Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 11, 2020

So negative

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

This post is really just to memorialize, for future reference, Councilmember Tony Daysog saying that Alameda should not focus on equity when he asked that the City Council sign on to a letter from deep east Contra Costa Co and Alameda Co. mayors.

In fact he, and the other City Council members, were on an email thread between Paul Foreman of ACT and Andrew Thomas, Planning Director about this very issue. In response to Andrew Thomas asking the million dollar question about Alameda’s values, Tony Daysog decides to double down on the ACT position. Andrew Thomas on equity:

How Does Alameda Feel About Equity? If Alameda wants to support the Tri Valley proposal, Alameda must be comfortable advocating to retain the existing land use trends where the big cities (SF, Oak, and SJ) provide for most of the region’s housing need, and smaller more affluent cities with good schools and parks bear a smaller burden for providing for those families. Does Alameda as a community care more about lowering our allocation by about 1,500 units or does Alameda care more about addressing inequities in the Bay Area? It’s an interesting policy question,
and everyone will have a different opinion based upon their personal perspectives and values.

The question was posed to Tony Daysog a number of times, I think I transcribed another interaction from the same meeting in a different post, but in this question from Councilmember Jim Oddie, Tony Daysog was a little more direct about his lack of concern about regional equity.

Jim Oddie: So if I understand the request it’s to move off of HMC option 8a and HMC option 8a, the way it’s described here, provides an emphasis on equity and fair housing, right, and then this this referral basically wants us to say, tell me if I’m wrong, it’s urgent and important for this council to tell ABAG to not focus on equity and fair housing.

Tony Daysog: I would probably say not focus solely [on equity] but that also include, again I could only speak from my one out of five perspective of  trying to speak for what what’s best for Alameda. So not, to repeat, not focused solely on equity but also because we are an island take into account you know the negative factors that natural hazards poses to us.

I’ll just point out that while Tony Daysog and his handlers at ACT want Alameda to sign on to the CoCoCo allocation which pushes nearly all of the units Alameda would save to our neighbor Oakland under the guise of natural hazards. The natural hazards map from ABAG shows that the majority of Oakland, particularly the part of Oakland closer to Alameda has essentially the same designation as Alameda.

So it’s not clear how Alameda has any more unique hazards than one of our neighbors who we are looking to foist our housing need burden on to.


  1. First, happy Veterans Day to the many Alameda residents who have proudly served our country, including generations of my own family. I hope to see many flags across our city today.

    As to the housing allocation, there are actually 17 factors ABAG takes into account, not just “equity.” Council member Daysog’s job is to seek balance as have other communities.

    What concerns me is how JKW seems to be freaking out at the resounding loss of Measure Z and the impending return of Trish Spencer to the Council. This is an excerpt of his dialogue attacking his fellow citizens who he is duty bound to represent:

    “Those voters were fools, he suggested, having been taken in by “false statements and false promises” made by the measure’s opponents. (In contrast, of course, to the truth spoken by Mr. Knox White himself.) What’s worse, they were scofflaws, having signified by their votes that “they do not support us following state law.”

    Comment by Nowyouknow — November 11, 2020 @ 7:59 am

  2. Looks like Andrew Thomas is the person driving our density ever upward. JKW ( vice mayor ) , wish he would drop that tag, seems to be Mr Thomas’ doppelgänger. And then there are the rest of us. Ugh

    Comment by Tawney — November 11, 2020 @ 8:07 am

  3. This is similar to your post of Friday, to which I posted a comment, I repeat it here with some changes to specifically address today’s post.

    “Equity” means favoring the location of new housing where there are equal and fair opportunities to thrive with a high quality of life. This lowers the housing allocation assigned to Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco which have the most overcrowded school systems, a large percentage of lower income housing, and the most overused parks and open space systems while raising the housing allocation for cities like Alameda that are close to major job centers and have great schools, parks, etc. In my letters of Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 to Council I agree that equity is an appropriate factor for inclusion in the allocation formula.

    The Contra Costa proposal has “less of an equity lens”, but the difference between the low income equity factors in these two methodologies is ABAG’s 70% factor vs. Contra Costa’s 60% factor. Thus, Contra Costa is not advocating against equity. However, I recently learned that both the ABAG and Contra Costa suggested methodologies fail to address natural hazards. At that point it became less important to me which of the two were adopted but that any formula include natural hazards.

