The day LA City Councilman Tim McOsker advocated for property owners

During discussions by the Los Angeles City Council to approve a 4 percent rent increase for rent-controlled apartments, Councilman Tim McOsker proposed an amendment to allow small “mom-and-pop” landlords to raise rents 7 percent.

The amendment didn’t pass when the council approved the 4 percent hike on Nov. 14. But MsOsker’s suggestion still had an impact, as the council commissioned a study to determine who should qualify as a mom-and-pop property owner.

On a council where tenants rights advocates have dominant voices, McOsker’s advocacy for property owners fits his political profile. When he ran for the City Council in 2022, he picked up endorsements from the Building Owners & Managers Association, California Apartment Association and several chambers of commerce, as well as multifamily real estate players such as Dan Weinstein, partner in CTI Housing. 

In addition to many union endorsements, he had the backing of ​BizFed, the Los Angeles County Business Federation PAC. 

McOsker represents District 15, which runs from Watts down to San Pedro, an enclave that revolves around the Port of Los Angeles and its trade economy. His opponent in the race, businesswoman Danielle Sandoval, criticized him for being too close to real estate interests. However, Sandoval’s challenge was deflated by a scandal when staff at a restaurant she co-owned accused her of wage theft. In the general election, McOsker won 64 percent of the vote.

McOsker told the Torrance Daily Breeze newspaper in September that he intends to focus on advocating for mom-and-pop landlords, as well as working on quality-of-life issues. Earlier this year, he voted against Mayor Karen Bass’ initiative to purchase the Mayfair Hotel in Los Angeles’ Westlake district. The council gave a green light to acquire the hotel with 294 units of permanent supportive housing for $83 million. 

His reason to vote against the purchase? Westlake residents feared that the hotel could hurt local businesses

“The most important thing is that residents feel safe,” McOsker told the Daily Breeze. “Today, safety means that you don’t have to experience a ‘flash rob’ in a store, that you can get into and out of your car without a confrontation or that you can enjoy your neighborhood park without fear.”  

McOsker did not reply to a request for comment from TRD by press time.

While McOsker has served only one year as a council member, he’s a familiar face at City Hall. He was chief of staff to former L.A. Mayor Jim Hahn from 2001 to 2005. During that time he worked on hiring the popular Police Chief William Bratton, and also worked to defeat a ballot initiative for the San Fernando Valley to secede from Los Angeles.

After Antonio Villaraigosa defeated Hahn in the L.A. mayor’s race in 2005, McOsker worked as an attorney and a registered lobbyist, where he represented real estate developers and the police union, among others. In 2018, he became CEO at AltaSea, a nonprofit that works on ocean sustainability. He also has served on the boards of Linc Housing, which builds affordable housing, and the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce.

He comes from an influential family. His father Kevin “Mac” McOsker served nearly 30 years as an L.A. city firefighter, and his older brothers Mike and Pat followed the same profession and held leadership roles with the union United Fire Fighters of Los Angeles City. 

Tim McOsker has been married for 37 years to his wife Connie. One of their five children, Nella McOsker, works as CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles, which “represents the interests of over 300 businesses, trade associations and nonprofits” in Downtown Los Angeles, according to its website.

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