SB1 Calls Lamorinda Life a "Blight"

SB1?  Blight? Ummm...what is that?

Senate Bill #1 (Steinberg and DeSaulnier) is one of the most dangerous bills we have in ahead of us and we believe it needs to be stopped.  SB1 is the funding mechanism for One Bay Area and will enable cities and counties to declare areas with inefficient land-use patterns as blight (i.e., suburban neighborhoods and rural areas).  That includes us, Lamorinda!

Why should we care?

-        permits and encourages the creation of new redevelopment agencies that will not be controlled by cities and towns.  They will be little mini-ABAGs, created from collections of cities and towns who will “agree” to have their tax revenues siphoned off, and will agree to have housing decisions made by these mini-ABAGs, which will have eminent domain powers and funding power to assemble and fund the massive high density housing projects in suburban downtowns—and our city will have no say in the matter.  Existing landowners will be forced to sell their land, and existing small businesses providing goods and services to our residents will be displaced, as will any residents.

-        Darrell Steinberg’s biggest donors are big finance, big developers, and big labor.  Does anyone wonder why . . .

-        Mark DeSaulnier, our local state Senator, not only was co-author of SB 375 with Steinberg, but also is co-author of SB 1.  Please contact this “man of the people” here to share your views about SB 1.

-        Declares suburban and rural lifestyles—which it terms “inefficient land use patterns—a “blight.”  Declaring suburban and rural land use a “blight” has appalling and stunning legal and political implications.  Blight should and must be eradicated.  How does it feel to have a target on your back from these people?

-        ABAG and MTC staff are on the record (March 8, 2013) as stating that new regional redevelopment agencies were essential to the success of Plan Bay Area’s mandate that 80% of all new housing units be built in high density units in suburban and urban city centers.  This is an implied admission that these projects, even the market rate units, will be uneconomic without massive new public subsidies.  ABAG and MTC staff also claim Plan Bay Area will not succeed without these redevelopment agencies “special tools for parcel assembly”—code words for eminent domain on an epic scale, coming to your suburban downtown, whether you want it or not if this bill passes.

-        ABAG’s Executive Director Ezra Rapport stated at that March 8, 2013 meeting, “[o]ne thing that’s good about SB 1 is that it expands the definition of blight.”  Isn't it time we considered withdrawing from ABAG?

When will this be reviewed and voted upon?  

Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will listen to SB 1. The staff there is pushing for a YES vote on July 18th at 1:30pm at 651 Pine St., Room 108...right when most hard-working citizens are in the middle of their work day, coming out of their lunch-induced food coma.  

We need citizens to attend for opposition.  Orinda Watch will be there voicing opposition on behalf of the citizens.

Also, the Assembly Committee on Local Goverance is hearing SB 1 on Aug 14. I uncovered two other bills which are part of SB 1. Mark DeSaulnier sponsored a benefit assessment district to extract money from property owners for public transit projects(SB 142). Also, another SB 133 is regarding redevelopment. 

What can we do about it?

Please read this and forward to your friends.   This bill has already passed the Senate and is going to Assembly.  Call your state Assembly member and ask them to oppose this bill.  Here’s the full text of the bill

Contact Info for Gov. Brown’s office: Ask him to VETO 
California Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, 1st Fl., Sacramento, CA 95814

Complete list of all Assembly Members and their contact info here: Ask them to vote NO