    I became aware that ABAG was considering including natural hazards as a factor when I attended an ABAG Housing Methodology Committee meeting in early February. Color coded maps were displayed showing how each city ranked in a multitude of factors. Alameda proudly ranks quite high as a resource area which will tend to raise our RHNA, while also ranking very high on natural hazards which should reduce our RHNA.

    The ABAG Natural Hazards map at shows that there are gross differences in the percentage of urbanized area outside of a hazard zone from city to city and that Alameda is among those cities with the smallest percentage of land outside of a hazard zone. (less than 50%) The obvious reason for this poor ranking is sea level rise. Every inch of our City will be seriously impacted. That is primarily what makes Alameda different. Very few cities have so much of their land area subject to a specific and inevitable threat. A new state report, led by BCDC titled “Adapting to Rising Tides,” or ART, indicates the current projections for year 2100 are 66 inches with a storm surge level of 84 inches. I brought all of this to the attention of Council in February and was ignored.

    Does it not make sense to weigh both a city’s favorable high resource factor and the negative factor of a low percentage of land outside of hazard zones as being incompatible with excessive densification?
    I agree with you that Oakland has a similar risk. It should receive the benefit of this factor in lowering their allocation. Of course, I am more familiar with Alameda. Our higher ground is in the center of the island which is already built up, so the vast majority of any new housing will be necessarily built in the hazard zone. To not temper our high resource rating with this unique negative factor defies logic.

    Comment by Paul Foreman — November 11, 2020 @ 9:19 am

    • I find your newfound concern with climate change a little too convenient. Sea level rise can be mitigated. Just fess up and own your selfishness. You’ll be in good company.

      Comment by BC — November 11, 2020 @ 9:31 am

    • This is where your CoCoCo county allocation fails in providing equity: “Do jurisdictions exhibiting racial and economic exclusion receive a share of the region’s housing need that is at least proportional to their share of the region’s households?”

      There’s a reason why ABAG doesn’t consider natural hazards, because everyone has them. Who is going to argue, after the horrific fire season we just went through, that fire risk should be ranked below liquefaction? We were all at risk during fire season, not from the fires themselves but from the absolutely shitty air quality which threatens our collective health year after year.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 11, 2020 @ 9:43 am

  4. You twisted Daysog’s comments from: “let’s consider all the factors, not just equity” to: “we should not focus on equity.” Why?

    Comment by tired — November 11, 2020 @ 11:58 am

    • Because the factor that Tony Daysog wants to concentrate on DOESN’T EXIST FOR ABAG’S ALLOCATION PROCESS. Therefore, it’s a non-starter and why is Tony Daysog asking for something which does not exist when the goal of the allocation is around regional equity? It’s literally in the Methodology Committee’s documents:

      1. More housing should go to jurisdictions with more jobs than housing and to communities exhibiting racial and economic exclusion
      2. The methodology should focus on:
      • Equity, as represented by High Opportunity Areas
      • Relationship between housing and jobs; however, no consensus on specific factor
      3. Equity factors need to be part of total allocation, not just income allocation
      4. Do not limit allocations based on past RHNA
      5. Housing in high hazard areas is a concern, but RHNA may not be the best tool to address it

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 11, 2020 @ 12:38 pm

      • This Very Sound Methodology results in Piedmont (75% white, density 6500/sq mile) and Atherton (80% white, 1500 people per sq mile) adding no housing.

        Alameda is:

        -Much more diverse — approx 50% white
        -Much more dense — 12,000 per square mile of land East of Main
        -Much more inclusive — about 45% of housing is multifamily

        But somehow that “Methodology” says we need to crowd our limited access island even further. Even if Daysog’s natural disaster claim is wobbly — and it is, no argument — at least he’s fighting against a patently unfair policy that places an undue burden on a city that already punches well above its weight in the diversity & density categories. Your (self) righteous anger toward Mr Daysog would best redirected toward ABAG and its “Methodology.”

