Upcoming Events

Short Term Rentals: Are they compatible with residential communities? Are efforts to limit them an affront to property rights?

01/27/2017 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Internet-based STR companies such as Airbnb have built a burgeoning industry connecting homeowners with vacationers, who rent out rooms or entire houses for short-term stays. It’s a fascinating example of the New Economy, but this new business model has run up against stiffer opposition than expected.

These room-sharing operations have been very popular with tourists and those who rent out their properties. But the main obstacle to their growth has been residents in neighborhoods where STRs are commonplace, especially in beach and tourist areas in Southern California.

Local residents are upset at the noise and traffic that result when vacationers mix with permanent residents. Property owners see it as a property-rights issue, and argue that cities should crack down on bad behavior – not ban or severely limit an entire industry. Supporters see this as a great new business model that helps consumers and the local tourist economy.

ON JANUARY 27 FROM 8 AM TO 10 AM, the R Street Institute and the Orange County Register are sponsoring a panel discussion and breakfast with some key local thought leaders. The event is complimentary and open to all Chapman students and faculty and to the broader community.

Here are the featured speakers:

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait led the charge for his city’s new laws banning short-term rental houses in residential neighborhoods. They are still allowed in commercial areas and people are still free to engage in room sharing, where they rent out a room while they are home. Tait is a well-known property-rights advocate, so it will be fascinating to hear how he came to his current viewpoint.

Andrew Moylan is executive director of the R Street Institute, where he authored the Room Score Index evaluating local short-term-rental regulations and grading various cities across the country on their hospitality to these new hospitality industries. He is a supporter of STRs.

Brian Calle is the Southern California News Group’s Opinion Editor, where he oversees the editorial board and opinion content at its 11 daily newspapers and websites, including the Orange County Register. His team has looked closely at the impact of STRs and their regulations in various Southern California cities.

Will Swaim is president of the California Public Policy Center. Based in Tustin, the group is an educational nonprofit focused on how to improve California’s democracy and economy. Swaim was the founding publisher of OC Weekly and someone with a long background reporting on local-governance issues.

Moderator – Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute, which promotes free-market solutions to governance problems. R Street is based in Washington, D.C., and Greenhut heads up its western office in Sacramento. He writes columns for the Register and other publications.

Please join us for an informal breakfast discussion about an important local public-policy topic.

There is no charge. Please RSVP to Steven Greenhut at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

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Get a Warrant: The 4th Amendment and Digital Data (SXSW Panel)

03/10/2017 @ All Day

Cellphone location data, troves of communication metadata, old emails, even license plates and images of citizens stored in databases: The digital era has brought about a drastic increase in the amount of info authorities are collecting while bypassing the limits on unwarranted search and seizure in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. In July 2016, a bipartisan pack of congressional lawmakers organized the Fourth Amendment Caucus to work legislatively to restore privacy protections from government intrusion in the digital age. This panel will focus on efforts to craft laws to solve these problems and the challenges that caucus members (and all digital privacy activists) face.

Specific time and location details to be announced.


Mike Godwin, R Street Institute

Neema Guliana, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Scott Shackford, Reason

Sean Vitka, Demand Progress

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Boom! Bringing Back Supersonic Flight (SXSW Panel)

03/12/2017 @ All Day

Boeing’s first jetliner, the 707, was introduced in 1958. Its cruising speed was around 600 MPH, still fast by today’s standards. A decade later, the Concorde came along. It could cruise at 1,350 MPH, and get you from New York to Paris in 3.5 hours (vs 8 hours normally). But today, there are no supersonic jets in operation. In 1973, the Federal Aviation Administration banned supersonic transport over the United States, fearing damage caused by sonic booms as well as other noise and environmental concerns. These concerns have since been debunked, but the development of supersonic tech has stagnated for years. Now, lighter, quieter planes promise to make supersonic flight great again.

Specific time and location details to be announced.


Caroline Kitchens, R Street Institute

Blake Scholl, Boom Technology

Eli Dourado, Mercatus Center

Mark Sanford, United States House of Representatives

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The Internet of Things You Don't Own (SXSW Panel)

03/15/2017 @ 12:00 am

Today’s consumer products—from phones and home appliances to vehicles and medical devices—integrate software code and network connectivity. This code doesn’t just offer new bells and whistles; it is essential to the basic functionality of many devices. But the license agreements that accompany these products typically insist that the code is licensed not sold. That means consumers no longer actually own the devices they buy. And as Nest’s treatment of Revolv customers proves, it leaves us vulnerable. This panel will explore the legal erosion of ownership, its implications for consumers, and ongoing efforts to resist these trends.

Specific time and location details forthcoming.


Andrea Matwyshyn, Northeastern University School of Law

Raza Panjwani, Public Knowledge

Aaron Perzanowski, Case Western Reserve University

Sasha Moss, R Street Institute

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