Editorial: Californians say ‘yes’ to housing measures. Mostly because it’s cheaper.
On Monday — just one day after the latest round of primary elections — Californians went to the polls across the state for the primary and general elections.
Though this year’s primary may not have been a nail biter, either for Clinton or Sanders, the results are nonetheless a victory for the housing revolution — or at least a victory for those who want to do their part to make sure it continues moving forward.
By and large, the housing measures that passed in the primary were the right ones. They came down to which candidate had the best chance of winning on Election Day and getting onto the November ballot. After all, the housing measures are on the ballot because housing is a big — though not necessarily a top — priority for Californians.
But the housing measures were also a victory for what we’ve come to call “pro-housing,” as opposed to “anti-housing,” campaigns.
In the case of a “pro-housing” campaign, a housing measure would be supported by candidates who promise to build more housing and to stop and undo the deregulatory strategies that have made housing unaffordable and out of reach for many Californians.
By contrast, the “anti-housing” camp simply doesn’t want to build more housing and is therefore against any bill that would legalize more housing in the Golden State, as the “pro-housing” camp wants to do. This divide makes it much more difficult for pro-housing candidates to get their way and to become the “majority,” as is the case with the housing measures in the November elections.
But the election results from California are much more than a referendum on pro-housing policies. They are also a referendum on the whole “pro-housing” campaign.
It’s been a campaign of myths and scare tactics.
It’s been about housing and not about jobs. It’s about housing and not about housing affordability. It’s about housing and not about building a balanced state budget. It’s about housing and not about addressing climate change. It’s about housing and not about increasing housing production. It’s about housing and not about reducing housing costs.
It’s been about housing and not about increasing the supply of affordable housing for Californians.
But by and large, the election results show that the “pro-housing” campaign is failing.