ABAG E-News, February 2019

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Association of Bay Area Governments

ABAG E-News, February 2019

Executive Board Authorizes President Rabbitt’s Signature on CASA Compact

In a 21-to-9 vote, the ABAG Executive Board at its January meeting authorized ABAG President David Rabbitt to sign the CASA Compact. The Compact is a set of policy recommendations to both state and local officials designed to help solve the Bay Area's longstanding housing-affordability problem by encouraging the production of more housing for people at all income levels, preserving affordable housing that already exists and protecting current residents from displacement in rapidly changing neighborhoods.

Outreach to Local Governments on CASA Continues
ABAG and MTC are stepping up their outreach to Bay Area elected officials and city and county staff to discuss the CASA Compact, answering questions and receiving input on the multi-pronged effort to solve the region’s longstanding housing-affordability problem.

Staff already has met with officials from several East Bay cities as well as with the League of Cities, North Bay Division; the Contra Costa Conference of Mayors; East Bay League of Cities; and the Peninsula League of Cities Division. More meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks with the Napa Valley Transportation Authority, City Managers Group of Contra Costa, Solano City & County Coordinating Council, the East Bay Leadership Council’s Housing Committee, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Sonoma County Transportation Authority and the Sonoma Citizens Advisory Committee, among others.

The Bay Area’s jobs/housing imbalance is at a critical point, affecting transportation, the economy and the ability of future generations to live and thrive in the region.

All interest groups are encouraged to participate in the upcoming CASA outreach meetings and to weigh in as the process continues. For more information about outreach meetings, contact Rebecca Long, Manager, Government Relations, (415) 778-5289.

About CASA and the CASA Compact
The CASA Compact is a 10-point set of policy recommendations to both state and local officials designed to help solve the Bay Area housing crisis by encouraging the production of more housing for people at all income levels, preserving affordable housing that already exists, and protecting current residents from displacement in rapidly-changing neighborhoods.-affordability problem. The 21-member CASA steering committee, consisting of representatives from a myriad of sectors met for 18 months to develop the plan, which forms a cornerstone for both ABAG’s and MTC’s 2019 state legislative program. The complete Compact can be found here.

CASA was led by three Co-Chairs: Fred Blackwell of The San Francisco Foundation; Leslye Corsiglia of Silicon Valley at Home; and Michael Covarrubias of TMG Partners. It is structured around a Steering Committee and Technical Committee composed of local elected officials, thought leaders, and policy experts from across the region. The CASA effort was supported by the consolidated ABAG and MTC staff and a team of consultants. More information about CASA is available on the website.

New Executive Director

Therese Watkins McMillan was named in January as the new top executive for ABAG and MTC. She currently serves as the Chief Planning Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and will replace Steve Heminger, who is retiring this month after serving as MTC's Executive Director since January 2001 and as ABAG's Executive Director since July 2017.

McMillan is no stranger to the Bay Area or to MTC, having worked for 25 years a member of the Commission staff, and for more than eight years as MTC's Deputy Executive Director for Policy before her 2009 appointment by then-President Barack Obama to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. McMillan subsequently served as Acting FTA Administrator from March 2014 to March 2016 before taking the position as LA Metro's Planning Chief in April 2016.

McMillan received her Bachelor of Science degree from U.C. Davis in 1981, a Master's degree in Civil Engineering Science from U.C. Berkeley in 1983, and a Master's in City and Regional Planning from U.C. Berkeley in 1984.

ABAG Elects New Vice President

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin was elected to serve as ABAG’s new vice president at January’s Executive Board meeting. He will serve with ABAG President and Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt until January 2020. Arreguin replaces Greg Scharff, who was termed out of office as a Palo Alto City Councilmember.

Berkeley voters elected Arreguin as Mayor in 2016, after he had served on the City Council for eight years. He previously was a member of Berekley’s Rent Stabilization Board and its Housing Advisory Commission.

BayREN Program Wins Prestigious National Energy Efficiency Award

The ABAG-adminstered BayREN Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program (BAMBE) has won a prestigious national award for its work. BAMBE focuses on energy efficiency retrofits and offers no-cost consulting and cash rebates for multifamily properties with five or more attached dwelling units. Alameda County's StopWaste leads the program.

The nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy cited BAMBE as an exemplary program. The award recognizes effectiveness and innovation, and is given only once every five years. This the first time BAMBE has been recognized.

BAMBE's work saves the equivalent of the amount of carbon dioxide it takes to charge 198 million cell phones annually, or the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced to power 3.8 million cars each year.

The BAMBE program serves the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and supports efficiency improvements designed to save 15 percent or more of a building's energy and water usage. It provides a $750 per unit rebate to help pay for the upgrades. Natural gas and electricity, heating, cooling, domestic hot-water equipment, lighting fixtures and appliances are among the areas where energy savings can be found.

The BAMBE program's no-cost consulting includes onsite energy audits, scope development, project cash-flow analysis, procurement and construction oversight, post-construction verification and referrals to incentive and financing programs.

Since 2013, the program has helped upgrade over 31,000 units at 458 properties, providing over $22.5 million in rebates and technical assistance to more than 80,000 units across the Bay Area. More information about BayREN and BAMBE is available at the website.

Grant Funding Available Through SB2

Beginning in March, local governments can apply for SB2 (The Building Jobs and Homes Act) grant funding. Eligible activities include updates to general and specific plans, updates to zoning ordinances, and process improvements that expedite planning approval for housing development.

ABAG/MTC housing staff can assist in generating ideas for grant proposals, and can facilitate collaboration ahead of the March release of the applications. Please contact Ada Chan, ABAG/MTC Regional Planner or Darryle Ulama, HCD Fellow with ABAG/MTC for more information or to seek opportunities to partner with other communities.

SB2 is the first permanent source of state funding dedicated to helping local governments increase housing production. Administered by HCD, the program is funded by fees levied on certain real estate transactions and is expected to generate $250 to $300 million annually.

More information on about this grant opportunity is available on ABAG’s website or the HCD website.

Regional Agencies Seek Photo and Video Submissions from Youth

Agencies Hold First Art Contest Focused on Climate Change

Please share this opportunity with your young people. ABAG and MTC are asking for youth to picture the future through the first-ever Art on the Horizon: Youth Confronting Climate Change photo and video contest. Asking the question, “What can you do to stop climate change?” the contest asks young people in the Bay Area ages 13-23 to submit photos and videos that communicate what you, including your family, friends and the community at large, can do to combat climate change. The contest is open now and closes on Friday, March 22, 2019.

The artwork must be submitted via this online form, must be either video or photograph, address the contest theme and must not contain identifiable persons. For participants under the age of 18, a parental consent form must be submitted.

Do You Love the San Francisco Bay (and Delta)?

Did you join in to show your support of estuaries, like our San Francisco Bay-Delta with the joint, 3-day “I heart estuaries” social media campaign. It spread the love for our great natural resource on February 12th, 13th and 14th!

This effort is put on to demonstrate support for key programs that benefit estuaries and to raise awareness by Restore America’s Estuaries, the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, and the Association of National Estuary Programs. In the Bay Area, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership is a participating sponsor. Images of the San Francisco Bay and Delta showed in the lobby of 375 Beale. View the slide show


(All meetings unless identified will be at the Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco 94105)

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    ABAG POWER Executive Committee
    Tamalpais CR 7102, 7th Fl.

  • Friday, February 22, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority
    Board Room CR 110

  • Thursday, March 7, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
    Advancing California Finance Authority Credit Committee
    Golden Gate CR 8102, 8th Fl

  • Thursday, March 14, 2019, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    San Francisco Bay Trail Steering Committee
    Tamalpais CR 7102, 7th Fl

  • Thursday, March 21, 2019
    Legislative Committee, 5:00 p.m.*
    Finance Committee, 5:05 p.m. or immediately after preceding meeting has concluded
    Advancing California Finance Authority Governing Board, in conjunction with the Finance Committee
    Executive Board, 7:00 p.m.
    Board Room CR 110
    *The Legislation Committee meeting may occur in conjunction with MTC’s Legislation Committee. Please check the website for confirmation.