Fellow San Luis Obispo Residents and Voters, please email SLO City Council before 16th Feb at 2pm at email below.
OR attend the Forum at February 16th at 6pm at 801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo CA 93401
In the Subject Line Include: Feb 16th RHIO Forum
Here is what I sent to San Luis Obispo City Council.
“Dear Madam Mayor and City Councilpersons,
I am writing you as a citizen of San Luis Obispo who has significant concerns regarding the Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance for a number of reasons. I am a San Luis Obispo business owner, which includes a real property legal practice, construction business, and I am a Cal Poly and Cuesta College Lecturer.
I am writing to ask you to repeal the Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance. While I also have many legal concerns that are not addressed in this programs application to our city, as well as the various ancillary discriminatory impacts created by its application, those issues are being addressed through other avenues and lawsuits.
I am writing you today to implore you to reconsider on moral and idealistic grounds. I have studied the formation of the Union of these United States and the debates that created our country. The implementation of this law is counter to what makes us who we are. Originally the rights we hold so dear did not apply to certain people and classes of people. The fight for civil rights has been long and hard won in their application to all citizens equally. This expansion of protections and rights has not been accomplished by curtailing freedoms, but through their proliferation.
The California Constitution in Article One, Section One reads:
“All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”
I include this here to draw your attention to the last word of this foreword; privacy. Our California Constitution goes beyond what the Federal Constitution states. We, as a people in California, hold so dear the idea of privacy that we included it in our state constitution; the highest state law in California. In addition to the minimums that were outlined by the Federal Constitution we included more protections as Californians. We also specifically name the “possession and protection of property” as dear to us. This includes the the idea of freedom from molestation by government officials in our homes.
I am asking you to consider the long reaching impact of this ordinance and the impact it has on our citizens. I hold a far less dismal view of our renters and tenants than this ordinance outlines. I believe that tenants are just as fit and able to make the decision to ask their landlord to repair a problem in the home in which they live as are homeowners. I believe that our Cal Poly students being the top prospects (academically and as the next generation of leaders) often times in the nation, and our Cuesta students clawing their way to a better life through dogged determination and vision, are more than able to request a landlord to make repairs. In addition, that which may not be obvious are the wide variety of legal protections that each tenant has in California. These protections include very effective retaliatory eviction laws. I have no reservation in saying that there are more effective ways to police housing that do not involve intrusion into the home. A simple flyer sent to residents with information on the systems that are already in place and superior in their support and protection of tenants would suffice while avoiding infringement on the principles we hold so dear as a society.
It is my earnest belief that this ordinance represents far more than an invasion into the sanctity of the home. It represents a government assisted wholesale abdication of the personal responsibility that makes Americans and Californians who we are.
I agree with each of you. You have identified as part of your election platforms and comments during council meetings that you want the best for your constituents as their trusted representatives. I ask that you listen to them now.
Let existing departments charged with supporting the City and the State laws govern housing without an additional layer of intrusive and unwarranted government interference in the home.
I leave you with a quote: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” Joseph Gobbels (Chief Propagandist of the Nazi Party approx. 1933).
A small forfeiture of freedoms alone are not a worry. However, in the aggregate we forfeit freedom completely.
I respectfully ask that you REPEAL the Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance.
Thank you for your service to the community and the amount of time it takes and the discretion you must exercise.
Sincerely and Optimistically,
Daniel J. Knight”
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He is principal of The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight and Dan Knight Construction & Plumbing.