Upzoning Culver City

Concerned about Upzoning?
Wondering what you can do?

Special meeting May 25th 7th
via Zoom / location TBA
Contact Us for RSVP and meeting link

Everything you need to know about Council’s Housing Element and its plans to upzone Culver City out of single family homes

  • Incremental Infill – four units per single family lot?
  • Affordable Housing Overlay – relaxing building codes
  • SB9 lot splitting – up to eight units per lot?
  • SB10 – up to ten units per lot?
  • 3-2 Council split? Who’s for it? Who’s against it?

Over the past year or two, Culver City Council has been busy preparing and submitting its proposed housing element to the State of California’s Housing and Community Development department.  This housing element will guide Culver City’s building codes for the rest of the decade.  This process has been fraught with confusion, with residents generally having no idea what this means for their homes and neighborhoods.  We will break this down for people.

Incremental Infill

At the core of Council’s plans include what is called Incremental Infill this is a legal term meaning up to three units can be built on a standard lot in the city.  A fourth unit can be built if it meets the criteria of “affordable” – those criteria have yet to be defined. 

Council had several options prepared by staff about how much of the city would qualify for this “incremental infill.”  In the interests of “equity,” they decided the entire city would qualify for this classification.  This includes many controversial areas like the Upper Crest which are not suitable for multiunit development.

Affordable Housing Overlay

At their meeting April 26th, 2022, the Council voted 3-2 to also adopt an “affordable housing overlay.”  This would relax many of our city’s zoning regulations, such as parking requirements, floor area allowances, setback requirements, etc., provided they make certain units “affordable.” Again, we’ve yet to see concrete policies on what is considered affordable, how much of a development would be affordable, or the zoning requirements abandoned to allow this. 

An illustration of “Incremental Infill” without SB9 lot splitting. Affordable Housing Overlay could further tighten setbacks from the property line as well as remove parking requirements.

SB9 Lot Splitting provision – what does it mean?

Sacramento recently passed SB9 which allows cities to split all single family lots into two, and allow a duplex to be built on each of the two lots.  This already bypasses the city’s plan and would allow up to four units on  a lot.  The issue is how that mixes with Council’s current incremental infill proposal.  At their April 25th meeting, Council debated what this would mean – would they allow a fourplex on each of the two lots, allowing up to eight units?  In the end, they decided not to clarify on the policy.  Nor did they answer our requests for clarification on this issue.  Councilman Daniel Lee did claim the possibility for up to eight units on a lot, in a previous meeting.

SB10 – up to ten units in “job/transit rich” neighborhoods

Sacramento also passed SB10 last year, which would allow up to TEN units to be built on a single family lot in neighborhoods the state deems job or transit rich.  You may guess about 90% of Culver City falls under this classification, given our central city location.  Council has not yet deliberated on this law and how they would adopt it.  But Culver City for More Homes, an activist group with ties to three of the Councilmembers, has written a law to the state HCD rep requesting to have Culver City abide by this law.

Who’s for this?  Who’s against it?

Council has consistently voted 3-2 for Incremental Infill, the Affordable Housing Overlay, and all the other subsequent issues regarding upzoning Culver City.  The three councilmembers voting for it are Alex Fisch, Daniel Lee, and Yasmine Imani-McMorrin.  The two councilmembers consistently voting against this are Goran Eriksson and Albert Vera. 

This has been the source of bitter division in the Council chambers.  Eriksson and Vera have both written letters to the state claiming a lack of any engagement with residents about these upzoning plans – a clear requirement of the Housing Element process.  Our PAC has also consistently pointed out the lack of resident engagement in this process – even a denial by Councilmembers of their upzoning intention.  You may have seen our door hangers and signs around the city as well.

Two of the Councilmembers – Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee – are seeing their terms end in November.  So far, neither has stated their intentions to run for re-election.  Daniel Lee is currently running for Congress, an indication he’s not looking for another term on the Council.

Residents who are opposed to these upzoning plans have already rallied behind two potential candidates – Dan O’Brien and Denice Renteria.  They both come with the support of Councilmembers Vera and Eriksson.  Many of Fisch and Lee’s original supporters in 2018 have abandoned them because of their stance on upzoning and are now supporting O’Brien and Renteria for Council instead.

Our position at Protect Culver City has always been that the residents need to be engaged in this process, and that Council’s decisions need to reflect the will of the residents.  We’ve written the state ourselves, asking to delay certification of our Housing Element until a new Council is elected in November.  A Housing Element reflecting the new Council would have a much stronger mandate than this one.

