Dear Editor,

I’m writing this letter as it has become necessary to correct the twisted narrative that has been floating around about my position and intentions around the amendment to the rent control ballot measure.

I was born and raised in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica; my father is currently aging in this apartment today. I currently live in a rent-controlled apartment and have vocalized that It is how our family is able to maintain in Santa Monica. I have told the story many times that our 50-year-old family business has survived due to rent control and that one of the things I find most valuable about our diverse city is rent control. I am the poster child for rent control.

Tuesday I proposed an alternative look at more relief for more of our tenants as a bridge until we can really take a deeper look at the long-term goal. I want to ensure that residents don’t get pushed out of their homes. That families and our elderly population remain and that those most vulnerable are a focus.

It was a response to the hundreds of emails and dozens who lined up to speak and who reached out to us. These folks were struggling with an increase of any amount. They are the people who’ve lived here the longest and I felt their fear as to how they’d be impacted going forward.

I realize there needs to be a more robust conversation and a much more in-depth look at what the future of rent control looks like with our community. I want to make clear my goal is to reinforce rent control, strengthen tenant protections and apply a more functionally equitable methodology.

For now, I am suggesting my proposal get tabled and I’m hopeful that Wednesday the council will put forward the path that gives all renters uniform relief and stability, such as the rent control board’s proposal. I am also hopeful that we can embrace new ideas and be open to dialogue so that we can best lead our city into the future. I look forward to post-election broader community dialogues to strengthen and assure the stability of rent control.

In closing, I’d like to address the plethora of misleading and disingenuous comments I’ve seen online in recent days. I’m disappointed that my attempt to start a dialogue on this very important issue so quickly devolved into personal attacks and misinformation online. With so many critical issues facing our city in the coming years it is imperative we provide a safe place to engage in civil discourse. We all share a common goal of making Santa Monica a more affordable and safer place to raise a family. As such we have an obligation to treat each other with kindness as we work together for the betterment of our community.

Yours in service,

Lana Negrete