Monday’s Briefing: Oakland Councilmember Faces Ethics Fine; Homes for Less Than $500K Get Scarcer

Plus, Berkeley may ban landlords from refusing to rent to low-income tenants.


Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for July 31, 2017:

1. Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney is facing a possible fine tonight from the city’s Public Ethics Commission for her role in blocking the construction of an apartment building next to her home, reports Darwin BondGraham of the East Bay Express. Ethics investigators concluded that McElhaney violated the city’s conflict of interest laws because she asked an architectural firm, JRDV Urban International, to testify against the proposed apartment building at a time when the firm was also doing work for the city.

2. The number of homes available for less than $500,000 in the Bay Area continues to decline as prices skyrocket throughout the region, reports Richard Scheinin of the Mercury News$, citing a new report from real estate firm CoreLogic. The percentage of homes on the market for less than $500,000 plummeted 17 percent in June compared to the same month last year.

3. The city of Berkeley may become the first in the East Bay to prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to low-income tenants who qualify for federal Section 8 subsidies, reports Tammerlin Drummond of the East Bay Times$. Under the proposed law, which the Berkeley council is scheduled to consider in September, landlords could face a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail if they refuse to rent to someone based solely on their Section 8 status.

4. The progressive majority of the Alameda City Council rejected two of Mayor Trish Spencer’s nominees to the Planning Board because of the nominees anti-housing and anti-tenant protection stances, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Spencer is expected to make new nominations in September.

5. Republicans in Washington, D.C. remain deeply divided over what to do about health care, with President Trump continuing to push for the repeal of Obamacare, while GOP Congressional leaders unsure on how to bridge the gap between conservatives and moderates, Politico reports.

6. And police chiefs and law enforcement agencies around the nation are publicly condemning President Trump’s call for cops to “rough” up suspects, saying the president is irresponsibly encouraging police to use excessive force, BuzzFeed News reports.

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