Who gets to vote / decide on rent control?

This is more of a political question, but also about real estate. As I mentioned in the other thread, the City of Santa Cruz currently has a temporary rent freeze and will vote in fall about whether to adopt rent control. If you think that the current freeze (allowing 2%) is aggressive, then know that the ballot will spell out “rents to be tied to CPI” [which is artificially low, usually closer to 1.5% annually]

Now the question.

Who gets to vote on the ballot?

All people with primary residence in the City of Santa Cruz?
All people with primary residence in the County of Santa Cruz?
All property owners in the City of Santa Cruz [union] residents?

Is a ballot the same for an entire county? How about the owner of rental property who lives in Santa Clara? Or in Capitola (not in the Santa Cruz City limits)?

I’ll admit that I’ve never paid much attention to ballots… because I’m not a US Citizen.

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Voting is determined by your primary residence. Anyone with a primary residency in the city of Santa Cruz will be able to vote.

So the ballot is different for each city and for unincorporated areas?

In that case, I expect that the measure will pass. I don’t think a lot of owners of MF rentals actually like to live in the city limits. And then all those LLCs…

Interesting enough, rent control was on the ballot 4 or 5 times in the last 50 years… defeated each time

Yeah, the ballot is different. It only has things for your specific voting area.

You’re probably right. Even if they do live in Santa Cruz, they only get 1 vote no matter how many properties they own. There are a ton of renters there. Students and others cram into the rental homes. The only reason it won’t pass is it’s not a presidential election year. Voter turnout will be very small, and older people tend to turnout to vote. Older people are more likely to be home owners.


Berkeley was destroyed when 18 year old students were allowed to vote. Of course they voted for rent control. Sell your Santa Cruz rentals. Berkeley was the most desirable Bay Area city in 1970. Has never recovered from the communist takeover.

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