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Democratic party discusses moratorium on renter evictions, climate change 

–The San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party’s (SLOCDP) Central Committee at its July 2020 monthly meeting unanimously approved resolutions addressing two concerns: one advocating the reinstatement of a statewide moratorium on renter evictions, and another calling for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to incorporate a “bold, program-specific, and historic pro-environment plank in the party’s 2020 platform.”

Submitted by the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party

A moratorium on renter evictions during pandemic

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of the economy, many household members have been unable to work and pay rent on their homes. A statewide moratorium at the pandemic’s onset temporarily shielded SLO county renters from eviction, but since its expiration in May, the Board of Supervisors majority faction – led by Lynn Compton, Debbie Arnold, and John Peschong – has taken no action. As a result, renter evictions may begin within weeks, as soon as Sept. 1.

Fortunately, two pieces of legislation designed to protect both renters from eviction and landlords from loss of income are quickly making their way through the California state Assembly and Senate: AB 1436 and SB 1410. The complementary bills will reimpose a moratorium on renter evictions and simultaneously ensure landlords’ ability to recover unpaid rent. The SLOCDP’s resolution supports and urges that both bills be passed and signed into law as quickly as possible.

Dona Hare Price, Chair of the SLOCDP’s Community Action sub-committee and coordinator of the SLO County’s Rent and Mortgage Relief for All Coalition, says that, “Putting state legislation in place – and re-enacting our County Eviction Moratorium – will prevent a tsunami of evictions and an increase in homelessness. We need to support and protect our residents, renters and distressed landlords so everyone has a place to shelter during a global pandemic.”

A bold plan to combat climate change

At its July conclave, the SLOCDP Central Committee also unanimously passed a resolution endorsing a sweeping set of policy environmental recommendations made by the Democratic National Committee Environment and Climate Crisis Council for incorporation in the Party’s 2020 platform. Among specific targets, the Council recommends: a speedy transition to 100-percent clean, renewable energy to put an end to the fossil fuel era; a massive investment to develop wind, solar, and geothermal energy, and to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure using environmentally-friendly technology; a guarantee that access to clean air, water, and drinking water is a fundamental human right; and a commitment that at least 40-percent of the investments go to our frontline and most vulnerable communities in order to fight environmental injustice and racism.

“Both the SLOCDP resolution that appeals for a new moratorium on renter evictions, as well as our resolution that endorses the DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council policy recommendations, are wake-up calls for immediate, urgent action to remedy two different human-made emergencies,” notes SLOCDP Chair Rita Casaverde. “Evicting renters during the pandemic because they are temporarily unable to pay their rents because of the pandemic – just as delaying action to address global climate change that threatens all of us – would be shortsighted, tragic and inhumane.”

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