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:–14/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_1_bill_20130502_amended_sen_v97.pdf




(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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