In a last-ditch attempt to save the year’s most controversial housing measure, supporters of a stalled bill to overhaul California’s zoning rules are pressuring the state Senate leader to resurrect the legislation.
After the Appropriations Committee last week killed Senate Bill 50 for the year, the measure’s backers have come out in force, calling for the decision to be reversed. Dozens of affordable housing developers and activists, labor groups and other community organizations have sent letters to Senate leaders, urging them to save the bill that would bring taller, denser apartment buildings to California neighborhoods. Mayors of major cities across the state, including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, have rushed to the bill’s defense.
Though experts say it’s a long shot — and opponents say the bill deserved to die — SB 50 supporters are calling on Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins to make a bold move and override the decision to kill the bill. The supporters’ swift response shows just how much importance they place on SB 50 — both as a tool for easing the housing crisis and as the glue holding together their ambitious package of housing legislation. They had hoped to present a set of bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has made housing one of his top priorities, to sign this year.