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Chula Vista City Council postpones eviction moratorium protection vote

After more than five hours of emotional public comments, no decision on two proposals for eviction moratorium protections in the City of Chula Vista.

Renters in Chula Vista showed up in force to Tuesday’s city council meeting to urge elected officials to pass stronger eviction protection ordinances. Dozens spoke during public comment about the need to extend the eviction moratorium and close renovation loopholes, saying landlords abuse current laws to evict lower paying tenants and only make minor improvements.

Renter Dora Parra broke down in tears when she shared her story. "Where are we going to go? I’ve go two weeks. ... I’ve been at this residence 17 years, she’s (neighbor) been there living there almost 50 years and we’re being evicted, just because of the no cause and they want to renovate. We’re good tenants, we’re not problem makers and we’re here asking for help," she said.

But landlords like Michael Campbell spoke out too, saying creating unnecessary laws to punish a few bad tenants is not the solution. "I think that this is an overreach in trying to solve a problem that is not really significant, and I don’t know, I just, I don’t want to be a landlord anymore," he said as he walked away.

In the end it was all for naught. The council voted to postpone voting on the ordinances until July 12, but not before someone voiced their frustration out loud forcing the mayor to use her gavel to quiet him down.

"It was very disappointing," said Leah Simon Weisberg the legal director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment San Diego, a group leading the movement to protect tenants in the city, saying that if the city council won’t act voters will. "Because the voter supports strong tenant protections, it’s just the lobbyists and the power of the realtors sometimes prevent electeds from doing the right thing and that’s mostly what we saw last night."

Councilmember Jill Galvez who represents Dist. 2, said that after hours of testimony it was clear that not only did they not have enough council members to take a vote but that the proposals lacked the substance and research to go forward. "It’s very confusing I think that we need to have a better mapped out plan and really address how many staff people we’ll need how many attorneys we’ll need to hire in the city to enforce our own ordinance."