ACTION ALERT – Council to close Washington Blvd/405 sidewalks to pedestrians

Council meeting Monday, March 28th 7pm
Council to shut down sidewalk on Washington Blvd/405 Fwy
Forcing pedestrians to walk in parking lane

AGENDA HERE   REGISTER HERE

Due to the transients persistently blocking the sidewalk under the 405 at Washington Blvd, our Council majority has come up with their latest scheme.  Consent Item C-7 in Monday’s council meeting will approve shutting down the sidewalk, leaving it as the domain of a pemanent tranient camp.  Instead they will shut down the parking lane, put up dividers, and force pedestrians to walk in the parking lane instead.  This plan will cost the city $100,000.
We won’t even begin to discuss the issues with this unprecedented, likely illegal concept. 
We just want you to know about this and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
The underpasses need to be kept clear and open to pedestrians.  This is a no brainer.  Council wants a walkable city – this does just the opposite. 

Council meetings are still online only. 
We know a lot of you have issues getting in.  Try one of these alternatives:

E-mail the five councilmembers and the city attorney.  Ask about the legality of this – this isn’t just extending parklets to existing businesses.  This creates a whole new class of homesteaders and is explicitly against city code:

Alex Fisch alex.fisch@culvercity.org
Daniel Lee daniel.lee@culvercity.org
Goran Eriksson goran.eriksson@culvercity.org
Albert Vera albert.vera@culvercity.org
Yasmine Imani-McMorrin yasmine-imani.mcmorrin@culvercity.org
Heather Baker heather.baker@culvercity.org
City Clerk city.clerk@culvercity.org

You can also call the city clerk and submit your comments by phone: 310-253-5851

Newsom survives recall, SB9 and SB10 pass

What does this mean for Culver City?

As of this writing, Newsom has comfortably beaten back recall efforts 38-62%, with 93% of precincts reporting. Shortly after he was announced the winner, he passed SB9 and SB10, both which effectively eliminate single family neighborhoods throughout California. SB9 allows developers to build up to four units on any lot. SB10 allows developers to build up to ten units on any lot in any area deemed “job/transit rich”.

“Job/transit rich” describes about 80% of Culver City. This really makes us ground zero for massive zoning changes. This is the backdrop under which Council submitted their Draft Housing Element to the state for approval, which allows “incremental infill” in the entire city. “Incremental infill” is somewhat of a euphemism, which means any single family lot is eligible to develop up to four condos. There’s nothing incremental about it.

So what can be done?

The first thing is to submit comments about the Draft Housing Element – the link will take you to a comments form. We need to turn in our comments by October 1st. Shawn Danino is the representative who’ll be reviewing this document, we can e-mail him our concerns at Shawn.Danino@HCD.CA.gov as well as HousingElements@hcd.ca.gov. and forward your e-mail to us.

The thing to understand, though, is that with the passage of SB9 and SB10, we are effectively only meeting state law. To really protect the character of Culver City, we need to work with entities who are trying to roll that back.

Californians for Community Planning is organizing a ballot initiative that would repeal these laws. We suggest getting in contact with them to see how we can be involved. Locally, Culver City Neighbors United is also looking at options. They have some very clear instructions on how to send a letter to the state opposing our Housing Element.

Again, our main concern with Council’s Housing Element is nobody in our city knows this is happening. The Draft Housing Element itself is incomprehensible – to a point. Council is sneaking some radical changes under the radar.

Telling the state that you were never properly notified or engaged sends a powerful message about the lack of legitimacy to the process.

Upzoning issue – where we’re at

Council has instructed the General Plan Advisory Committee to study the plan to eliminate R1 zoning across Culver City. This means that our current regulations on single family homes and curtilage would go out the window. If these plans succeed, developers would be able to demolish any home, anywhere in the city, and replace it with a fourplex which reaches almost to the property line.

It’s not hard to visualize this. Simply look at what’s being built in our adjoining neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

So what can be done?

First is to keep your eyes on this page. We will let you know about upcoming events and action alerts.

You should also make your opinions known to City Council. You can find their contact info on the City Council page.

We are also keeping tabs on Culver City Neighbors United and their efforts to stop this upzoning. We recommend people get in touch with them.

We currently see two ways to stop this – a ballot initiative requiring voter approval of zoning changes, and getting new Councilmembers elected in 2022.

Council to open Jackson Gate?

