Santa Monica residents will vote to fill two Rent Control Board seats from a race of three candidates on Election Day this Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The candidates are incumbent Robert Kronovet, appointed incumbent Ilse Rosenstein, and Attorney at Law Christopher Walton.
The five-member Rent Control Board, together with the Rent Control Agency, carry out the Rent Control Law’s five basic goals: controlling residential rents, limiting the grounds for eviction, preserving rental housing, encouraging maintenance, and ensuring rental-property owners a fair return.
Here are the final statements for all Rent Control Board candidates explaining why they should receive your vote this Tuesday (published in ballot order).
Christopher Walton, Attorney at Law
I am one of the 99 percent. I’ve occupied my rent controlled apartment for 27 years. Without rent control, I could not afford to live there.
As I prepare for the election, I’ve considered the lessons I learned during 10 years of higher education and two decades of law practice. In law school I learned to balance competing legal interests and fight for justice. At Oxford University, I learned the paramount importance of ethical conduct at all times. During my service to the Federal Court, I learned the solemn duty to apply the rule of law fairly, to deliver justice and equity. My education and experience have prepared me to make valuable contributions to the Rent Control Board.
The interests of landlords and tenants continue to collide with unhappy results. As a volunteer Legal Aid lawyer I heard many tenant’s tales of woe. As an advocate for the homeless, I’ve seen up close and personal, the worst results of unaffordable housing. Dancing on the razor’s edge that separates the rights of landlords and tenants requires special skills and commitment to noble outcomes. I possess these skills and commitment.
The battle for renter’s rights continues and I remain a faithful warrior.
Robert Kronovet, Small Business Owner
Santa Monica is stricken with a lack of parking spaces for its tenants and homeowners. This is a major municipal issue, as residents are frustrated with traffic jams, parking fines and often long walks to their homes. This is especially burdensome to senior residents.
The root cause stems from many of our residents living in apartments with insufficient on-site parking.
Our research has recognized a need for reduced traffic and increased access to parking, as well as the rights of tenants to safe and affordable parking. The first step is to offer all registered residents the opportunity to purchase special All Preferential Parking Zone (APPZ) stickers that allow them access to on-street parking throughout the city, as well as discount parking in all municipal parking lots throughout the city. Next we’ll transform the parking experience by providing a comprehensive overview of parking availability at all major city lots and expediting parking entry and exit via a system similar to license plate recognition-enabled pay or Easy Pass systems.
I am running for re-election to put our residents’ needs above all political agendas.
I need your vote to help move Santa Monica forward.
Ilse Rosenstein, Appointed Incumbent
I was appointed to serve on the Rent Control Board to fill a vacancy. As a result, I became more aware of the importance of preserving the protections provided by the Rent Control Charter. The Rent Control Law helps maintain diversity and stability in Santa Monica. In college I studied economics, so I understand the influence of rents on the population. As a teacher in public schools, I learned that stability contributes to the wellbeing of children and enables them to concentrate on their studies.
Vacancy decontrol has led to greater turnover in rental units, but Rent Control still protects market-rate tenants, while being fair to property owners. I want to ensure that tenants can live in affordable, well-maintained homes, free from harassment. While a volunteer on the SMRR Tenant Helpline, I discussed tenants’ problems and tried to guide them to appropriate remedies.
I have lived in Santa Monica for much of my adult life. I am a renter. As a volunteer, I deliver Meals on Wheels to disabled persons and also tutor children and adults to improve their reading skills.
If elected, I hope to ensure that Rent Control remains a positive force in our community.