Editor, Daily Nexus,

Why is it that I.V. landlords have felt the need to contribute thousands to Brooks Firestone’s campaign?

It’s probably because they know that John Buttny and the current 3rd District supervisor, Gail Marshall, have worked diligently over the last eight years to protect tenants’ rights, despite opposition by landlords.

Marshall successfully implemented a county housing inspection program that holds landlords accountable by assigning an inspector to I.V. The inspector responds to tenant complaints such as building code violations, broken heaters, bad plumbing and leaking roofs when landlords refuse to fix them.

In addition to creating this program, Buttny and Marshall worked with the Isla Vista Tenants Union and developed a set of renters’ rights protections, including a mandate that shortens the time it takes to return security deposits and forces landlords to itemize the deductions from tenants’ deposits.

This renters’ rights package also requires every landlord to provide his or her tenants with another place to live if they are evicted because of a serious code violation. This prevents landlords from leaving their tenants without a place to live when there are maintenance issues.

Now tenants are backed by a set of powerful protections, and they’ve been endowed with the ability to challenge landlords over bad living conditions. This law was passed even though there was a 3-2 vote by the board of supervisors, and in spite of strong objections by landlords.

That’s why landlords are supporting Firestone, and that’s why tenants should support Buttny for supervisor.