Commentary: Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

The Davis City Council did the right thing this week when it unanimously passed the sign ordinance by emergency ordinance. This ordinance would allow renters to post political signs on their rental units. Given the perceived level of opposition during the commission hearing back in October, it is somewhat surprising that this measure turned out to be as non-controversial as it did.

Of course there is some fine print that we must take note of. For instance, because of the emergency status of the ordinance it is only a temporary ordinance. At some point in the future, the council will have to pass the ordinance on a permanent basis.

Some of the students in the audience drew concern from this believing that perhaps during the of a non-election period, when council members were not trying to appeal for student vote, there might be a change of heart.

At the time of the commission, there was expressed concern that signs would like to dispute and conflict. But those concerns never made it passed the commission level. At neither the hearings at the council did a single individual object to the ordinance.

There are three interesting features of this council meeting.

First, if the perception in this city is that student are apathetic, one should have attended this past week’s council meeting. There was a large contingent of UC Davis students who waited patiently for issue to come forward. My estimate would be upwards of 20 to 30 students. This after six students showed up in December, after finals, and waited until nearly midnight for their item to come forward. This may not be an important issue to many in this town, it is to students. One must remember however, 40 percent of residents of Davis are renters, this is not merely a student issue.

Second, I would be remiss not to point out that the students dressed better than many of the councilmembers and other town residents. Many of them wearing jackets and ties. Some wearing full suits.

This just underlies the level of student activism and commitment. Their level of commitment is the highest I have seen from student groups since I have been here over the last decade plus.

Also I should point out there were two separate groups from campus involved. One of ASUCD. The other was the Davis College Democrats.

Finally as I told Tom Cross, the lone property owner who showed up, I always complain about lack of communication when it occurs against issues that I favor and groups that I work with, I would be remiss not to make the same claim when it happens to others.

Mr. Cross was concerned with the lack of awareness on the part of property owners. The lack of communication by the city to property owners. He said that he did not talk to any property owner who was against this ordinance, however, they felt excluded from the discussion.

Frankly I am not sure how that occurred. There were representatives of the property owner community at the commission meeting. Brenda Little works for Tandem Properties, one of the largest rental property owning companies in the city. In fact, she voted against the ordinance.

It is true that on December 18, 2007, the ordinance was strengthened to overrule local property owner decisions on the issue. Originally it was written weakly to provide the right to post a sign if there was no rule against it by the manager. It was obviously that that language would have little teeth and so at the December 18 meeting the ordinance was strengthened to make the right to post signs in place regardless of any rules to the contrary by property managers.

This provision apparently never got out to the property owners in the near month interceding, which of course was interrupted by the holidays. Clearly communication needs to improve for the city of Davis. There needs to be a better mechanism whereby citizens and interested persons can be made aware of coming discussions.

As Mr. Cross pointed out to me there is no longer any kind of overarching organization capable of bridging that communication gap by the property owners and managers. As a result there is no good way to get the word out a group that is often scattered and some of whom reside out of town.

I am glad that there was no opposition from the property owners and I agree that the lack of communication, as it always is, is a concern.

Overall though, I think the city did the right thing and I think people in this city need to start paying attention to students and their concerns. It looks like they will play a much larger role in city discussions than they have in the past.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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36 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Students showed exemplary activism, using the political process to make sure they were heard on an important issue. From what I have heard anecdotely, there have been problems in the past, with some landlords not allowing political signs to appear on rental properties. I was glad to see there was no substantive opposition from them this time, and students showing up en masse.

    Now students need some sort of a representative on the City Council. Wasn’t there a non-voting position on the City Council for students at one time? If yes, how did that work out, and why is it no longer in practice? I think it is important for students to have a voice in city gov’t, since they are such a huge part of Davis.

  2. Anonymous

    Students showed exemplary activism, using the political process to make sure they were heard on an important issue. From what I have heard anecdotely, there have been problems in the past, with some landlords not allowing political signs to appear on rental properties. I was glad to see there was no substantive opposition from them this time, and students showing up en masse.

    Now students need some sort of a representative on the City Council. Wasn’t there a non-voting position on the City Council for students at one time? If yes, how did that work out, and why is it no longer in practice? I think it is important for students to have a voice in city gov’t, since they are such a huge part of Davis.

