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Getting the SAMCAR Foxes Out of the Henhouse

Wednesday Feb 24, 2016


"The San Mateo County Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association try to present themselves as grassroots organizations, but are better defined as astroturf. They have self-serving goals — to increase the profits and political clout of their members — not to maintain the stability of our communities. These organizations contribute great amounts of money to the campaigns of their favored candidates in every city, county, state and federal election. Add to this the fact that many elected officials directly or indirectly profit from rental property, and we are faced with enormous obstacles to protect renters who make up anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent of the county’s population who, along with homeowners, are the real grassroots.

The single solution that these task forces and committees come up with is to build more affordable housing — someday. This is a huge red herring. As we read again and again in the news, developers are being allowed to build luxury rentals rapidly, even on city-owned land. Rather than include affordable units, they donate a few million here and there for the cities to build their own affordable housing, which the cities cannot afford or don’t have the political will to build...

Renters all over San Mateo County have been humiliated, maligned, neglected and insulted by some members of their own city councils, many of their landlords, SAMCAR and CAA. Treated as second-class disposable people and having virtually no housing security, most of them are afraid to step up and speak out about their fear, increased impoverishment and conditions of their rentals. They fear losing their homes and often consequently their jobs, churches, medical providers and schools. A big consequence of this is their lack of participation in our local democracy, which only serves the goals of the lobbyists...The only way to stop the bleeding in this county is to stabilize rents and enact just cause eviction protections. Renters need to know how much their housing costs will increase and have the assurance that they cannot be thrown out of their homes without a valid reason — just like homeowners. We need housing security. Rent stabilization will afford decent profits for landlords and renter protections will ensure stability for everyone — the homeowners, renters and businesses in our communities. "

SM DAILY JOURNAL: OP-ED: Getting the foxes out of the henhouse

Jim Wagner: Leading Pacifica Realtors against the Evictees of Pacific Skies Estates Mobile Homes

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015


Local mortgage banker Jim Wagner of WJ Bradley in Pacifica has been leading SAMCAR members in their fight against Rent Stabilization/Control and the now-up-to-73 homes of disabled seniors, veterans, and other tenants of Pacific Skies Estates mobile home park, including at least four who have lived there more than 26 years.

Wagner retired from his four year board position at the Chamber of Commerce last May to focus on his political action committee titled the "Pacifica Business & Community Political Action Committee", and has hosted at least four events with SAMCAR (San Mateo County Association of Realtors), usually at his Terra Nova Blvd office.

Wagner also founded the Pacifica Realtors Community Service Yahoo group where he encourages Pacifica realtors to oppose rent stabilization for Pacifica Skies Estates renters and provides talking points for Realtors including "Rent control disproportionately harms the poor"