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California Politics

Padilla announces bill to address homelessness, affordable housing crises

“The research is clear – lack of affordable housing is at the root of many societal issues, including health and educational disparities”

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U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) (Photo Credit: Office of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla)

SACRAMENTO, CA — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced Friday comprehensive legislation to address the affordable housing and homelessness crises in California and across the country.

The Housing for All Act of 2022 would invest in proven solutions to address critical affordable housing shortages and provide a surge of funding for strategic, existing programs to reduce homelessness as well as for innovative, locally-developed solutions to help those experiencing homelessness.

Representatives Ted Lieu and Salud Carbajal (both D-Calif.) will lead the introduction of companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Padilla announced the legislation today with local leaders and advocates at La Mancha Way Apartments, a Project Homekey site in Sacramento. The site operates in an innovative partnership with the Sacramento Housing Redevelopment Agency to purchase hotels and motels that can be rehabilitated into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. The investments in the Housing For All Act would build on these creative solutions that cities and states in California have successfully developed.

The National Low-Incoming Housing Coalition estimates that the United States has a shortage of 6.8 million affordable homes available to low-income renters. In California, more than 1.4 million units are needed to address the affordable housing shortage, and more than 161,000 people experience homelessness in the state each night – including families with young children, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. Prior to the pandemic, one in four renters spent half of their monthly income on rent, and nearly one million tenants were evicted each year.

“Every person has a right to the dignity and security of housing,” said Senator Padilla. “As we continue to face historic affordable housing and homelessness crises, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to take all levels of government working together to rebuild a more inclusive and equitable society for all. This legislation is an opportunity to invest and align resources in expanding affordable housing and strengthening proven solutions. Affordable housing is essential infrastructure, and that’s why I am proud to introduce the Housing for All Act of 2022 to ensure that every person has a place to call home.”

“Homelessness remains a persistent and difficult problem in Los Angeles and in communities around the country,” said Congressman Lieu. “The pandemic only worsened the economic and societal factors that contribute to homelessness, which is why it is so important that we address this issue head-on now. Homelessness is a complicated challenge that requires a multi-faceted approach. I’m pleased to be Senator Padilla’s partner on this comprehensive legislation to address the affordable housing shortage and support proven, community-driven solutions to homelessness.”

“I’m grateful to Senator Padilla for his leadership and attention to California’s – and the nation’s – affordability crisis,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “California has stepped up big with $22 billion for housing and homelessness, but no state can do it alone. We need Washington, DC to match our urgency and increase their financial commitment to solving this existential crisis.”

The Housing for All Act of 2022 would invest in proven solutions by:

  • Addressing the affordable housing shortage by investing in the National Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities.
  • Addressing the homelessness crisis by investing in Housing Choice Vouchers, Project-Based Rental Assistance, the emergency solutions grant program (which helps with street outreach, rapid re-housing assistance, emergency shelter, and homelessness prevention), and Continuums of Care.
  • Supporting innovative, locally developed approaches to these crises by investing in hotel and motel conversions to permanent supportive housing with supportive services; investing in the Eviction Protection Grant Program; investing in mobile crisis intervention teams to help those with medical or psychological needs avoid the criminal justice system; investing in libraries that support people experiencing homelessness; investing in programs that offer a safe place to park overnight and facilitate access to rehousing services and essential services; and investing in inclusive, transit-oriented development and infill development.

A section-by-section of the Housing for All Act is available HERE.

“I am thrilled that my bill, the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act, is advancing in the U.S. Senate as a part of Senator Alex Padilla’s Housing for All Act,” said Congressman Carbajal. “This comprehensive legislation package will help us address the core issues of homelessness and affordable housing in California and across the nation,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m proud to join Representative Ted Lieu to introduce this legislation in the House. It will be another step toward our goal of ensuring every American has a roof over their head.”

“As the Mayors of some of California’s largest and most populated cities, we are all grappling with the housing and homelessness crisis and are excited to see such strong leadership on this issue from our Senator. The “Housing for All Act of 2022” would invest in proven solutions to housing shortages, fund programs that have been proven to reduce homelessness, and strengthen innovative, locally-developed programs to appropriately engage with those experiencing homelessness.”

London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach

Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego

Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose

Kevin Lincoln, Mayor of Stockton

Patricia Lock Dawson, Mayor of Riverside

Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland

Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento

“The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) applauds Senator Padilla for introducing the Housing for All Act which addresses the severe lack of affordable housing across all communities and counties in California, including in my home county of Siskiyou,” said CSAC President and Siskiyou County Supervisor Ed Valenzuela. “This important bill provides an array of investments to bolster California’s historic efforts in the affordable housing and homelessness crises. CSAC looks forward to working with Senator Padilla and our state and local partners to address these challenges.”

