Statement in response to CAA’s engagement with the Silicon Valley Organization & political communication

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Over the years, CAA has contributed to the Silicon Valley Organization Political Action Committee (SVO PAC) as we have shared many of the same goals for the Silicon Valley region— to promote candidates for office who will champion a strong economy and foster a climate for economic development. 

The blatantly racist image on the SVO website led CAA to swiftly resign from the SVO PAC on Wednesday, Oct, 28, 2020.  That action is counter to CAA’s culture and stated policies.

Due to CAA’s contributions to the SVO PAC, CAA met the legal threshold for being one of the donors listed on the disclaimer for the communications the SVO PAC produced.

A campaign mailer the SVO PAC sent opposing a candidate for San Jose City Council District 6, which detailed the candidate’s stance on single-family zoning, does not represent CAA’s policy positions.  In fact, it espouses a position that is opposite of CAA’s work on policies to encourage housing production.

Just this past legislative session, CAA supported nearly 200 bills, including sponsored bills, aimed at increasing density and creating inclusive communities and protecting renters, including:

  • SB 50 (Wiener) – Would have expedited production of high-density housing in areas designated as “job-rich” or “transit rich” communities.
  • SB 902 (Wiener) – Would have provided a streamlined path to zone neighborhoods for up to 10 units per parcel.  Would have allowed –by-right –two, three, and four-unit buildings in low-density residential neighborhoods.
  • SCA 1 (Allen) – Would have repealed Article 34 of the California Constitution, which currently requires a majority approval of the voters in a city or county before development, construction, or acquisition of a publicly funded affordable housing project.
  • AB 725 (Wicks) — Requires a local government to focus more of its land for multifamily housing; in fact, the original version of this bill, which CAA embraced, would have limited the percentage of single-family homes in certain areas.
  • AB 1250 (Gloria) — Would have increased the number of allowable subdivisions in an urbanized area from four to 10 and allowed for expedited approval.
  • AB 1279 (Bloom) — Would have required certain development sites to allow for more density and height and would have made these sites subject to “by right” approval.
  • AB 1561 (Garcia) — Encourages local governments to consider the impacts their zoning decisions have on communities of color.
  • AB 1851 (Wicks) — Allows religious institutions to develop affordable housing at a place of worship even if the development requires the religions institution to reduce its own parking.

The list above offers just a glimpse of our efforts to encourage the production of diverse high-density multifamily housing and protections for renters. When the Legislature convenes for its next session, CAA will continue to champion housing production and will continue to work on legislation to provide housing stability for owners and renters impacted by COVID-19.

We recognize the outrage caused by the actions of the SVO PAC. These actions remind us that we have not overcome California’s tragic history on housing policy. That history included laws that prevented people of color from buying homes in this state.  It’s taken legislation and decades of court decisions to remove racially restrictive covenants embedded in deeds.  Even today, restrictive zoning by local governments limit the types of housing permissible in certain neighborhoods which prevents equal access to housing opportunities. We will keep working every day to change exclusionary housing policies.

CAA remains committed to advocating against discrimination in housing. We will continue to champion housing production and land-use policies that promote inclusive communities, encourage the creation of affordable housing, and treat all people with dignity and respect.

In light of recent events, we are evaluating our political engagement. We are also heightening our review of the organizations we affiliate with to ensure these groups do not contradict our core values or in any way sanction discrimination or unfair treatment of people. 

As we continue the fight to overcome the state’s and nation’s troubled history on housing policy, CAA remains committed to being an engaged community partner. We remain committed to working with all organizations on the issues of housing production for all members of the community.

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