ABAG E-News, June 2019

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Association of Bay Area Governments

ABAG E-News, June 2019

Get Out on the Trail to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Bay Trail

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the San Francisco Bay Trail, the San Francisco Bay Trail Project is launching a “Share Your 30” contest to inspire Bay Area residents and visitors to get out on the trail, discover and share Bay Trail adventures, and compete to win prizes. Share this great opportunity with your residents!

To participate, first find your “30” on the Bay Trail – 30 miles, 30 minutes, 30 places or whatever else inspires you to explore the bayside trail. Be imaginative and inspired, artistic or innovative, as you capture 30 facets of this regional jewel that offers easily accessible recreational opportunities for hikers, bikers, joggers, wildlife-watchers, and other outdoors enthusiasts. Then post your Bay Trail 30 on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win prizes like Patagonia clothing, REI outdoor program gift certificates, Oakland A’s baseball tickets, Bay Trail t-shirts and totes, and more. One Grand Prize winner will take home a sleek Norco Valence X6 road bicycle. Enter the contest in three simple steps:

  1. Post a short video or photo slideshow about what your “30” is on the Bay Trail
  2. Hashtag #baytrail30 and #shareyour30 in your post
  3. Tag @SFBayTrail in your post

The contest opens on June 15th and runs until August 15, 2019. More information and maps – as well as rules, terms and conditions – are available at the San Francisco Bay Trail’s 30th anniversary website. Contest announcements will be shared on social media.

The Bay Trail plan was adopted by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) on June 15, 1989. Originally envisioned as a “ring around the Bay,” today some 355 miles of trail are built along the 500-mile perimeter of San Francisco Bay. Several major new segments will be inaugurated during this anniversary year, including a path along the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the Albany Beach Bay Trail behind Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley/Albany. Stay tuned to the Bay Trail website for announcements of future events at baytrail.org.

The Bay Trail Project is a program of ABAG, the regional planning agency for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the Bay Area, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC.) MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Contact: Lee Huo (415) 820-7915 Jay Stagi, ABAG-MTC (415) 778-5208

ABAG General Assembly

Presentation of the Bay Area Metro Awards began the day, recognizing 13 people, projects, organizations and local governments advancing solutions to ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, improve the transportation system or make the nine-county region more resilient.

Launched jointly by ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in September 2018 with a call for nominations, the new awards program honors positive impacts on the Bay Area’s mobility, affordability, resilience and community; and recognizes efforts that make the region a better place to live, work and play.

“We honor this year’s winners to say thank you for the work they are doing and we hope that the winners’ stories will inspire others to strive for excellence in their daily tasks,” said ABAG President and MTC Commissioner David Rabbitt.

Collaboration stood out as a key theme for the new awards program since many of the winners were based on effective partnerships: From a team of transit agencies’ heroic efforts during the North Bay fires, to scientists working to minimize the impact of an earthquake, to volunteers picking up trash from our beaches, to our region coming together to say yes to funding for our bay and transportation infrastructure. The awards even recognized transit agency management and a labor union working together in a training program.

Winners received a specially designed Bay Area Metro Award at the recognition ceremony. A six-member jury that included members of ABAG’s and MTC’s governing boards, as well as staff and a community representative, met to consider some 80 nominations in early 2019.


The ABAG General Assembly opened with inspiring poetry from Oakland's Youth Poet Laurate and included presentations from ABAG President David Rabbitt, ABAG-MTC Executive Director Therese McMillan and closed with the opportunities and challenges housing panel.

ABAG President David Rabbitt highlighted ABAG’s achievements over the past fiscal year and discussed the range of work planned for the next fiscal year. He referred attendees to the ABAG Budget and Work Program for complete details. Executive Director McMillan announced the new ABAG website and said that “The brand new ABAG website is the latest illustration of the staff working together for you. It’s built on a whole new backend platform with a cleaner, more modern look. It’s easier to use and navigate, especially on a mobile device. And it’s more secure and more accessible than the old site.”

The “Housing Opportunities and Challenges” panel was a stimulating conversation on how to address the formidable regional challenge that is drawing national and international attention. Moderated by Brad Paul, deputy executive director for Local Government Services for ABAG-MTC, the lively discussion between panelists including — Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, Burlingame Mayor Donna Colson, Sonoma Supervisor David Rabbitt, and Guy Marzorati, politics reporter and producer for KQED — provided a range of local approaches to dealing with the housing crisis and insights into the issue.

