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Would ranked choice voting in Santa Cruz make elections more fair?    or just more confusing?


Ranked choice voting supporters from left: Danielle Glynn, Manu Koenig, Cat Gunderson, Faisal Fazilat, and Pedro

In a political world where each party harps on the pet issues near and dear to their platform, topics like election reform remain relatively neutral ground. Perhaps that's because, as Santa Cruz's Manu Koenig suggests, both sides have a vested interest in the status quo.

That's why Koenig and Faisal Fazilat, the locals behind an effort to create "ranked choice voting," think of reform as a bipartisan issue.

Koenig, a self-described "neo-libertarian," and Fazilat, a progressive Democrat, say the concept?endorsed by former President Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain …

 


The Rationale

We all know that Santa Cruz is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis,  currently:

  • among the roughly 60% of the city that are renters, over 63% spend more than 30% of their income on rent
  • the city has the highest rents in proportion to salaries in the U.S - worse than San Francisco, San Jose, New York or Boston.
  • the median home here rents for 9.4 times the median income.
  • high rents are pushing up property costs as well so Santa Cruz is now the third most unaffordable place to buy a home in America - requiring the average wage earner to spend at least their entire salary to buy the median home in the area.[1] 
  • This means that working people are being forced to move out at an ever increasing rate. From 2000 to 2010, the working-ag…
 
PDC members will be voting at their October meeting whether to endorse the local campaign for a ballot initiative to create a Santa Cruz City elected rent control board, a just-cause eviction ordinance, and a rent stabilization ordinance. 

Meanwhile, a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act has been pushed off in the California Legislature until the 2018 session.  Costa-Hawkins is the state law which prohibits cities and counties from adopting strict rent controls that completely regulate the price landlords can charge, exempts housing built after 1995 from any rent controls, and exempts single-family dwellings.  Under the current constraints of Costa-Hawkings, the rent stabilization ordinance for the City of Santa Cruz could regulate the rent i…

   

Attending - 26 people

Bank balance -$6857

  • Reports- Nancy Abbey encouraged members to use the Community Calendar (www.santacruzcommunitycalendar.org) to track local events, and described the development of the Santa Cruz Activist Directory which would be a catalogue of progressive organizations.
  • Gail Jack discussed the latest developments on Affordable Housing with state and local  issues. She encouraged members to attend the S.C. City Council meeting on Tuesday the 26th to support controls on short term vacation rentals (stvr's).
  • Nora Hochman spoke of a Rent Stabilization ballot measure proposed for Santa Cruz City in the November 2018 election.  A committee is exploring the feasibility of …
By Nithin Coca,September 29, 2017

At a recent forum at Oakland City Hall, experts from the public banking and community energy sectors explored how the creation of a public bank could help communities transition to clean energy while creating economic opportunities.

"We need to build a more sustainable world, we need to be using energy that is positive for the environment and community, and we need to do it a way that support local jobs," said Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan who is leading the public bank creation efforts.

The forum took place in Oakland, California, just days after the approval of a resolution to fund a feasibility study by the City Council, with suppor…

The Rationale

We all know that Santa Cruz is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis,  currently:

  • among the roughly 60% of the city that are renters, over 63% spend more than 30% of their income on rent
  • the city has the highest rents in proportion to salaries in the U.S - worse than San Francisco, San Jose, New York or Boston.
  • the median home here rents for 9.4 times the median income.
  • high rents are pushing up property costs as well so Santa Cruz is now the third most unaffordable place to buy a home in America - requiring the average wage earner to spend at least their entire salary to buy the median home in the area.[1] 
  • This means that working people are being forced to move out at an ever increasing rate. From 2000 to 2010, the working-age popul…

Feedback welcome....

1. Require new development to supply all tenants with bus passes. This may be funded in lieu of building parking spaces. The City may also require other measures to incentivize alternatives to vehicle trips, such as discount carpool parking; credit at bike stores; taxi vouchers and/or credit for Zipcar, Uber; Lyft; 

2. Reduce parking minimums for new development in commercial zones and replace with the requirements that new development: A) charge for parking that is the real cost of providing the parking and B) require un-bundling of parking costs from cost to rent or purchase an apartment, allowing the tenant to opt out of paying for parking.

3. Use neighborhood parking permit programs to protect neighborhoods adjacent to areas of higher densi…

 

Earlier this year, three California Assemblymembers-Richard Bloom, David Chiu & Rob Bonta-took Sacramento by surprise, introducing AB 1506 to repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Recent grassroots organizing by tenant groups laid the groundwork for this important legislation. Since 2015, numerous cities have been organizing for rent control, and in that time tenants in Richmond, San Jose, Union City, and Mountain View have already won new protections. There is a tenant movement gaining strength, and we have our eye on rolling back state restrictions that stand in the way of strong local rent control.

