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Facebook money pushes Chiu housing bill – Part B

August 26, 2019

By Zelda Bronstein : marinpost – excerpt

This is Part B of the second installment of the “Facebook money and California housing” series, which delves into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s multi-million-dollar funding of the pro-growth shadow government that’s reshaping California housing policy. The first installment focused on the cabal’s push for Senator Nancy Skinner’s SB 330. This second installment tracks Chan Zuckerberg’s efforts on behalf of Assembly member David Chiu’s AB 1487.

Click HERE to read Part A

AB 1487, a complex regional housing bill, is driven by tech and development interests with no concern for out-of-control office growth.

Next step: CASA

A 40-page report seems like a poor return on a $500,000 investment. Not to worry: the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s grant to Enterprise Community Partners yielded much more than “The Elephant in the Region;” it also facilitated the push for a Bay Area regional housing finance authority at the staging ground for many of the key housing bills introduced in the Legislature this year: CASA, the Committee to House the Bay Area.

Secretly convened and managed by then-MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger (and not also, as the CASA website states, by ABAG), the Committee to House the Bay Area formally existed from July 2017 to December 2018. It had an ambitious goal: to formulate and lobby for pro-growth housing policies that would be embodied in state legislation, some targeting the Bay Area but most applying to all California…

“Ultimately, creating new housing remains the overriding mission, not saving neighborhoods.”…fostering new development rather than saving neighborhoods is also the overriding mission of AB 1487 and other bills emanating from the CASA lobby…

Dubbed the Housing Alliance for the Bay Area, the new regional entity would be authorized to raise revenue through a parcel tax, gross receipts tax, employee head tax, commercial linkage fee, and bonds. It would also have the authority to “[a]ssemble parcels and lease or acquire land for affordable housing development” and to “collect data on housing production and monitor progress on meeting regional and state housing goals.”… (more)

DOES CALIFORNIA NEED OR WANT A NEW LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT HIERARCHY? In our opinion AB 1487 adds a new regional layer of government on our citizens in addition to the federal, state, county, and city governments when it allows that body to tax, spend and enforce rules it contrives and pushes that blur the line between public and private enterprises as this bill does. The regional government, comprised of non-elected appointees, would come between the state and counties, with its own level of bureaucracy and laws and taxes.

What we need instead of a growth mechanism, is an infrastructure plan to provide the maintenance of the failing systems we have in place before straining their capacity any more. We need more than housing and transportation. We need a clean water system that work, a sewer and trash disposal system and a power grid system that we can trust. Until we solve these problems, the neighborhoods will continue to fight the forced growth bills, such as AB 1487.

Thanks to the author for digging up the facts that you will not see on the evening news. We need to support this kind of journalism where we can if we want to continue to be an informed society making informed decisions. As Zelda mentions “It’s going to change until the last minute.”, so we have no real idea yet what it will contain. But, regardless of what is stripped out to pass the bill, the intent is known and there is little doubt that the parts that are removed will be included at a later date, so we object to this bill AB 1487 regardless of any further amendments.

Specific sections to watch:
Section 64522 – “authorized the regional housing finance entity to enact and implement region wide zoning…to achieve affordable housing benchmarks established by the entity.”  Who establishes the benchmarks and who decides when they are met or need to be changed?


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