  3. Anonymous

    Students showed exemplary activism, using the political process to make sure they were heard on an important issue. From what I have heard anecdotely, there have been problems in the past, with some landlords not allowing political signs to appear on rental properties. I was glad to see there was no substantive opposition from them this time, and students showing up en masse.

    Now students need some sort of a representative on the City Council. Wasn’t there a non-voting position on the City Council for students at one time? If yes, how did that work out, and why is it no longer in practice? I think it is important for students to have a voice in city gov’t, since they are such a huge part of Davis.

  4. Anonymous

    Students showed exemplary activism, using the political process to make sure they were heard on an important issue. From what I have heard anecdotely, there have been problems in the past, with some landlords not allowing political signs to appear on rental properties. I was glad to see there was no substantive opposition from them this time, and students showing up en masse.

    Now students need some sort of a representative on the City Council. Wasn’t there a non-voting position on the City Council for students at one time? If yes, how did that work out, and why is it no longer in practice? I think it is important for students to have a voice in city gov’t, since they are such a huge part of Davis.

  5. Robin White

    Say you are a landlord who manages a large apartment complex in Davis. And say one of your tenants wants to post a large, highly visible political sign in his window which advocates something terribly offensive to other tenants and to potential tenants. For example, say the sign opposes blacks and whites living together, based on his reading of the Bible.

    Does the landlord have no rights in this type of case to restrict his tenant? If the landlord has that right, then is that not an abridgement of the tenant’s free speech rights?

    It seems to me that all of the debate on this topic has been about inoffensive signs, saying things like “Lamar Heystek for City Council” or “Ron Paul for President.” But political speech is often very controversial and even deeply offensive. When people live in a communitarian setting, like a large apartment complex, landlords have good reason to not allow one tenant from putting off his other tenants or potential tenants. I don’t see how this ordinance addresses these concerns.

  6. Robin White

    Say you are a landlord who manages a large apartment complex in Davis. And say one of your tenants wants to post a large, highly visible political sign in his window which advocates something terribly offensive to other tenants and to potential tenants. For example, say the sign opposes blacks and whites living together, based on his reading of the Bible.

    Does the landlord have no rights in this type of case to restrict his tenant? If the landlord has that right, then is that not an abridgement of the tenant’s free speech rights?

    It seems to me that all of the debate on this topic has been about inoffensive signs, saying things like “Lamar Heystek for City Council” or “Ron Paul for President.” But political speech is often very controversial and even deeply offensive. When people live in a communitarian setting, like a large apartment complex, landlords have good reason to not allow one tenant from putting off his other tenants or potential tenants. I don’t see how this ordinance addresses these concerns.

  7. Robin White

    Say you are a landlord who manages a large apartment complex in Davis. And say one of your tenants wants to post a large, highly visible political sign in his window which advocates something terribly offensive to other tenants and to potential tenants. For example, say the sign opposes blacks and whites living together, based on his reading of the Bible.

    Does the landlord have no rights in this type of case to restrict his tenant? If the landlord has that right, then is that not an abridgement of the tenant’s free speech rights?

    It seems to me that all of the debate on this topic has been about inoffensive signs, saying things like “Lamar Heystek for City Council” or “Ron Paul for President.” But political speech is often very controversial and even deeply offensive. When people live in a communitarian setting, like a large apartment complex, landlords have good reason to not allow one tenant from putting off his other tenants or potential tenants. I don’t see how this ordinance addresses these concerns.

  8. Robin White

    Say you are a landlord who manages a large apartment complex in Davis. And say one of your tenants wants to post a large, highly visible political sign in his window which advocates something terribly offensive to other tenants and to potential tenants. For example, say the sign opposes blacks and whites living together, based on his reading of the Bible.

    Does the landlord have no rights in this type of case to restrict his tenant? If the landlord has that right, then is that not an abridgement of the tenant’s free speech rights?

    It seems to me that all of the debate on this topic has been about inoffensive signs, saying things like “Lamar Heystek for City Council” or “Ron Paul for President.” But political speech is often very controversial and even deeply offensive. When people live in a communitarian setting, like a large apartment complex, landlords have good reason to not allow one tenant from putting off his other tenants or potential tenants. I don’t see how this ordinance addresses these concerns.

