Below is a letter, dated January 9, 2019, from Sustainable
TamAlmonte to Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, Supervisor Katie Rice, and Supervisor Damon
Connolly (Association of Bay Area
Government (ABAG) Members and Alternate Member) regarding the CASA
Compact. On January 17th, ABAG
members will vote for or against the
CASA Compact, a plan created by the Committee to House the Bay
Area (AKA - "CASA"). Sustainable TamAlmonte's letter urges them to oppose CASA and
the CASA Compact.
DATE: January 9, 2019
FROM: SustainableTamAlmonte, 215 Julia Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941
TO: Supervisor Dennis Rodoni (Member of ABAG); Supervisor Damon Connolly (Alternate Member of ABAG); & Supervisor Katie Rice (Member of ABAG Regional Planning Committee) - 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903
Re: OPPOSE CASA and the CASA Compact
Dear Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, Supervisor Damon Connolly, and Supervisor Katie Rice (Members/ Alternate Member of the Association of Bay Area Governments - ABAG)
We strongly urge you to oppose CASA and the CASA Compact, which would reduce local control and Marin’s quality of life.
I. CASA Members are not democratically elected and do not represent Bay Area citizens
The Committee to House the Bay Area or “CASA” roster comprises 53 individuals appointed by the (retiring) MTC Director. The group is dominated by housing developers, the building industry, and pro-growth advocates.Also included are Big Tech (Google and Facebook – 2 companies whose unmitigated office growth contributes to the housing problem), Big Philanthropy (Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, San Francisco Foundation), and Big Pharma (Genentech). In addition, the committee includes elected officials but they are outnumbered 10 to 7 by unelected and politically appointed members.Moreover, their Technical Committee of advisors has 32 members, none of which are elected representatives.
A new “Regional Housing Enterprise” governmental agency would be formed with authority to impose taxes; issue debt; buy, lease, and sell land; and administer zoning standards for the region’s nine counties.
None of these “representatives” have been or will be democratically elected to these roles.
While CASA is publicly financed through the MTC, it can operate in secret without meeting minutes and without adhering to the Brown Act because it’s not an official legislative or judicial body.
II. CASA’s Plan would reduce local control and quality of life
CASA proposes the following:
- Creating a public-private agency that would standardize zoning across the region;
- Imposing as much as a billion dollars of new taxes on the Bay Area for housing and reducing available funds for jurisdictions’ other responsibilities;
- Rolling back environmental review;
- Lowering housing affordability standards;
- Re-zoning “high opportunity” single-family neighborhoods for higher-density market-rate housing development;
- Accepting the assumption that building market-rate housing lowers the price of all housing;
- Enhancing private developers’ profit margins at the expense of taxpayers and local governments; and
- Ensuring continuous, explosive job growth while ignoring services and infrastructure to support that growth.
For the sake of democratic governance, fiscal sanity, environmental protection, and housing justice, CASA needs to be stopped.
III. Better Alternative
Rather than the CASA Compact, any reasonable funds collected (not CASA's proposed taxes and fees that are exorbitant) should be given to local governments to spend on their highest priority housing affordability challenges. Also, part of the solution to the jobs/housing imbalance should be incentivizing corporations to move offices to parts of California that are jobs poor and housing rich (where housing costs are less expensive and there is room to grow).
Once again, we strongly urge you to oppose CASA and the CASA Compact to preserve local control and Marin’s quality of life.
Thank you for your conscientious consideration.
Very truly yours,
Sharon Rushton, Chairperson
Cc: Supervisor Kate Sears
Cc: Supervisor Judy Arnold