The June 1980 rent control fight would determine Berkeley's future on this issue. With a temporary rent freeze about to expire, the City Council placed a comprehensive permanent Rent Control Ordinance on the ballot. (Measure D) It had been drafted by the Berkeley Housing Coalition. This was the first time rent control came before the voters without the need to collect signatures on an initiative.
Measure D's official title was "rent stabilization", intended to sound more acceptable than rent control. I doubt that it mattered.
At this same election, the landlords had a fraudulent anti-rent control state initiative, Proposition 10, on the ballot. It was intended to destroy the many local rent control measures that had been adopted in the wake of Proposition 13's passage two years earlier.
Proposition 10 actually worked against Berkeley's landlords, because it diverted anti-rent control funds to the state, rather than the local level.
BCA's campaign tried to continue the momentum from Measure I's victory in 1979 and the defeat of J. Proposition 10 was condemned and Measure D promoted, as on this BCA poster. Tenants and homeowners were both appealed to.
Mal Warwick was no longer the BCA coordinator, having started a direct mail fundrasing business (Mal Warwick & Associates). For the first time in years, the campaign had a new, collective leadership, including Dave Panush and Sean Gordon, among many others.
On June 3, 1980, as California's voters defeated Proposition 10, Berkeley adopted permanent rent control. This would have been unthinkable after the 1977 defeat. The legality of Measure D survived landlord challenges in both the California and United States Supreme Courts.
Measure D, although weakened by pro- landlord measures passed by the State Legislature, remains in effect today, more than 20 years after the June 1980 election.