To all our dedicated supporters, our generous donors, the organizations who have endorsed and supported our work, and to everyone who thinks public housing is a worthwhile cause to organize around, we have some sad news: today, we are announcing the suspension of our signature gathering campaign to put the SF Community Housing Act on the November 2020 ballot.
We’ve spent three-and-a-half years working on this measure and building support with many fantastic people and organizations across the city. We’re especially grateful for all our endorsing organizations — Sunrise Bay Area, DSA San Francisco, POOR Magazine, SEIU Local 1021, Freedom Socialist Party: Bay Area, San Francisco Green Party, San Francisco Berniecrats — as well as the many community leaders who have shared their experiences and endorsed our measure. Needless to say, we’ve generated a lot of excitement around solving the city’s housing crisis through a robust municipal housing program. Unfortunately, as with many other campaigns in the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our plans.
We had hoped to get an earlier start to signature gathering this year, but we had barely filed the measure on March 5 before the City started limiting large in-person gatherings the very next day. Due to state and city election law, signatures to place a measure on the ballot must be gathered in person, and COVID-19 makes that impossible. Our deadline to get enough signatures to qualify for this November’s ballot is July 6, and it does not look like there will be a safe way to gather signatures by that time.
But we’re not going anywhere! During the last two months, we’ve shifted to working on issues related to Article 34, a racist and classist state law from 1950 that requires local voter approval before any low income rental housing can be established. Many of us support efforts to repeal Article 34, such as the proposed California constitutional amendment SCA 1. If state-level repeal makes it on the ballot and passes, or SF voters pass our own Article 34 authorization for municipal housing, there is the possibility of implementing the Community Housing Act through legislation without voter approval.
We have also been working on a white paper to detail many of the aspects of the Community Housing Act, the circumstances it addresses, and the rationale behind the program’s structure. We hope that this will serve as a useful blueprint for implementing a Green New Deal for Public Housing in other localities around California and the country!
If you’d like to help out with Article 34 repeal, as well as our organizing efforts to bring back public housing in San Francisco, stay subscribed and follow us on Facebook and Twitter! We’re still active, and we’ll keep you up to date on our efforts going forward.
Thanks for all your support.
Winnie J. Porter, Proponent
Brett Wilkins, Proponent
Simone Manganelli, Proponent
SF Community Housing Act Committee
Paid for by SF Community Housing Act Committee2443 Fillmore St #380-6252, San Francisco, CA 94115FPPC #1405735. Financial disclosures available at sfethics.org.