        Comment by dave — November 11, 2020 @ 2:26 pm

        • Out of curiosity, why is Piedmont excluded? Is there any developable land? I don’t know the place well–I always feel uncomfortable there–but isn’t it completely full of houses and one park? People can build ADUs, though.

          Comment by BC — November 11, 2020 @ 3:29 pm

  5. All this arguing, and yet hundreds of thousands of kids will grow up in the Bay Area over the next 15 to 20 years and politicians will still be arguing about this, and over time the overcrowding will get worse. The rent burdens will get costlier and we will have even more people living in tents and in mobile homes.

    Tony Daysog and ACT don’t care about the emergency that is happening right now to folks who are less affluent than they are. They’d rather worry about some amorphous emergency that hasn’t happened yet because that emergency would impact folks of means.

    It’s all about equity and the more we kick this housing problem down the curb, the more middle class families who will succumb to homelessness and overcrowding.

    Wasn’t the Ghost Ship fire kill enough people to show that our housing policies are dead wrong?

    Comment by Angela — November 11, 2020 @ 4:19 pm

    • Your statements are way off the mark. Less than 5 % of housing provided by market rate developers benefits those with very low income. The City’s own inclusionary ordinance only requires 4%. Instead of indulging in ad hominem attacks on us that distract from the real issue, why don’t we join together to lobby the State to provide direct funding to house this population. It is a disgrace that the richest State in the Union allows these conditions to exist.

      Comment by Paul Foreman — November 11, 2020 @ 5:03 pm

      • Supply and demand. Low-income and market-rate income don’t exist in separate worlds. Building market-rate housing has effects on the whole of the housing market. And what about middle-income people? Of people with low but not very low incomes? What do you propose doing for them? You know the state won’t fund this. And that’s fine with you. Like climate change, it’s just another argument for doing nothing. Here’s a suggestion: get rid of Prop 13 and make long-time owners pay their fair share and not freeload off the rest of us. Then there might be some revenue to spare.

        Comment by BC — November 11, 2020 @ 5:19 pm

        • Agree completely re P13, and repeal would have the added benefit of encouraging older people to downsize, thus adding to housing supply.

          Comment by dave — November 11, 2020 @ 5:42 pm

        • For a study that indicates that building more new housing with not lead to affordability of existing homes in the Bay Area Market see

          Comment by Paul Foreman — November 11, 2020 @ 9:38 pm

        • One study that contradicts others. I can find someone who disputes climate change and say that invalidates your hazard argument. You’re cherry picking. Introduce a real economist into your echo chamber.

          Comment by BC — November 12, 2020 @ 9:49 am

        • That whole measure K debacle shows me that even when we have the funding Alamedans of means will still oppose new housing, especially for the most vulnerable.

          How do you think middle income families become homeless? It’s in the word home-less. There are literally no homes for them to move into with their incomes. We need homes at every pricepoint, not just homeless people. If we build low income housing, but still have middle class families fighting for limited quantities of middle income housing, they’re still going to end up in subsidized housing. I for one would rather see a functional housing market with homes at multiple price points unimpeded by folks who have aesthetic opposition to multifamily homes.

          Why should all of us have to depend on governmental housing so that rich folks don’t have to have an apartment complex in their neighborhoods?

          Comment by Angela Hockabout — November 12, 2020 @ 1:24 pm

  6. Every assist! Ta very much! All of you will die; Looks aubtever there

    Comment by Michelle A. Blanchard — November 11, 2020 @ 9:50 pm

    • Why did the Obama’s just purchase a home in Martha’s Vineyard? Because it’s nice in Martha’s Vineyard, that’s why. Why didn’t they move back to Chicago? Because Chicago is really messed up. Why do people move to Alameda? I rest my case.

      Comment by Martha's Vineyard — November 12, 2020 @ 5:44 pm

  7. It’s not just rich folks who have aesthetic objections to multifamily homes. Many of us who are low income, do not want to see Alameda turn into Downtown Oakland. We moved here for a slower pace of life and to get out of big city living, with all that entails. There are many apts and houses for rentin Alameda and those who would move here and take advantage of the current housing stock are most welcome.

    Comment by Alameda Bound — November 12, 2020 @ 6:20 pm

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