It’s Not Just an Election Bill

By Nathan R. McGuire, Esq.

SB 323 (Wieckowski) currently sits on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his action. If he doesn’t veto SB 323 on or before October 13th, it will become law on January 1, 2020. Given the significant problems with SB 323, we’ve been asking for your help! Thank you to everyone who has responded to our calls-to-action. But, we’re not done yet!

DID YOU KNOW that in addition to the costly and unnecessary election changes in SB 323, it would also make member e-mail addresses part of the membership list available to all members, upon request?

Members can opt out of having their e-mail addresses included with the membership list, but the bill makes NO allowance for e-mail addresses that have already been provided to associations. Members who previously provided their e-mail addresses didn’t realize at the time that they would later be handed over to any member, for any purpose! In a time when we rely more and more on e-mail for communication, SB 323 is a step in the WRONG direction.

If SB 323 is not vetoed, associations will need to scramble before January 1st to determine how to handle both new additions to e-mail distribution lists, as well as what to do with existing e-mail addresses previously provided by members who at the time had the reasonable expectation that their e-mail addresses would only be used for official communications from the association.

In addition to adding e-mails to the membership list, SB 323 would:

  • Limit the right of associations to establish reasonable qualifications for candidates.
  • Prohibit associations from ever suspending an owner’s right to vote.
  • Require associations to post the names and assessor’s parcel numbers of all members eligible to vote.
  • Allow owners to review and copy the signatures of all other owners on the outside mailing envelopes. As a condition of casting a ballot, homeowners must give up their right to keep their signatures private.

SB 323 is supposed to increase homeowners’ participation in association elections. Instead, it will deter owners from voting by requiring them to sacrifice their privacy.

Here are 5 simple steps to help:

  1. Share CAI-CLAC’s social media posts or create your own and TAG the Governor on Facebook and Twitter at @GavinNewsom and @CAgovernor. This will ensure he sees our message.
  2. Continue to call the Governor’s office weekly at (916) 445-2841 and ask him to VETO SB 323 (Wieckowski).
  3. Send our letter asking the Governor to VETO SB 323 here (again).
  4. Forward this blog to everyone you know in the industry and ask them to get involved.
  5. Share information about the dangerous impacts of SB 323 on your blog and newsletters to help us get the word out.

You can also stay informed with real-time updates and resources on our CAI-CLAC Facebook Page, Twitter Page and our NEW LinkedIn Page.

Nathan R. McGuire is a partner with Adams | Stirling, PLC, in charge of the firm’s Northern California offices, and currently serving as Chair of CAI-CLAC.