The L.A. Tenants Union has called for a tourist boycott of Los Angeles over long-standing problems caused by short-term rental giant Airbnb — and Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson and the entire City Council’s refusal to meaningfully protect longtime residents.
“We are left with no other options,” the L.A. Tenants Union states in a press release. “We’ve tried to reach out to City Council members who refused to talk. We’ve witnessed the Planning Department give themselves the power to displace hundreds of thousands of hard working Angelenos, and the Mayor doesn’t bat an eye.”
The L.A. Tenants Union adds, “We’ve watched data be manipulated to achieve whatever outcome developers desire: even in a city where 65 percent of people are renters, and it has become all too clear the voices attached to excessive campaign contributions are the only ones that matter. We shouldn’t have to ask others not to come here in order to finally see the City make decisions in the best interest of the residents. Since we don’t, we’ll ask all those tourists to take all that money they might spend here and take it somewhere else.”
Community activists have long called for real reform of short-term rentals in Los Angeles, but the City Council and Mayor Garcetti have not taken up serious action. Many longtime residents are paying the price. The L.A. Tenants Union notes:
“Across the city, we pay a higher percentage of income on rent than any city in the U.S., needing to make $30/hour to afford the average apartment. There is a financial incentive for property owners to lease to home sharing companies for more money than what an average resident would be able to pay in a year—evictions are soaring and we are losing around 2,000 rent-stabilized units every year.
“Over 1,500 units of housing meant for Angelenos are being used for Airbnb just in Venice alone, and the number of units used by commercial operators under Airbnb jumped up 37% for L.A. in one year. There is no agency in place to regulate Airbnb, nor urgency from the City Council and Mayor to have one. The proposed Home Sharing Ordinance is a band-aid, not a solution to the ripple effects experienced by communities across a city in crisis.”
Angelenos can get involved by sharing the boycott information with friends and family across the country via email and social media. Download or cut and paste a copy of the L.A. Tenants Union press release: “City Prioritizes Airbnb Over Long-Term Residents; L.A. Tenants Union Calls for Tourist Boycott.”
People can also share an L.A. Tenants Union-produced video, “Break Up Letter From Los Angeles,” and continually use the hashtag #DontComeToLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Our #DontComeToLA pledge,” the L.A. Tenants Union states, “will continue all summer long and thereafter until the City Council and mayor freeze all Ellis Act no-fault evictions, establish clear zoning regulations that protect citizens from unscrupulous landlords turning their apartments into short-term rentals including retracting the zoning administrator’s interpretation of all usage and zoning, cease condo conversions (including ones recently granted to the dismay of renters across the state), and expand rent-stabilization to units built after 1978.”