The Independent Pleasanton Opts to Join Coalition to End Homelessness

PostedThursday, June 28, 2018 12:00 am

The Pleasanton City Council approved a Legislative Framework, a collection of actions that included direction to join the Coalition to End Homelessness

The vote was unanimous at the council’s June 19 meeting.

A Legislative Subcommittee reviewed the city’s current Legislative Framework, along with a list of bills for 2018 that the city has been recommending. The Subcommittee also discussed and encouraged the city’s participation in the Coalition to End Homelessness.

The Coalition to End Homeless was started by the “Big 10 Mayors” from the cities of Santa Ana, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Jose, San Francisco, Anaheim, Sacramento, and Oakland to make a budget request to the Governor to allocate a quarter of the states $6 billion budget surplus toward cities. This would provide funding directly to cities to build social services infrastructure, such as shelters and supportive housing, as well as services to homeless individuals and families.

The Legislative Framework provided direction on a range of legislation, including opposition to local, regional, state or federal mandates that are unfunded or partially funded, support for effective options to address unfunded pension liabilities, and backing for BART to ACE.

Becky Hopkins, assistant city manager, described one of the recent bills that has drawn a negative response from the city. She noted that AB2923 would give BART land use authority over land it owns or buys within a half-mile of a station. Hopkins stated, “Cities don’t see a reason for the bill. There is already a process in place to work with cities to have development approved.”

She added, “BART supports the legislation to make it more efficient to develop land and give it the ability to build more housing.”

As for the Coalition to End Homelessness, she said that Oakland is the only city big enough in Alameda County to qualify for funds. However, multi-city applications are allowed. “If the Tri-Valley cities wanted to look into putting in an application together, there is enough population to do so.”

Mayor Jerry Thorne supported joining the coalition. He said that it is important to have a seat at the table.

The funds would be used to provide services. Some of the capital money can be used to build shelters or do rehab of existing shelter. Tri-Valley Haven, for example, is in the process of rehabilitating its facilities. Funds can also be used for rental assistance and to help to keep people from becoming homeless.

In discussing the legislative direction, Councilmember Jerry Pentin said for him that it’s all about local control and unfunded mandates.

Thorne pointed out that local control is being attacked from many directions.

Councilmember Arne Olson quoted a local official attending a meeting of mayors who said that local control hasn’t worked when it comes to housing. “It appears that many in the legislature take that view,” Olson commented.

One of the causes of the problem, according to Thorne, is the creation of 600,000 jobs in San Francisco and Santa Clara County over the last five years, while building less than 10% of the needed housing.

Karla Brown called it the ultimate in nimbyism – they take all the jobs and want the housing to go somewhere else.