(Photo: Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez)

August 18, 2021 – The Los Angeles City Council voted today to officially oppose SB 9 and SB 10 in a morning session in which they piled withering criticisms on the bills by state Sen. President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and state Sen. Scott Wiener. The Los Angeles City Council vote was 12-1 to oppose SB 9 and 11-2 to oppose SB 10.

Their vote today means that a powerful lobbyist representing Los Angeles will be roaming Sacramento hallways in the coming days, as opponents and backers fight out the final days of the 2021 legislative session, which ends on Sept. 10.

In unusually strong language, the electeds in California’s largest city attacked the “trickle down” theory popular among Bay Area legislators, that dense market-rate housing is good for poor and working-class families.

City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who introduced the resolutions against the SB 9 and SB 10, said, “These bills are an outrage. They’ve been cleverly marketed as helping build affordable housing and protect the environment, but they do the opposite.”

Powerful City Council President Nury Martinez (pictured above) slammed both bills and lectured legislators, saying, “Sacramento has lost its credibility in L.A. with land use. If they want to provide tools to continue to build, then talk to us about doing it, before they introduce bills to destroy our neighborhoods.”

L.A. Councilmember Paul Krekorian similarly decried the “annual ritual of San Francisco-based senators to try and tell us what’s right for South L.A. or Venice.” Another L.A. council member said the two bills had “a smell.”

Livable California board president Rick Hall said, “We’re very happy that the Los Angeles City Council stepped up in a big way to join scores of cities fighting SB 9 and SB 10. We applaud L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz and his colleagues for saying No to the trickle-down theory driving SB 9 and SB 10.

“It says a lot that the small town of San Fernando, a working-class gem surrounded entirely by the City of L.A., recently voted unanimously to oppose SB 9 and SB 10. As different as they are, these two cities reject the narrow vision of a few legislators who don’t seek to create affordable housing, just unplanned density,” Hall said.

The L.A. City Council vote came on the heels of other bad news for the authors of SB 9 and SB 10:

  • A July 29 poll by respected former Obama pollster David Binder, released this month, showed 71% of California voters oppose SB 9, and 75% of California voters oppose SB 10 — landslide opposition. Binder found that the public does not believe the theory that working-class and low-income families benefit from expanding dense market-rate housing.
  • A Statewide Town Hall Against SB 9 and SB 10 attracted a huge crowd of 1,100 residents from across California, unleashing a major pushback from the public in the face of near-silence by California news outlets about what SB 9 and SB 10 would allow.
  • Full page ads against SB 9 and SB 10 in the Los Angeles Times, which has not reported on the game-changing fine print in either bill, or the broad and growing opposition to the bills from equity, homeowner, environmental and other organizations.

In a statement today, Paul Koretz warned of the environmental and social costs if the bills pass and are signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“These bills do nothing to help solve homelessness, nothing to build workforce housing or address any of the real shortages of affordable housing, and would make developers and investors richer in the process,” Koretz said. “If they pass the California Assembly and are signed by the governor, they will drive up the cost of real estate by de facto up-zoning most properties and decimating environmental review.”

On an upnote, Koretz added, “Local officials all over California stand ready to work with Sacramento to fashion common-sense mechanisms for increasing the inventory of truly affordable housing, SB 9 and SB 10, like their defeated predecessors, are not those mechanisms.”