SB 608 Action Alert
Senator Carol Liu has authored legislation entitled “Homeless Right to Rest” act that while intended to be protective, likely will result in the opposite, encouraging detrimental yet protected activities within our BID areas. The CDA Board of Directors is in communication with various entities in Los Angeles and around the state discussing this issue and taking action.
Our position, is to OPPOSE this proposal. It is essentially a rehash of AB 5 which we opposed last year along with many CDA members, and thankfully was soundly defeated.
Clicking this link will provide you with a one page summary of the bill. Note that it states that there is no opposition, but since this summary was prepared the California BID community has mobilized and many of our members already have sent opposition letters.
We are urging all CDA members to please write to State Senator Carol Liu’s office to oppose SB 608. A sample letter template for you to put on your BID letterhead and fill in your specific information can be accessed by clicking here.
Note that the bill will first be heard and discussed by the State’s Housing and Transportation Committee on April 7 in Sacramento. Several CDA members are expected to attend and we encourage you to go if at all possible.
In addition, CDA member Los Angeles Downtown Center BID has taken the initiative to set up an in-person meeting with Senator Liu in her Glendale district office on April 17, at which at least one CDA board member will be present.
We will update you as information is forthcoming. In the meantime, please send your letter to Sen Liu before April 7 and copy firstname.lastname@example.org so we are aware of all the letters sent.
AB 5 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act
“HOMELESS PERSON’S BILL OF RIGHTS”
Bill creates a new “Protected Class of Citizen – those who are homeless; perceived homeless and those that live in a residential hotel.” The bill also specifically disallows local ordinances unless specific requirements are met and targets BID employees from being able to appropriately manage homeless issues in public space.
Read the legislation by clicking here, as Amended April 30, 2013.
This sweeping law proposes to amend multiple areas of statute to create a new protected class of individuals and confer them a wide variety of “rights,” including the right to access and occupy virtually any public space in the state, including sidewalks, parks, and bus stops and plazas in our Downtowns, just to name a few.
The bill specifically prohibits BID “agents,” and local law enforcement from restricting homeless individuals conducting certain activities in public spaces (such as sleeping).
As the Sacramento Bee editorialized, this bill would create a “nightmare scenario” wherein businesses are powerless to remove homeless individuals from impeding their daily activities.
We are working with a coalition of business groups, property owners, small business advocates, and local government groups to explain how this bill will negatively impact public spaces in the state.
The bill has already passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a strict party line vote of 7-3 (all Democrats voting “aye;” all Republicans voting “no.”)
The bill next moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it has been tagged with a fiscal impact. The bill is expected to move to the Suspense File at the committee hearing on May 15.
We ask that you please send members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee a letter of opposition; furthermore set up a meeting to educate any of the committee member with which you have personal relationship or have a bid in the district.
Below you will find the CDA Letter of Opposition to the bill as well as letters from other groups helping us work the bill. You will also find an example letter to the committee.
Click here to visit the Action Alert page.
CDA Legislative Victories
The California Downtown Association (CDA) had several significant legislative victories in 2012:
CDA is extremely pleased to announce that one of the bills that was signed by Governor Brown is a reform measure which helped move forward, SB 1186 (Steinberg/Dutton). This bill will curb lawsuit abuse regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) while promoting increased compliance with disabled accessibility building codes. This is the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan effort, that included leadership from state level elected officials Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), with federal support coming from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). This bill is being hailed as the most comprehensive and significant reform to California’s ADA Law. It passed the Legislature by a two-thirds vote in the wee hours of Friday night. Currently, California has 40 percent of the nation’s ADA lawsuits but only 12 percent of the country’s disabled population.
CDA was also able to stop a few bills which would have imposed unacceptable changes to BIDs/PBIDs. AB 2265 (Hernandez; D-Baldwin Park) would have restricted who could manage a district preventing many management firms from – some currently running a district – from being awarded a contract. This bill would have limited who could be hired to manage the districts, restricting our ability to pick the most qualified individual/firm. After a big push by the CDA to educate lawmakers about the damaging impacts of this policy, the legislation was withdrawn from committee and is dead.
Another bill that would have imposed unnecessary changes on districts was SB 949 (Vargas; D-San Diego). This would have allowed for the creation of Community Benefit Districts (CBDs), which were essentially PBIDs, but with significantly lower petition support requirements. It would have also allowed assessment of noncommercial land uses including residential, and have allowed a 20-year district term – much longer than what is currently permissible. It was promoted as new legislation that would mitigate the impact from the loss of redevelopment. However, because the bill was not vetted by CDA members prior to its introduction, there were a number of concerns and potential consequences of the language including changing the vote threshold needed to formulate a district and adding new types of residential properties.
Lastly, although CDA did formerly oppose AB 904 (Skinner; D-Berkeley), its Government Affairs Committee worked with the author to address a number of issues with the bill that would have an impact on downtowns. This bill sought to reduce parking requirements for affordable housing projects in certain urban areas. CDA’s concern was that it could have had a negative impact on existing and future commercial projects by spillover of parking from residential projects without enough parking. CDA continues to work with the League of Cities and the author to craft solutions to the bill should it get reintroduced next year.
The California Downtown Association represents thousands of diversified businesses organizations throughout California within its network of downtown associations, cities, chambers of commerce, business districts, supportive vendors and consultants. Its primary purpose is to exchange information pertinent to business districts and to formulate solutions to mutually shared problems. Established in 1971, CDA currently represent the concerns and interests of over 200 downtown professionals and organizations throughout California, many of which are property-based business improvement districts (PBIDs) – a key part of its membership, while its legislative program is meant to further and advance these goals by addressing proposed changes in law that would affect its membership.
Redevelopment Elimination Watch
- Redevelopment activities and funds support about $304,000 jobs annually, including 170,600 construction jobs.
- Redevelopment efforts contribute more than $40 billion to California’s economy through generation of goods and services.
- More than $2 billion in local and state taxes are generated through redevelopment activities each year.
Learn more about RDAs, the proposed budget, and what you can do to help:
News & Upcoming Hearings
California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee on State Administration: 2:00 p.m., February 7, 2011 Overview and discussion of the Administration’s proposal to eliminate Enterprise Zones and Redevelopment Agencies. The California Business Properties Association will present and work with a coalition of business groups and local agencies to help educate and fight the proposed elimination.