Action Alert! Stop SB 1 – Eminent Domain Abuse and Bond Debt Without Voter Approval

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California Senate Bill 1 (SB 1):  Sustainable Communities Investment Authority

CA Legis

Summary of SB 1

If Steinberg’s SB 1 (Steinberg’s Sustainable Communities Investment Authority) becomes law, what will the cost be to you and each and everyone of us who own private property parcels? I believe this is one of the most dangerous bills and will be the worst abuse of power in California’s history, if the Governor doesn’t Veto this bill. Danger here is the Democrats may have super majority over the Governor’s Veto Power. (SB 1 was Steinberg’s SB 1156 last year and the resurrection of Statewide Redevelopment Agencies, but with a new credit card);

SB 1 includes Infrastructure Financing Districts (Senator Lois Wolk SB 33) and Transit Districts (Assemblywoman Ma or other authors). Are you 1/2 mile from a bus or transit stop? SB 1 allows high density 1/2 mile from a bus or transit stop;

No blight findings are required to take private property parcels by Eminent Domain, so the State is saying our private property parcels of all kinds belong to them;

Property Tax Increments like Redevelopment Agencies would divert property taxes from within project area boundaries directly into the general fund of the new “Authority”, “Agency”, or government entity that’s created, which means property taxes would not go to the City or County general funds to pay for public services, but would go directly to the new Authority or Agency and away from special districts like fire and police protection, parks, and libraries (schools would be exempt);

Projects would have to comply with Steinberg’s SB 375, which connects land use to AB 32 Global Warming/Climate Change Implementation – (My older neighborhood with large lots does not comply with SB 375, so does that mean my neighborhood is not sustainable and blighted?);

The Governors’s High Speed Rail is protected in this bill;

No Voter Approval to create more debt and to create new project boundaries, which could force residents to continually pay for new projects and improvements;

Only Union workers are hired, which would eliminate jobs to those who are not union paying members (Only Project Labor Agreements);

Cities, Counties, and Special Districts can create Joint Powers Agreements/Agencies/Authorities (JPA) and elect a Board that would consist of elected officials, who would than appoint a JPA Director. How many JPA’s do you have in your City and/or County? Power would be power to a Director/Chair of a new Board, who is not elected by the people;

Doesn’t it appear that this bill would give unknown power to schools, police, fire, libraries, parks, etc. and allow them to borrow money to pay for unfunded pensions and private property parcel owners would be forced to pay for this new debt, but not be allowed to cast our vote in opposition or support?

Please contact your representative in the State Legislature, including Senator Pro tem Darrell Steinberg and the Governor showing your opposition. It’s time for tax increment financing to be eliminated or reformed so only those who pay property taxes can vote in support or opposition to an increase of higher property taxes on our property tax bill.

Here’s the full text of the bill:




(Sustainable Communities Investment Authority)

What is SB 1?

– It creates a new government agency in each county or city to extract property tax and other taxes (sales tax) to fund ‘sustainable communities” in California. This is a terrible bill that would allow cities, special districts, and counties to create a Sustainable Community Investment Authority with no voter  oversight to alter our way of life.

– It can issue bonds without voter approval.

– It can also declare rural and suburban areas blight without cause (Eminent Domain on Steroids)

– It will lead to government abuse/eminent domain over private property rights.

– It will lead to increase in city/county taxes.

SB 1 is sponsored by State Senator Steinberg (Sacramento), and State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (Contra Costa County). SB 1 passed the State Senate with 27 Yes and 11 No votes.

SB 1 will be heard on August 14, 2013 in the Assembly of Local Governance. SB 1 is the funding mechanism for Sustainable Communities (aka the One Bay Area Plan).

How can we stop it?

  •  Call each Committee member before August 14, 2013 to oppose SB 1.
  •  Organizations or elected officials send a letter of SB 1 opposition to Committee before Aug 14th.

Then call your own Assembly member to oppose SB 1

Call or Fax Assembly Committee Members

What to Say:  “Hi, my name is ____________. I’m from _________, CA. I urge (Assembly member) to vote against SB 1 because it will violate private property rights and lead to lack of government transparency.”

Organizations Offering Opposition Testimony:

Contact Assembly Committee Staff to offer a letter of opposition as an elected official, or organization. Please, fax the letter since mail will take time!

Assembly Local Government Committee
1020 N Street, Room 157
Sacramento, CA 95815
Tel: 916-319-3958
Fax: 916-319-3959



Citizen Letter to CA Senator DeSaulnier regarding SB 375 and SB 1

Letter sent via email to California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (7th District) regarding SB 375 and SB 1, July 17, 2013:

Senator DeSaulnier,

As co-author of both of these horrendous bills you should be ashamed of yourself. Why are you attacking suburban and rural private property owners? Why are you pushing for unelected, unaccountable regional bodies to dictate local land use policies and allow, through your latest bill, the designation of blight be “inefficient land use.” The role of government is to protect life, liberty and property. These bills are a direct attack on all three and you sir should be driven out of office for selling out your constituents. I am well aware of your roll in ABAG, the Compact for a Sustainable Bay Area and have extensively researched your efforts to push for a regionalist takeover of local governments. You can’t pretend to care about your constituents and at the same time throw them under the bus.

There is a large coalition (over 40 bi-partisan groups) forming in opposition to the One Bay Area (SB375) sham of a plan you co-authored and the SB1 is yet another example of your disdain for the residents of Contra Costa County and other small Bay Area cities and towns.

The One Bay Area plan will fail and so will your attempt to destroy our communities. And your name will forever be tied to this mess. The people of the Bay Area are NOT going to allow you or any other pompous elected official to ruin our towns.

You work for us… remember that!

Heather Gass


Citizen Letter to Supervisor Candace Andersen regarding SB 1

Letter sent via email to Contra Costa County, California Supervisor Candace Andersen (District 2) regarding SB 1, July 15, 2013:


I understand the Contra Costa board of supervisors will be requested, by staff, to vote “yes” in favor of SB1 (Steinberg/DeSaulnier) bill this Thursday at 1:30pm. I have read the bill and it is unbelievably horrendous!!!   I am just letting you know that there is a coalition of over 40 organizations and groups that are now joining forces to oppose the Plan Bay Area actions and the coalition is growing daily. We oppose this bill as it abuses eminent domain powers and allows for tax payers to be indebted without a vote of the people. I assume you’ve read this bill and if not the text and my summary is below. I would like to know how you plan to vote on this issue prior to Thursday and your reasoning.

I of course am requesting you vote NO as this would clearly be a devastating blow to private land owners in Suburban and rural areas.


Heather Gass

Heather Gass

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