Protection, Production & Preservation: ABAG Takes Action on Housing Bills

With the state Legislature's 2019 session in full swing, ABAG has taken positions on several bills that could substantially affect the Bay Area housing landscape if passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Newsom this year.

ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for the past two years have brought together local elected officials and industry leaders to discuss regional solutions to our current housing crisis. The effort began with the convening of CASA, the Committee to House the Bay Area. Once that effort concluded and the focus turned to the legislative process, ABAG and MTC convened the Housing Legislative Working Group. Three elected officials from each of the Bay Area’s nine counties participated in five meetings of the working group, which reviewed each of the bills on which the agencies ultimately took action.

ABAG thus far has taken a position on 12 active bills, falling under the broad goals of protection of tenants, production of more housing and preservation of existing affordable housing throughout the region.

Protection Bills
ABAG supported two bills focused on protection of tenants. AB 1481 (Grayson) proposed enactment of a just-cause eviction policy statewide that would require landlords to provide written notice as to the cause of an eviction. AB 1482 (Chiu) proposes an annual rent cap of no more than 7 percent, plus an adjustment for cost of living, to prevent extreme rent increases, thereby protecting vulnerable low-income residents. Unfortunately, AB 1481 did not pass the Assembly by the May 31 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin. To ensure passage, AB 1482 was substantially amended to exempt many more units and set a three-year time limit on the law.

Production Bills
ABAG has taken positions on eight currently active bills that aim to increase housing production statewide. These include a vote to support AB 68 (Ting), SB 6 (Beall), and AB 1485 (Wicks). The bills deal respectively with accessory dwelling units (ADUs), a statewide surplus land inventory, and streamlined production of moderate-income units.

A “Support and Seek Amendments” position was taken on both AB 69 (Ting), which sets small home building standards, and AB 1483 (Grayson), which seeks greater transparency in housing data.

ABAG took a “Support if Amended” position on SB 13 (Wieckowski) and AB 1486 (Ting). SB 13 deals with fee waivers, owner occupancy, replacement parking, and amnesty in relation to ADUs. AB 1486 would revise current state laws related to making surplus public land available for affordable housing development.

The Association voted to “Seek Amendments” on SB 330 (Skinner), a far-reaching and multi-faceted bill that that aims to accelerate housing development, provide housing project proponents more certainty and reduce displacement of existing residents from buildings not meeting the state’s rigorous building standards (other than those related to life safety).

Preservation and Funding Bills
AB 1487 (Chiu) would establish the Housing Alliance for the Bay Area (HABA), a new authority that could place funding measures on the ballot for affordable housing and tenant protection. ABAG voted to “Seek Amendments” on the bill.

Finally, AB 11 (Chiu) encourages redevelopment in the direction of affordable housing by allowing cities and counties to form “affordable housing infrastructure agencies” that could use tax-increment financing for housing and other needs. ABAG and MTC both voted to “Support and Seek Amendments” to this bill. This bill was made a two-year bill, meaning it will be eligible to be taken up next January.

Look out for blog posts on The Bay Link — ABAG and MTC’s joint blog — for more in-depth analysis on these individual bills, including recommended amendments, in the coming months.

Future of Jobs Horizon Perspective Paper Released

Intended as a report to inform the wider regional planning effort called Horizon being undertaken by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), a new perspective paper explores the future of jobs in the region.

The Horizon Perspective Paper, "The Future of Jobs," explores how emerging economic changes might affect the region's economy in coming decades. Specifically, it delves into four interrelated facets of change related to the future of jobs: technological, organizational, salary and location changes.

While productive and diverse, the regional economy is also quite volatile, creating significant strains on housing and infrastructure, especially during economic booms. The paper concludes with a list of strategies to move the Bay Area forward.

The "Future of Jobs" Perspective Paper:

  • Reviews key trends affecting the regional labor market and job prospects of Bay Area residents, including automation of jobs, the emergence of the "gig economy" and an aging labor force.
  • Considers impacts on jobs, wages, location dynamics and job sorting within the region.
  • Identifies strategies on the state, regional and local levels to address planning and economic development challenges associated with a changing regional economy.

Read the report