Advocate to Elk Grove City Hall, Councilmembers - Produce real-time correspondence from California Apt. Assoc; address conflicts of interests

The first public speaker at last night's special meeting of the Elk Grove City Council was Elk Grove resident Amar Shergill. As a...



The first public speaker at last night's special meeting of the Elk Grove City Council was Elk Grove resident Amar Shergill. As a follow-up to his comments, Shergill shared two emails he sent this morning regarding tomorrow night's regular city council meeting.

At that meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will consider enacting a moratorium on evictions in the city that are related to COVID-19 virus pandemic.  Below are Shergill's emails to Elk Grove City Clerk Jason Lindgren; and Elk Grove City Councilmembers Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen.  

Email to the City Clerk 

City Clerk Jason Lindgren:

With regard to the Eviction Moratorium that will be discussed at the City Council meeting tomorrow, 3/25/20 at 6 pm, I am concerned that corporate advocates like the California Apartment Association have direct access to City staff and councilmembers to insert amendments that do not benefit the residents of Elk Grove but do increase profits for out of town corporations.  I am further concerned that those Councilmembers most opposed to the ordinance are themselves landlords that may be in a position to benefit from an anti-renter ordinance.  It is troubling that the Councilmembers that voted against the ordinance when it was first heard have collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars from real estate industry campaign contributors.

In light of the foregoing and since time is short, I request that you produce today, and in real-time as they are received, all correspondence, communications, and emails on this topic received by the City, Councilmembers, or staff that suggest amendments to the ordinance.  I understand that this is an unusual request, however, given the urgency of the issue and the impending eviction crisis, the residents of Elk Grove need immediate transparency to avoid negative outcomes that cannot be remedied a month from now after families and business have been evicted due to a weak ordinance written by corporate landlords.  We simply cannot allow a repeat of prior behavior wherein amendments are drafted by non-residents and inserted with little to no opportunity for review by residents.

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.  I trust that you will reply promptly. 

Sincerely,
Amar Shergill

Email to the four City Councilmembers who voted against eviction ordinance last week 

Councilmembers:

During last night’s Council Meeting, Councilmember Detrick requested that the City Attorney affirm that voting on a temporary eviction moratorium did not pose a conflict of interest for Councilmembers that are landlords.

It is true that there is no legal conflict of interest in passing an ordinance that benefits Councilmembers so long as it is an ordinance that applies generally.  It is also true that there is no conflict for those that voted against the ordinance when it was first heard even though they
have collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars from real estate industry campaign contributors.

Since Councilmember Detrick has raised the issue and since each of you voted against the ordinance, I request that, prior to beginning your deliberation of the ordinance, you disclose in your comments the number of residential/commercial units that are under your control, the gross revenue you derive from these units, and the total campaign contributions from real estate and development industry contributors in the past five years.  Since each of you is committed to transparency and has nothing to hide in this matter, I trust that there will be no objection.

My review of campaign contributions indicates that Councilmember Darren Suen has received over $300,000 from real estate and development interests since 2015.  This number is approximate since public filings do not have complete biographic information.  The amount does not include $8,000 from PG&E nor $10,000 from Republic Services as they are not part of the industry despite having a financial interest in development issues.  I look forward to receiving a similar accounting from you at the council meeting.

Sincerely,

Amar Shergill









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