Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 8, 2017

Asked and answered (over and over)

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 7:47 am

Did I promise video of the joint MTC and ABAG meeting where Alameda’s Mayor completely embarrassed herself by doubling down on misunderstood information about Brisbane’s housing numbers?  Well if I didn’t promise it, here it is anyway.

So let me set the scene up for you, sorry the videos are a bit on the longer side, the first one is pretty wonky, but it happens around one hour 11 minutes into the meeting.  This is when staff answers questions about the Brisbane numbers.  TL;dw: the numbers came from the Brisbane’s Priority Development Area (PDA) application.

The first speaker is the representative to ABAG from East Palo Alto. The second speaker is a supervisor from Sonoma County. The person answering questions is staff.


August 7, 2017

Job/housing imbalance

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Oh and here’s another article about jobs being added faster than housing. From Curbed:

The verdict: San Francisco (or more accurately, the SF-Oakland-Hayward census area) created only one new home per 6.8 new jobs between 2010 and 2015.

Compare this to the period from 2005-2010 (which includes the recession), when homes beat out jobs by 1.6:1.

That comes out to an average of three jobs per home for the entire 2005-2015 decade. Which isn’t the worst—San Jose edges us out with 3.2, for example (although their short-term imbalance since 2010 is only 5.5).


August 4, 2017

It’s not getting better

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

Last week the Wall Street Journal blog had a piece on why housing affordability won’t necessarily put a damper on growth, excerpts:

In theory, the high-wage jobs of the technology industry could be filled by people working anywhere. But in practice, the best tech jobs in the U.S., offering salaries in excess of $100,000 a year, are becoming increasingly concentrated in the metropolitan areas of just eight cities, according to new research.

The eight leading U.S. tech hubs account for slightly less than 10% of U.S. jobs and about 13% of overall job postings. But the cities — Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Raleigh, Washington, Baltimore and Boston — account for more than 27% of the listings for U.S. tech jobs, research from Jed Kolko, the chief economist of the job-search website Indeed, shows.

That’s already a striking concentration, but tech jobs with the highest salaries are even more centralized. Among jobs that typically pay over $100,000, nearly 40% of openings are in those eight cities.


August 3, 2017

“Pro-homelessness point of view”

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

Remember that last City Council meeting that I told you was chock full of quotable moments worth your time to watch.  Here’s one from a young Alameda resident during the comment period on the Planning Board appointees.

Sorry about the lack of syncing of video with the audio that’s the way the video downloaded.


August 2, 2017

“At least say it out loud”

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

Last Tuesday there was a piece on Forum about the Bay Area economy, housing, and transportation.  Specifically that the economy is growing and adding jobs, but that without adding more housing and more robust public transportation infrastructure (not just more freeways mind you) the economy may not stay on its current trajectory.

Despite individual jurisdictions thinking that the magic bullet for their localities is just adding jobs, jobs, jobs, without housing supply economic development will just stall out.  So says this economist from from Beacon Economics and the president of the Economic Institute at the Bay Area Council.

Here are a few excerpts from the discussion:


August 1, 2017

I will follow you

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

Quick post today, still trying to catch up with life in general after being away.

Just in case anyone was unclear about the types of Alamedans that Trish Spencer is appointing to the Planning Board, here’s the Twitter account of one of her most recent appointees.  He’s been signed up to Twitter since October 2015, but has only retweeted one thing (actually only tweeted one thing since he first opened his account):

Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 5.20.23 PM


July 31, 2017

Who do you work for?

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

On Thursday a press release went outpress release went out announcing that the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) had approved, by an overwhelming majority, Plan Bay Area 2040 and accompanying Environmental Impact Report.   Plan Bay Area 2040 is, from the Press Release,

Plan Bay Area 2040 is a long-range blueprint to guide transportation investments and land-use decisions through 2040, while meeting the requirements of California’s landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375, which calls on each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy to accommodate future population growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

The Plan shines a spotlight on the region’s housing crisis — in terms of housing availability and affordability — and calls on citizens to join with business, government, academia and the non-profit sector to solve it. The Bay Area must “pursue a multi-pronged strategy that emphasizes the construction of new homes for residents of all incomes, the protection of the region’s most vulnerable households, and the need to advocate for more financial resources to pursue local and regional solutions,” the Plan notes.


July 28, 2017

Brokedown process

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

So that last City Council meeting before their August meeting was quite a doozy, I think this one might keep me in content through the whole of the City Council’s August break.

The chair of the City’s Disability Commission (not speaking for the commission but as an individual) spoke that night on the broke-ness of the current nomination process for Boards and Commissions.  Now this is a process that Trish Spencer is very proud of.  She gets super defensive at the end of public comment because people aren’t celebrating her process of interviewing every candidate or something like that.  Because she may go through the motions of reading applications and phoning people but what she doesn’t do is take the advice of her professional City staff as to who would be a good fit for the particular Board and Commission she is appointing to and therefore leading to some extreme turnover on these Boards and Commissions.

In fact, according to the City Clerk’s office six people appointed by Trish Spencer have resigned from their positions.

Here’s the video, worth a watch:


July 27, 2017

Housing as a public benefit

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I totally didn’t write about this piece in the LA Times because I was heading out of town the very next day when it dropped.  It is about California’s housing building drought which has essentially brought us to the present where the severe housing shortage in major job centers has caused displacement and uncertainty for large swaths of families among our most vulnerable.


California’s housing affordability troubles have contributed to the state’s poverty rate, which is the highest in the nation. It also has burdened millions with high rents and, according to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, created a more than $100-billion annual drag on the state economy by lowering disposable incomes and limiting construction jobs.

Ben Metcalf, the state’s top housing official, has said the affordability problems are as bad as they’ve ever been in California’s history. And the state is expected to add an additional 6.5 million people over the next two decades.

The primary driver of the affordability problem is a lack of home building. Developers in California need to roughly double the 100,000 homes they build each year to stabilize housing costs, according to the McKinsey study and reports from the state Department of Housing and Community Development and nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.


July 26, 2017

And far away

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Wanted to get this video up because (1) it’s nice to have speakers that you’ve never seen or heard from before and (2) this speaker is awesome.

Plus, if you’ve ever watched any City meeting they tend to skew a lot older and a lot whiter, so it’s REALLY a pleasure to get to hear from people who are neither and get their opinion on important topics around town.


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