ACTION ALERT

Monday August 23rd, 5:30pm via Zoom

Council to debate opening Jackson Gate to Ballona Creek

AGENDA HERE REGISTER HERE

Download our distributable flyer

Jackson gate opens up Ballona Creek to the heart of Carlson Park. Opening this gate has been a wildly opposed by local residents, and they’ve fought this for years. With the recent spread of transient camps along Ballona Creek, the public safety issue of opening this gate has gotten even worse. This coming Monday, Council will debate opening this gate again. They may either open it up during the day and close it at night, or leave it open 24/7.

Creekside Neighborhood has been active on this issue. We suggest contacting them to be further involved. But it’s also critical to make your voice heard with Council if you oppose this. If you can’t make the meeting to speak, you can also file an eComment or contact the councilmembers.

Creekside Neighbors polled the neighborhood about opposition to opening Jackson Gate.

What we know about the hospital lawsuit against City Council

Council was sued in federal court on June 22nd by Southern California Hospital of Culver City in response to their June 14th ordinance requiring an additional $5/hour “Hero Pay” for hospital employees.  Councilmembers Vera and Eriksson opposed this “hero pay,” along with many residents, questioning the timing, legality and necessity of it.  Undeterred, Council majority went along with it anyway. 

The lawsuit makes a serious allegation – that SEIU, the union representing hospital workers, conspired with Councilmembers Lee, McMorrin and Fisch to single out this hospital and force a $5/hr temporary raise, circumventing their own collective bargaining protocols.  SEIU did so in a quid pro quo, working with these three Councilmembers in group texts during Council meetings, offering pro bono legal support to defend the ordinance.  This contrasts with the less serious tone of the hospital’s official statement.

Contrary to Daniel Lee’s claims, this hospital doesn’t make big profits.  They are a MediCal hospital, and one of the few in the region.  This means they operate off razor thin margins. 

The hospital is represented by Sheppard Mullin, a major law firm with 270 lawyers combined in Downtown LA and Century City alone.  They claim “declarative, injunctive, and monetary relief” – they want the court to strike down this ordinance, declare this type of ordinance unlawful, and pay them damages for having to fight this.  They back up their allegations with some amazing and timely research.  They present a timeline of collaboration from the April 12th through May 24th Council meetings, as well as SEIU’s dealings in Daniel Lee’s state senate bid. [10]

They present heavy evidence of texts from SEIU political director Maky Peters to Lee, Fisch and McMorrin during the April 12th council meeting.  “Ms. Peters urged them to move quickly to agendize the combined Grocery/SCHCC ‘Hero Pay’ ordinance for a vote: ‘It’s actually the only way you’re gonna have [the union’s] pro bono support,’ concluding: ‘There are only so many ways I legally can say that.’” [11]

But the particularly damning allegation is in items 95-96 in the suit, which talks about the group texts during the May 24th meeting.  

95: “At 9:50 p.m., while the meeting was still in progress, Ms. Peters opened a group chat with Mayor Fisch, Vice Mayor Lee, and Councilmember McMorrin. Apparently frustrated by the decision to defer immediate action on ordinance targeting SCHCC, Ms. Peters sought to assure Mayor Fisch, Vice Mayor Lee, and Council Member McMorrin: “We’re ready to fight court case””

96: “Viewed in context, the only plausible interpretation is that SEIU’s representative was telling three City Council members that the union was prepared to defend a SEIU-sponsored ordinance by providing legal support, while at the same time suggesting that the “only way you’re going to have the union’s “pro bono support” would be by the Council taking up the “Hospital ordinance” and the “grocery” ordinance as one combined bill. Ms. Peters’ final texts, directed at the Mayor in particular, remove all doubt as to the quid pro quo offered: “pro bono support” from SEIU in exchange for three members’ support: “Mr. Mayor” “We have your back” “There are only so many ways I can legally say that.”

In the video of the meeting, you hear the ringtones at 9:50pm, corroborating this claim.

This follows the previous meeting, and SEIU’s collective bargaining agreement after the May 10th meeting when the initial Hero pay ordinance was introduced.  Fisch brought up that “[W]e received some new information that we have not had a chance to be advised by staff…” [98] meaning SEIU’s collective bargaining agreements with the hospital.  The hospital had already accounted for pandemic working conditions in their recently signed agreement.  The lawsuit claims here that SEIU is trying to do an end run around this agreement by getting Council to force their arm.

