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Your Advocacy and Involvement is More Important Than Ever

Last Updated: June 24, 2024By

Recently, a client approached me with a thorough outline of grievances against California government at both state and local levels. My client’s points ranged from the selective application of laws to certain groups to the complete disregard of laws to push agendas that are not voted on, nor wanted by citizens.

The most compelling question I was asked was, “Why does the City and County get to do whatever they want even though it isn’t what the citizens want?” The answer to that is: “they” in government are elected to represent us citizens. Citizens are the ones who vote politicians into power based on campaign promises, but once in power they have a lot of flexibility in setting and pursing an agenda that may or may not align with their campaign promises. Sometimes that agenda is 180 degrees different, and the complete opposite of what politicians promised they would do when they campaigned. Unfortunately, voting someone into power is a lot easier than recalling them to get them out of power.

One of the pillars of the United States Constitution is that we are a country “for the people, by the people.” As such, it is important that people consider the following when they wish to effect change.


Voting is a constitutional right. It is not just a privilege, but a right. A large part of the planet is not afforded this right to vote, yet many people do not vote in America. Even if you think your vote doesn’t matter, you still must vote. If everyone who thought their vote did not matter voted, you’d be surprised how much it mattered and the difference it would make.

This is an election year and there are major ballot measures in California up for vote in November. I encourage everyone to review those measures now. Get educated on who is pushing for their passage, and why. Then vote as you deem fit. Failing to vote is doing not only yourself a disservice, but everyone else. As my grandmother tells me, “voting is a civic duty.”


You must actively participate in local affairs and make your voice heard. That is one of the most impactful ways to make change happen. Landlords and business owners do not invest enough time and energy into making their voices heard. I get it, you are so busy running your business that you are too drained to go “pick a fight” with city council or the county board of supervisors. But that is exactly what you must do.

To give you an example, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) went to an Oxnard City Council meeting and attempted to push back on planned trash hauling rate increases of between 54% and 59%. AAGLA representatives attended, but not a single landlord showed up. Oxnard took that lack of turnout to mean that landlords did not take issue with the 59% proposed increase in trash hauling fees. Of course, landlords took issue with such a large increase! They just didn’t make their opposition known.

Politicians are not mind readers. They pursue changes based on the loudest voice they hear (even if that voice doesn’t make sense). In this case they didn’t hear anyone opposed to the fee increase proposal, so it was unanimously passed.

As a property owner, you must educate politicians. Early on in my law career, an attorney I worked under told me “make it simple for the judge to understand.” You have to make it clear what you want and why, constantly and for as long as you can. Even if you are repeating yourself, eventually your views will “stick” because it is what is being heard the most. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Changes happen when large numbers of people push for them. That is why tenants and employees have made major changes in the law possible. Simply, these groups organize faster and make their voices heard the loudest. Businesses are fleeing California today rather than staying and fighting for representation. That is not to say you will always get what you want, but your active participation in the process of creating new laws and regulations does go a long way to make the playing field more even when it comes to policy changes.


Another constitutional right we are afforded is the right to associate. Joining associations of likeminded individuals and gaining numbers will inevitably move the needle to support your position. I sense many people almost feel ashamed to assert their rights or push for changes because they are a property or business owner. But it is never taken into consideration that property and business owners are the backbone of this country and what makes it great. The more rights that are lost by these groups, then the less incentivized future generations will be to own real estate or start a business. And that will only lead to larger institutions moving in and monopolizing property and business ownership. Big business will never have the empathy small landlords or business owners have by nature.

Not all is lost in the world, though. Nevertheless, you’d think the worse if you watched enough news lately. I know there is room for improvement, and I believe improvement is possible. Everyone should get involved with local politics. Even if you simply write an email to a local politician or attend a meeting via Zoom for public comment, or perhaps write a letter to a local newspaper. I encourage (I double dare you…) everyone to write an email or attend a meeting at least once. You will find doing so is not that scary. Once you overcome that hurdle you can do it again and maybe next time recruit a friend to join you.

I am a small business owner. I represent many landlords. And I want future generations to be ambitious in their growth and development, and also to be rewarded for their hard work and ambition. That can only happen if more people band together to protect property and business rights.

Shared by Sasha Struthers, Esq., Struthers Legal APC

If you are interested in learning more about tenant buyout agreements and wish to have a one-on-one session to go over your specific situation, you can sign up for a consultation with Sasha. Sasha Struthers is a California licensed Attorney and Real Estate Broker with a law practice that focuses on ‘Cash for Keys’/ tenant buyouts and government agency complaints such as REAP, CRD, and Orders to Comply. Sasha’s experience managing a 15-building real estate portfolio, including five apartments subject to LARSO has allowed her to help landlords strategically reposition their portfolios, maximize income, and reduce management stress. You can check out her law practice at www.struthers.legal.



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