Why AB 1127 Means Baby Changing Tables for All

About AB 1127

On October 13th, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into state law, Bill AB 1127, requiring places like restaurants, movie theaters, retail stores, grocery stores, sports areas, and other facilities open to the public to have at least one baby changing station available to both men and women in public restrooms. Additionally, these public facilities must use signage to show the location of the baby changing table. The new law which came into effect in January 2018. AB 1127 requires that public facilities maintain, repair, and keep these new baby changing tables clean. AB 1127 will require a permit to install the baby changing table in the bathroom.

Limitations on AB 1127

Places such as industrial buildings, nightclubs, bars, and bathrooms in health facilities meant for one patient do not need to abide by this law. Nightclubs and bars that do not allow people under 18 are also exempt from this law. Facilities where it is impractical to install a changing table will be exempt from AB 1127; this applies to physical impracticality, such as interfering with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and economic impracticality, such as if the installment costs $10,000 or more.

How Will This Affect Me?

This law will make it easier to find a changing table for parents and guardians. Business owners with facilities that are open to the public will be required to build a baby changing table accessible to both men and women.  

 

Sources:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article178791456.html

http://www.capradio.org/articles/2017/12/18/diaper-changing-stations-coming-for-california-dads-too/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1127

What the (Prop.) F?

According to the City of San Francisco, 1,881 people received notices of evictions back in 2016-2017 (1). With the newly passed Proposition F, all 1,881 would be provided lawyers by the City.

What is Prop. F and to Whom Does it Apply?

Proposition F is a recent San Francisco proposal that requires the city to establish a program which provides full legal representation for all city tenants that are facing eviction. These tenants would be given legal representation within 30 days of them receiving an eviction notice or in the case of an unlawful detainer complaint– such as the case of a tenant overstaying a lease. This would apply to all tenants except for those residing in the same unit as the landlord, as well as non-residential tenants, such as subletters.

While the city of San Francisco has provided free legal representation to tenants before, only a limited number of tenants could receive legal services. Factors such as health, income and age determined which tenants received legal representation. Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) and non-profit community organizations provided tenant education, counseling, and other eviction-related services.

How Much Will It Cost?

According to Ben Rosenfield, the San Francisco City Controller, the cost would be “between approximately $4.2 million and approximately $5.6 million annually. This amount would be likely to grow in future years” (2). The city already spends $2 million annually (3) on eviction-related legal representation already, which does not include the $200,000 spending increase by the MOHCD in order to increase staffing for Prop. F. Despite these numbers, some supporters of the law claim that it will decrease homelessness, leading to a decrease in expenses for taxpayers.

What are the Issues with Prop. F?

Proposition F itself did not state any source of funding for the eviction-related program when it was put on the ballot. While it has passed, there is still no explanation as to how Prop. F will be funded. One assumption is the responsibility will fall on taxpayers, which could potentially entail an increase in taxes. The city has to determine the total cost of the program when they begin the budget process before resolving the issue.

Certain opponents of Prop. F as well as the San Francisco Chronicle additionally point out that Prop. F does not differentiate between income classes; individuals who could afford to hire a private attorney would still be provided with one in the case of eviction. If this remains unchanged, the budget will have to be higher, potentially burdening the taxpayers even more.

When Does Proposition F Become Effective?

While any proposition becomes effective 12 months after it has passed, this cannot force the Mayor nor the Board of Supervisors to provide the funds necessary to implement the program. Because of this, it is unclear as to when Prop. F actually will come into effect.

How Does This Affect Me?

Prop. F would directly influence anyone who is evicted in the city of San Francisco by changing the process of eviction. It would also indirectly affect every taxpayer whose money would go towards funding the program.

Sources:

(1)https://sfrb.org/sites/default/files/Document/Statistics/16-17%20AnnualEvctRpt.pdf

(2)https://sf.curbed.com/2018/6/7/17437548/san-francisco-prop-election-eviction-lawyer

(3)https://voterguide.sfelections.org/en/city-funded-legal-representation-residential-tenants-eviction-lawsuits

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/SF-Measure-F-to-give-tax-funded-legal-help-to-12970924.php

What exactly is Costa-Hawkins?

What is the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act?

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act is a California law passed in 1995, preventing rent control requirements from affecting properties built after that year. This law has been supported by property owners and landlords because it allows them to rent their properties at the market rate. The city of Los Angeles also passed a law similar to this called the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), which states that housing in Los Angeles built only before 1978 can be subject to rent control. This gives landlords and property owners even more flexibility with their rental rates, allowing them to earn more income, and be more flexible with their spending. However, many tenants and others, including LA mayor Garcetti are currently pushing to repeal this, and have gathered more than 565,000 signatures to include the repeal on the California ballot in November (1).