The lawsuit continues to lay out further details and evidence that “SEIU was offering an illegal quid pro quo: to obtain the Mayor’s support, the union was prepared to make payments, underwrite a legal defense, and assume responsibility for the legal consequences of adoption of the Ordinance, which was prepared at the union’s behest for the purposes of serving the special interests of the SEIU.” [110]

Councilmembers Vera and Eriksson both explicitly raised the concern of a lawsuit during the May 24th meeting.  They both laid out the issue that the hospital alone is being targeted with this ordinance, and our city is alone to do such a thing.  Their concerns were ignored by the others, which left them confused.  Given these texts happening without their knowledge, we now understand why.

This also explains Lee’s aggressive leading role in this ordinance.  Lee had not only applied for a position with SEIU, they backed his run for State Senate to replace Holly Mitchell by ghost writing an op-ed for them. [78]  He has a longstanding relationship with them, and part of this quid pro quo was their implied continued support for his political ambitions. 

Council and SEIU have up to August 20 to respond to these allegations, and we look forward to their response.  But they said nothing to disclose these private exchanges during a Council meeting or the conflict of interest presented.  More so, Daniel Lee explicitly denied a conflict of interest with the hospital by asserting “no money has changed place” – leaving out the rest of his relationship with the union. 

Many of us at Protect Culver City have long suspected that we have a “shadow council” operating behind the scenes.  This goes all the way back to Fisch and Lee’s 2018 inauguration, when their override of the mayoral rotation resulted in a Brown Act complaint which they corrected.  Since then, official Council proceedings have become little more than rubber stamps for what so obviously is done under the table.  We get more from their social media exchanges with their activist base than we ever get from Council meetings. 

But it’s one thing to suspect, it’s another to prove.  We don’t have the resources for lawyers, who could find out they text each other during Council meetings without telling anyone.   Council’s hubris made them go after an entity which had such resources. 

President’s message

July 15, 2021 marks the official two-year anniversary of Protect Culver City.  But if we are to look at our true genesis, it would be today, June 25th.  It was in the wee hours of June 25, 2019, that we witnessed Council ambush us with their legion of outside activists to implement rent control.  To quote our founding statement:

“It’s the manner in which they decided that should concern everyone. None of the Council members ran for office on this agenda. Unfortunately, this lack of responsiveness and transparency is something we’ve grown to expect from this council.  This is why we realized early on, rent control could not be our only or even our primary issue.”

We knew rent control would only draw the passion of a tiny minority of multifamily owners.  But we also knew Council woudn’t stop here.  They came for our police department, and nearly succeeded.  Now, they’re coming for single family zoning.  

Because of our status and budget, we were able to play a critical role in alerting the residents about both of these issues.  We’ve done so despite bearing the brunt of attacks by an aggressive activist core.

Our detractors have said “Protect Culver City is just Ron Bassilian.”  In doing so, they do themselves a disservice.  This movement has always been well beyond me, and has always been beyond rent control.  We are here, above all else, to hold his council accountable to the residents, and to keep residents informed.  If residents want a city without a police department or single family zoning, that is their prerogative.  But we will have an informed debate about these issues, and Council’s decisions will reflect the will of the residents, not outside activists.

Now that I have a son in my life, my responsibilities are a bit reduced and others are doing the heavy lifting.  I do little more than steer the ship these days.  With that, I’d like to talk about where we are going between now and our next milestone – the 2022 election.

First, our finances are healthy.  We are ready and able to do a door hanger distribution at any time.  This is a necessity for us to maintain our minimal mission.  We are able to fundraise to keep up this function as needed between now and the 2022 election.

We are also very interested in seeing two candidates step forward in the 2022 election to challenge Mayor Fisch and Vice Mayor Lee. 

We do not plan on officially endorsing or affiliating with any candidates during the election.  Our main focus will still be an informed debate on the issues.  Our role will be much like a newspaper – we will honestly report on where candidates stand on the issues, the strength of their campaigns, and their associations.   

Our main interest is that such candidates are not beholden to this activist core which controls the current three member majority.  We want our Councilmembers to answer to the residents.  We recommend any candidate who agrees with us on these issues to get in touch with us early and have a frank conversation with us on their platform.

We understand others are wary of dealing with us.  Even though PCC has steered a good centrist course on city issues, detractors point to my Republican status.  It’s true –I am a Republican, and I ran for Congress against Karen Bass as a Republican in 2018.  I’m still very active in the county party.  That won’t change.

That doesn’t change the fact that PCC has remained strictly non-partisan.  Our active members are a good reflection of this city’s overall political leanings.  More so, residents appreciate that we inform them about what’s happening, independent of political leaning.  Few would have known about Council’s defunding or upzoning plans if it weren’t for our early efforts.

