California continue continues its deep dive into insanity.

Now, landlords are not even entitled to protect themselves or other tenants from convicted criminals.  According to HotAir, property owners can no longer run criminal background checks on potential tenants:

Following a unanimous vote by the city council Tuesday night, Oakland has now become the first city in California to ban criminal background checks on potential renters.

“Indescribable emotions and feelings,” said John Jones III of Oakland, who got out of prison in 2012 and struggled to find a place to live in Oakland despite his well-paying job as an aviation mechanic.

Jones said he’s among the many who left prison only to end up on the streets, contributing to Oakland’s homeless crisis. That’s why he’s been lobbying hard for the Oakland City Council to pass the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which says landlords will no longer be allowed to turn down potential renters because of criminal convictions.

Proponents say they want to “destigmatize” criminal activity. As a proponent of some forms of criminal justice reform, I get the intent here. 

But do we really want to destigmatize crime?  Shouldn’t it have a certain stigma, you know…. Since it’s bad?  Bad for perpetrators, bad for victims, bad for our communities.

Putting landlords in an untenable position is not the solution… especially since the majority of felons end up arrested within three years of release. 

Why should landlords be forced to play those odds?

Some may choose to take that risk, and I commend them for that decision to try to give these former prisoners a chance at a better life.  But aren’t leftists all about choice?  Shouldn’t landlords be able to decide what to do with their own property?

The problem with committing crime is that it leaves people without good options. This is the latest example of liberals attempting to rid people of consequences. 

Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works.  If I were a property owner in Oakland, I’d seriously consider getting out of the rental business… before it’s too late.

Hat Tip: HotAir

Image Credit: Simon Law on Flickr

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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