Alameda County

Alameda County has an opportunity to lead the Bay Area in responding to our dire housing crisis, if our local leaders have the will to act. Local YIMBYs used questionnaire responses and analysis of the public record to identify candidates willing to fight for the change we need. We hope you will support these candidates to help enact the policies we need.

November 2020 Election Cheat Sheet

Explanations for endorsements are below.

California State Senate

District 9

βœ… Nancy Skinner

California State Assembly

District 15
βœ… Buffy Wicks
District 18
βœ… Rob Bonta
District 20
βœ… Bill Quirk

BART Board of Directors

District 7
βœ… Lateefah Simon

California State Ballot Propositions

Prop 15
βœ… Yes
Prop 19
βœ… Yes

Alameda

Measure Z
βœ… Yes

Berkeley

City Council, District 2
βœ… Terry Taplin (1)
βœ… Alex Sharenko (2)

Oakland

City Council, At-Large
βœ… Derreck Johnson
City Council, District 1
βœ… Steph Dominguez Walton
City Council, District 3
βœ… Lynette Gibson McElhaney
City Council, District 5
βœ… Noel Gallo

* Endorsements marked with an asterisk are made by only by the local chapter. All other endorsements are from both the local chapter and YIMBY Action.

Endorsement Explainer

California State Senate

CA State Senate District 9

Alameda County, Contra Costa County

Nancy Skinner

Nancy Skinner has successfully passed some of the biggest pro-housing legislation of the past five years. Her work to advance housing across the state has put the entire state on a better trajectory for the coming decade and her influence cannot be understated.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

California State Assembly

CA State Assembly District 15

Portions of northern Alameda and western Contra Costa counties

Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks has been a titan for housing in California’s State Assembly. When she was blocked from voting remotely, Wicks brought her still-nursing newborn to the Assembly floor to cast a dramatic vote for housing. No one will fight harder for an affordable California than Buffy.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 18

Cities of Alameda, San Leandro, and most of Oakland in Alameda county

Rob Bonta

“I often worry about my children being able to afford their own home. I have been very fortunate to be a homeowner, mostly out of dumb luck and stretching with my wife to purchase a starter home 20 years go. And while this makes the issue of housing deeply personal to me, it’s the same story for millions of Californians. It’s the story of working families, retired seniors, multi-generational families pulling together, and millennials trying afford to live every day. The middle class can’t afford to live in California. In my own district where my constituents have given me the honor and privilege of fighting for them, I’ve seen entire communities destroyed and displaced. I take very personally the pain and anguish my constituents are feeling during this housing and homelessness crisis.”

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 20

Portions of central and southern Alameda county

Bill Quirk

“Housing policy IS climate policy. As a former climate change scientist, reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our 2030 mandate has been my goal since assuming office. We must make significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are being planned and built if we want to achieve our goal. We need more affordable, denser housing being built near transit, jobs, and services to reduce our carbon footprint. In order to solve our climate crisis we must address the housing crisis.”

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 25

Portions of southern Alameda and northeastern Santa Clara counties

Alex Lee

Alex Lee has worked as a Legislative Policy Advisor in the California State Senate and Assembly working on issues including housing, public safety, education and climate change. He believes housing is a human right and that the state must work towards building affordable housing faster, building stronger tenant protections, and take advantage of underused lots for mixed-use and mixed-income housing. He was a strong supporter of SB 50 and champions transit-oriented policies.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

California State Ballot Propositions

βœ… YES

Proposition 15: Schools & Communities First

Proposition 15 will get rid of property tax breaks for big businesses, and put billions of dollars towards schools and local services.

Currently, thanks to 1978’s Prop 13, owners pay property taxes based on the price they originally paid for that real estateβ€”typically a lot less than what it’s worth today. Prop 15 will roll this back for many large businesses, raising property taxes to be assessed based on the property’s current (probably much higher) market value. Prop 15 will raise approximately $6.5 to $11.5 billion β€” 60% for cities, counties and special districts, and 40% for schools and community colleges. Homeowners and businesses with under $3 million in California property will be exempted, along with farm land.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

βœ… YES

Proposition 19: Changes Some Property Tax Transfers and Exemptions

Proposition 19 adjusts the rules of 1978’s Proposition 13. While many YIMBYs would like to see major reform to Prop 13, this is a small adjustment to California’s property tax rules. Prop 19 reduces tax subsidies for people who inherit multiple homes, and shifts them to people downsizing homes or who are moving due to natural disasters. Any excess tax revenue from reducing the multiple-homes subsidy goes to wildfire protection.

