Letter to the Editor – Misguided by ‘just cause’

Jonathan Sobotor

Editor, The Channels

City College student Keith Russell’s heart is in the right place: IV residents do deserve safeguards against being “ripped off by their landlords” (March 21). Indeed, almost any effort to mitigate fraud or gross neglect perpetrated by landlords in Isla Vista is a worthwhile one.

But I believe Mr. Russell and IV Tenants Union coordinator Ms. Galvez are misguided in pursuit of a ‘just cause’ ordinance. Such a publicity stunt will not help low-income families, nor can the ineffective union help the former residents of the blighted, government-subsidized Cedarwood Apartments.

Agreed, rents are oppressive. Hell, the thought that my parents pay $695 for me to share a room makes me fuming mad.

But let’s be honest with ourselves.

Attributing our housing ailments to landlords and management companies is a defense mechanism of sorts.

Shifting the blame elsewhere neatly absolves us of the guilt and remorse we’d otherwise experience if we just accepted the damn blame.

To demonize Conquest for fulfilling our requests is nonsensical. Plead for high style, luxury dormitories and landowners will obligingly build them.

You and I are to blame for astronomical rents. The transient student population will continue to stifle diversity, push out long-time residents, and force its peers in to housing further from campus. If it’s diversity and fairness we truly desire, then stop wagging fingers and posting flyers. I dare us.

-Jonathan Sobotor,

City College Student