In one of the most liberal states in the country, California voters have twice had an opportunity to expand rent control statewide amid a historic housing affordability crisis.

And both times voters have given a resounding “no” to the idea.

The decisive failure of Proposition 21 on Tuesday — like Proposition 10 before it in 2018 — shows that despite California’s reputation as a progressive bastion, voters here are far from willing to support one of the most well-known housing ideas championed by the left.

“Ensuring tenant protections has always been an incredibly difficult thing to achieve in California politics,” said Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), a rent control supporter who has been unable to push a similar plan through the state Legislature. “This outcome reflected that.”

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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