The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00681

Submission Number:
Karen Lewis
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
AirBnB has been the biggest blessing in my life. My boyfriend would not have been able to return to school and take internships to increase his chances of getting a job when he graduates. I was also able to leave a job that was giving me no satisfaction and join an awesome startup that has tripled in size since I started. I had to reduce my income by 50% to do this and being able to rent out my spare bedroom when it wasn't in use helps me close the gap to stay afloat, even with making drastic changes in my spending. I have a service to provide people. I constantly invest in it and work hard to be able to offer my home to people traveling to my city. Taking away my ability to rent out my room is the same as saying I can't make a scarf and sell it to someone. I also provide people with the true experience of Los Angeles. They get to enjoy our view and we direct them to local businesses to increase the business for our neighbors in Echo Park. People should be given the freedom to stay where they choose. When I travel, I no longer stay at hotels because I want the real experience of being in that area. I want to meet the locals and get recommendations of where to go! I'm happy to comply with regulations that are imposed, but don't take away my ability to welcome people into my home. I work very hard to make my home a warm and welcoming environment. I have a service and I should have the freedom to sell that to people as long as I am following the rules. By putting funds into my hands and the hands of middle-class america with a service like AirBnB you are stimulating the economy. Most of people who open their homes need these funds. Like I said, my boyfriend would not have been able to go back to school. The revenue that I bring in from our rental allows us to go out to eat occasionally and make sure all our bills are paid every month. Taking this ability from me would be so devastating I don't know what I would do. Mario and I wouldn't be able to afford rent. Our two bedroom is priced cheaper than one bedrooms in our area. If you take this away, you will be forced to deal with the cost of living in our area which we both know is a larger issue. I am happy to speak to anyone about this at length and detail.