We need to be honest about another thing – this activist core will attack anyone who stands in their way.  They use loaded language to bully anyone who opposes their agenda.  Anyone who wants to fight for these issues can expect similar treatment.  The more you stand out, the bigger a threat you are, the more they will attack you. 

But we should focus on the good news.  In our two years reaching out to residents, we’ve found them to be highly intelligent, and legitimately want what’s best for the city and the planet.  They are willing to discuss the issues with us in good faith.  We plan on building off this good will, to nurture a Council that reflects it.  It’s how we can protect Culver City as a city that truly works for everyone. 

  • Ron Bassilian

Upzoning meeting to be continued June 28, 3pm

REGISTER HERE AGENDA HERE

Wednesday’s meeting received over 150 speakers and 500 pages of written comments.  Even with only 1 minute per speaker, Council ended their meeting around 1:30 AM and will continue item A-2 on Monday at 3pm.  Jamie Wallace of Culver City Neighbors United also provided a recap.

A-1 was on “exclusionary zoning” and an “affordable housing overlay” (AHO) – euphemisms for single family zoning and relaxing code regulations for developers.  A-2 was for examining GPAC’s proposals for zoning changes.  They have three proposals.  Only the first proposal will maintain R1 zoning as it is.

Mayor Fisch assured people that that A-1 was not about eliminating R1, and that they should avoid speaking on it.  Yet he was betrayed by his minority of activists who spoke.  They claimed R1 was racist, exclusionary, and contributes to climate change, and needs to be done away with.  The vast majority of speakers on A-1 were opposed to upzoning or eliminating R1, and were concerned about how an AHO would pencil out into more affordable housing.  The council voted 5-0 to study AHO further.  We are looking forward to the results of that.

The three member majority (Fisch, Lee, McMorrin) also seemed to agree that Culver City is hampered by older residents benefiting from Prop 13, and the city somehow needs to get around that.  They said as much, in various forms.  It’s an odd profit-maximizing theory of city government.  

Most speakers also raised concerns about how confusing and opaque the whole GPAC process was.  Many are now considering an initiative to require voter approval of zoning changes.  Which is worth talking about.  As we said at our founding, it isn’t what this Council is doing – the scandal is how they’re doing it.

Joint meeting with Planning Commission to end R1

ACTION ALERT
June 23rd 7pm via Webex

Council to discuss ending “exclusionary zoning”
– meaning single family (R1) zoning –
throughout the entire city.
This could allow massive developments anywhere in the city

REGISTER HERE AGENDA HERE

We will also meet at Rush Street (by City Hall) for an in-person remote viewing. Those without computers or internet are encouraged to attend. We will have a microphone so people can speak on the record at the meeting.

Other groups have also formed to raise awareness of this meeting and how it will affect our city.  Culver City Neighbors United has put out some great information about the various proposals on the table.  They also have a Facebook page. They are circulating An online petition to tell council not to end single family zoning.

At Council’s meeting May 10th, a number of activists spoke before the meeting demanding the city agendize “ending exclusionary zoning.” Council assented, and is planning a joint meeting with the Planning Commission.

“Exclusionary zoning” is a euphemism which means Single Family zoning. It is based on the controversial take that single family homes are rooted in racism and are meant to keep minorities out of neighborhoods.

Our letter requesting Council mail out proper notice of this meeting

This means Council will be debating whether to end Single Family zoning on June 23rd.

A number of us put forth the demand that the city put out adequate notice by mail to all Culver City residents regarding such a critical change in city zoning. So far they have refused. As promised, we are doing their job for them.

The city has published a “Land Use Alternatives” survey. to their online audience. No proof of residence or identity is required to answer this survey. It asks whether you agree with such statemtents as the following, which hide their true intention:

  • “small developments across the city are preferable to very large developments in a few places.” This is asking whether you want to upzone the entire city or just along transit corridors.
  • “Incremental infill is a good strategy to accommodate new housing in Culver City.” – meaning, do you think any plot in Culver City should be able to hold up to four condos?
  • Incremental densification would allow up to six units on any plot.
  • SB9 and SB10 are now in the California legislature. SB10 would allow up to TEN condos on any plot of land. Our council would abide by these statewide regulations.
  • It asks whether you want affordable housing – which sounds good, but we have no idea what “Implement the Vision and Guiding Principles” or what loopholes it contains. The devil is always in the details.

