Jonathan Mann

Name: Jon Mann
Age: 73
Occupation: Retired Teacher/Flight Attendant/Parole Agent
Neighborhood of residence: Sunset Park
Rent: $2200
Marital status: Divorced/ Widowed
Kids: 2 sons; age 15 and 46
Political affiliation: Green
Square footage of current house: 2 bedroom house

Why should homeowners or market rate renters care about the status of rent control?
Property owners and speculators who are profiting from rent gouging will be severely affected if I am elected and Costa Hawkins is repealed.
I will fight to raise taxes on rent gougers, fire over paid bureaucrats and have our wealthy city buy properties that can be converted to low income housing.

How many resources are and should be put into ensuring tenants adhere to rent control rules vs. pursuing landlords who behave badly?
Tenants AND landlords who abuse rent control rules should be penalized to the full extent of the law!

Have you watched any real-estate based TV shows? If so which ones?
I do not watch TV; too may commercials and it cuts into time better spent reading. Even if I had cable I would not watch reality based shows.

Do you think landlords are currently getting a “fair return” on their investments via the annual rent adjustment formula?
Santa Monica has been invaded by speculators investing in building condos and converting rent control properties to engage in rent gouging. Many landlords who owned property before Costa Hawkins had affordable mortgages that were bought up by opportunistic speculators using the Ellis Act to make huge profits while eliminating  rent control stock. Big developers like HMS profit from rent gouging and should have their rents reduced, if possible, or if not, be heavily taxed by the City!

What qualifies you to lead an organization with the budget and responsibilities of the Rent Control Board?
I have spoken out against the City Council’s policies since 1989 and advocated for social justice and humane policies that empower the resident over special interests. I do not accept or solicit contributions or endorsements from the corrupt cabal that determines who gets elected in this city. I have been fighting the establishment since age 17 when I participated in the Poor People’s March on Washington in 1963. I will fight to reduce City staff, and use the savings to create low income housing for living wage workers who work in Santa Monica, but cannot afford to live here!

How long have you kept a houseplant alive and what does that kind of plant say about your personality?
This question panders to self aggrandizing rhetoric. I’m not a plant biologist, nor am I educated in the care and propagation of our precious flora that consume carbon from our polluted atmosphere and exude life sustaining oxygen for our fauna. I prefer to dedicate my energy to saving our rain forests and continuing the fight against climate change caused by predatory corporate capitalism!  I have been a stalwart Green since the early 70s and have vociferously advocated for eco-socialism.

Is there anything the Rent Control Board can or should do to encourage individuals to buy into the Santa Monica real estate and operate rent controlled buildings?
Yes, stop wasting revenues on the bloated over paid City bureaucracy and build low income housing! The RCB should strongly advocate and finance the Tenant Ownership Rights Charter Amendment (TORCA). Subsidize mom and pop landlords with retrofitting and property maintenance to encourage owners not to Ellis their rent controlled buildings.

Does the city have a housing crisis, affordability crisis, neither or both?
The city does not have a housing shortage it has a high income housing abundance which is responsible for the affordability crisis. The City Council is responsible for creating conditions allowing developers to exploit the housing market by raising height limits and approving appalling development agreements! The City Council has aided and abetted developers, creating a housing crisis by raising height limits to profit speculators, enabling them to use the Ellis Act to buy out low income properties under rent control and replace them with expensive condos and apartments that have driven out much of our once diverse demographic, and dispossessed many of Santa Monica’s seniors..

Which television character has the least realistic living situation?
Television is unrealistic and is a sop to the lowest common denominator of mediocrity by glorifying puissant celebrities, like the Kardashians who extoll the worst human characteristics of materialistic greed, and deviant personalities like our narcissistic, solipsistic, nihilist president!

What role does rent control play in establishing the culture of the city?
Great question! Rent control rescued this city from greedy, opportunistic, rent gouging landlords in the 70s and was the salvation of this city’s diverse and quintessential population, UNTIL Costa Hawkins was passed by our corrupt State Assembly, allowing the City Council to open wide the doors of gentrification, forever robbing this city of it’s serene oceanside ambiance. What was started by Santa Monica’s Renters’ Rights, was destroyed by SMRR’s culture of greed, cronyism and conflict of interest!

Tenant evictions were already increasing before Prop. 10 became part of the discussion.
If new limits are imposed on market rate rents, what’s to stop Ellis Act evictions from exploding if landlords flee the market?
What is the most significant threat to the stability of housing for renters, and what are your solutions?
Tenant evictions have been increasing since Costa Hawkins gave incentives to self serving, avaricious developers to buy out mom and pop landlords, steamroll, harass, threaten and evict tenants on specious grounds. The rent control attorneys are not aggressive in their defense of tenants and prefer to reach a compromise settlement or relocation.
Mom and pop landlords flee the market and sell out because the City Council has made it extremely easy for speculators to enter and take over the housing market, inflating property values in the process to justify rent gouging, and changing the very demographics of our beachside community almost overnight!
The most significant threat to housing stability for renters is our corrupt and incompetent City Council!
The way this question is posed, as a threat to the stability of housing for renters, begs the question and assumes rent control will have a negative effect, redlining property values and driving away investors (which is a good thing). In fact rent control will have the opposite effect on rents by rolling them back and eliminating rent gouging.
The real instability that has created the housing crisis is precisely what the City Council has enabled by giving carte blanche to developers, using “double think” nomenclature calling it “smart” growth, and “slow” growth” and now “responsible growth” to dupe the voters into losing their faculty for critical thinking!
If elected to the Rent Control Board I will immediately order an examination of all high rent apartments and identify who are occupying them and determine if they are being used for improper purposes. I will immediately convene voluntary citizen committees to audit and examine the entire operation of how the Rent Control Board is administered in order to streamline and redirect priorities to create LOW income housing! .
I would pink slip overpaid rent control bureaucrats, eliminate cronyism, nepotism and make work positions, so the City can use the savings, and its immense revenue stream created by gentrification, to buy properties throughout the city to undermine and drive the rent gougers out of business, raising their property taxes and buy THEM out!
I would use my bully pulpit to demand that the City Council create low income housing for living wage workers IN the city and start hiring city workers who actually live here!
As an eco socialist and lifelong crusader against predatory capitalism, I would redirect priorities for REAL sustainability in housing for the disenfranchised, end runaway housing inflation, and involve the people in the process!
I will strenuously advocate for minimal housing for the homeless by creating a slab city for the homeless on the airport runways and hangars, with special consideration for women with children.
I would also create living wage jobs for workers as an incentive for them to clean up the city and, as an additional motivation, provide them better accommodations and food, and a role in creating a new purpose for themselves to escape from the tragedy of homelessness.
Finally, I would demand an end to alternate three day weekends for city employees and an end to the three day work week, PLUS overtime, for SMPD officers. They should be required to do their job, focusing on arresting and reducing the increase in street crime, working a five day forty hour week, like the rest of us wage slaves, so they are not exhausted from working overtime…


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