Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 25, 2021

But do you have a basket

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

A few more really important bits ahead of tonight’s first public meeting specifically about the Housing Element. The City Council is quickly following this meeting with an agenda item about the Housing Element on its February 2 meeting. I’ll write about that meeting in detail later since there’s an interesting Exhibit attached to the City Council agenda item not included in the Planning Board packet.

Here’s a great slide which visually shows how much farther we have to go to fill the RHNA allocation bucket:

I’m gonna point to that middle yellow bucket as to why its important that ALL of the City Council members act like adults and understand what their responsibilities to the City as a whole is and not just their base. I know it’s become sort of normalized for elected officials to be sort of useless and the expectation is for other elected officials to be the adults in the room aka “where’s the unity” etc and so forth. But given this is not that big of a town, I think that holding elected officials accountable, even the useless ones, is a good exercise in general. Because see that middle yellow container? To add 1000 units to the RHNA bucket it requires a vote of four City Council people to make happen (Tidelands exchange and re-entitlement of ENA). This includes the useless ones people like to make excuses for.

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January 22, 2021

It’s a privilege

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

The Planning Board has the less than desirable task of being the first City body to hold a study session on certifying the upcoming Housing Element. This is the first step in what will be a very long, arduous process which hardly anyone will pay attention to until the last minute and then freak out about because it came out of nowhere. It’s an Alameda special.

There are a few things I want to highlight from this staff report. This first is this part:

The City Attorney’s Office has further provided to the Planning Board and City Council a confidential attorney-client privileged legal analysis of the City’s RHNA obligations and its relationship to Article 26 of the City Charter.

I understand that the Planning Board will need the insight to make a determination on what recommendations should be made to the City Council regarding the Housing Element but, really, this information should be provided to the public as well. We’re in a place where there is not that much trust from vocal members in the community about the entire topic of Alameda housing policy. Without cold, hard facts that people can read for themselves it’s going to be tough for some folks to believe a Planning Board member or City Council member when they say, “trust us, we have to do this.” I mean, apparently Tony Daysog voted against granting a project a density bonus even though there was no legal reason he could vote against it and he has a lawyer there that has probably already made clear what the repercussions are if the Council majority had voted like Tony Daysog.

If the Housing Element is going to be a community wide process then it is absolutely necessary for the community (or rather whoever is interested in the community) to understand our legal risks around A/26 and our RHNA obligation. That way we don’t allow our elected officials to pull political stunts which will electrify their bases but force others to be the adults in the room to keep the City in compliance. The City Council should absolutely vote to release the legal analysis around RHNA and A/26.

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January 21, 2021

Bending toward justice

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

On Tuesday night while the folks across the US collectively held their breath and prayed that everything would go well on Wednesday morning the City Council of Alameda voted to rename the park formerly named after Andrew Jackson to Chochenyo Park.

There’s a good twitter thread as part of the tweet above which details out the history of how we got from Rasheed Shabazz standing, alone, before the Rec and Park Commission in 2018 justifying the case that Alameda should start this renaming conversation to this week nearly three years later. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing about the discussion. Apparently Tony Daysog was the only person to vote against renaming Jackson Park to honor the indigenous people to Alameda and Trish Spencer got heated about there not being anything named after Spanish words to which was very confusing to anyone with a passing familiarity with the Spanish language. But today I just wanted to highlight the work of all the Alamedans who worked to bring about the change.

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January 20, 2021

People in your neighborhood

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

There’s an inauguration today everyone so Happy Inauguration Day! Confetti and executive orders undoing some Trumpian damage all around!

But I wanted to take today to talk about what happened literally right around the corner from my house. On MLK, Jr day I saw this tweet come up on the thread and thought “huh, I wonder if this has happened yet.” I live in the same neighborhood as the Alameda County DA and so I thought I should be able to catch it if when it did roll though.

Then I realized that this was the loud noises I had heard from my kid’s bedroom window. You see, we were moving furniture in his room and so with manual labor comes open windows. I had peeped a funeral/memorial type gathering across the way earlier and so I assumed that the loud noises I was hearing was a part of that gathering. Turns out it was the this procession as part of a Day of Action honoring Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy which added a stop at the home of the Alameda County DA , it’s worth viewing the entire thread:

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January 19, 2021

National Horror Story: one day more

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

It’s cued up.

