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June 2019
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association

President-Elect
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
 
Vice President
Liz Studebaker
City of San Diego
 
Treasurer
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
 
At-Large Directors
Emilie Cameron 
Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown

Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)
 
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Chloe Verrey
San Jose Downtown Association
 
Immediate Past President
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
CDA MEMBERS
Arlington Business Partnership
Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
BLVD Association
Carmichael Improvement District, Inc.
Central City Association
City of Monterey Park
City of Ontario
City of San Diego - Economic Development Dept.
City of San Jose - Office of Econ Dev
Civitas
County of Santa Cruz - Office of Economic Development
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Downtown Modesto Partnership
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown SLO
Downtown Vacaville BID
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Genetec
Gilroy Economic Development
Greater Broadway District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Kono CBD
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
MJM Management Group
North Park Main Street
North Tahoe Business Association
Old Pasadena Management District 
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Playhouse District Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
South Park BID
Sunnyvale Downtown
Telegraph BID
Temescal Telegraph BID
The River District
Times Square Alliance
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Westwood Village Improvement Association 
Wilshire Center Business Improvement District


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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Andrew Thomas VP
This month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released the numbers from the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count . The data is staggering, yet not surprising to those of us living and working in this city.
 
To summarize, in the City of Los Angeles, 36,300 people experienced homelessness during the time of the count. In the County, it was 58,936. These are increases of 16% and 12% respectively. The news isn’t any better in other parts of California. Orange County saw an increase of 43%. San Bernardino County rose 23%, Riverside County 22%, Ventura County 28%, San Francisco County 17%, Alameda County 43%, Santa Clara County 31%, Kern County 50%, and San Joaquin County 69%.
 
In 2018, in LA County, 21,631 homeless people were housed - more than ever. This is terrific news, but considering the county’s net double-digit percentage population increase, we must accept that the rate of people entering homelessness is overwhelming Los Angeles’ capacity to house its most vulnerable population; and, that local initiatives are working but, at best, still need more time to fully take effect.
 
It is also clear that Los Angeles would have seen significantly higher increases without the efforts of government, local agencies, and other groups dedicated to eliminating homelessness. While these efforts deserve our appreciation and praise, our downtown places tell a more striking story as our streets and sidewalks continue to deteriorate. In Downtown Los Angeles, typhus and typhoid fever are back from the Dark Ages. They are being spread by a growing rat population, thriving largely because the city can’t differentiate between tons of trash and the protected personal belongings of people living on the streets. In San Francisco, the city has established a Public Works unit dedicated to removing human waste from sidewalks.
 
As administrators of our downtown places, our BIDs now live with these realities as we serve on the front lines of a battle that seems unwinnable without radical changes in strategy. California Governor Gavin Newsome has formed a task force to implement service programs and has also proposed doubling state spending on homelessness. With the California Downtown Association’s support, cities and counties have passed, and are fighting to pass, legislation aimed to deliver services and housing. Funding and policy changes are coming, but will they be enough to functionally eliminate homelessness in our state? We can hope, but all evidence points to this crisis getting worse before it gets better.


Andrew Thomas, CDA President
Executive Director
Westwood Village Improvement Association
CDA POLICY CORNER
Governor & Lawmakers Prioritize Funding for Homelessness & Housing in 2019-20 State Budget 

California lawmakers have passed a $214 billion budget plan that includes significant new spending in education, health care and to address the state’s growing homeless population. The Legislature and Governor will negotiate some of the details of the budget plan through a series of “budget trailer bills” that enact the final budget plan.  

Specific to policy priorities of the California Downtown Association, the budget makes significant investments in housing construction and assistance for those experiencing homelessness in our downtowns. All told, the budget invests $2 billion in new spending in these two areas. $250 million was approved to assist local governments plan for new housing and $500 million to construct affordable housing as well as expansion of the low-income housing tax credit program.  

The State Budget also includes $650 million in grants for local governments to build and maintain emergency shelters and $100 million for wrap-around care for the state’s most vulnerable residents.  Lawmakers and the Governor have until July 1 to enact the “Budget Trailer Bills” which will determine the division of the resources between the state’s largest cities and the counties – both having significant yet different challenges on the issue.  

