SF Bay Area Renters Federation speaker for January LPSF and GGLR meetings

I recently learned (after belatedly reading an article about them in the Oct. 2 Examiner) that there's a new political group in town actually advocating sound housing policy -- i.e. address the affordability issue by allowing more housing to be built.

  According to the article, the group's founder, Sonja Trauss, is a recent transplant who moved here 3 years ago from Philadelphia. She's quoted as saying, among other things:

"Let's do an experiment -- let's restrict growth, let's spend 30 years not building to match the incoming residents. What happened? We have a rent crisis."

  Trauss is, fittingly, a math teacher. :slight_smile:

  The article notes the conventional wisdom is that any new housing "should be built for those who need it -- the middle and lower classes -- not the rich." But then it adds, "None of this makes a difference to Trauss. Her solution: Build as much housing as possible, as fast as possible, for all income levels and at heights and densities not currently allowed in many locations."

  Music to the ears of anyone who cares about making living in SF more affordable and understands the law of supply and demand, and the historical fact that today's high income housing often becomes tomorrow's middle income or low income housing!

  And SFBARF is apparently off to a heady start. They already have a website ( SFBARF.org ), Meetup group ( http://www.meetup.com/SF-Renters-Fed-Testify-for-density-at-Planning-Commission/ ), Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/BARentersFed ), and Google group ( sfbarentersfed <sfbarentersfed@googlegroups.com> ). Since last Spring they've been organizing people to attend city hearings and give public comments in favor of development!

  Anyway, I contacted Sonja via email and invited her to come to the Libertarian Party of San Francisco and Golden Gate Liberty r3VOLution meetings in January, and she responded very positively:

I would love to come to your January 10th meeting, and the January 19th Golden Gate Liberty r3VOLution meeting! I'm really excited you found me. I have been meaning to find the Libertarians in the area, as I think this is a fundamentally anarcho-libertarian project.

  So come to one or both of these meetings in January (LPSF, 1/10/15 at the 4th floor community meeting room in the main library from 3-5pm, GGLR at 7pm at Moksha Life Center, 405 Sansome Street at Sacramento) to learn more about this exciting new local activism.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

Thanks for doing this. I'll try my best to come to the Jan. 10 meeting.
Richard Winger
PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

Hi Starchild,

Thanks for this post and for contacting Sonja! I like her idea of organizing as a group to bring about political change. There are groups on both sides of the build/don't build argument, and whichever side is the better organized and active will better achieve its objectives.

I checked the Meetup site and the SF Bay Area Renters Federation site, and came away with the following quotes and some questions LPSF might want to consider.

This is the Meetup group statement:
"The SF Bay Area Renters Federation is for people who believe
that San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis can be mitigated by increasing
the supply of housing at all price levels. We go to the Planning Commission on
Thursday afternoons to support the construction of high density housing in all
San Francisco neighborhoods. San Francisco is a successful, growing city. We
are proud that people from all over the world want to live here. To ensure that
the current residents can continue to afford to live in San Francisco, and
aren’t “pushed out,” it is necessary to build as many new housing units as

This from a report regarding the Forrest City Development posted on the SF-BARF website:

"Ok got drenched by rain but heard very good presentation by Forrest Hill. [6th St Neighborhood
Consortium] want 33 percent affordable units and Forest Hill says can do 25
percent with onsite or fees to help city build off site. It costs 400k to rehab
1 hotel room and 500k to build an affordable unit." Questions LPSF might consider: As Libertarians, indeed we stand for market forces determining what is built, which means that if market forces call for building only $6,000 a month studios, so be it. Is that what SF-BARF is also saying? Are San Francisco residents willing to invest their tax money to develop the infrastructure (clean water and functioning sewer systems) necessary to support substantial population growth? Or willing to increase dependence on federal infrastructure dollars?