February 14th — Sonja Trauss
SFBay Area Renters Foundation
“Housing a Growing California: State law vs local decisionmaking”
Seminar Description: Sonja Trauss will talk about the the YIMBY movement in the Bay Area, how it evolved, the diversity of groups and the relationship to the historical fight to desegregate neighborhoods. In particular, we’ll cover our (relatively) new turn to the courts to enforce existing CA state housing laws and the California version of the Federal Fair Housing Act. Mark Vallianatos will interpret the implications of Trauss’s Bay Area’s experience for addressing the housing crisis in Los Angeles. Rather than fight off new development, how can Los Angeles become a place that welcomes enough homes for all our residents? He will speak about the goals of a new organization he cofounded known as Abundant Housing L.A.
Speaker Biography: Sonja Trauss, founded the SFBay Area Renters Federation, the Metro Observer and co-founded the YIMBY Party and CA Renters Legal Advocacy to advance the cause of building housing. San Francisco, and California generally, are experiencing a housing shortage. Housing shortage is bad for renters (and good for homeowners, incidentally). Over the last few decades, most solutions have focused on fixing the price of housing, while allowing the shortage to worsen. Since high prices are a symptom of the underlying shortage, focusing only on prices hasn’t gotten us any closer to fixing the problem.
Discussant: Mark Vallianatos, Leading LA Housing Advocate
Organizer: Professor Liz Falleta, Professor Dowell Myers, Parama Ghosh Roy