Reflecting on this year’s work, we are full of gratitude and appreciation for the EBHO community.
Some of our biggest accomplishments this year include: hosting hundreds of members and supporters at our three signature events, welcoming a new executive director, seeing nine priority bills signed into law, and successfully graduating eleven new community advocates from our Leadership Academy.
These wins would not have been possible without your help! All of our campaigns were shaped by the input and expertise of our Members. We invite you to take some time to reflect with us on just a few of the wins that our community achieved together this year.
Staff & Board
We began this year under the transitional leadership of our friend and longtime supporter, Debra Ballinger, who served as Interim Executive Director. In the spring, senior directors Kiki Poe and Sophia DeWitt stepped up as Interim Co-Directors to lead us through the summer, and in September, we welcomed our next Executive Director Lindsay Haddix.
In March, EBHO welcomed Kate Young as our inaugural Membership & Communications Associate. Since joining the team, Kate has played an integral role in EBHO’s marketing, events, and membership activities. We also celebrated Aziza Crowder’s promotion to Membership & Operations Manager in March, and Megan Nguyen‘s promotion to Senior Policy Associate in November.
At our Annual Membership Meeting & Celebration in November, our Members elected three new Board Members, who bring a wealth of knowledge and leadership to EBHO. Congratulations to Cathy Eberhardt, Aubra Levine, and Christina Mun!
✓ NINE PRIORITY BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW
We are proud to share that the Governor signed nine of EBHO’s endorsed bills into law — AB 480, AB 84, AB 346, AB 1319, SB 4, SB 423, SB 469, SB 555, and SB 567.
One highlight includes the passage of EBHO’s co-sponsored bill AB 480, which strengthens the state’s Surplus Land Act, an important law that ensures public land is used for public good! Another big win for our Faith & Justice Committee was SB 4, known as the Affordable Housing on Faith Lands Act. Its passage was three years in the making and will now unlock over 170,000 acres of land for affordable housing development.
An additional endorsed bill, a proposed constitutional amendment to lower the voter threshold for approval of bonds for affordable housing called ACA 1, is heading to the ballot for voter approval in 2024. Stay tuned for more information in the new year, as this will be key to our advocacy for a nine-county regional affordable housing bond.
The success of EBHO’s legislative agenda was all thanks to your advocacy! Our Members and supporters used EBHO’s letter-writing tools to send over 350 emails to 21 representatives in support of our priority bills.
✓ SECURED KEY OAKLAND BUDGET WINS
As a member of the Oakland People’s Budget Coalition, EBHO advocated for a city budget in Oakland that prioritized funding for essential social services including affordable housing.
With the support of the members of EBHO’s Oakland Committee, we won several key commitments for affordable housing funding, including the forward commitment of Measure U funds for affordable housing development, which will help projects break ground faster. We also successfully advocated for the proceeds of the sale of public land, including East 12th Street, to be placed in the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
✓ WINNING $10-20 BILLION AT THE BALLOT
We are so excited to be an Alameda County co-lead for the Bay Area Housing for All Coalition‘s campaign to win $10-20 billion in funding for affordable housing across the nine-county Bay Area at the ballot in November 2024. This would be an unprecedented amount of investment in affordable housing that would have a far-reaching impact on our entire region.
This year, EBHO engaged with key leaders on the bond effort to obtain early endorsements. To date, the campaign has secured endorsements from 127 Bay Area elected officials, over 800 individuals, and 58 organizations.
EBHO’s info session about the campaign to fund affordable housing across the nine-county Bay Area.
✓ ADVOCATING FOR COMMUNITY BENEFITS
After rejecting an inadequate term sheet from the prior development team, the Concord City Council started and completed a Request for Qualifications for a new developer of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. EBHO continues to be a central player in the negotiations to ensure that the proposal is approved next year with strong commitments to transit-oriented development, labor equity, green space, and, most importantly, the three thousand units of affordable housing promised in the project Area Plan.
