Oppose the CASA Compact: Action Items

By Susan Kirsch, Livable California

The CASA Compact, often called a Coup, was developed in secret, benefits the rich and harms the most vulnerable. It will not solve the housing affordability problem, but will further destabilize communities, increase tax burdens, and weaken infrastructure for water and schools. Raise your voice! Stop the CASA Coup. Oppose the CASA Compact.

ACTIONS

1. Attend a meeting. Refer to the schedule below to find out when MTC is making a dog-and-pony pitch to your local mayors, cities, or city council members about CASA. Use public open time at the meeting to express OPPOSITION to the Compact.

CASA Meetings

2. Get Out The Vote(GOTV). Refer to the attached list of ABAG Executive Board members and find the ones from your city/county. If they are marked as "Uncertain" re: whether they'll vote to ENDORSE or OPPOSE the CASA Compact, email or call them (contact info is on the list). Ask if they've decided how to vote. Tell them why you hope they'll vote to OPPOSE. The goal is to get 18 or more votes (a majority) to OPPOSE to send a message to Sen. Scott Wiener and other legislators that the public is opposed to current plans to solve the housing problem.

3. Mobilize for the Thursday, Jan 17 ABAG Executive Board meeting when they will vote on the CASA Compact:

ABAG Executive Board Hearing on the CASA Compact Thursday, January 17, 2019 - Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, SF 6:30-6:50 Press Conference in the lobby. Bring Signs. 7:00-9:00 pm Meeting. Pick up a Speaker’s Card.

a. Forward notice of the meeting to others.

b. Organize a carpool of people to come with you to the Press Conference at 6:30 pm. Stay for the meeting. Bring signs with one of these messages or a message of your own: VOTE TO OPPOSE CASA, NO to an MTC/CASA Coup, Oakland says NO to MTC/CASA, Orinda says NO to CASA, Support your Constituency, OPPOSE CASA.

c. On Jan 17, pick up a speaker card and plan to say a few words about why you urge a vote to OPPOSE.

CASA TALKING POINTS

The CASA Compact is an unjust MTC/Big Business/Real Estate Investor Coup,

1. Designed by an MTC hand-picked, big-city, big-business, pro-growth Committee to House the Bay Area.

2. Intended to sway legislators to abandon their constituency and vote for bills like SB-50 that use tactics of hostile take-over to transfer planning rights, responsibility, and accountability into the hands of unelected regional and state bureaucracies.

3. Blames cities for housing problems; forgetting that cities don't build housing, developers do.

4. Allows big business to avoid paying its fair share of infrastructure costs in exchange for the commercial space, and, in some counties, pay an exceptionally low business tax.

5. Sets the stage to strip-mine community wealth and assets, putting it into the hands of global real estate and investment interests who measure success with profits, not the welfare of people and communities.

6. Destroys existing affordable housing, displaces seniors and vulnerable low-income communities, gentrifies neighborhoods, and fails to meet the need for low-income housing.

7. Inflicts long-term financial burdens on cities and tax-payers for expenses to expand capacity for water, sewer, parks and schools, while commercial developers and big business reap walk-away profits.

8. Creates an unelected Regional Housing Enterprise with regional zoning control and taxing authority with an annual budget of $2.5B, of which $1.5B is supposed to come from property taxes and sales taxes—privatized regional government. How will communities make up for diverted revenue and still provide basic services, pay pensions, and stay afloat?

9. Reverses years of community-based planning in the hands of elected officials and local planning commissions that, while not perfect, have guided sustainable growth through the General Plan and Housing Element while protecting the environment with CEQA.

What’s your choice? Elected Local Control or Privatized Regional Government?