Readers comments 7-16-21
A revised affordable / inclusionary housing ordinance
Some of the members of Inclusive Claremont participated in the writing/design of the current Affordable/Inclusionary Housing ordinance and we feel that it has been a failure, in that virtually no low or very low housing has been built since its inception. Instead, developers have chosen only to build moderate housing.
Moreover, the basic structure of the affordable units needs to be changed. Currently, the idea is that a developer builds some housing, with some percentage of those designated as moderate, low or very low-income housing, to be sold to folks who have specified percentages of the level of median family income in L.A. County. We now think that this is an inadequate approach.
Instead, we propose that the new ordinance be built on two new principles.
1. Claremont should designate specific percentages of the new housing that must be designated and made available as moderate, low and very low-income prices. Developers should no longer be given a choice, since it is clear that they will consistently choose to make available only moderate level housing.
2. We recognize that it may simply not be feasible for a developer to build single family market value housing, and then make some percentage of that housing available at affordable income levels, even with support from various county, state or federal housing programs. So, we propose that the new ordinance allow for building mixed housing developments, to include one or more multi-family structures, of two or three stories. These apartments would be required each to be on a single floor, with elevator access, and of various sizes including one, two and three bedrooms, with one or two bathrooms. Some of these would be sold at market prices and some would be designated for moderate, low and very low-income families. This sort of facility would attract seniors who might want to move from much larger, multi-story places, as well as persons/families with considerably more than the county median income, but without the income, or perhaps the desire, to live in a single-family place. And it would be feasible for some portion of the apartments in such a multi-home building to be made available as affordable housing.
NOTE: We are not recommending that all the apartments in such a building be designated as affordable. We do not recommend a building be solely designated for affordable housing at whatever level, moderate, low or very low-income. Rather, we recommend that one or more multi-family structures be allowed to be built in a development with single family structures and that some portion of the units in such multi-family structures be required to be made available at affordable housing prices.
To the editor:
Regarding the police commission’s recommendations on the future of the School Resource Officer, Claremont Friends Monthly Meeting affirms both the process by which they were reached and the significance, locally and nationally, of this reimagining of school safety.
At its July meeting, the police commission voted eight to one in favor of a modified version of its ad hoc committee’s recommendations regarding student safety in Claremont public schools. This followed a somewhat contentious June meeting at which commissioners were evenly divided in their support for the committee’s recommendations. What happened that allowed the commission to finally arrive at a consensus?
Key people reached out to each other between meetings, showing a willingness to learn from another’s world view. Commissioner Margiotta met with the police chief, listening to her concerns, and the ad hoc committee subsequently clarified its proposal. Commissioner Mason opened the July deliberations by saying “I’m open to persuasion.” The discussion that followed was marked by patient listening, searching for the right words, and a determination to advance racial equity while supporting public safety. These are hallmarks of the democratic process, not always evident these days, and we appreciate the openness and restraint of all officials involved.
The American Friends Service Committee recently reported on its campaign to address racial inequity by partnering with students in Chicago, St. Louis, and Oakland to expose the bias of school-based police officers toward students of color. Student advocates were intense and eloquent in their advocacy, offering dramatic examples of what is happening in schools around the country. School board officials in Chicago were persuaded to take them seriously, and to consider action before the start of the school year this fall. The Pomona School District recently joined several school districts in Southern California in deciding to end on-campus police patrols and rely on civilian proctors trained in de-escalation methods to monitor school safety.
We must not squander this opportunity to advance racial equity in our city.
We must take Claremont students seriously when they say that the presence of an armed officer in the school results in anguish and anxiety for many students of color. We thank the City Council for its unanimous approval of the recommendation and urge the Claremont Unified School District to approve it at its next meeting. Such actions will serve as a first step in creating a sense of safety and well-being for all of our students.
On behalf of Claremont Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers),
Alicia Sheridan, Clerk