. Hogarth’s and Loni Hancock’s true agenda).
Playing the rent control card shows how out of touch with the voters the Hancock campaign is by relying on juvenile demagogues such as Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Charles Ramsey is a moderate with much more broad appeal in a district where Berkeley represents only one third of the electorate and where he has solid support not only from Mayor Shirley Dean, councilmembers Betty Olds and Maudelle Shirek, but from Berkeley police and firefighters as well.
Charles Ramsey is ready to take the new 14th District into the 21st century by building bridges to the entire community, while Ms. Hancock wants to drag us back to the ‘60s with the politics of division.
Berkeley Property Owners Association