“The pandemic has magnified and accelerated the country’s affordable housing crisis, a central cause of housing instability, eviction, and homelessness,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “More than ever, bold policies are needed to significantly expand federal investments in affordable, accessible housing for the nation’s lowest-income households. I applaud Senator Padilla’s ‘Housing for All Act,’ which provides the robust investments in deeply affordable, accessible housing, housing vouchers, and homelessness response services needed to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all.”

“Senator Padilla’s Housing for All Act recognizes the extraordinary work performed during the pandemic by local homelessness systems and would provide them with robust resources, including significant new investments in the Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants programs as well as Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance,” said Steve Berg, vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.  “In addition to providing resources, Senator Padilla’s legislation would promote innovative policies like using motels and hotels for permanent supportive housing and specific efforts to help house the growing numbers of individuals and families experiencing vehicular homelessness.”

“The research is clear – lack of affordable housing is at the root of many societal issues, including health and educational disparities,” said Professor Matthew Desmond of Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. “I’m glad to see Senator Padilla put forward legislation that attacks the core problems of housing insecurity and homelessness in America. As COVID -19 eviction moratoriums lift, passing the Housing for All Act would be life changing for the millions of Americans who don’t have access to affordable housing and are currently facing eviction.”

“The California Housing Partnership enthusiastically supports Senator Padilla’s Housing for All Act providing expanded federal resources to counteract the acute shortage of affordable homes, which in California has been pushing families and individuals into overcrowded situations and risking homelessness amidst the pandemic,” said Matt Schwartz, President and CEO of the California Housing Partnership.

“The Housing for All Act would strengthen the crucial services that libraries provide to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said Patty Wong, president of the American Library Association.

“LeadingAge applauds the introduction of the Housing for All Act. Housing cost burdens and homelessness are rising steeply for older adults. Because of longstanding underinvestment in critical housing resources, our country’s supply of affordable housing for older adults is simply insufficient,” said Katie Smith Sloan, President & CEO, LeadingAge. “This bill is a much needed and long overdue response to address significant needs. For example, the bill’s $2.5 billion investment in HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program would result in about 37,000 new homes as well as new Service Coordinators who help older adult residents age in community in affordable, quality housing. We look forward to doing all we can to secure enactment of Senator Padilla’s new bill.”

Since joining the Senate, Padilla has been a steadfast supporter of efforts to address the homelessness and housing crises in the state. Senator Padilla helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for California through the American Rescue Plan that will support local affordable housing programs and projects. He also successfully advocated to extend the federal eviction moratorium and co-led the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to ensure that people in California and across the country are protected from unreasonable and dangerous evictions in the middle of a pandemic. He also cosponsored the West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act, to help address veteran homelessness, which was signed into law last year.

Padilla supports the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Housing Credit and provide as many as 2,015,000 additional affordable homes over the next 10 years, generating nearly 3 million jobs, $346 billion in wages and business income, and $120 billion in tax revenue.

Padilla has also led efforts urging President Biden to prioritize affordable housing in the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, calling for the inclusion of $70 billion to address the Public Housing repair backlog, and $45 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund per year, of which $26 billion would be reserved for permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.

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California Politics

Lindsey Horvath elected to LA County Board of Supervisors

Horvath extended her appreciation to outcoming Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who had endorsed and backed her in the campaign to succeed her

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Lindsey Horvath (Screenshot/YouTube CBS Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath won slightly more than a plurality of the vote gaining a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing District Three after State Senator Bob Hertzberg conceded Thursday afternoon.

In a statement released Hertzberg wrote; “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Sup-Elect Horvath. The challenges LA faces are extraordinary and it’ll take someone with her work ethic to be successful. Thank you to everyone who has supported me- my family, friends, elected leaders, & residents across SD3.”

 

“I am humbled and honored that the voters have chosen me to serve as their next Supervisor. Their confidence and support fueled our people-powered campaign across the finish line, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to represent the people of District 3,” Horvath told supporters and county residents in a statement Thursday evening.

“I want to thank Senator Bob Hertzberg for his incredibly generous and kind phone call, for his commitment to public service, and for engaging in this hard fought campaign to make Los Angeles a better place. I welcome his supporters into the work we will all need to do together. Regardless of who you voted for, I will always work my heart out to represent you and the best interests of our communities,” she said.

She also extended her appreciation to outcoming Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who had endorsed and backed her in the campaign to succeed her in the seat.

