A broad coalition of tenants, labor allies, homeowners and progressive community groups packed the hearing chambers as Vice Mayor Jael Myrick joined Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez and Gayle McLaughlin in casting the votes to pass rent control. These councilmembers withstood an aggressive and well-funded lobbying effort by real estate industry representatives that tried in vain to persuade the Council that rent control was the wrong answer to rising rents and displacement.

Councilmember Nathaniel Bates cast the lone vote against the measure in the end. Mayor Thomas Butt and Councilmember Vinay Pimple were vehemently opposed but did not cast votes. In a dramatic moment just before the vote when it became clear that Vice Mayor Myrick was going to support rent control, Mayor Butt stated: “I’m leaving. I can’t deal with this,” at which point he stood up and left the meeting, followed by Councilmember Pimple. Moments later, by a 4-1 vote, the Council passed rent control.

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Sue Wilson

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Business and Communications Director at Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) - AFSCME Local 206, AFL-CIO