No matter who you are or where you come from, success in life starts at home. When we all have safe and secure places to live, parents earn more, kids learn better, health and well-being improve, our communities are strengthened, and our region has the building blocks to thrive. But right now, wealthy and powerful real estate developers and corporate landlords control the housing market in California and pour millions into each election to swing votes in their favor. They use predatory strategies to drive up their profits when ordinary working Californians can’t even afford our rent or our mortgages. This especially affects people of color, working families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
To address this problem, we need to fund more affordable housing in Berkeley, among other things. Though bonds are not the ideal way to raise money, this measure will have a positive impact. It also raises significant funds to improve Berkeley’s substandard streets, sidewalks, bicycle infrastucture, as well as parks and pools.
Bonds are a regressive way to raise funds that saddle the public with debt and bring Wall Street into managing our democracy, and we would prefer for affordable housing to be fully funded. However, our communities have long suffered from unfair tax rules that favor millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations. That’s why we support fair, equitable taxes — for budgets that will fully and reliably ensure our children will inherit quality public education and public services, no matter what they look like or where they come from. In the meantime, we need to ensure that our communities have access to the resources they need, and this bond is a necessary step to do that. Vote yes on Measure L.