Consider this all-too common scenario: you open the newspaper and learn that a massive government-subsidized housing project for low-income and homeless individuals has been proposed for your neighborhood. Because you are concerned that the project is too dense for your local roads to handle – and you fear that these projects are highly associated with increased crime – you immediately contact your local city council representatives to urge them to vote against approving the project.
Unfortunately, you are in for quite a shock. Your local city council representative tells you Sacramento politicians passed new laws stripping them of their ability to reject these controversial projects and you get absolutely no say in the matter. The project is a done deal – live with it!
In fact, several laws passed since 2019 give state welfare bureaucrats the power to force cities and counties to approve these controversial projects to meet arbitrary “affordable housing” goals. Two other laws – SB 9 and SB 10 – have eliminated single-family zoning in California and allow developers to put up to 10 units each parcel previously zoned for 1-unit!
What’s worse, if projects are government-subsidized and rent-controlled they escape even more local oversight and approvals.
Currently there is just one protection still standing in the way of these state politicians in their crusade to put a low-rent housing project in your area: the state constitution.
Article XXXIV of the state constitution requires majority approval by the voters of a city or county for the development, construction, or acquisition of a publicly funded affordable housing project. Specifically, the state constitution requires the following:
The California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of a low-rent housing project, as defined, in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town, or county in which the development, construction, or acquisition of the low-rent housing project is proposed approve the project by voting in favor at an election, as specified.
Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 2 proposed by far-left CA State Senator Benjamin Allen of Los Angeles would repeal Article XXXIV – and eliminate your right to vote down the controversial project.
California politicians are placing SCA-2 on the ballot in the March 2024 statewide election.
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California and a leading opponent of SCA-2 says “if passed, SCA-2 will be the final nail in the coffin of California homeowners having any say in what projects are forced into their neighborhoods.”
"What’s worse, state politicians know that voters overwhelming oppose these dense and controversial government-subsidizing housing projects in their neighborhoods,” DeMaio adds.
“You can bet the politicians will give SCA-2 a highly deceptive ballot title to try to fool voters into approving it,” DeMaio warns.
DeMaio says California politicians will tell voters that this will be the “magic bullet” that solves the housing crisis.
“In reality a YES vote on SCA-2 would simply eliminate local control and allow Sacramento bureaucrats to force-feed bad projects into neighborhoods that don’t want them,” DeMaio warns.
“Maintaining local control allows cities and counties to support or not support projects that fit with the character of the community and maintain certain standards and quality of life,” DeMaio says.
There’s no doubt that California needs to address the problem of housing costs – but most of the costs stem from costly and unnecessary state government regulations and nothing in SCA-2 fixes that problem.
When voters originally approved Article XXXIV in 1950, the California Real Estate Association legislation committee chairman wrote:
“If you value your property, if you hold liberty dear, if you believe in the dignity of the individual, if you love this land of the free and the home of the brave, if you desire to stop the enemy of socialism that is gnawing at the vitals of America from within, the ballot box is your weapon, the one and only means by which our great Republic will be preserved and improved.”
Those words are as true today as they were in 1950.
That’s why Reform California is leading the campaign to defeat SCA-2 when it appears on the March 2024 ballot.
“Unfortunately, we are up against the California politicians and their government-subsidized housing developers will pour millions into trying to fool voters into approving this deceptive and dangerous measure,” DeMaio warns. DeMaio urges individuals to join the campaign opposing SCA-2 by contributing and signing the petition to oppose SCA-2.