When I moved to the Bay Area 35 years ago, I knew that this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. But as a veteran middle school teacher in the San Mateo/Foster City School District, and the victim of a 60% rent increase, living in San Mateo is no longer affordable. I am voting yes on Measure Q so that our schools will be able to attract new teachers, and to stop the loss of so many dedicated teaching professionals and school staff who are leaving the district due to the high cost of housing in the area.
Fifteen years ago I moved to San Mateo from Palo Alto and found that the rich diversity of the community confirmed my reasons for living here. Over the last few years, however, I’ve watched the city’s demographics rapidly change as residents and renters have been pushed out due to financial greed. When my own rent was raised by 54% last year, my budget, as a retired social worker became what economists’ label as cost-burdened for housing. It was then that I learned that renters like myself have no legal protections from massive rent increases and can be evicted for no reason. I support Measure Q because it’s a reasonable and fair way to achieve balance between business and people’s needs for housing security.
Having moved to San Mateo County in 1968, I very quickly knew this was the place I wanted to raise my two daughters and do business. I’ve always done well for myself; I got into the insurance business 40 years ago after having served our country in the military, and have been a homeowner in San Mateo. As a renter now in my retirement, I would never have imagined that one day I would be slapped with a $1,100 rent increase and then subsequently given a 60-day eviction notice. I want to see us ensure that other veterans and retirees like myself will no longer have to live in fear of massive rent increases and displacement.
My current job brought me to California from North Carolina, 26 years ago. I have lived in several locations around San Mateo County. I was a homeowner for 8 years and am now a renter. Through the years, my rent has not increased much, but recently, the owners of my current place decided to raise my rent by hundreds of dollars on two occasions. On August 28, I was issued an eviction notice, with 60 days to vacate. I’m having difficulty not only financially, but also emotionally. I recently had minor surgery, and feel that my healing is being delayed due to the emotional stress. We need to realize that big companies are taking over OUR communities and driving out people like me who have established families and do not want to leave the area.