  9. Sherrill

    How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights? And why on earth does the City Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If others are offended by a political sign, tough. Let them be “put off”. Let them look away! Has fascist intolerance become so accepted in this country that we think we can dictate others’ political views out of a concern for profits? Americans have fought and died for freedom of speech, among other rights, and if any landlord deprives students of it, the students need to sue. For help, go to the ACLU, who seem to be the only folks these days who have a clue about the Constitution of the United States.

  10. Sherrill

    How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights? And why on earth does the City Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If others are offended by a political sign, tough. Let them be “put off”. Let them look away! Has fascist intolerance become so accepted in this country that we think we can dictate others’ political views out of a concern for profits? Americans have fought and died for freedom of speech, among other rights, and if any landlord deprives students of it, the students need to sue. For help, go to the ACLU, who seem to be the only folks these days who have a clue about the Constitution of the United States.

  11. Sherrill

    How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights? And why on earth does the City Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If others are offended by a political sign, tough. Let them be “put off”. Let them look away! Has fascist intolerance become so accepted in this country that we think we can dictate others’ political views out of a concern for profits? Americans have fought and died for freedom of speech, among other rights, and if any landlord deprives students of it, the students need to sue. For help, go to the ACLU, who seem to be the only folks these days who have a clue about the Constitution of the United States.

  12. Sherrill

    How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights? And why on earth does the City Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If others are offended by a political sign, tough. Let them be “put off”. Let them look away! Has fascist intolerance become so accepted in this country that we think we can dictate others’ political views out of a concern for profits? Americans have fought and died for freedom of speech, among other rights, and if any landlord deprives students of it, the students need to sue. For help, go to the ACLU, who seem to be the only folks these days who have a clue about the Constitution of the United States.

  13. Sherrill

    How on earth do landlords have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights, and why on earth does the Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If someone’s political sign is offensive to others, tough. They can look away. It’s none of their business, and if a renter pays his or her rent, they have the use of the apartment!

  14. Sherrill

    How on earth do landlords have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights, and why on earth does the Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If someone’s political sign is offensive to others, tough. They can look away. It’s none of their business, and if a renter pays his or her rent, they have the use of the apartment!

  15. Sherrill

    How on earth do landlords have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights, and why on earth does the Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If someone’s political sign is offensive to others, tough. They can look away. It’s none of their business, and if a renter pays his or her rent, they have the use of the apartment!

  16. Sherrill

    How on earth do landlords have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights, and why on earth does the Council need to pass a city ordinance to restore them? If someone’s political sign is offensive to others, tough. They can look away. It’s none of their business, and if a renter pays his or her rent, they have the use of the apartment!

  17. Doug Paul Davis

    Robin:

    I need to check, but I think the ordinance was designed to protect against that situation.

    Sherrill:

    Harriet laid it out pretty well, the courts have not found in favor of renters in such cases.

  18. Doug Paul Davis

    Robin:

    I need to check, but I think the ordinance was designed to protect against that situation.

    Sherrill:

    Harriet laid it out pretty well, the courts have not found in favor of renters in such cases.

  19. Doug Paul Davis

    Robin:

    I need to check, but I think the ordinance was designed to protect against that situation.

    Sherrill:

    Harriet laid it out pretty well, the courts have not found in favor of renters in such cases.

  20. Doug Paul Davis

    Robin:

    I need to check, but I think the ordinance was designed to protect against that situation.

    Sherrill:

    Harriet laid it out pretty well, the courts have not found in favor of renters in such cases.

  21. Robin White

    “How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights?”

    Only by mutual consent, Sherrill.

    My husband and I own and manage rental properties in West Sacramento. We had no problems with tenants displaying signage in their units, until we had a tenant display a large Nazi symbol in his window. This was offensive to us and especially to our African American tenants. About half of the tenants in that building are black. The rest are a mixture of other races and ethnicities.

    My husband convinced the tenant to take down the sign after a couple of days, because we had so many complaints.

    Since that incident, we have language in our leases which requires tenants to get our approval first to display any signs or symbols in their units. We permit anything that is mainstream political speech. But we won’t allow tenants to offend others with free speech. If they want to do that, they have to lease from someone else.

  22. Robin White

    “How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights?”

    Only by mutual consent, Sherrill.

    My husband and I own and manage rental properties in West Sacramento. We had no problems with tenants displaying signage in their units, until we had a tenant display a large Nazi symbol in his window. This was offensive to us and especially to our African American tenants. About half of the tenants in that building are black. The rest are a mixture of other races and ethnicities.

