The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01102

Submission Number:
Rodney Bowes
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am writing to express my support of home-sharing. I have been following the news and understand that there are many changes about to take place. I bought my house on Hawthorn Avenue in Los Angeles 10 years ago, after moving from Toronto in Canada. I am an American citizen and was living in Toronto because that's where my family was. I had a burgeoning career in the music business as a photographer and designer. I was designing record packaging. This was my career since 1979. I spent a great deal of time in LA over the years before I moved. I love this city and I have always felt that it was home. The house that I bought has a detached guest house. When the music industry stopped producing records and basically ground to a halt, so did my career. I began to rent out my guest house in order to help make ends meet. I pay 14k plus in property taxes and I pay 14% of all my rental income to the City of LA. If I cannot rent my guest accommodations I will be forced to sell my house. I am a great emissary for the City of LA. If you would take the time to read my AirBnB reviews, you would see what an asset I am to the city. I love this city and I'm proud to direct my guests to all the wonders that LA offers. I send them to all of my local restaurants, bars, retailers and attractions. I have many guests that stay with me as a short part of their trip from Europe or Asia where they've come from to see Northern California and our beaches. LA is a stop that they make out of convenience a lot of the time, because their flight home is from LAX. They arrive with a certain contempt and pre-judgmental attitude to LA. I work overtime to correct this bad image of our city that they have come with! My reviews show this change of attitude very clearly. I have yet had anyone stay that didn't leave saying that LA is great, and that they had no idea. They all want to return. A lot of them want to move here. I offer an oasis of calm and beauty right between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards. They see LA in a homey and honest manner. They see LA through the eyes of someone who actually lives here and loves living here. The bottom line is that my house and I are an asset to this community. I pay my taxes, supply parking permits, I have the utmost respect for my neighbors who have never once complained. I charge a fraction of what a deluxe hotel would charge and I charge a little less that than worst motels in the area. The services that I provide and advice that I give my guests are incomparable to what they would receive from a hotel in the area. I really want to keep my house. I don't want to be forced to go underground and rent illegally. I want people to love LA as much as I do. AirBnB has done an incredible job in opening up the alternative marketplace. American was built on free enterprise and competition. If someone offers a better service than another, they succeed. This is great for the community and for the nation. When we fall prey to the lobbying of powerful and monopolistic self interest groups, in my opinion, we lose site of what this great country was built on. Please don't allow this brilliant house-sharing small business to be prohibited. The prohibition will force the sale of many houses that are owned by pensioners, artists like me and all others that have a hard time making ends meet. Lets try to keep the middle class alive. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I have always voted and supported political candidates federally who in my opinion have the best interest of America in mind. We are a community of people sharing an amazing country. LA is a not city run by corporate and self interest groups that have no love for this town except for the financial opportunity it offers. We have done such an amazing job protecting our shoreline from these groups. If it were up to them, LA would look like Miami. You would not see the Pacific for miles and miles, except for brief flashes appearing between huge hotels! Best RGB