Identity Politics Exhaustion

Re: “White Protest Privilege,” Opinion, June 28

I am so tired of being told what I can and can’t or should and shouldn’t do as a white person. Society has become overly sensitized, overly accountable, and operates on double-standards. A white person found using the N word gets fired. Others use it to make millions in album sales. In Germany, the swastika and SS logo is considered so vulgar and deplorable that it’s illegal for all — I can’t say it’s OK if I use it because I’m a disabled Slovak homosexual.

We need to stop overcorrecting and hold all people equally accountable for their words and actions. We’re all Americans and we’re all in this together! Furthermore, many businesses deny services to homosexuals for same-sex weddings, and refusing service to members of Trump’s staff is no different … and attacking people on Twitter shows what an extraordinarily low IQ person you are.

Morgan Jackley, Playa del Rey

 

Rent Control is Long Overdue in Marina del Rey

Remember last year’s failed Measure S, or rather the counter-argument — that if we were to control development in L.A, rents would go up? While that may sound logical, the massive new developments on unincorporated L.A. County land — specifically in Marina del Rey along Via Marina — are causing rents to go up.

Residents living in older complexes such as Mariners Village, for example, have seen rent hikes between 8% and 9% over the past few years because the new complexes are being used as comps. For residents on a fixed income or receiving very little in the way of a cost of living raise, 8% to 9% increases are pretty much eviction notices, and Mariners Village has become a revolving door. It’s similar to the European settlers virtually telling the Native Americans at the other end of a musket: “This land is more valuable to us than it is to you … so get lost!”

Today, landowners and lease-holders use the “market” to justify resettling people. The net effect is that renters have to pick up and move inland to hotter and dryer “reservations,” farther from their families, friends and workplaces. They shoulder the lost time and financial costs of moving and subsequently commuting, which only puts more wear and tear on roads and public transit, which of course are funded by taxpayers.

Some people may argue that the rent hikes are to cover an increase in property taxes, but original leaseholders are currently protected under Proposition 13, as are renters from new leaseholders passing property taxes onto them; but what protects renters from “market increases” if they live in areas without rent control?

According to the California Housing Partnership Corporation, housing prices in the county have grown four times faster than incomes since 2010. Inflation-adjusted median rent in L.A. County grew by nearly 25% between 2000 and 2012, while inflation-adjusted incomes declined by 9%. The effect of rising rents, coupled with decreasing income, has generated an increase in “rent-burdened” households.  Rent-burdened households are households that pay more than 30% of their income on rent. Many households earning less than half the median income spend more than 70% of their income on rent, leaving little money for essential needs like food and health care.

Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis are working to place a 3% rent cap moratorium in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, so please show your support and attend in person on July 31 at Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles.

William R. Hicks, Marina del Rey

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