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January 2019
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association

1st Vice President
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
2nd Vice President
Emilie Cameron 
Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
At-Large Directors
Marshall Anderson
Downtown San Diego Partnership

John Caner
Downtown Berkeley

Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District

Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)

Rena Leddy
LA Fashion District
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Chloe Shipp
San Jose Downtown Association
Immediate Past President
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Arlington Business Partnership
Arts District Los Angeles BID
Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
Carmichael Improvement District, Inc.
City of Beverly Hills
City of Monterey Park
City of Ontario
City of San Diego - Economic Development Dept.
City of San Jose - Office of Econ Dev
County of Santa Cruz - Office of Economic Development
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Business Association-Bakersfield
Downtown Center BID
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Downtown Modesto Partnership
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown SLO
Downtown Vacaville BID
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
East Hollywood BID
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
Greater Broadway District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Kono CBD
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
La Jolla Village Merchants Association
North Tahoe Business Association
Old Monterey Business Association
Old Pasadena Management District 
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Playhouse District Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
South Park BID
Sunnyvale Downtown
Telegraph BID
Temescal Telegraph BID
The River District
Times Square Alliance
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Union Square BID
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Westwood Village Improvement Association 

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Andrew Thomas VP
This week in Los Angeles, volunteers will participate in the annual count of people experiencing homelessness in order to create a census to inform the decisions that will attempt to alleviate this crisis. As we prepare to take part in this incredibly important endeavor, I have been reflecting on some of the data points from the 2019 count.

There are three particularly disturbing facts from the 2019 count that are impacting our urban places, and they will likely grow worse in 2020. First, wages have not kept pace with rental costs. An LA renter earning minimum wage needs to work a 79-hour week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. Second, over 700,000 households in Los Angeles County are severely rent-burdened, meaning 1/3 of households spend more than 50% of their income on rent. Finally, much of our homeless population is our own. The majority of people experiencing homelessness in LA had been housed in our county for more than 10 years.

These statistics apply to many of our state’s cities and urban areas and the implications are very troubling. As wages fall further behind housing costs, the workers who are the economic engines of our business communities are getting priced out.

I meet regularly with small business owners in my district. These owners are deeply concerned about their futures. Too many of their employees are being priced out of our city, and thus have to commute from further away. In many cases, the employees just quit and then find jobs closer to their new homes. Our state’s lack of affordable housing doesn’t just contribute to homelessness, it is challenging our businesses as well.

The California Downtown Association has taken a “support” position on the newly-amended version of SB 50 (More Homes Act) by Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco). A previous version of this legislation was held in committee in 2019, but the coalition is working to advance the bill this year. Although it was significantly amended to attempt to address opposition, the bill would ultimately generate additional housing units that are desperately needed in our urban areas and job centers. Stay tuned for additional updates on this proposal in the very near future.

Andrew Thomas, CDA President
Executive Director
Westwood Village Improvement Association
The early bird registration deadline for 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum is today, January 29th! Join IDA and CDA in San Jose and hear from experts share best practices on economic development strategies, multi-generational leadership, and cross-sector collaboration.
Learn | Attend Master Talks from renowned neuroscientist Tom Insel, M.D. and author Guisselle Nunez along with participating in breakout sessions with topics spanning from RfP writing to placemaking activations. Review the preliminary program here.

Stay | The deadline to book your room is Monday, February 10, 2020. The Fairmont San Jose, located at 170 South Market Street, is offering a rate of $249 USD/night for a standard room for #WCUDF20 attendees. Book here.

If you know a service or product that other members could benefit from, please send the 2020 WCUDF sponsorship opportunities to that company. Forum sponsorships are available for a limited time! Companies will be highlighted in a variety of ways and be recognized for supporting the growth and development of cities. Help us make this event even stronger by connecting services to members in need!
Have you filled out the membership directory form yet? Is your information up-to-date on the CDA Membership Directory? Make sure your organization's photos, contract information, and social media are up to date by completing the directory form below:
Governor Newsom Pushes $1.4 billion Homelessness Plan 

Kicking off the Legislative year with the unveiling of his January Budget, Governor Newsom announced major investments and new initiatives designed to tackle homelessness in California. Contained in his 2020-21 budget proposal are new efforts designed to provide immediate shelter to reduce street homelessness as well as new investments in the state’s Medi-Cal program.  

First and foremost, the Governor is proposing $750 million in a newly-created “California Access to Housing & Service Fund” to assist with rent for those facing homelessness, supporting regions to bring on new housing units and to stabilize board and care facilities throughout the state.  

Secondly, the budget plan calls for $695 million (including federal dollars) in Medi-Cal investments that will boost preventative health care and provide funding for tenancy support services, housing navigation services, recuperative care and rental assistance.  

The Governor is also taking executive action to address homelessness by directing the Department of General Services to identify state-owned land that can be utilized by local partners like cities, counties, non-profit agencies to house homeless on a temporary basis.  Newsom also directs the Department to supply 100 camp trailers to provide temporary shelter and assist with the delivery of health and social services in areas of need.  

This plan comes in the wake of a significant homeless crisis in California. According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, 25% of all homeless in the nation are in California – totaling approximately 151,000 individuals. The Governor’s budget plan will move through the various budget subcommittees in the Assembly & Senate where it will be considered by lawmakers.  The State Legislature has until June 15th to pass the 2020-21 spending plan.  

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
January 2020 Legislative Update 
Downtown Development Corporation Evolves Into Long Beach Economic Partnership
Long Beach Business Journal
The City of Long Beach’s Blueprint for Economic Development, a 10-year plan, lays out specific economic development goals for the city.

L.A. Metro Unveils Next Gen Bus Plan
LA Downtown News
The first look at the results of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s nearly two-year study on how to get more people...

A 'Crisis of Epic Proportion': West Coast Mayors Address Homelessness
Smart Cities Dive
"Homelessness is not an issue in California, it’s the issue," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on a panel of ...

Stockton, California, Is the Most Racially and Ethnically Diverse City in America
The Guardian 
California cities make up seven of the top 10 US urban centers with the most diverse populations.

The BKBIA is Here to Stay Despite Sunsetting Funds In 2021
Signal Tribune
The reduction in funding may impact community events and outreach.

California’s Fires Prove the American Dream Is Flammable
The Nation 
If we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership.

Statewide Upzoning Bill Back on the Table in California
News broke earlier this month that the dormant SB 50, a bill proposed last year by California State Senator Scott Weiner...

La Jolla Community Foundation Unveils Village Streetscape Plan
La Jolla Light
Comparable to piazzas throughout Europe, the proposed Promenade overlooking the Cove Park will be transformational...

How the French Are Fixing a Housing Crisis Comparable to California’s
San Francisco Chronicle
Paris has turned around a comparable situation with remarkable speed.

New San Jose Downtown Association Board President Is Helping San Jose Find Its Sense of Place
Silicon Valley Business Journal
For Katia McClain, Northern California managing principal at architectural firm Steinberg Hart, there's no doubt that ...
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Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region? To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact Allison Shashok at allison@downtown.org .
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