As Proposition 10 supporters gathered in Hollywood to watch returns on the statewide ballot initiative that would have ended restrictions on rent control in California, Michael Weinstein, one of the citizen proponents of Prop 10 and president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), offered the following remarks regarding the Yes on 10 campaign:
“We are very proud of the campaign we ran. Despite being vastly outspent, we succeeded in beginning a debate on housing affordability that will continue beyond this election in the legislature, in city councils, on the ground, and on the ballot in 2020. The most important achievement of this campaign is the building of a broad-based, magnificent coalition of more than 500 organizations and elected officials. We must build upon this base to strengthen the affordable housing movement.
“As with AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s fight against AIDS over the decades, affordable housing cannot be won in a single election. The forces of greed which spent more than $80 million to scare, confuse, and deceive California voters will not prevail in the end. Last April, the AHF Board of Directors strongly supported the creation of the Healthy Housing Foundation as an expansion of our mission. Since that time, AHF has created 600 affordable housing units in Los Angeles; is planning for the construction of 680 new units in Fort Lauderdale; and plans to reach 10,000 housing units over the next five years. We do all of this while surpassing the one million patients in care mark across 17 states and 41 other countries around the globe.
“AHF grew out of a successful initiative battle in 1986 — our and other activists’ opposition to Proposition 64 — to prevent the quarantine of people living with HIV in California. We have won and lost initiative battles along the way, but we will never be deterred from fighting for the voiceless. AHF began as the AIDS Hospice Foundation, providing people with their last home. The housing affordability crisis is an emergency and a moral crisis — that is where AHF shines.
“We wish to thank the many people who worked so hard on this campaign. Don’t lose heart — the battle has only just begun!”
(Housing Is A Human Right and Healthy Housing Foundation are projects by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.)