Thanks to all you wonderful people sharing space with us in the SJPC community, your support is truly appreciated! This article is meant to provide a quick (NOT comprehensive) list of ongoing issues/policy developments/conversations that we will be continuing to monitor in 2024, as well as what to be on the lookout for regarding next steps!
6 things to watch for in 2024:
Sac County District Attorney Thien Ho’s ongoing campaign against the unhoused
On 11/14 Ho sent a letter to the city of Sacramento, saying officials might face “criminal liability” for permitting unhoused residents to live in community together at “Camp Resolution”, saying the site is "toxic".
Our comrades at the Sacramento Homeless Union sent a letter in response, here’s an excerpt: Thien Ho thinks his distortions and threats are going to frighten the Sacramento Homeless Union, he better think again. His phony concern for the homeless is a fraud and he is a disgrace to the office that he holds.
What to watch for: calls to action from the Sacramento Homeless Union, Camp Resolution, and the broader unhoused community regarding support needed to keep our neighbors living outside safe!
Efforts to push the Sac County BOS to follow through on promises made in their 2020 declaration that racism is a public health crisis
On 11/15, our comrades at Public Health Advocates sent a policy memo to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, county executives, and some key county staff (following PHA's mobilization at the 10/24 Sac County BOS meeting), to continue to push our county government to take meaningful action around their 2020 declaration that racism is a public health crisis. The policy memo recommended immediate actions at three levels of county leadership.
What to watch for: calls to action for continuing to push the county to implement structures and strategies that will mandate racial equity prioritization in all policy decision-making.
IG account to follow: @wearephadvocates
Updates regarding the Sacramento Forward housing package
Sacramento Forward is a comprehensive housing package that was presented at Sac City’s 8/15 Law & Leg committee that aims to: “dramatically increase the City’s affordable housing stock, protect vulnerable tenants from losing their homes, and provide key protections for workers who are so often priced out of the homes they’re building”. The package would also put a fundraising measure on the 2024 ballot, increase developer fees, and reduce annual rent increases. The package got push back from CM Guerra and CM Kaplan (surprise surprise), with the final meeting outcome being direction given to staff to continue to work on the details of the proposal, conduct stakeholder meetings, and bring an update back to Law & Leg in the fall.
One component of Sac Forward is requiring minimum labor standards for workers on projects that receive public support. On November 17th, 2023 a stakeholder meeting was held with representatives from: the Sacramento Sierra Building Trades, Nor Cal Carpenters Union, Sacramento Central Labor Council, Building Industry Association, Sacramento Regional Builders’ Exchange, and Construction Employers Association, along with city staff and representatives from the sponsoring Council offices.
UPDATE: at today’s 12/5 Law & Leg meeting there will be a report back from the November 17th stakeholder meeting, and further direction given to staff before coming back to Law & Leg!
What to watch for: future opportunities for public engagement and ways to support the passage of this package of housing policies - in next week’s newsletter (12/12) we aim to provide you all with an update from the 12/5 meeting!
IG account to follow: @sacramentofwd
Next steps for establishing a Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance in the City of Sacramento?
In 2021 a Settlement Agreement, that resulted from the Aggie Square Project, was reached between the City of Sacramento, the Regents of the University of California, and Sacramento Investment Without Displacement. This agreement included a requirement for the City to "endeavor" to bring a community benefits agreements ordinance (CBO) to the City Council for consideration.
On 10/17/23 the proposed CBO progressed through the City's Law & Legislation Committee; before the ordinance goes before the full Council it will be discussed at a workshop where folks can really get into the details of the proposal. Going into the workshop, SIWD is going to need as much support as possible to ensure that the Council hears from the public about how crucial the passage of a strong, comprehensive CBO is to the health and stability of our Sacramento communities. There is not a date set for the workshop at this time.
Read more about the fight for a strong Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance in the City of Sacramento!
What to watch for: a confirmed date for the upcoming workshop! Councilmembers on Law & Leg, with the exception of Councilmember Valenzuela, are more concerned with developers' needs than the needs of the residents who will be impacted by development projects - your voice will be needed to ensure the passage of this important ordinance!
The $2BILLION jail expansion attempt
On 8/8/23 the Sac County BOS voted on an item amending a contract with jail expansion design firm Nacht & Lewis, and a second item approving the selection of Kitchell/CEM, Inc, for construction management services and approving the intent of the county to secure a $925Million bond ($2BILLION with interest!!) to fund the proposed expansion. The BOS was subsequently called out by Decarcerate Sacramento and a coalition of concerned architects and organizations for their corrupt decision-making regarding their choice to move forward with this expansion project based on the flawed (to say the least) recommendations of architecture firm Nacht & Lewis.
What to watch for: upcoming alerts and calls to action as we continue to fight for the cancellation of this expansion project once and for all!
IG account to follow: @decarcerate_sacramento
Progress around the attempted Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinances
Sacramento City and County are both in desperate need of additional and more robust protections for renters against landlord harassment and abuse. In 2023 we saw proposals for Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinances (TAHO) come before both the Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to try and codify those protections. In both cases the respective items were shut down or paused.
At the city level, Sacramento’s Law & Legislation Committee stopped TAHO from moving to the full City Council for a vote, directing staff to go back and complete more research.
At the county level, the BOS voted TAHO down, and instead made a decision to host a public “workshop” around existing tenant protections.
What to watch for: calls to action for next steps/public support regarding the proposed ordinances! Keep your eyes peeled for when the staff’s follow-up report comes back to the City’s Law & Leg Committee, AND for the County’s promised workshop.
IG account to follow: @acce_action