The word that best sums up our year would be transformational — 2022 was a transformative year for East Bay Housing Organizations.
This year we relaunched in-person events and explored what hybrid formats work best for our community. Six of the bills we endorsed in the state legislature were signed into law as well as five local ballot measures. Our Housing Elements Working Group tracked planning processes in 20 municipalities. Speaking of planning, we launched our own 2023-2026 Strategic Plan that will guide us into the future as we transition between Executive Directors.
We could not have done this without your help. All of our campaigns were shaped by the input and expertise of our members.
We invite you to take a minute to reflect with us on the wins above, and so many more, that our community achieved in 2022.
Staff & Board
It’s with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to three incredible staff members this year — Grover Wehman-Brown, Alex Werth, and our Executive Director of seven years, Gloria Bruce. It is an understatement to say that the three of them made significant contributions over their years with EBHO. They are dearly missed.
As we bid them farewell, we are excited to welcome three new staff members to our team — Sasha Perigo, Angelina Cornejo, and Aaron Tiedemann, and our Interim Executive Director Debra Ballinger. We are confident in their skills and eager to learn from new perspectives.
At our Annual Membership Meeting & Celebration this November, we also said adieu to three dedicated Board members who each served the maximum of six years on our Board of Directors — Ellen Wu, Woody Karp, and Stevi Dawson. We will welcome Board member-elects Lauline Mitchell, Linda Coleman, Peggy McQuaid, and Kevin Leichner to the Board in 2023.
✓ Six Bills signed into law
The 2021-2022 legislative session was a little unusual, as it was the first legislative session that began after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Competing priorities battled for attention in the legislature, slowing momentum on housing legislation.
Even still, an exciting six bills endorsed by EBHO were signed into law this year — AB 2244, AB 252, AB 1837, AB 2094, AB 2011, and SB 948. Perhaps the most notable is AB 2011 from Buffy Wicks, a bill which rezones commercial land for use as affordable housing.
EBHO-endorsed legislation to repeal Article 34 of the California constitution also passed out of the legislature. Because it is a proposed constitutional amendment, it will be voted on at the ballot in 2024.
To read more about each of these new state laws, read our 2021-2022 legislative session recap.
✓ FIVE BALLOT MEASURES PASSED
East Bay Housing Organizations endorsed local five ballot measures in the November 2022 election — Measures L, M, and N in Berkeley and Measures Q, U, and V in Oakland.
EBHO and our members worked hard to pass each of these ballot measures. We participated in phone and text banking, distributed yard signs, and canvassed at farmers’ markets and in our communities.
Our efforts paid off! Five out of our six endorsed ballot measures passed at the ballot. While Berkeley Measure L did not gain the two-thirds threshold that it needed to pass, it also received a majority of the vote.
We are especially thrilled to celebrate the passage of our lead ballot measure, Oakland Measure U, which will provide much-needed funding for housing and infrastructure in our community. The $850 million bond includes a dedicated allocation of $350 million for the construction and preservation of interim and permanent affordable housing, the largest single allocation for affordable housing in Oakland history.
For more information about our endorsed ballot measures, please read our 2022 election recap.
✓ 20 HOUSING ELEMENTS TRACKED
Every eight years, cities are required to produce a Housing Element. The Housing Element is a component of the municipality’s general plan that outlines the community’s housing needs and how the municipality plans to meet those needs.
We’re currently in the midst of one of these Housing Element processes. Cities in California are required to have their Housing Elements approved by the state and implemented by early 2023.
EBHO’s Regional & Local Policy Committee formed a special Housing Element Working Group to track the Housing Element process in 20 municipalities across the East Bay and ensure that jurisdictions are working to affirmatively further fair housing. We have been closely involved in the process in Alameda, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, and El Cerrito.
Gathering in Community
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, EBHO created spaces to gather in community together this year. As we transitioned back to in-person celebrations, we worked to meet our community where its at. We explored different hybrid event options and looked to maximize COVID-safety with our venue choices.
This year we hosted our Affordable Housing Month Kickoff, our Faith & Justice Breakfast, and our Annual Membership Meeting & Celebration in person. We are so grateful to have gathered and worshipped in community with all of you!
Affordable Housing Month
✓ CO-SPONSORED 20 EVENTS
In addition to our kickoff, EBHO welcomed more than 300 attendees across 20 Affordable Housing Month events throughout the month of May.
We got the opportunity to work with partners both new and old, attend four building openings, and learn from our partners at educational webinars.
Be sure to check out the Affordable Housing Month recap videos to catch webinars such as Eden I&R’s guide to finding affordable housing in Alameda County using the AC Housing CHOICES website!
✓ RELAUNCHED THE STUDY ROOM
In 2021, EBHO launched our online Study Room, an online educational resources intended to be a deep-dive into the causes of and solutions to our housing crisis.
For 20 years, EBHO had released a printed guidebook during Affordable Housing Month, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to move our content online. With the Study Room, our educational resources are available to a much broader audience anytime, anywhere.
For Affordable Housing Month in 2022, the Study Room got a facelift. Take some time to explore our content, and stay tuned for annual updates during Affordable Housing Month going forward.
Leadership Academy is a free community program for affordable housing residents and staff covering the essential elements to be an effective affordable housing advocate, community organizer, and leader.
Since the program was launched in 2015, EBHO has graduated over 100 leaders who have gone on to serve on local and state Boards and Commissions and draft policy that has been implemented statewide.
For the first time since 2019, this year EBHO hosted a Leadership Academy course in-person, and graduated eight new leaders!
2023-2026 Strategic Plan
East Bay Housing Organizations was founded in 1984. This past year was our 38th year as an organization, and we intend to be around for many more years going forward!
To that end, this year we invested in our organization’s future. We formed a Strategic Planning Committee composed of EBHO staff and Board members and our friends at Lyons-Newman Consulting and, after collecting feedback from our membership, we spent several months envisioning what our next four years will look like. Thus birthed a vision we are extremely proud of in our new strategic plan.
We would like to extend a big thank you to Gloria Bruce, Felix AuYeung, Aziza Crowder, Daphine Lamb-Perrilliat, Dolores Tejada, and Alex Werth for their hard work on putting this together.
Believe it or not, this is just a small sample of everything our team and membership accomplished in 2022. (Like we said, this year was transformational!)
We would love to have you join us in our fight for a better East Bay.