Costa Hawkins is the gift that keeps on giving for landlords and real estate speculators. It is probably the single biggest reason we face runaway ren…

Accruing revenue for Berkeley's Housing Trust Fund and working with nonprofit developers to build below market-rate units is one of the best ways to support low-income residents.

By Sean Barr - September 29, 2017


Last week, legislation to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act was delayed due to mounting concerns about how vacancy control would deter new housing construction in the state of California. Withdrawing the bill was the right outcome for Berkeley because repeal risks returning us to a time when overly restrictive rent control reduced the city's housing stock and population, with a select few left to benefit from below market-rate units. With hope, the authors of AB 1506 will come back with a more tailored solution that encourages new housing while helpin…

Lawmakers have introduced a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, landmark legislation that exempts new construction and single-family homes from local rent control laws.

AB 1506 was introduced Friday, Feb. 17, the last day to propose bills in the California Legislature for 2017. Assemblymen Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica; Rob Bonta, D-Oakland; and David Chiu, D-San Francisco, authored the proposal with Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, as a co-author.

Anticipating this bill, the California Apartment Association already has begun efforts to defeat it.

What's next

Assembly Bill 1506 is expected to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary or Housing Committee in late March. CAA will update this website as more details become available.

Should AB 1506 succeed and Costa-Haw…

 

October Agenda

6:30 Wednesday
Democratic Headquarters
740  Front Street

6:30 Introductions

6:40 Endorsement votes; following brief reports; questions & answers
           
Rent Stabilization (Rent Control) - Nora
           
Ranked Choice Voting - Faz

 7:15 Rene Bloch from Swing Left

 7:30 Reports
            President Sandra
            Treasurer Nancy Krusoe
            Membership Chair Kendon
            DCC Reps Glen and Erik 

 7:50  Announcements from the membership
&nbs…

Costa Rica is a thorn in the side of orthodox economics, says anthropoligist Jason Hickel at the London School of Economics in The Guardian. The conventional wisdom holds that high GDP is essential for longevity: "wealthier is healthier", as former World Bank chief economist Larry Summers put it in a famous paper. But Costa Rica shows that we can achieve human progress without much GDP at all, and therefore without triggering ecological collapse. In fact, the part of Costa Rica where people live the longest, happiest lives - the Nicoya Peninsula - is also the poorest, in terms of GDP per capita.

Costa Rica proves that rich countries could theoretically ease their consumption by half or more while maintaining or even increasing their human development indicators. …
 Transgender and Gender Non Binary Inclusivity.

 

  Saturday, Nov. 18

   10am-12pm

 

  Resource Center for Nonvolence

     612 Ocean St. Santa Cruz

 

We'll hear people's stories, their challenges and ways to be better allies.  Understand the changing terminology in the LGBTQ community. Let's discuss how to use gender-neutral language and terms that are inclusive rather than exclusive of persons who are transgender, bi-sexual, or transitioning.

 

Free, donations welcome

  light refreshments

 

Also sponsored by:
   The Lionel Cantu Queer Resource Center
   Peoples Democratic Club


The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act has been a disaster for California renters. A special-interest law backed by the real estate industry and passed statewide in 1995, Costa-Hawkins ties the hands of cities when it comes to protecting tenants from landlords who charge runaway rents. It's time for the state to stop dictating which properties are exempt from rent control, allow cities to choose vacancy control, and allow existing rent ordinances to be updated.    For full article google:  Lessons from Round One of Costa Hawkins Repeal

Take Action

What: The State Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee will hold an informational hearing October 24 on "The Housing Affordability Crisis: Exploring the Effects of Renter Displacement."

The chair of the …

 

In a Nutshell:

 

1)      We endorsed - by landslide votes - both Ranked Choice Voting for Santa Cruz*  and the Movement for Housing Justice** [rent control and just cause eviction]

2)      Rene Bloch described the Swing Left campaign to flip the House.

3)      Announcements:

  • GLBT/PDC sponsored event, Breaking the Binary - a conversation about inclusive language: www.pdclub.org
  • Affordable Housing Week events: www.santacruzcommunitycalendar.org
  • House People, Not Cars - Campaign for Sensible Transportation event at Rosie McCann's: www.santacruzcommunitycalendar.org
  • Sandra Nichols urged members to turn out and speak up for gun control with the Santa Cruz County School Board
  • Nancy Abbey asked for signatures on a  …
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