Why Do People in Los Angeles Want to Repeal Costa-Hawkins?

L.A. citizens would like to repeal Costa-Hawkins because federal and state laws already allow landlords to receive fair rent. They also state that the repeal of Costa-Hawkins would allow cities in California to expand their rent control. Furthermore, they believe that there are not enough laws to protect the tenants, especially since Los Angeles is currently going through a housing crisis because of the lack of affordability in housing.

Need to know more on the Housing Crisis?

In Los Angeles, there has been a county-wide, 32% increase in rent since 2000, while the household incomes have dropped 3% since that year. Due to these trends, the poverty rate of the county has increased from 18% to 25%. A recent report came out stating the city would need to supply 551,807 new affordable units of housing in order to house all of the county’s lowest income-earners– people who make half of this LA county median income: $64,000. The report recommends incentives to have developers build more affordable units in Los Angeles. It also adds a linkage fee to other developers when they build in the city. This proposed fee goes towards affordable housing.

Is Anyone Against the Repeal of this Law?

Many people in California, especially landlords and real estate property owners, are strongly against this bill to repeal Costa-Hawkins. This is because they believe it will deter developers in Los Angeles from constructing new buildings. This would decrease the amount of housing in Los Angeles, worsening the affordability housing crisis that is already happening. Many also believe that property owners can profit more on their housing investments when the rents are high.

So, What is Happening Now?

Renter/tenant groups claim they have enough signatures to put this repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Act on the November ballot. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, supports the tenant groups. Garcetti told  voters to give the city and its representatives back their power when speaking about the increases in rent. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has gathered more than enough signatures for the repeal to be on the ballot.

How Will This Affect Me If It Passes?

Repealing Costa-Hawkins expands rent control to city properties that built after 1995 (1978 for Los Angeles). Housing-wise, this would restrain and potentially reduce the market value on rentals. This potentially solves the current housing crisis in Los Angeles. Therefore, for those who are low-income, it could potentially increase housing options in the cities that expand their rent control. Costa-Hawkins does not affect cities already under rent control.

If you are a landlord and this bill is repealed, the city you reside in may impose rental control on your property. This could decrease your profit, or attract more prospective tenants to your building.

Sources:

  1. https://la.curbed.com/2018/4/23/17270880/costa-hawkins-repeal-california-rent-control-garcetti
  2. https://la.curbed.com/2017/5/23/15681418/la-county-affordable-housing-shortage-crisis-rental-prices
technology

Does the iPhone X’s Face ID Put Your Privacy at Risk?

With current technology, we are left with almost nothing to wish for. A decade ago, the services available to us now would be unfathomable. Today, you can have groceries, a professional massage, or a latte delivered to your door in minutes just by using your smartphone.

Smart Phone Revolution

With the release of the iPhone X, facial recognition software has become a popular topic of discussion. On Apple’s website, the features are described as “some of the most sophisticated technology we’ve ever developed,” including “cameras and sensors that enable Face ID.” However, the continuous development of this type of technology, is accompanied by privacy concerns. Making us wonder if unlocking our phones so easily is really worth it.

Facial recognition in the Samsung Galaxy 8 can be easily manipulated with a photo of the phone’s owner.  Apple claims that such a breach of privacy is not possible with the iPhone X.

The iPhone X’s “True Depth Camera” works by analyzing 30,000 individual points on your face, creating both a facial map and an in-depth image of your face. Apple assures users that facial data for unlocking the iPhone X will only be stored in the phone itself. Yet, thousands of third-party app developers can access to some of this facial data. 

Sharing data with app developers is not alone enough to unlock a phone. Privacy activists though are wary of granting access to something as intimate as your face, to thousands of people.

Concerns about people unlocking your phone or being forced to unlock your phone under duress of law enforcement or an abusive partner are legitimate. There is always the possibility that another person could force you to reveal your four-digit passcode. New technologies  like Face ID and Touch ID  now just make it more feasible.

Case Law

Until there is more case law regarding Face ID, we won’t know its exact legal implications. However, a judging from a recent Minnesota case, technology such as Face ID and Touch ID cannot protect your phone from law enforcement. The case, State vs. Diamond, ruled that, when a court has issued a warrant allowing police to search a phone, a suspect can be compelled to unlock his phone with his fingerprint. Fingerprints, unlike passcodes, are not protected by the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 

The court reason that being compelled with a warrant to unlock a phone via Touch ID is similar to being compelled to give a blood sample, and does not require a person to reveal any knowledge that could be considered self-incriminating.

Facial recognition technology is not limited to the iPhone X. Experiments utilize it in order to attempt to reduce airport lines, prevent voter fraud, and provide better quality CCTV. As technology continues to develop, we need to weigh the costs of losing privacy against convenience and accessibility.