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Edit  DeletePriority 2Expires Nov 30, 2017


The Rationale

We all know that Santa Cruz is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis,  currently:

  • among the roughly 60% of the city that are renters, over 63% spend more than 30% of their income on rent
  • the city has the highest rents in proportion to salaries in the U.S - worse than San Francisco, San Jose, New York or Boston.
  • the median home here rents for 9.4 times the median income.
  • high rents are pushing up property costs as well so Santa Cruz is now the third most unaffordable place to buy a home in America - requiring the average wage earner to spend at least their entire salary to buy the median home in the area.[1] 
  • This means that working people are being forced to move out at an ever increasing rate. From 2000 to 2010, the working-age population, from 25 to 54, decreased from 47.3 percent to 37.1 percent of the city.[2]
  • Without drastic action, Santa Cruz's combination of natural beauty and access to Silicon Valley will drive more working people out of the area increasing commute times, congestion, environmental degradation and decreasing the quality of our lives.

The propose project:

Thirty community activists met on Thursday September 7 to consider a ballot measure campaign for the general election in November 2018.  The goal was to think seriously about the housing crisis, focusing especially on protecting renters from evictions and skyrocketing rents.  At the meeting were representatives of AFT, SEIU, the Monterey Bay CLC, the UAW on the UCSC campus and a large number of students, tenant advocacy groups and other progressive political community activists.  Steve Mckay from UCSC Sociology brought his research experience from the No Place Like Home project.

We will be modeling our ordinance after the Richmond City ordinance, which was one of the many that have recently passed in the Bay Area.  The Richmond ordinance focused on stabilizing the renter community by slowing rent increases and limiting evictions to situations with a just cause.  It passed with over 60% of support, helped by contributions from dozens of unions.

We know that there are faculty and staff on campus at UCSC who earn a decent living but spend up to 50% of it on rent.  Because of the insanely high cost of housing in Santa Cruz, many faculty, students and staff are forced to live out of the area, thereby losing valuable family and community time to a mind numbing commute.  If tenants were protected, many of those people might be able to stay in the community and close to the university at which they work.

The Ask:

We are asking PDC to pledge $1000 at this time.  The actual donation is not required, just the pledge of it while the committee explores the feasibility of mounting a successful campaign. After assessing there are adequate people committed to signature gathering and the commitment of financial support from individuals, unions and other  organizations, we will report back to PDC asking for full commitment to the $1000 and endorsement of the campaign.

We expect that the landlord and realty associations will be able to raise close to 1 million dollars which our friends who won in Richmond tell us means we need between 50-80K to have a fighting chance. Our total pledge goal is about $25,000 - $30,000 to launch the campaign, hopefully around mid-October.

In Solidarity,

Josh Brahinsky


[1] see http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-most-unaffordable-place-to-live-in-america-is-2016-06-23?mod=mw_share_twitter




Nancy Abbey2017-10-20T21:10:10Z
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