California’s Largest Association of Local Governments Supports the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative

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The Southern California Association of Governments Votes Overwhelmingly to Support the Statewide Effort to Restore a Community Voice in Local Planning

California – The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has voted overwhelmingly to support the Our Neighborhood Voices campaign, the statewide initiative to restore a neighborhood voice in community planning – a voice that is being silenced by new laws taking effect this year.

SCAG voted 32 to 12 on January 6 to support the initiative, which would give communities the ability to override new state laws like SB9 and SB10 that now allow developers to demolish single-family homes and build six units or more without any neighborhood input or community review. SCAG represents over 191 cities and is the nation’s largest association of local governments.

Our Neighborhood Voices co-sponsor and Brentwood City Council Member Jovita Mendoza said the new state laws will lead to displacement without creating more affordable housing. “As a first generation Mexican-American, I am appalled that I am being told that people like me — people of color — cannot want to live in a single-family neighborhood, that we are only good enough for a stack-them-and-pack-them model,” said Mendoza.

Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz reminded his fellow representatives that the new state housing laws will lead to gentrification. “There is no need to destroy single-family neighborhoods just for the sake of doing it,” Koretz said. 

Yorba Linda Council Member Peggy Huang told her fellow SCAG representatives that “we should not allow Sacramento to tell us what’s best from 500 miles away.”

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative will protect the ability of local communities to adopt laws that shape local growth, preserve the character of neighborhoods, and require developers to actually produce more affordable housing and contribute to the costs associated with new housing.

The initiative seeks to qualify for the November 2022 ballot, and is actively gathering signatures across the state. 

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