    My husband convinced the tenant to take down the sign after a couple of days, because we had so many complaints.

    Since that incident, we have language in our leases which requires tenants to get our approval first to display any signs or symbols in their units. We permit anything that is mainstream political speech. But we won’t allow tenants to offend others with free speech. If they want to do that, they have to lease from someone else.

  23. Robin White

    “How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights?”

    Only by mutual consent, Sherrill.

    My husband and I own and manage rental properties in West Sacramento. We had no problems with tenants displaying signage in their units, until we had a tenant display a large Nazi symbol in his window. This was offensive to us and especially to our African American tenants. About half of the tenants in that building are black. The rest are a mixture of other races and ethnicities.

    My husband convinced the tenant to take down the sign after a couple of days, because we had so many complaints.

    Since that incident, we have language in our leases which requires tenants to get our approval first to display any signs or symbols in their units. We permit anything that is mainstream political speech. But we won’t allow tenants to offend others with free speech. If they want to do that, they have to lease from someone else.

  24. Robin White

    “How on earth does a landlord have the right to violate anyone’s First Amendment rights?”

    Only by mutual consent, Sherrill.

    My husband and I own and manage rental properties in West Sacramento. We had no problems with tenants displaying signage in their units, until we had a tenant display a large Nazi symbol in his window. This was offensive to us and especially to our African American tenants. About half of the tenants in that building are black. The rest are a mixture of other races and ethnicities.

    My husband convinced the tenant to take down the sign after a couple of days, because we had so many complaints.

    Since that incident, we have language in our leases which requires tenants to get our approval first to display any signs or symbols in their units. We permit anything that is mainstream political speech. But we won’t allow tenants to offend others with free speech. If they want to do that, they have to lease from someone else.

  25. Sherrill

    “Mutual consent” is OK if it’s really mutual, but please remember that you’re the one in the power position – so I suggest that it cannot be mutual. The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad. We do not have the right to deprive them of their rights, and you and I wouldn’t like it were the tables turned. Please remember that the Constitution is to protect un-mainstream speech, UNPOPULAR SPEECH – speech that is popular doesn’t need to be protected. Frankly, Republicans nauseate me these days, and I find them incredibly offensive and not mainstream at all in Davis (!), but I don’t have the right to limit their speech, thank God, or I would! Would you kick out a Democrat? A vegetarian? A gay person? A satanist? Until they have taken ACTION to hurt others, freedom means that they can be as offensive as they want to be. It is not hurting others to put a sign in a window. The African American people need to look away and recognize that Al Sharpton, whom I love, is offensive to a lot of whites. Luckily, the whites can’t shut him up. Are you sure you have the right to limit speech to “mainstream”? Mainstream in Germany in the ’30s WAS Nazism. We need more democracy, not less. I understand your position of trying to keep the peace, but please know that my parents were in real estate in the 1950s in Santa Rosa and thought they were keeping the peace by not selling houses to Black or Mexican Americans. Best wishes in your decisions, and thanks for engaging on this issue. You sound like a very conscious and conscientious person!

  26. Sherrill

    “Mutual consent” is OK if it’s really mutual, but please remember that you’re the one in the power position – so I suggest that it cannot be mutual. The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad. We do not have the right to deprive them of their rights, and you and I wouldn’t like it were the tables turned. Please remember that the Constitution is to protect un-mainstream speech, UNPOPULAR SPEECH – speech that is popular doesn’t need to be protected. Frankly, Republicans nauseate me these days, and I find them incredibly offensive and not mainstream at all in Davis (!), but I don’t have the right to limit their speech, thank God, or I would! Would you kick out a Democrat? A vegetarian? A gay person? A satanist? Until they have taken ACTION to hurt others, freedom means that they can be as offensive as they want to be. It is not hurting others to put a sign in a window. The African American people need to look away and recognize that Al Sharpton, whom I love, is offensive to a lot of whites. Luckily, the whites can’t shut him up. Are you sure you have the right to limit speech to “mainstream”? Mainstream in Germany in the ’30s WAS Nazism. We need more democracy, not less. I understand your position of trying to keep the peace, but please know that my parents were in real estate in the 1950s in Santa Rosa and thought they were keeping the peace by not selling houses to Black or Mexican Americans. Best wishes in your decisions, and thanks for engaging on this issue. You sound like a very conscious and conscientious person!

