ACTION ITEM: Sign-on to letter supporting more housing

See details below.

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))


Begin forwarded message:

From: Starchild
Date: March 11, 2021 12:55:38 PM PST
To: Casey Lee
Cc: SFBA Renters Federation, Sonja Trauss
Subject: Re: [sfbarentersfed] Inclusive Lafayette Sign-On Letter

Yes, thanks Casey! I just signed on, and included the following statement:

Have you looked around and seen how many homeless people are living on the streets in the Bay Area? Every city, town, and community needs to do its part by removing barriers to the construction of new housing, and freeing up existing spaces to be legally used as housing by eliminating restrictive zoning laws.

The language in Inclusive Lafayette's cover letter notwithstanding, new housing doesn't even need to be "affordable" – a term that when talking about area homes should always be used in quotes! – in order to help alleviate the shortage of low-cost housing. (Indeed, "affordable housing" has become little more than a euphemism for government-subsidized housing built at taxpayer expense!) Because every new unit, no matter what the selling price, increases supply and reduces demand, driving down prices. Builders hate to sit on unsold units, so when the market for more expensive housing is saturated, they will stop building it and focus on building for poorer buyers and renters instead (sooner, if government-added fees and costs that add to the base costs of building no matter what type units are intended, are reduced).

It is a matter of moral urgency and social justice for everyone to be a YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard). What's needed is a culture of people respecting the property rights of their neighbors, and others in their communities, to do as they choose with their own property. Generations ago, we had that culture. If we had maintained it, the free market would have naturally produced more housing to keep up with increased demand over the past few decades, and this crisis would not have arisen. Sadly, elected and appointed officials have catered to an "I've got mine" mentality hostile to newcomers and non-locals. This is really nothing more than Trumpist nativism writ small. 

Now that we have reaped the results of these failed statist policies with rampant homelessness, it is increasingly urgent that we speak out against NIMBYism and the harm it causes. Each of us who likes where we live has a self-centered NIMBY inside us who hates change, hates new neighbors, etc. And each of us needs to tell that internal NIMBY to sit down and shut up!

I live in San Francisco, not Lafayette (although my mom lives in the East Bay and I spend a lot of time there), however I'm just as committed to supporting infill housing in my own neighborhood and city as I am to supporting it throughout the region. My next door neighbors on 16th Street here in the city are in fact right now building a new addition on their building, and they have my blessing to do so. Yes it will mean slightly less sunlight coming into my home. That's okay. I'm lucky to have a home, as are all of us who remain housed. We need more housing.

I challenge all my fellow home-dwellers to think of those living on the street, to take a similarly tolerant and welcoming attitude if someone seeks to build something near where you live. Don't be among those responsible for a young person, a poor person, an immigrant, a senior on limited income, not having a place to live. 


Chair, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
(415) 625-FREE

On Mar 11, 2021, at 10:51 AM, Sonja Trauss wrote:

> This is awesome, thank you
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2021 at 4:18 PM Casey Lee <> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> It's nice to e-meet you! I hope this email finds you well. My name is Casey and I am a Board Member with Inclusive Lafayette. Our mission is to encourage inclusivity in Lafayette through affordable, sustainable housing and land use policies. As you may know, the city of Lafayette is currently in the process to revise its General Plan, which is essentially the blueprint for how the city will grow over the next 20 years.
> We are reaching out to community leaders and organizations like yourselves who hold a similar vision for Lafayette: an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable community for all.
>  Can we count on you to sign onto this letter, and share this letter with 3 people you know?
> Thank you so much in advance for your time and consideration! I and other IL members would also be more than happy to discuss more with any of you on your thoughts on the letter, as well as any other opportunities to build power for a more positive future, together.
> Best,
> Casey
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