Measure H was a ballot initiative in the 2022 election in Pasadena, CA (a city in Los Angeles County). The measure–now Article 18 of the city charter–established citywide rent control, “just cause” eviction protections, and a rental housing board to implement the law.
On average, Pasadena is more economically unequal than California, as well as the United States as a whole. Histories of this inequality, as well as redlining and racial covenants, are clearly visible in the city landscape. As you can probably imagine, landlords and landlord associations representing their class interests fought pretty hard against Measure H. But the measure passed (by a lot!), and Pasadena tenants now have the basic protections that were so desperately needed.
On the face of it, Measure H might seem like just another electoral campaign, but my guests today saw it as a lot more. They saw an awakening of political consciousness, and an expansion of the horizon of possibility for disempowered and disillusioned tenants. In this episode I talk with three on-the-ground organizers from the Pasadena Tenants Union: on the state of tenants rights in Pasadena, how this measure changes the playing field, and what they learned in the struggle to get it passed.