What is it going to take to get city politicians to start doing the right thing? It costs a small fortune to live in this city and when bills are introduced that would help give a leg up to artists, there isn’t enough support to get them off the ground.
Case and point: The Small Business Jobs Survival Act. This is a bill that will help commercial tenants facing displacement from rising rents—including artists’ studios and small businesses—and it currently has only 23 of the 26 votes it needs to pass.
The bill would require commercial landlords to offer ten-year leases to all existing tenants who’ve paid their rent on time. If the two sides can’t agree on terms, they go to arbitration. Currently a landlord doesn’t have to renew a tenant’s lease, can kick the tenant out whenever it suits them, raise their rent exorbitantly, and the tenant has no means of contesting the decision.