Candidates invested in Moscow, will help it thrive

City Council elections are on Nov. 5. James Urquidez, Kelsey Berends, and Brandon Mitchell are some of the most humble and gracious people I know. Even after James’ and Kelsey’s signs were vandalized, I’ve watched them respond with love and acceptance. These three are invested in Moscow and want the community to thrive and grow together. We’d be honored to have them represent us on City Council!

Sam Paul

Moscow

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Candidates understand value of human labor, service

As a small businessman in Moscow, I look for candidates for city council that understand the value of human labor and service. That is why I intend to vote for James Urquidez, Kelsey Berends and Brandon Mitchell for Moscow City Council on Nov. 5.

Frederic Banks

Moscow

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It’s time to get serious about Pullman rent control

Pullman has a rental problem and it’s part of a troubling nationwide trend. Recently, the monthly rent at many local apartments have doubled — from $700 to $1, 400 —for an older two-bedroom apartment with no frills. Many of these properties are owned by out-of-area landlords not invested in the Pullman community.

Unreasonable rent hikes have forced thousands into homelessness in cities like Spokane and Seattle. Those with low or middle-income jobs may be getting by only to have it suddenly fall apart when a distant landlord decides to pad his wallet.

A 2017 study conducted by Zillow and the University of Washington found that a 5-percent increase in Seattle rent prices would force 258 people into homelessness. Similar increases would leave 3,000 people homeless in New York and 2,000 in Los Angeles.

Most permanent residents on the Palouse know too well that few local employers provide salary increases to keep up with doubled rents.

Some rent increases are tied to gentrification and the trend seems to be creeping into Pullman — threatening many of our small-town residents who are not homeowners. Approximately 70 percent of Pullman residents are apartment dwellers and not all are temporary students.

It’s time for Washington to make rent control legal again. Affordable housing alone won’t solve the problem if rents continue rising. It’s also unreasonable to expect young families, professional adults, or retirees to live in predominantly undergraduate student complexes.

Oregon recently passed legislation enacting rent control for the same reasons. Legislators there are also looking at anti-gouging bills and other measures to help protect renters. It’s time that Washington State does, too.

Rebecca Phillips, Pullman

Elizabeth Siler, Pullman

(seven other residents of Pullman and Colton signed this letter)

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