Once Again, Sophie Maxwell Pulls Football Away From Progressives

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell recused herself from holding the football today
City Hall Johnny-on-the-Spot Chris Roberts is the first to report that the supes today passed a series of extremely tenant-friendly rent laws. We'd explain them to you, but since Mayor Gavin Newsom is all but certain to smite them with the manic energy of a meth addict playing Whac-A-Mole, we'll lay off.

What catches our eye is that, once again, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell -- along with Bevan Dufty one of the two non-progressive, non-mayor's Nazg├╗l supes -- has, in essence, peed down the progs' snorkel. In the fight over the Municipal Transportation Association budget, it was Maxwell who took the path of least resistance and doomed progressive plans to really smack Newsom one on the kisser.

Now, albeit more passively, she's done it again. By recusing herself from voting on these tenant-landlord measures -- Maxwell owns six rental units and this could be seen as a conflict of interest -- she's kept the lefties from racking up the eight votes necessary to override a (promised) mayoral veto. It's only a matter of time before Chris Daly places a horse's head in Maxwell's bed.

That being said, we've heard Newsom is, counter-intuitively, inclined to support one of these tenant-friendly measures. 

Through the grapevine, word trickled to us that a measure prohibiting "banked rent increases" will be signed by Newsom, just so he doesn't come off as a total Debbie Downer when it comes to renters' rights. Here's what that measure would do: As those of you renting in San Francisco know, your rent can be raised by 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index each year; this year that comes out to a 2.2 percent increase.

Current rules allow landlords to not raise the rent for years and then stick renters with huge rate spikes, sometimes of 25 percent or more. In short, this would prevent that sort of thing.

In any event, the ball's in Newsom's court now.

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