|Many housing advocates are paid "consulting fees" and expenses for their "testimony"|
[Editor's Note: This just in from Mary Stompe of Pep Housing 4/22/2015.From: Alfred <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: [sfbarentersfed] Supporting the George Lucas Grady Ranch affordable housing projectDate: April 21, 2015 1:40:05 PM PDTTo: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
AlfredGary, Steve, Judy, Mary, Morgan, and Robert:I'm writing to introduce you to the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation, a group of people working to solve the Bay Area housing crisis by increasing housing supply throughout the region. Members speak at public hearings in favor of new housing development and write public officials to make sure the need for more housing is heard.The Grady Ranch project excites many members as it offers a large amount of new housing in a part of the bay that is among the least affordable. Please let us know how we can participate in the public process to help make this project a reality.
CC'd on this email is Sonja Trauss, SFBARF's founder and main organizer (firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as the group's mailing list. https://groups.google.com/
Here is a posting from one of their supporters. declaring war on the suburbs:
Is there a solution? Piece of cake: Take urban planning away from local officials; make it a regional decision. As long as land use is decided by neighborhood-elected city councils, nothing will change. Short of that real-world impossibility, a big step in the right direction would be to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)."
I think here is where our paths intersect with traditional affordable housing activism. Rich areas need to be upzoned. I'd love to advocate for a ten story, 309-unit project in Palo Alto, however, right now it's so anti-development there that no developer is even proposing anything close to that size.
To call back to the Occupy days, rich neighborhoods need to be occupied - not just with tents this time, but new buildings.