Housing as a Human Right
Housing across California has become prohibitively expensive. Nowhere is this more true than in our urban cores, specifically Los Angeles and San Francisco. But even with their notoriously high rents in San Francisco, no city in the entire country is less affordable for the people who work in it than Los Angeles. Even affording to pay “median bottom-tier rents,” according to Zillow, costs working class Angelenos an incredible 121.2 percent of their income. That is a crushing cost for everyday Angelenos.
In AD53 the problem is even more acute — a full 60% of the district has to make ends meet on an income below the level that qualifies for affordable housing assistance from the city, and up to 40% could qualify for federal housing aid through Section 8, but the wait list to get into that housing is more than 4 years. Los Angeles is ground zero for the housing crisis in California, and AD53 is one of the areas hardest hit.
Chris supports the idea of changing the rules around the construction of affordable housing to look at what the poorest among us are making, and working up from there. It’s absurd that “affordable housing” that receives tax benefits and zoning bonuses for developers is still priced well above what working class families and individuals in the neighborhood can possibly afford to spend.
California has allowed our housing stock to stagnate, leaving us with between 3 and 4 million fewer homes than we need to house all of our residents. This shortage has driven prices ever higher, which in turn pushes up rents, and pushes our rent-burdened neighbors into homelessness at a horrifying rate.
Chris understands that in order to build the nearly 600,000 affordable housing units that our city so desperately needs, a new approach is needed in Sacramento. All options must be on the table for increasing this supply:
- Repealing the deeply racist and exclusionary Article 34 of the California Constitution
- Enacting strong renter protections, including repealing Costa-Hawkins and the Ellis Act
- Reforming Prop 13 so that huge companies like Disney and Trump’s golf courses pay their fair share of property taxes
- Creating a state-level rental assistance program to pick up where the federal Section 8 program falls short
- Establishing a California Public Housing Trust Fund that emulates the success of Red Vienna and builds on the work of the People’s Policy Project
Chris is not taking any money from luxury real estate developers. He can be trusted to fight for fair, inclusive housing policies that protect everyone in California.
The Declaration of Independence proclaims as inalienable the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Public roads, FDA drug testing, and emergency services like the fire department protect our society. So does free point of service healthcare.
Better and more preventative treatment reduces the risk of minor injuries turning into catastrophic woes. It’s time we joined the rest of the world in treating health as a public good.
While a national proposal would be great, Chris supports the Healthy California Act in the interim. We don’t have time to waste.
The rapidly changing atmosphere of earth requires dramatic action. Public transit and renewable energy must be top priorities. Chris agrees with the president of LA Metro’s proposal that free transit increases ridership and decreases traffic, making CA a cleaner and safer place to live.
Chris also supports easy effective fixes like painting roads and roofs (or better yet, planting them with green cover) to reflect instead of absorb solar energy, increasing state green cover through aggressive planting initiatives, and subsidizing new energy technologies.
“The latest research projects the Los Angeles region to be 3°F to 4°F warmer by mid-century, creating more frequent and intense heat waves that pose particular risk to Los Angeles’s most vulnerable communities.”
– Union of Concerned Scientists, Preparing for Climate Change Impacts in Los Angeles
We cannot allow this to continue. Addressing the needs of every Californian as we move forward is key to providing true environmental justice, and absolutely fundamental in not simply surviving but thriving as we wrestle with a changing climate.