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A Main Backer of Prop 10 Had One of Its Offices Broken Into and Burnt Down

9:24 PM PST on November 11, 2018

[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]ne of the main organizers behind the statewide rent control initiative, Proposition 10, had its San Diego area office broken into and burnt down over the weekend, organizers of the nonprofit told L.A. Taco.

The San Diego branch of the Alliance for California Community Empowerment (ACCE), located in neighboring Chula Vista, was broken into at exactly 12:30 am on Saturday, the office’s alarm system indicated. But it was not clear is who did it and why someone would want to burn down the office there. A police investigation is underway, Joseph Delgado, ACCE’s Los Angeles office director, told L.A. Taco.

Delgado said that he drove down to Chula Vista from L.A. as soon as he found out to support the local ACCE members. “This is such a bizarre thing to happen to any organization, particularly an organization that stands for organizing communities that are lower income,” Delgado said by phone from San Diego Sunday evening.

RELATED: ‘They Thought a No Vote Was For Rent Control’ ~ What Happened to Prop 10?

All photos courtesy of ACCE.

ACCE activists across California had been working to pass the statewide ballot measure Proposition 10, along with like-minded groups, such as the Los Angeles Tenants Union. “We are getting support from around the country and, in California and the Chula Vista Office, from local allies, we have had an outpouring of support,” he said. “As an organization, ACCE is not going to stop doing the work we do, that we believe in, and our members believe in.”

Before the fire, Delgado said organizers at ACCE’s San Diego branch were also very focused on a local rent control initiative, Measure W, for National City, just south of downtown San Diego. Both initiatives, the statewide Prop 10 and the local Measure W, were rejected by voters.

Like in the San Diego metro region, tenants in Los Angeles have seen their rents jump higher every year. This prompted a demand for more construction of housing stocks by some. But others wanted greater restrictions on how much landlords can increase rents, which propelled Prop 10 onto the state ballot Nov. 6.

ACCE tweeted out a plea for help to rebuild its San Diego office, and a level defiance. “At 12:30 am last night someone broke into our office, vandalized and set on fire. ACCE is not an office. ACCE is a movement. ACCE is our members and the organizing we do. If this is an act to intimidate us, we will not back down.”

The building is now boarded up, so staff members have not been allowed back inside, Delgado said. Late Sunday, the organization said in a statement that investigators had confirmed the suspected arson was a targeted attack against the group. 

“Personally it is tragic because of the trauma it put on the local members and staff,” Delgado said. “As comrades in the movement and as members of this organization statewide, an attack on one member is an attack on all of us.”

RELATED: Hopes for Rent Control Crushed, Gas Tax Survives, Newsom to Governor

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