SUPERVISOR 3RD DISTRICT

Candidate(s)VotesPercent
LINDSEY HORVATH (N)227,56152.24%
BOB HERTZBERG (N)208,01947.76%
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California Politics

Karen Bass elected as first woman mayor of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office is expected to certify the results on Dec. 5

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Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (Photo Credit: Sam Garrett-Pate)

LOS ANGELES – Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif) has secured the votes to become the 43rd mayor of the City of Los Angeles, succeeding current mayor Eric Garcetti, according to projections from the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times though thousands of votes still remain to be counted.

In addition to being the first woman elected she is the second Black politician in the city’s 241-year history after the legendary Thomas Bradley who served as the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 to 1993.

The congresswoman’s victory comes on the heels of one of the most expensive campaigns ever conducted in the city. The Los Angeles Times reported the 69-year-old Bass achieved victory despite real estate magnate Rick Caruso spending more than $100 million of his own fortune on his mayoral bid, shattering local spending records and pumping previously unprecedented sums into field outreach and TV advertising.

Caruso, 63, outspent Bass more than 11 to 1 but was ultimately unable to prevail as a former Republican in a sapphire-blue California city.

The campaign towards the end before election day because rancorous as the two candidates traded accusations and as the Times noted:

[…] as both candidates fought fire with fire. Much of the bombardment centered around one of the most prominent private institutions in the city, with Bass and Caruso attacking their opponent’s relationships to scandals at USC. Caruso also hit Bass for a speech she gave praising Scientology. Bass and her supporters frequently hammered Caruso for his Republican past, with her allies branding him as a “liar” and a “phony.”

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office is expected to certify the results on Dec. 5.

LOS ANGELES CITY GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION Mayor

Candidate(s)VotesPercent
KAREN RUTH BASS (N)403,42753.06%
RICK J. CARUSO (N)356,84946.94%
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California Politics

Zbur is Assemblymember-elect as Abramson concedes

When Zbur is sworn in on December 5 and takes office, he will join the largest Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus in California history

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Assemblymember-elect Rick Zbur chatting with constituents/voters last summer (Photo Credit: Zbur for Assembly)

LOS ANGELES – The latest election results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office on Tuesday indicated that former Equality California Executive Director and leading environmental attorney, Rick Chavez Zbur, had won the seat to represent California’s 51st Assembly District.

Zbur’s opponent Louis Abramson issued a statement of concession congratulating the Assemblymember-elect:

One of our campaign mantras is: The hard part comes after the hard part. Well, this is the hard part. While many votes are outstanding, we’re at 44.6%. Having been outspent nearly eight to one by a well known opponent, this achievement is incredible. Nonetheless, we don’t see a path to 50%+1. With a full heart and a grateful soul, it’s time to close this chapter.

I want to congratulate Rick Zbur on his victory in this race. I will do everything I can to help him succeed in confronting the existential challenges facing our shared community—homelessness, housing affordability, mental health reform, and climate change.

Rick ran with generosity and kindness. His previous work made California more equitable and just. It has been a privilege to campaign with him and to have the opportunity to advance that work. Rick will be an effective advocate for our district. I look forward to being his partner in repairing our world, and I invite you all to join me.” 

In an email to the Blade Tuesday afternoon, Zbur wrote:

As the votes continue to be counted, our campaign is confident that our margin of victory will continue to grow.  I’m incredibly humbled and grateful to the voters across AD-51 who powered our campaign to a victorious finish. We are proud that we won with a substantial margin in every city across the district.  This victory was only possible because of the dedication and effort of thousands of people —supporters, contributors, and volunteers who fueled our campaign, and I am incredibly grateful. I’m also deeply proud that my victory ensures that the 51st District—and the County of Los Angeles—finally has the LGBTQ+ representation in the State Assembly that it deserves

I would like to congratulate my opponent Louis Abramson for his dedication to our community, and for running an energetic campaign that was focused on the issues—many of which we agree about. I appreciate his gracious congratulations call yesterday and his offer to work together in the future to improve the lives of the people of California.

Our campaign was never about one person – it was about ensuring real change and lasting progress to improve the lives of the people of California and the 51st District. It was about assuring that our government tackles effectively the issues that matter most—affordable housing and homelessness, climate action, safer and sustainable communities, good jobs with good pay and safe working conditions, civil rights and social justice for all, and more. I’m proud of the movement we have built and I look forward to beginning the hard work to achieve a government that works for every Californian, especially our most vulnerable.  I am excited to begin my work in the Assembly to deliver for families across the 51st District.”

Early on in his candidacy Zbur received the backing of various organizations and political groups including labour, civic, environmental as well as this newspaper. Zbur was endorsed by Equality California early in April 2021, alongside the California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus.

When Zbur is sworn in on December 5 and takes office, he will join the largest Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus in California history.

