In the 2020 election, 59.6% of voters rejected Proposition 21, a ballot measure that would have expanded municipalities’ right to enact rent control. While such a devastating loss might lead one to believe that Californians oppose rent-control, the No campaigns' rhetoric makes it clear that nothing could be further from the truth.
To defeat Proposition 21, the No campaigns engaged in a ruthless disinformation campaign to deceive California voters on Proposition 21’s substance. This report briefly looks at who was behind this unethical campaign of disinformation. It then looks at the No campaigns rhetoric, which, while frustratingly effective, highlights the tenant movement’s progress in California. The No campaigns’ rhetoric proves that Californians want rent control, eviction protections, more affordable housing, racial justice and support for senior citizens, veterans, and the unhoused.