Currently, for homeowners who want to downsize to a smaller home, if it costs more than the original price of their big home, they can end up paying more taxes (depending on their county’s rules). Prop 19 makes sure that people who are down-sizing homes are protected from tax increases. Ideally, this allows long-time homeowners to downsize and allow others who need more space to move into their larger homes. Prop 19 also extends to people who are moving due to natural disasters, so they don’t face a tax hike on top of the trauma of losing their homes.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

BART Board of Directors

District 7 πŸ—ΊοΈ

Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon shares SF YIMBY’s goals of building more housing at all affordability levels. She has supported transit-oriented development projects with housing on BART land and was elected by her colleagues to serve as BART Board President this year. We would like Lateefah Simon to continue being a steady hand with a vision for convenient, equitable transportation and widely affordable housing.

Endorsed by SF YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Berkeley

Berkeley City Council

District 2 – first choice

Terry Taplin

“When my husband and I lost our rent-controlled apartment weeks before our wedding, we had to crash with my mom for a few days. When I came out to her as gay, she kicked us out and we became temporally homeless because we couldn’t find anyplace that we could afford at the time. People are struggling, and we need to help them.

“I have advocated for housing construction, transit oriented development and compact growth, affordable housing, and tenant protections. We must address the housing shortage with an all-of-the-above mindset.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

Berkeley City Council

District 2 – second choice

Alex Sharenko

“To solve our linked housing and climate crises we need to build more housing in the Bay Area. This is why I co-founded the all volunteer organization Berkeley Neighbors for Housing and Climate Action (BNHCA) in order to advocate for shared solutions to these issues. I’ve advocated for more homes in my community in op-eds in local papers, at City Council meetings and as a City Commissioner because I know that to build a more equitable, fossil fuel free future we need more places for people to live near jobs and public transit.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

Oakland

Oakland City Council

At-large

Derreck Johnson

Derrick Johnson grew up in West Oakland’s Acorn Projects with a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. He has lived the struggles so many face when it comes to rising housing costs and has seen friends and family members forced out of the City, and sometimes onto the streets, due to a lack of affordability. Derrick believes deeply in building housing, affordable at all levels, throughout the city, especially in exclusionary neighborhoods, and is dedicated to upzoning more of the city to bring more duplexes, triplexes, and multiunit housing to Oakland.

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

Oakland City Council

District 1

Steph Dominguez Walton

Steph Dominguez Walton is full throated in her advocacy for more housing. Her deep understanding of past redlining, including in her district, and its connection to modern single family home zoning has resulted in a clear intent to prioritize changing our city’s zoning laws to allow more people to live in β€œdesirable” neighborhoods. She understands the need to protect existing tenants, produce more transit-oriented/multi-family homes, and preserve existing affordable housing. Steph will not simply be a housing ally – she will be a housing champion.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

Oakland City Council

District 3

Lynette Gibson McElhaney

Lynette Gibson McElhaney has led the fight for housing in Oakland β€” we have seen more housing construction in her district than in any other part of Oakland since she has taken office. As a former nonprofit affordable housing executive director, Councilmember McElhaney has spent her entire career fighting for low income residents and housing. She centers equity in all of her decisions, with a focus on how to create growth in her district and throughout Oakland in a way that serves all Oaklanders. As she stated so eloquently in her questionnaire: β€œWe seek growth without displacement, diversity without gentrification and to balance the needs of workers with the needs of neighborhoods.”

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.

Oakland City Council

District 5

Noel Gallo

Councilmember Noel Gallo strongly and unambiguously favors more housing of all types, and supports upzoning exclusionary neighborhoods. He has successfully worked to increase funding for affordable housing in Oakland and for his district. He supports streamlining our permitting, especially for affordable housing, and has a clear understanding of the challenges or regionalism and the strategies necessary to achieve our regional goals. His clarity and experience is needed to further our housing goals.

Endorsed byΒ YIMBY Action.