Equality California released the following statement from its Executive Director Tony Hoang celebrating the victory:

“My friend Rick Chavez Zbur has spent his career fighting for justice and is exactly the type of champion LGBTQ+ Californians need in the Assembly. From a small farming community in the Rio Grande Valley to the halls of the California Capitol, Rick’s life has been defined by service to his community and his country. I know that his bold, experienced leadership will continue to move our state forward, and he will deliver progressive results for the people of the 51st Assembly District.

“Equality California looks forward to being a partner to Rick in his new role, as we continue our shared fight for a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.” 

California’s 51st Assembly District includes West Los Angeles, Hollywood and West Hollywood.

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY, 51st District

Candidate(s)VotesPercent
RICK CHAVEZ ZBUR (D)57,32355.40%
LOUIS ABRAMSON (D)46,14544.60%
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California Politics

Alex Villanueva concedes, Robert Luna is new LA County Sheriff

Luna served as chief of the Long Beach Police Department for seven years, having first been appointed to the position in 2014

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Alex Villanueva, the incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff who has been trailing challenger Robert Luna, the retired police chief from Long Beach, by 20% among a shrinking number of ballots left to be tabulated has conceded the race.

Villanueva leaves office in the wake of a single term marred by upheaval, fighting with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the discord he sowed amidst allegations of corruption.

The Los Angeles Times reported six days ago that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that Sheriff Alex Villanueva may have broken state law when he solicited campaign donations from deputies.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff serves a four-year term. There are no term limits for the position.

Luna served as chief of the Long Beach Police Department for seven years, having first been appointed to the position in 2014.

He was the last candidate standing in a crowded field of law enforcement professionals who sought to unseat the controversial sheriff.

SHERIFF

Candidate(s)VotesPercent
ROBERT LUNA (N)987,73059.84%
ALEX VILLANUEVA (N)662,89340.16%
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California Politics

Two anti-LGBTQ House Republicans reelected in close Calif races

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that two highly contested U.S. House races ended Monday after both Republican incumbents won reelection

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Republicans Rep. Michelle Steel and Rep. Ken Calvert (Photo Credit: U.S. House)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in two highly contested California U.S. House races, both ended Monday evening after the Republican incumbents won reelection.

Republican Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democratic Navy Reserve officer Jay Chen after a heated race for California’s 45th Congressional District, an area straddling Orange and Los Angeles counties that was created to empower Asian American voters, according to the Times.

Steel faced protests over her campaign ads aiming to portray her rival as a communist sympathizer. She was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2014 and to Congress in 2020 after a fierce battle with then incumbent Democratic Congressman Harley Rouda. Steel is one of the first three Korean American women elected to the House.

Michelle Steel is so opposed to letting Americans marry who they love, she pulled her own daughter out of school for expressing support for LGBTQ rightsIn a speech given to supporters, Steel said to laughter from the audience, “and then [Steel’s daughter] said, ‘God gave us two men — what’s wrong with gay marriage?’ We brought her back and we sent her [to] Marymount.

Rep. Ken Calvert, the longest-serving Republican member of California’s congressional delegation, won reelection in Riverside County despite being drawn into a less favorable district during the decennial reconfiguring of congressional maps.

Calvert beat Democrat Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, in a district that became much more competitive this year, in part because of the inclusion of one of the nation’s largest concentrations of LGBTQ voters, the Times reported.  Calvert, in the past has opposed gay rights and once attacked an opponent for being gay, has recently said that he has reconsidered his position on LGBTQ issues.

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California Politics

Rep. Karen Bass widens lead over Caruso in LA mayoral race

While Caruso held a slight advantage after last Tuesday’s election night, Bass has outgained him with every release of voting data since

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Rep. Karen Bass speaking at a campaign event in San Pedro September 15 (Photo Credit: Bass for Mayor campaign)

LOS ANGELES – According to the new figures from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office released Monday, Rep. Karen Bass has jumped out to a lead of more than 29,000 votes, or 52.15% to Real Estate tycoon Rick Caruso’s 47.8%.

Bass had 354,948 votes to Caruso’s 325,677.

Candidate Rick Caruso speaking with former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan this past June
(Photo credit: Caruso for LA mayor campaign/Facebook)

The hotly contested race is still too close to call. While Caruso held a slight advantage after last Tuesday’s election night, Bass has outgained him with every release of voting data since, and now holds a 29,271-vote lead. There are still hundreds of of thousands of ballots to be counted, as the latest update represents roughly 76% of the estimated vote. An undetermined number of mail-in ballots remain to be counted.

LOS ANGELES CITY GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION Mayor

Candidate(s)VotesPercent
KAREN RUTH BASS (N)354,94852.15%
RICK J. CARUSO (N)325,67747.85%
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