Priority Legislation for CDA:

SB 34 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) SUPPORT 
In an effort to reduce burglary rates, this bill clarifies that the unlawful entry of a vehicle with the intent to commit theft establishes the crime of auto burglary. Under current law, to secure a conviction when an auto burglar is arrested, one of the elements prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the vehicle was locked. Unfortunately, the fact that a victim’s window was broken does not, by itself, establish that the vehicle was locked. This evidence is especially challenging to obtain, particularly in cases where the victim is unavailable or unknown which is prevalent amongst victims who are tourists since they are unable to return to the jurisdiction where the crime was committed to verify the crime occurred. 

AB 1184 (Gloria, D-San Diego) OPPOSED 
The legislation would place a new mandate on all public agencies, including BIDs, to require storage of every transmitted email for at least 2 years. As written, the bill creates no new disclosures or exemptions of any records, but still requires all emails to be saved, regardless if the email is a public record or not. CDA believes there is no value to saving inconsequential emails – particularly if they are not required to be released. CDA is helping to lead a coalition of public agencies including the California Special Districts Association and the League of California Cities who oppose the bill. As was expected, the bill was approved by the Assembly and is now in the Senate and will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee in August.  

SB 518 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont) OPPOSED 
Working with a broad coalition including the California Special Districts Association, the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, and the Rural County Representatives of California, CDA is opposed to the bill because it removes an important tool that reduces excessive litigation, court costs and attorney’s fees in disputes involving the CPRA. Specifically, the bill eliminate the utility of the “Section 998 settlement” offer in lawsuits between parties where a public agency is involved. A “Section 998 settlement” allows a plaintiff or defense to make an offer to settle a dispute before proceeding to trial. If an offer is presented but not accepted, the litigating party is not entitled to post-offer costs and attorney’s fees should a litigant fail to receive a better result than the offer made. The “Section 998 settlement” encourages settlements of disputes and avoids unnecessary attorney’s fees and court costs. The bill was approved by the Senate and is now in the Assembly and will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  

SB 50 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) SUPPORT 
The bill would have allowed denser housing around public transit and job centers by prohibiting a local jurisdiction from restricting zoning to only single-family homes. SB 50 cleared a key policy committee after the author and the Chair of the Committee reached agreement to amend the bill to exempt cities of less than 600,000 residents as well providing protections for communities near the state’s coastline. It was assumed the amendments made to SB 50 will broaden the bill’s support in the Legislature, however, in a surprise move, the Senate Appropriations Committee “held” the bill in Committee and is considered a 2-year bill. Although SB 50 may be dead for the year, increasing supply of affordable housing is a hallmark issue for Governor Newsom and many policymakers and we could see additional movement on this issue later this year through the legislative process.  


Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
June 2019 Legislative Update 
IN THE NEWS
UCLA's Ananya Roy on Housing Inequality & Market-Driven Displacement
The Planning Report 
There are a few key trends at the heart of our research and the housing justice work at the Institute on Inequality and...

As Homeless are Suffering, Risk of Hepatitis, Typhus and Other Diseases is Growing
USA Today
In big cities around the country, homeless people scrape by, often in deplorable, unsafe conditions.

Bay Area Bike Share Battle Has Vast Ramifications
StreetsBlog USA
Lyft and Uber's battle over San Francisco's bike share system will have implications across the country.

Santa Ana Commits to Low-Cost Artist Housing with New Downtown Development
Los Angeles Times
If you rent a home, condo or apartment in Orange County, you’re painfully aware that you live in one of the most expensive...

Too Many People Want to Travel
CityLab
Massive crowds are causing environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, and the immiseration and pricing-out...

Sacramento Can Solve its Homeless Crisis, but it Will Take Commitment from All of Us
The Sacramento Bee
The January 2019 Point in Time Count of Sacramento homeless people will soon be released. All available indicators point to...

Big Plans for ArtCenter as the Pasadena-Based Art and Design College Expands Downtown
Los Angeles Downtown News 
In May 2018, the leaders of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design and Downtown development firm Gilmore...

America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.
The New York Times
The demise of a California housing measure shows how progressives abandon progressive values in their own backyards.

More Than Just Office Space
San Diego Downtown News
Coworking sites continue taking root Downtown as demand remains high.

Who’s In Charge of Equity for the Orange County Streetcar? It’s Not Clear
Next City
Along Santa Ana Boulevard, paleteros push ice cream carts, residents water their yards and women carry loads of clean...

Small City, Big Goals
Governing
Running a small city doesn't often get you much attention in the big leagues. One unconventional California mayor is beating the system. 

San Diego County Budget Proposes New Spending On Mental Illness, Homelessness
KPBS
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Monday began reviewing the 2019-20 fiscal year budget and heard from...
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