The CAA-led campaign to defeat Proposition 21 has released its first television advertisement against the extreme rent control measure on November’s ballot.

Titled “California Dream,” the 30-second television advertisement features Al Wong, a Bay Area small property owner whose parents were immigrants from Hong Kong. Wong’s message: Proposition 21 turns the California Dream of home ownership into a “nightmare.”

The ad comes from Californians for Responsible Housing, a campaign committee sponsored by the California Apartment Association aimed at defeating Prop 21.

In the ad, which will run on television in major markets throughout the state, Wong notes that Prop 21 repeals legal protections for homeowners, creates new rent board bureaucracies, and adds fees for homeowners that rent properties. “That’s not the Dream – it’s a nightmare,” Wong concludes.

Proposition 21, financed by Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, threatens to bring back the extreme forms of rent control that proliferated in the 1970s.

At the heart of Proposition 21, like its predecessor Prop 10, is a crusade to dismantle the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — the single most vital California law for rental housing providers.

If Proposition 21 passes, local governments will bring back vacancy controls, capping rents between tenancies and preventing rents from ever returning to market rates; they’ll also apply local rent control ordinances to newer apartments — as soon as they turn 15 years old — and to a greater number of condos and single-family homes.