Readers React: You didn’t have to live in the suburbs to see the dangers of SB 50

Opponents of SB 50 warned of the housing bill’s impact on diverse, working-class urban neighborhoods like Los Angeles’ Jefferson Park, above.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: While I have great respect for anyone assigned to report on Sacramento, having covered it myself as a columnist in the Arnold Schwarzenegger era, I take issue with the article that credited California’s monied suburbs with stopping Senate Bill 50.

I run a nonprofit in Los Angeles involved in housing equity, and we have several thousand supporters including numerous groups and alliances in diverse, low-income and working-class areas. Hundreds of these residents fought SB 50, and they did this by relentlessly calling key legislators, writing emails and even making trips to Sacramento.

We saw the support for this toxic bill crumble among urban senators as the impact of what SB 50 would do — destroy and gentrify thriving urban communities — began to sink in. It was great to have the suburban allies fighting side by side with and just as hard as those of us from urban areas.

But give credit where credit is due, please.


Jill Stewart, Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of the Coalition to Preserve L.A.


To the editor: Some issues should not be on the plate for regular folks to decide. This decision on housing needs to be made by the state.


It’s only natural that the NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) attitude will prevail. It is about housed residents’ self-interest versus the interests of the less- advantaged.

The same scenario is happening in Venice, with the controversy over the proposed housing project for homeless people raging on. The neighbors on the canals are proudly displaying “Stop the Monster” signs on the frontyards of the multimillion-dollar homes.

Many of these people are proud liberals. Really, it’s one or the other.

Michele Castagnetti, Venice

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