California NAACP prez criticized for work as paid consultant on anti-Prop 10 campaign

Alice Huffman being paid by real estate-backed No campaign while NAACP opposes measure

California NAACP President Alice Huffman and an apartment building in Los Angeles
California NAACP President Alice Huffman and an apartment building in Los Angeles

The president of the California chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is under fire for taking money from a campaign opposed to a rent control measure on November’s ballot — after her organization voted to oppose it.

Alice Huffman, the longtime president of the California-Hawaii NAACP, is working as a paid consultant for one of the multimillion-dollar campaigns against the measure, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The campaign against the measure is heavily funded by real estate players.

AC Public Affairs, Huffman’s personal political consulting business, is on pace to make $800,000 from the campaign. But she says the NAACP’s opposition has nothing to do with her consulting work. She was defiant in an interview with the Guardian on Monday.

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“I don’t apologize for it,” Huffman said. “I don’t see it as a conflict of interest.”

AC Public Affairs took the contract a month after the state NAACP’s 28-member executive committee surprised many and voted to oppose passage of Proposition 10, according to the Chronicle.

Passing Proposition 10 would repeal 1995’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which barred new rent control laws across the state. It would allow local governments to pass sweeping new rent control laws, which could hurt the bottom lines of investors. But opponents also argue new rent control would make it harder to build and lead to less residential development, worsening the state’s housing crisis.

All of the top 10 contributors against the measure are involved in real estate. They include Equity Residential, which has spent at least $3.7 million to fight the measure; Blackstone Group, which has spent $3 million; and Essex Property Trust, which has spent $2.4 million. [San Francisco Chronicle] – Dennis Lynch