SB 50 delayed, not deceased

| May 30, 2019 | 2 Comments
PRESIDENT of the Los Angeles City Council Herb Wesson speaks to constituents and others at Holman Church on West Adams Boulevard May 22.

Through the leadership of state Sen. Anthony Portantino, resident and former mayor of La Cañada Flintridge, and who represents a broad swath of Los Angeles County, consideration of SB 50, proposed by state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, has been delayed temporarily.

As chair of the state Senate’s Appropriations Committee, Sen. Portantino announced May 16 that the bill would be designated a “two-year bill” that could be considered in January of 2020, but not until.

However, things in the State Legislature are not always as they seem, and there are procedures that other Senate leadership members could use to suddenly bring the bill back up for review. It takes just 21 Californians (a majority of the 40-member state Senate) to move the bill for consideration by the 80-member state Assembly.

Pressure from the moneyed special interests pushing the legislation is intense, and provisions of the anti-single-family SB 50 proposal could creep into other bills as well.

Councilmember Ryu

In response to Sen. Portantino’s action, Councilmember David Ryu said, “The right thing happened in the state Senate today. There’s no doubt that our state faces a major housing shortage, but draconian steps like SB 50 are the wrong way to go. You don’t solve this crisis by stomping out community input and excluding people from planning their own neighborhood, and you certainly don’t solve it without much more affordable housing.”

Ryu added: “Solving this housing crisis will take hard choices, but they are choices we should be making together. Last year, Los Angeles built more units of housing than any other city in California. If Sacramento lawmakers want to find real solutions to this crisis, they should be looking to Los Angeles, not trying to ignore or overrule us.”

Meeting in West Adams

Recognizing the challenges still remaining, hundreds of residents gathered on May 22 in Jefferson Park, at Holman Church on West Adams Blvd., to discuss SB 50. Ten speakers explained the challenges to property owners who actually live in their single-family residences (as contrasted to absentee corporate owners of houses, who stand to benefit from the proposed legislation). Speakers included residents from Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Ladera and neighboring communities, including Diane Robertson, John Gonzales, Romerol Malveaux and Tracie Lyons. Also speaking were City Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Paul Koretz, renters’ rights advocate Larry Gross, and P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council leaders Hydee Feldstein and Brad Kane. The speakers agreed that the meeting’s “call to action” is to telephone state legislators (and Mayor Garcetti and Governor Newsom) to state the callers’ opposition to SB 50.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Chris McKee says:

    I am generally in favor of SB50.

    I agree there are many local neighborhoods that are lovely and should not be ruined, but I don’t understand why streets like Fairfax, Wilshire, Western, Pico, La Cienaga, Melrose, Beverly and all the other multi-lane boulevards in Los Angeles still have single-story businesses or two-story apartment buildings on them. The apartment buildings with ground floor retail developments in Culver City, Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Hollywood. are creating vibrant walking neighborhoods. Los Angeles businesses, traffic and residents could enjoy a much better quality of life with 4-5 story structures like these.

    I urge you to explore and advance rigorous developments in these appropriate areas as an alternative to SB50. Perhaps it will seem unnecessary statewide if we solve the problem locally.

  2. Gary says:

    SB 50 will return if not supplanted by other bills. SB 50 is the work of special interest groups jncluding giant corporations that will PROFIT from more housing for their employees. Any “affordable” housing will be incidental.

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