Airbnb investor Ashton Kutcher takes on Chicago City Hall

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CHICAGO — Ashton Kutcher is taking on Chicago’s City Hall over a proposed ordinance to regulate the home-sharing industry.

Kutcher owns a substantial stake in Airbnb.

He wrote a long post on Facebook to defend the company:

“Chicago has always had a special place in my heart. From the iconic skyline to the diverse neighborhoods, from the incredible food to the world-class sports teams (BEAR DOWN!) – there is no other city in the world like Chicago.

When visiting Chicago, or any other city, I am looking for an authentic experience. It is not enough to just stay in a city; I want to feel like I am living as a local. That is why I travel through Airbnb.

Home sharing is changing the way we see the world. Instead of being forced to stay in a downtown Chicago hotel, people from all around the world can check out the vibrant neighborhoods on the North, South, and West Sides of Chicago. They can now have the option to stay in the areas they want to explore and experience.

As an entrepreneur, I believe in the power of technology to transform lives and solve problems in our communities, and that’s happening everyday in Chicago thanks to Airbnb. The home sharing platform has created an innovative, two-sided marketplace filled with opportunities that were never before available to anyone with a spare couch, a spare room, or a spare castle.

Not only is Airbnb connecting extraordinary people to an authentic cultural experience, they are also driving revenue in neighborhoods across Chicago. In fact, last year Chicagoans earned more than $34 million by sharing their space through Airbnb.

This is the power of technology. This is the power of innovation. This is the power of being connected to one another.

Despite these major economic and cultural benefits, the City of Chicago is considering an ordinance that could negatively impact the residents who use Airbnb as a way to pay the bills or to showcase the community they love.

Chicago has a real opportunity to get this right and create the best in-class home sharing regulations while also demonstrating a willingness to embrace technology in the process. Now is the time to support the passionate people of Chicago and lead the way into the future of home sharing.”

Aldermen are considering an ordinance for stricter rules on home rentals.

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