Last week, I introduced the Nix the Nine campaign as a call to stop nine housing bills that are working their way through this 2020 legislative session. These bills threaten single-family neighborhoods and increase density while diminishing local control and environmental protections. They assure concessions to developers, but without increasing the supply of affordable housing. https://marinpost.org/blog/2020/7/5/nix-the-nine-a-remedy-for-harmful-housing-policy.
Information is interesting, but action makes the difference.
Novato residents can regret now that they didn’t take action to stop the passage of SB35 (Wiener), which passed in 2018 https://marinpost.org/blog/2020/6/30/the-camel-is-in-the-tent-sb-35-and-novatos-new-urbanism.
Residents, elected officials, and community volunteers, like the Tamalpais Area Design Review Board and agencies all across the state, can lament that they didn’t stop SB-330 in 2019 (Skinner). https://marinpost.org/blog/2020/7/11/tamalpais-area-design-development-standards-survey. This bill requires a heap of work to create “objective” standards to replace thoughtful deliberation. It requires staff to rubber stamp a developer’s proposal, without public notice or community meeting. What could go wrong?
The nine bills being pushed by Wiener, Skinner and colleagues will make housing policy worse for communities and more favorable for developers and real estate investors. Now is the time to say "NO."
ACT NOW: Take one or more of these steps to NIX THE NINE.
If you want additional background information, scroll down to MORE INFORMATION.
EMAIL YOUR STATE REPS. In Marin, email Assemblyman Marc Levine (email@example.com) and Senator Mike McGuire (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com) to urge them to OPPOSE these bills, individually and collectively. Send a cc to the Marin Council of City Mayors and Councilmembers-MCCMC MCCMCSecretary@gmail.com
Suggestions: Keep it short. Use the subject line: NIx the Nine. Attach the Embarcadero Report: 2020 Housing Bills: Legislation in an Age of Uncertainty https://tinyurl.com/yd3qulnc.
ASSEMBLY AND SENATE COMMITTEE HEARINGS: Submit an OPPOSE comment for each of the nine bills using the CA Legislature portal at https: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/the_state_legislature/committees_hearings/committees_and_hearings.html
Suggestions: Include your name, group (if you're affiliated with one), contact info. For a list and description of the 9 bills, go to MORE INFO below.
Dates: The Legislature has delayed their return to Sacramento until July 27 because of covid. Bills are intended to be out of Committee meeting and on to the Senate or Assembly Floor by August 17-31. Submit a letter ASAP
Assembly Local Government Committee: SB902, SB1120, and SB1385.
Assembly Natural Resources: Hearing SB-995
Assembly Housing and Community Development: Hearing SB-1085
Senate Housing Committee: AB725, AB1279, AB2345, and AB3040
Senate Judicial Committee hearing AB1703 (newly introduced)
ASSEMBLY AND SENATE FLOOR SESSIONS (August 17-31): Call in during public comment time on each of the bills. Find details at this website. http://www.legislature.ca.gov/the_state_legislature/committees_hearings/committees_and_hearings.html.
Suggestions: Public comment calls must be brief. Consider this script: "My name is __. I'm (name your elected or volunteer position), from (name your city/country). I/we OPPOSE (name the bill #) and urge you to Nix the Nine."
APPEAL TO THE GOVERNOR (September 1-30): Details to follow later.
MORE INFORMATION about the Bills:
https://marinpost.org/blog/2020/7/9/say-goodbye-to-your-neighborhood – Excellent list of the nine bills and a brief explanation.
https://marinpost.org/blog/2020/7/5/nix-the-nine-a-remedy-for-harmful-housing-policy – Overview of the campaign.Nix the Nine Chart with a summary of the bills, authors, and impact - attached
Nix the Nine Powerpoint – attached
FINALLY: Our legislators try to legislate in impossible circumstances. This year, they have 700 bills that will create statewide policy. They have less than six weeks to approve or oppose. Many are contentious with far-reaching impact.Because of covid-19, many of the bills have not gone through the typical committee process. The dates of hearing might change. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic with policy to shelter-in-place, which has curtailed meetings and discussion. Most people have immediate priorities like health, employment, next month’s rent, eviction, lost wages, school reopening or social justice—issues that reduce the bandwidth to focus on housing policy. If you read this far, please take 10-20 minutes to take the next step and email McGuire and Levine. If you have 20-30 minutes, use the legislative portal to communicate with the housing committees. Your actions could make a difference for years to come.