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January 18, 2021

Happy MLK, Jr Day

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Pretty sure I quoted this another year but in light of everything that has happened in the past year and the uncertainty of the future it’s worth re-upping:

A leading voice in the chorus of social transition belongs to the white liberal…. Over the last few years many Negroes have felt that their most troublesome adversary was not the obvious bigot of the Ku Klux Klan or the John Birch Society, but the white liberal who is more devoted to “order” than to justice, who prefers tranquility to equality….

The White liberal must see that the Negro needs not only love, but justice. It is not enough to say, “We love Negroes, we have many Negro friends.” They must demand justice for Negroes. Love that does not satisfy justice is no love at all. It is merely a sentimental affection, little more than what one would love for a pet. Love at its best is justice concretized. Love is unconditional. It is not conditional upon one’s staying in his place or watering down his demands in order to be considered respectable….

The white liberal must rid himself of the notion that there can be a tensionless transition from the old order of injustice to the new order of justice…. The Negro has not gained a single right in America without persistent pressure and agitation….

Nonviolent coercion always brings tension to the surface. This tension, however, must not be seen as destructive. There is a kind of tension that is both healthy and necessary for growth. Society needs nonviolent gadflies to bring its tensions into the open and force its citizens to confront the ugliness of their prejudices and the tragedy of their racism.

It is important for the liberal to see that the oppressed person who agitates for his rights is not the creator of tension. He merely brings out the hidden tension that is already alive. Last Summer when we had our open housing marches in Chicago, many of our white liberal friends cried out in horror and dismay: “You are creating hatred and hostility in the white communities in which you are marching, You are only developing a white backlash.” I could never understand that logic. They failed to realize that the hatred and the hostilities were already latently or subconsciously present. Our marches merely brought them to the surface….

The white liberal must escalate his support for racial justice rather than de-escalate it.

And the word “liberal” here is not our 2021 definition of liberal. It’s probably more apt for folks who view themselves as moderate because they don’t agree with caging children.

January 15, 2021

Read my lips: no new towers

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

So Tony Daysog has appended to his Council Referral to run afoul of state housing laws a powerpoint presentation. Click through to the Council Referral itself to download it. It’s a magical wonder of the most visually jarring small caps sans-serif bold font and trying to shoehorn what he wants into existing policy where it doesn’t fit.

This “No Double-Counting of Acres” comes from his Harbor Bay Hotel playbook. Essentially what Tony Daysog is trying to attempt is to establish a policy which says that mixed used projects (aka anything potential at South Shore or Harbor Bay Landing) can’t use all the acreage to calculate housing units for development. Here’s the problem though with that attempt: the Density Bonus Ordinance applies for where “permitted or conditionally permitted by the underlying zoning designation of a site.” Why does that matter? Well, given that we’ve calculated all other density bonus projects using the full acreage and not excluding parking or non residential parts of the parcel, it would be inconsistent to apply a different set of rules for calculating available housing units for mixed use or conditionally permitted parcels simply because Tony Daysog wants it to happen.

After all parking is a “required collateral activity and use[]” for residential developments but in the density bonus application before the City Council the same evening this referral should be heard, the City is using the full acreage to calculate the number of allowed units.

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January 14, 2021

National Horror Story: Historic

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

January 13, 2021

Finding out

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

One phrase that has not failed to delight me nearly every time I see it is “fuck around and find out.” It’s simple, it’s catchy, and it’s typically reserved for those who should know better and then are reaping the consequences of their actions.

Most recently a bunch of folks on Alameda Twitter have appended this phrase to news that Governor Gavin Newsom has added to the budget a new enforcement mechanism for jurisdictions which are having difficulty complying with housing laws, specifically:

Additionally, the budget includes a “housing accountability unit,” which the administration can create without legislative approval, to ensure cities and counties are meeting their housing production requirements.

And more:

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January 12, 2021

This is Alameda

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Apparently around the time the Rec and Park Commission was undertaking the issue of the renaming of the park formerly known as Jackson, these flyers went up around said park.

Rasheed Shabazz is, of course, the person who began this renaming journey a few years ago and has been a reference source for the effort. When I first saw this photo a chill ran up my spine. The words “Memorial Park” paired with the name of a Black man who is still alive and kicking and definitely making good trouble out there was upsetting.

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