Hoping cooler heads prevail on housing

I was grateful to read Jeff Cambra’s recent letter (“Help end turmoil,” May 10) giving louder voice to Alameda’s Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC). While big concerns remain about the “Wall Street crowd” and the ability of RRAC to effectively protect tenants caught in the crossfire of international developers, amplifying a message of assurance to renters and property owners alike was overdue and much needed. Thank you, Jeff.

Yet there remains a storm brewing on the horizon. A war chest of millions is being amassed to be used in a firestorm of negative political ads. These will be geared to convincing Alamedans that extreme action, in the form of a City Charter amendment, is needed to manage the rental market in Alameda.   

With RRAC coming into its own, I would request you, Jeff, meet with Alamedans-in-Charge (Realtors) and local mom-and-pop landlords to assure them that a solution “carved-in-stone” by Charter amendment is not necessary; that doing so will instead carve in stone a chapter of Alameda’s history we may not wish to memorialize: when our lesser angels left the city polarized over the simple human need for shelter. 

As a fellow Democrat, director of RRAC with professional expertise mediating conflict and a landlord as well, you, Jeff, are in a unique position to carry the olive branch, calm the Island’s fever, broker a truce and head off the carnage now taking aim at the heart of this community as we move towards November’s election.

Local history has elevated you to the role of Peacemaker. Never was one more needed. 


Gabrielle “Gaby” Dolphin Co-President, Democratic Club