The forces in California invested in preventing solutions to the housing crisis still have the upper hand. This was proven after news came out last week that Governor Brown’s landmark measure to allow by-right housing in California is dead for the year. Entrenched opposition from powerful interest groups killed it in the state legislature. What remains unknown is whether the $400 million in state affordable housing funding that was authorized as part of the deal will be released, since it was contingent on approval of Gov. Brown’s legislation. The failure of Governor Brown’s proposal is deeply disappointing to urbanists, as major policy change is necessary to address California’s worsening housing crisis, income inequality and economic segregation.
Why It Failed
Opposition from a coalition of labor and environmental groups, as well as politically influential groups such as the League of California Cities, caused the measure’s demise. In a delicious irony, the Sierra Club opposed a measure that would have reduced the state’s carbon footprint by increasing housing density adjacent to transit. Trade unions opposed it because CEQA appeals and discretionary reviews are effective tools to negotiate labor agreements. For his part, Governor Brown resisted requiring labor agreements on projects that qualified for by-right approval. The League of California Cities claimed that the legislation removed decision-making authority from local jurisdictions.
The future is unclear. It’s uncertain whether the Governor will release the $400 million, or even a portion of it. We can only hope that he continues to push for a comprehensive housing solution next year. While his effort was a smart policy decision, it was also a bold political move and was perhaps asking for too much at once. There’s already been a strong social media reaction, our favorite quote coming from local economist Jed Kolko:
By-right housing would have been a major solutions towards addressing California chronic housing shortage. Unfortunately, it's not to be this year.
Represent your community by helping shape the public policy of San Francisco!
Please attend the meeting of The Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee every 2nd Thursday of the month to give input on proposed legislation submitted to the committee—including such measures for:
- public works
- traffic and parking control
- parks and recreation
- public protection
- delinquency prevention
- public health
- emergency services
- the disabled
- children and their families
As well as measures related to the City's coordination, strategies, policies, programs, and budgetary actions surrounding public safety.
With a few other pro-housing citizens groups GrowSF and SFBARF have formed The YIMBY Party. This coalition of activists is publishing a slate card and organizing for housing.
We are raising money to pay the expenses associated with running a ground game (canvassing operations) on behalf of candidates including:
Josh Arce in District 9
Joel Engardio in District 7
Marjan Philhour in District 1
Scott Wiener for State Senate
We are on track to touch 30,000 voters by Election Day. These are voters desperate to know what candidates are pro-housing - we simply need to reach them and get them to vote!
More Housing, More Transportation,
More San Francisco for everyone.
A new type of safer intersection design for San Francisco breaks ground this week: The city’s first “protected intersection” treatment is coming to 9th and Division streets.
Protected intersections use a simple design concept to make everyone safer. Under this configuration, features like concrete islands placed at the corners slow turning cars and physically separate people biking and driving. They also position turning drivers at an angle that makes it easier for them to see and yield to people walking and biking crossing their path.
“Earlier this month I issued an executive directive for city departments to accelerate our Vision Zero goal and make our streets safer,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Today, San Francisco’s first protected intersection is breaking ground on 9th and Division and we will continue to deliver more safety improvements through engineering, education and enforcement to make our streets safe for everyone.”
Love Todd's work and the fact that he is a longtime San Francisco resident who has managed to survive San Francisco's ever evolving scene and more importantly has never stopped creating and bringing new ideas and vision into the world. San Francisco needed to celebrate Todd's work on Muni. It's a no brainer... yes please!
Help Jon Wessel become a finalist in MUNI public art contest. Vote now!
Jon is one of 10 juried finalists competing to participate in a San Francisco Muni Art Project – a public arts program showcasing local artists on San Francisco city buses. This particular project is a perfect fit for my work as my art explores urban markings (graffiti, abatement, tagging, pavement, etc.) from an everyday city walking, driving, and riding perspective.
Out of the 10 finalists, 5 will be chosen by popular vote and given the opportunity to create artwork for the buses.
Here is where YOU come in. He truly needs your vote. EVERYONE!