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Who's pulling the strings on SB50? Watch 3 new puppet videos!

SB50 Background and Update

Legislators, persuaded by Silicon Valley and global real estate investor interests, have steadily, year-after-year, passed legislation that curbs local control of planning and growth. These bills have three false narratives in common.

1) They blame cities for the lack of affordable housing even though very few cities in California can actually build any housing;

2) They claim housing “solutions” require the reduction or removal of local control of zoning and planning, while increasing “by right” powers for speculative developers;; and

3) They claim the concerns of local taxpayers and locally elected officials are secondary to the requirements of corporate interests, Wall Street bankers, and those with political influence.

In 2019, Sen. Scott Wiener introduced SB50, “The More Homes Act." It was one of a dozen bills included after an 18-month, controversial process called the CASA Compact, which was frequently written about in The Marin Post. It generated so much push-back that it was re-engineered to be a two-year bill.

Now SB50 is back. Once again it is meeting significant opposition from elected officials, community leaders, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and the League of California Cities, among others. Hundreds, if not thousands, of emails and calls have gone to the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-LA), opposing SB50.

In response, on Friday, January 17, 2020, Senator Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) made a sudden, but not unexpected, move. She unceremoniously pulled SB50 from the docket of the Appropriations Committee. The Committee members were getting an earful about the negative consequences of the bill and Atkins feared Appropriations Chair Portantino would allow the bill to die in committee, as it did in 2019.

Not taking any chances, Atkins used the special powers bestowed on her position as Pro Tem, and craftily moved the bill to the Rules Committee, where she serves as Chair. This now allows the bill to advance directly to the Senate floor for a vote that is required before the end of January.

The San Francisco Chronicle (1/17/20) reported,

“Atkins said the decision would give Wiener, D-San Francisco, more time to negotiate with the bill’s opponents, who say it takes away local governments’ control over how their communities develop.”

Wiener and his frenzied, “the-sky-is falling-and-it’s-a-housing crisis” legislative colleagues have had since last May to do outreach, planning, and make amendments to the bill. But, instead of thoughtful, collaborative problem solving, they are relying on half-truths to push the irresponsible bill forward.

The California League of Cities, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and many other cities have been opposed to SB50’s zealous overreach to hand local government’s authority over zoning and planning to developers and real estate interests.

Three New Videos: “Who’s Pulling the Strings on SB50?”

To inform elected officials and community leaders across the state about the dysfunctional housing policy being pushed by SB50, the creative team of Kirsch Associates is introducing three new short videos featuring the puppet-like Senator Scott Wiener and his colleague Senate colleague, Toni Atkins.


SB50 The Wiener Atkins Bulldozer Team

SB50 Trickle Down Housing Doesn't Work

SB50 Bulldozing Local Control

SB50 Where's the Affordable Housing (Previously distributed)


Call Members of the Senate Rules Committee

Toni Atkins, Chair (916) 651-4039

Scott Wilk, Vice Chair (916) 651-4021

Patricia Bates (R) (916) 651-4036

Bill Monning (916) 651-4017

Richard Roth (916) 651-4031

Call Members of the sidestepped Appropriations Committee

Anthony Portantino (D) (916) 651-4025

Patricia Bates (R) (916) 651-4036

Steven Bradford (D) (916) 651-4035

Elena Durazo (D) (916) 651-4024

Jerry Hill (D) (916) 651-4013

Brian Jones (R) (916) 651-4038

Bob Wieckowski (D) (916) 651-4010

Call additional Senators who may be persuaded to vote "NO" on the Senate Floor

Senator Ben Allen


Senator Bob Archulete


Senator Jim Beall


Senator Bill Dodd


Senator Cathleen Galgiani


Senator Steve Glazer


Senator Lena Gonzalez


Senator Shannon Grove


Senator Bob Hertzberg


Senator Melissa Hurtado


Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson


Senator Connie Leyva

(916) 651-4020

Senator Holly Mitchell

(916) 651-4030

Senator Richard Pan


Senator Richard Roth

(916) 651-4031

Senator Susan Rubio


Senator Henry Stern

(916) 651-4027

Senator Tom Umberg



Join elected officials, community and neighborhood leaders and citizens from around the state who are calling Senators to vote "NO" vote on SB-50, a give-away bill to developers and real estate interests without benefit to the people who need affordable housing.


SB50, housing, Scott Wiener, Toni Atkins, local control, CASA