  27. Sherrill

    “Mutual consent” is OK if it’s really mutual, but please remember that you’re the one in the power position – so I suggest that it cannot be mutual. The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad. We do not have the right to deprive them of their rights, and you and I wouldn’t like it were the tables turned. Please remember that the Constitution is to protect un-mainstream speech, UNPOPULAR SPEECH – speech that is popular doesn’t need to be protected. Frankly, Republicans nauseate me these days, and I find them incredibly offensive and not mainstream at all in Davis (!), but I don’t have the right to limit their speech, thank God, or I would! Would you kick out a Democrat? A vegetarian? A gay person? A satanist? Until they have taken ACTION to hurt others, freedom means that they can be as offensive as they want to be. It is not hurting others to put a sign in a window. The African American people need to look away and recognize that Al Sharpton, whom I love, is offensive to a lot of whites. Luckily, the whites can’t shut him up. Are you sure you have the right to limit speech to “mainstream”? Mainstream in Germany in the ’30s WAS Nazism. We need more democracy, not less. I understand your position of trying to keep the peace, but please know that my parents were in real estate in the 1950s in Santa Rosa and thought they were keeping the peace by not selling houses to Black or Mexican Americans. Best wishes in your decisions, and thanks for engaging on this issue. You sound like a very conscious and conscientious person!

  28. Sherrill

    “Mutual consent” is OK if it’s really mutual, but please remember that you’re the one in the power position – so I suggest that it cannot be mutual. The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad. We do not have the right to deprive them of their rights, and you and I wouldn’t like it were the tables turned. Please remember that the Constitution is to protect un-mainstream speech, UNPOPULAR SPEECH – speech that is popular doesn’t need to be protected. Frankly, Republicans nauseate me these days, and I find them incredibly offensive and not mainstream at all in Davis (!), but I don’t have the right to limit their speech, thank God, or I would! Would you kick out a Democrat? A vegetarian? A gay person? A satanist? Until they have taken ACTION to hurt others, freedom means that they can be as offensive as they want to be. It is not hurting others to put a sign in a window. The African American people need to look away and recognize that Al Sharpton, whom I love, is offensive to a lot of whites. Luckily, the whites can’t shut him up. Are you sure you have the right to limit speech to “mainstream”? Mainstream in Germany in the ’30s WAS Nazism. We need more democracy, not less. I understand your position of trying to keep the peace, but please know that my parents were in real estate in the 1950s in Santa Rosa and thought they were keeping the peace by not selling houses to Black or Mexican Americans. Best wishes in your decisions, and thanks for engaging on this issue. You sound like a very conscious and conscientious person!

  29. don shor

    Here is part of the text:

    “(1) Noncommercial advertising signs of the ideas or beliefs of the owner or occupant of the
    property upon which such advertising display is placed, sociological, religious or economic
    subjects of public interest or general concern are permitted. All signs hereby permitted shall
    otherwise meet the requirements for signs of the district in which they are located. For
    regulations on political signs see the Elections Chapter in this Code.
    (2) Not withstanding any lease to the contrary, no landlord or lessor shall prohibit a tenant
    lawfully in possession from posting non-commercial signs as otherwise allowed in this code.”

  30. don shor

    Here is part of the text:

    “(1) Noncommercial advertising signs of the ideas or beliefs of the owner or occupant of the
    property upon which such advertising display is placed, sociological, religious or economic
    subjects of public interest or general concern are permitted. All signs hereby permitted shall
    otherwise meet the requirements for signs of the district in which they are located. For
    regulations on political signs see the Elections Chapter in this Code.
    (2) Not withstanding any lease to the contrary, no landlord or lessor shall prohibit a tenant
    lawfully in possession from posting non-commercial signs as otherwise allowed in this code.”

  31. don shor

    Here is part of the text:

    “(1) Noncommercial advertising signs of the ideas or beliefs of the owner or occupant of the
    property upon which such advertising display is placed, sociological, religious or economic
    subjects of public interest or general concern are permitted. All signs hereby permitted shall
    otherwise meet the requirements for signs of the district in which they are located. For
    regulations on political signs see the Elections Chapter in this Code.
    (2) Not withstanding any lease to the contrary, no landlord or lessor shall prohibit a tenant
    lawfully in possession from posting non-commercial signs as otherwise allowed in this code.”

