Before I get to the my piece, please note the following fundraiser tonight for The Humboldt Mobilehome Owners Coalition (Yes On V)…
- TONIGHT, 9/24 at 7:00 – The Humboldt Mobilehome Owners Coalition invites the public to a Yes On Measure V Mash-up at Redwood Raks in Arcata (8th & L Sts. in the Old Creamery Bldg). The event features a no-host bar serving beer and wine, trays of free finger foods, music, and screenings of some short films. Admission is $5.00– bring friends! Measure V preserves affordable housing in mobile home parks and prevents houselessness in Humboldt County.
- For more information about Measure V go to: HumboldtMobileHome.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707.845.5173.
Sometimes it takes me a while to get information through the convoluted neural networks in my skull. I don’t think I’m alone in this, which is one of the reasons why I feel it’s important for someone like me to jot down some thoughts and notes in long-form on these intertubes to help others get what it took me days, weeks, months or years to get.
Case in point. I strongly support rent stabilization measures to maintain some semblance of affordable housing in mobilehome parks (I’ll be voting Yes on Measure V). I didn’t put too much thought into it, but I hadn’t understood the name of the organization Hillary Mosher and others have created to help prevent the continued commodification of mobilehome parks. It was named the “Humboldt Mobilehome OWNERS Coalition”. (Capitalization mine for emphasis)
Well, finally from a friend came this reminder in an e-mail…
One point I think often gets missed is that these are mobile home owners who are renting the space, and can’t just pick up and move to another location. So they are a captive to the whims of the park owners. They aren’t renting the mobile home (at least most aren’t as far as I know), but are paying off a mortgage and in addition having to fork over space rent.
AH- HA! Exactly. Epiphany received and neural network re-aligned. Thank you!
And it’s not like those running Measure V were hiding this information away. If fact if you measure the Yes On V website the first 3 paragraphs of the main page say this…
Did you know that most of the people who live in mobilehome parks in Humboldt County own their own homes but pay rent every month for the land their homes sit on? Did you know that this “mobile” housing is so expensive to move that most mobilehomes are never moved once they are set in place?
This makes mobilehome owners “captive” renters, who are tied to the land by their biggest asset, often purchased after a lifetime of hard work. Mobilehome residents are seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and hard working families. Many of them are on fixed incomes. They will cut back on everything they can to keep paying mobilehome space rents, because their only asset ties them to the land.
So mobilehome OWNERS it is, and they are taking on the mobilehome PARK owners who, btw, are the ones who have received $135,000 to make turn normal everyday Humboldt voters into “citizens against rent control“.
And what does that $135,000 buy besides the obvious upcoming advertising onslaught? More than likely the community organizer for hire Travis Sexton. From Carrie Peyton Dahlberg’s blog post at the Yes On V site titled Who Is Travis Sexton…
Someone named Travis Sexton is a manager for Citizens Against Rent Control, the anti-V group, according to this morning’s (9/22/16) Times Standard. Is he the same Travis Sexton who wrote a paper on how to drum up community support for fracking?
Is he the same Travis Sexton who spent 10 years at The Saint Consulting Group, whose Facebook page talks about harnessing “grassroots” power to push through development decisions, and asks “are there really more stupid people or are they all just showing up at your public hearings?”
Is he the same Travis Sexton whose LinkedIn bio says he now runs Agrippa Strategy Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, the one that offers to run campaigns to win “community” support for political issues?
Does he live here, in our community? Does he vote here? Does he care about Humboldt at all — let alone care about our vulnerable neighbors in mobile home parks?
The voter rolls we have access to don’t show anyone named Travis Sexton as a registered voter in Humboldt County. But maybe he’s a great guy who just moved here, and only happens to have the same name as a publicist for fracking.
Those links to The Saint Consulting Group and their Facebook page are instructive. Check them out if you have time. My favorite aspect was this completely-not-stock-footage of what some person imagines a nasty NIMBY protest to look like. Can you make out where the green screen would have been to put in that fake crowd behind the 11 actors who probably earned a nice day’s wages to make this photo?
Who knows, maybe this IS another Travis and Carrie and I will have a little egg on our faces, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it. Here are his quotes from last Thursday’s Times Standard.
“We’re two years behind in terms of getting the word out,” said Travis Sexton, a manager at the group, adding that there are plans to spend the money within the next few weeks.
Sexton said the measure would be unfair to mobile home park owners and only lead to legal action against the county. “Rent control measures have proven to be complicated, costly and unconstitutional,” he said, a sentiment he said was shared by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors when it nixed its own rent control ordinance four years ago, raising concerns over damaging competitiveness and discouraging landowners from offering additional forms of affordable housing, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported at the time.
This Travis Sexton surely knows what he is doing and he seems like the type of professional opinion-swayer that a well-funded organization could rent for their campaign.
All the more reason for all of us to stay informed and get active to maintain (return-to? create?) a Humboldt economy that will work for all of us – not just those that can make money off of their investments.