What this Housing Resolution Means

Council ultimately voted 3-2 for their housing resolution at their meeting Monday April 12th.  It doesn’t outright abolish single family zoning, but it opens loopholes to do just that.  Councilmembers Eriksson and Vera shared our concerns.  Eriksson called this resolution is a “Trojan Horse.”  Vera repeated his concern this just opens up the city to developers, who’ll make their money and leave.

So what do we get out of this resolution?  What does it mean, and where do we go from here?

The good news is, all is not lost.  This resolution is part of an ongoing General Plan discussion.  It is a step forward for those who want to allow developers to build anything they want, anywhere they want.  But we still have plenty of chance to stop its worst effects – namely by the next election in November 2022.

Fundamentally, the resolution gives direction to the General Plan committee to find new places and ways to build new housing.  It seeks to conform to the statewide RHNA mandate to build 3000 new homes in Culver City in the next eight years.  It seeks to do so “equitably” and with “inclusion.”  The three supporting councilmembers McMorrin, Lee, and Fisch made clear this means all neighborhoods are eligible for upzoning. 

We were hoping to get further clarification from Council’s conversation on Monday.  But we only learned Council now has no conversation.  Fisch and Lee made their supportive comments without even addressing the concerns of Vera and Eriksson, let alone any of our speaker concerns.  Let’s go over a few of these:

“We have reached out the community about this.”  – Councilmember Lee has said this before.  It’s not just disingenuous, it throws our city staff under the bus.  By asking the Clerk to verify this, he is only stating that they have done the minimum legally required notification.  Council is supposed to use their discretion to take it further.  They could do snail mail notices to our residents for “hot button” topics like this, but they consistently refuse.  Our flyer did more to alert people to this resolution than the city did, with all its resources.

Furthermore, what notice they do give uses vague language to hide the nature of these agenda items.  We find out what is really going on through backchannels and rumors.  All this is simply embarrassing for our city.

This is a pattern for them.  They did this when they overrode the mayoral rotation at their inaugural meeting in 2018.  They did the same when they enacted rent control.  They claimed they were discussing it for months in advance – and yet no landlord heard about it or suspected anything, until they were hit with the ordinance.

 “This has been an ongoing discussion for the past couple years – it’s nice for people to join in the conversation now.”  Both Eriksson and Vera never saw this resolution before it was released to the public for the March 22nd meeting.  Prior General Plan meetings used language like “equity” and “inclusion” which are euphemisms for ending single family zoning.  But their intentions were never codified like this until now.

“People were brought here because of misinformation” – it’s hard to claim misinformation about a resolution nobody understands – even two councilmembers.  We are still learning what this means, and that’s why we were hoping for legitimate clarification.  Fisch and Lee just stuck with their talking points rather than address the concerns of Eriksson and Vera.  McMorrin simply confirmed she was voted in to pass such resolutions.

Culver City News is also grappling with the text of the resolution.  They picked up on our “30 units minimum per acre stipulation.”  They also mentioned that if we do not meet state targets, this resolution “would trigger a minimum additional density that will be allowed on each site.”

This is what Eriksson means by “Trojan Horse.”  And what we meant in our flyer by “this resolution creates a number of mandates and loopholes.”  Many are arguing this is by design.

Again, any of the concerns of either the speakers on this agenda item, or opposing councilmembers, could have been legitimately addressed during this agenda item.  They were not.  Vera and Eriksson said we all want affordable housing, we all want to figure out how we can grow as a city, but the question is how to do it effectively and responsibly.  They were not answered.

So why is this happening?  Why no conversation?  Because councilmembers McMorrin, Lee and Fisch were elected by an activist core of supporters who want them to push these resolutions.  They have their agenda and they’re not interested in a discussion.  This is why they sneak these things through with minimum clarity and discussion.  It’s why they are pushing such radical changes to our city, precisely at a time when so many are disenfranchised.

That’s why we realized, the only way to stop this is by informing and mobilizing the residents of this city.

Ultimately, a 3-2 vote on a resolution made in such a sneaky fashion is not a powerful mandate.  Both Fisch and Lee are up for re-election next year.  Over the coming year, we need to mobilize to get full clarity on Our General Plan’s goals, and demand responsible growth, not a reckless developer bonanza.  The current Council majority can continue to push this through all they want, but if they’re no longer in office in 2023, their plans for our city will come to nought.

We have to remind them of this in the months to come, and prepare for the November 2022 election with the full expectation that they will not react to our demands.