  32. don shor

    Here is part of the text:

    “(1) Noncommercial advertising signs of the ideas or beliefs of the owner or occupant of the
    property upon which such advertising display is placed, sociological, religious or economic
    subjects of public interest or general concern are permitted. All signs hereby permitted shall
    otherwise meet the requirements for signs of the district in which they are located. For
    regulations on political signs see the Elections Chapter in this Code.
    (2) Not withstanding any lease to the contrary, no landlord or lessor shall prohibit a tenant
    lawfully in possession from posting non-commercial signs as otherwise allowed in this code.”

  33. Robin

    “The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad.”

    Just so you know, the guy told us he is “not a Nazi.” He simply wanted to express his “white pride.”

    However, this did upset our other tenants, and so my husband explained to him that if his neighbors in the building offended him with their behavior, he could count on us to resolve the matter. By removing the sign or by simply turning it around so it faced into his apartment, they would be satisfied. When he understood that, he agreed to take the sign down, in order to keep the peace. We never threatened to evict him. It is true that in his original lease, there was no language about signs. Our only power was to persuade him with logic.

    While I understand your feelings about everyone having the fundamental right to express their views, even if they are offensive, I feel it is part of our responsibility to maintain a sense of community and harmony among our tenants. We don’t ask anyone what their views are before they sign a lease. We simply don’t want tenants who intentionally or otherwise antagonize other tenants. After all, this is a home for everyone who lives in the building. Nobody should feel antagonized when they come home.

  34. Robin

    “The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad.”

    Just so you know, the guy told us he is “not a Nazi.” He simply wanted to express his “white pride.”

    However, this did upset our other tenants, and so my husband explained to him that if his neighbors in the building offended him with their behavior, he could count on us to resolve the matter. By removing the sign or by simply turning it around so it faced into his apartment, they would be satisfied. When he understood that, he agreed to take the sign down, in order to keep the peace. We never threatened to evict him. It is true that in his original lease, there was no language about signs. Our only power was to persuade him with logic.

    While I understand your feelings about everyone having the fundamental right to express their views, even if they are offensive, I feel it is part of our responsibility to maintain a sense of community and harmony among our tenants. We don’t ask anyone what their views are before they sign a lease. We simply don’t want tenants who intentionally or otherwise antagonize other tenants. After all, this is a home for everyone who lives in the building. Nobody should feel antagonized when they come home.

  35. Robin

    “The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad.”

    Just so you know, the guy told us he is “not a Nazi.” He simply wanted to express his “white pride.”

    However, this did upset our other tenants, and so my husband explained to him that if his neighbors in the building offended him with their behavior, he could count on us to resolve the matter. By removing the sign or by simply turning it around so it faced into his apartment, they would be satisfied. When he understood that, he agreed to take the sign down, in order to keep the peace. We never threatened to evict him. It is true that in his original lease, there was no language about signs. Our only power was to persuade him with logic.

    While I understand your feelings about everyone having the fundamental right to express their views, even if they are offensive, I feel it is part of our responsibility to maintain a sense of community and harmony among our tenants. We don’t ask anyone what their views are before they sign a lease. We simply don’t want tenants who intentionally or otherwise antagonize other tenants. After all, this is a home for everyone who lives in the building. Nobody should feel antagonized when they come home.

  36. Robin

    “The Nazi needed a place to live, and as despicable as he and his flag may be – and are -, it’s just not the American way to push people around politically. If we don’t like their flags and signs, that’s too bad.”

    Just so you know, the guy told us he is “not a Nazi.” He simply wanted to express his “white pride.”

    However, this did upset our other tenants, and so my husband explained to him that if his neighbors in the building offended him with their behavior, he could count on us to resolve the matter. By removing the sign or by simply turning it around so it faced into his apartment, they would be satisfied. When he understood that, he agreed to take the sign down, in order to keep the peace. We never threatened to evict him. It is true that in his original lease, there was no language about signs. Our only power was to persuade him with logic.

    While I understand your feelings about everyone having the fundamental right to express their views, even if they are offensive, I feel it is part of our responsibility to maintain a sense of community and harmony among our tenants. We don’t ask anyone what their views are before they sign a lease. We simply don’t want tenants who intentionally or otherwise antagonize other tenants. After all, this is a home for everyone who lives in the building. Nobody should feel antagonized when they come home.

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