California — The California Alliance of Local Electeds (CALE), a rapidly expanding alliance of bi-partisan elected city officials across the state, declares its opposition to SB1120, and declares a State of Crisis in Governance.
California is in a state of emergency with an unprecedented number of wildfires in the midst of a pandemic. Legislators are working under a truncated legislative schedule with little time to read and analyze the voluminous bills in each chamber while trying to find ways to safely reopen schools and businesses. Yet, the Legislature is rushing through sweeping land use legislation such as SB1120, without conscious and deliberate debate of its implications.
Current bills contain vague, overly broad, and undefined terms and language. These bills fail to address affordability; instead, they will gentrify neighborhoods and further racial discrimination in housing.
“The opportunity for vigorous debate on proposed legislation forms the bedrock of democracy,” says Julie Testa, Executive Director of CALE. “Even so, Sacramento is rushing to vote on housing bills with almost no possibility for public engagement. This lack of transparency will have irreversible consequences for our communities.”
That’s why innumerable public officials openly oppose SB 1120 and other bills, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Councilmembers David Ryu and Paul Koretz, and Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand. Likewise, the California Contract Cities Association and individual cities have registered their opposition. Meanwhile, scores of grassroots groups and thousands of individual citizens have done the same. CALE proudly joins this surge of passionate local opposition.
The land use bills currently being considered by the Legislature do not respond to the changing post-Covid world of increases in remote work, rising commercial and office vacancies, and decreasing demand for dense urban housing.
The proposed land use bills are “one-size-fits-all” solutions that fail to recognize and respect the economic and ethnic diversity of California. If the legislature passes them and Governor Newsom signs them into law, they displace thousands of existing neighborhoods, gentrify working- and middle-class communities, and exacerbate racial discrimination in housing.
WE CALL ON THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO SUSPEND FURTHER ACTIONS ON ALL LAND USE LEGISLATION, AND TO ACT SOLELY ON BILLS THAT ASSIST CALIFORNIANS DURING THE CURRENT CRISES. ALL ELSE MUST WAIT.
A copy of CALE’s letter to the Legislature can be found here.
The California Alliance of Local Electeds (CALE) is a network of mayors, councilmembers and other elected officials who advocate in Sacramento on significant issues that contribute to the betterment of California’s cities, including preservation and strengthening of local control.