Lens on the Importance of More Renter Politicians in L.A.

Michael Lens, associate professor of urban planning and public policy, was cited in an LAist article about the growing percentage of renters winning local elections. As it stands, a majority of Los Angeles residents are tenants and the candidate pool has begun to reflect this change. Now that college graduates and wealthier residents are unable to find affordable housing, more renters will demand representation. However, Lens pointed out that not all renter politicians have the same goals in mind and might be at odds about what policies to support — for example, constructing more housing or establishing more renter protections. “As long as those two camps aren’t talking so nicely to each other — and that’s generally how things are right now — it’s going to be hard for a renter politician to be fluidly in support of both of those sets of interventions,” Lens said.


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