We are also working as a part of the Oakland United Coalition to advocate for a strong Community Benefits Agreement in the redevelopment of the Coliseum site. So far, the coalition has collected over 300 surveys from Oakland residents about what they want to see in the redevelopment project. The coalition is using these responses to develop our community demands and will ramp up our advocacy in 2024.
Research & Publications
In August, we worked with our partners at My Eden Voice to publish a first-of-its-kind report called “In the Shadows of Eden: Rising Rents, Evictions, and Substandard Housing Conditions in Alameda County”. This report shares the results of the first comprehensive survey of renter needs in Alameda County’s Eden Area and shares policy recommendations for protecting tenants county-wide. This report was covered by The Mercury News, East Bay Echo, and others.
✓ GRADUATED 11 EMERGING LEADERS
Since its inception in 2015, over 100 affordable housing residents and staff leaders have graduated from EBHO’s Leadership Academy, a free training program covering the essentials of affordable housing advocacy. Graduates of the Leadership Academy have gone on to join EBHO’s Board of Directors, serve on local and state Boards and Commissions, and craft policy that has been implemented statewide.
This year we welcomed 11 new Leadership Academy graduates to our alumni network. Congratulations to the Class of 2023!
✓ EXPANDED RESIDENT ORGANIZING
Our Resident Community Organizing Program (RCOP) is growing! This year, two Leadership Academy graduates continued their housing advocacy by joining RCOP.
In 2023, RCOP returned to in-person meetings, where new RCOP members had a chance to develop their leadership skills by facilitating monthly meetings. EBHO’s RCOP is a local chapter of the statewide Residents United Network (RUN) that organizes affordable housing residents to craft and advocate for affordable housing policy. This year, RCOP leaders attended the Residents United Network Summit in San Diego, acting as the Bay Area representatives while voting on RUN’s 2024 statewide priorities.
We’re looking forward to growing RCOP even further in 2024, as we plan to hire a Suburban Organizer to expand the program into Contra Costa County.
Celebrating with Community
✓ AFFORDABLE HOUSING MONTH
We loved seeing so many friends and supporters at our annual Affordable Housing Month Kickoff Celebration and across the East Bay throughout the month of May.
EBHO co-sponsored a total of 16 events across the East Bay, including educational workshops like our “Intro to EBHO” webinar, panel discussions with industry and resident leaders, grand openings, and new development groundbreaking.
Damion Scott and Ronnie Boyd pose with members of the Leadership Academy Class of 2023.
Members of the Raise the Roof Coalition, including EBHO Staff Sophia DeWitt and Aaron Tiedemann, accept their award.
✓ FAITH & JUSTICE BREAKFAST
We had a wonderful time at our annual Faith & Justice Breakfast in August. With this year’s theme Breaking Bread, Branching Out, we invited guests to explore their roots and support systems, their place in the broader community, and the common ground we all share as advocates for housing justice.
We had great conversations about how our backgrounds and faith traditions, or lack thereof, called us to this work and heard inspiring words from Rev. Jeremy McCants and Kevin Alan Mann, and enjoyed musical entertainment from the Black Banjo Reclamation Project. Read our event recap for some of the inspiring responses we received from our community!
Keynote Speaker Rev. Jeremy McCants engages in discussion.
Our partners at St. Mary’s Center showed up in full force!
✓ ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING & CELEBRATION
In November, we gathered for the final time this year for our Annual Membership Meeting & Celebration, where over one hundred EBHO Members joined us to celebrate, vote in a new slate of Board Members, reflect on our wins in 2023, and look ahead to 2024. Congratulations to our new Board Members, and thank you to all who joined us for this special end-of-year celebration!
Current and former staff at the Oakland Housing & Community Development department celebrate with EBHO.
EBHO Leadership Lindsay Haddix and Kiki Poe pose for a photo with Board Vice President Vanna Whitney.
This is just a small sample of what we accomplished in 2023. We’re excited about the year ahead! Next year we’re looking forward to EBHO’s 40th Anniversary, and we’ll be launching a full suite of programming celebrating our founding members, our organizational history, and lessons learned from past advocacy.
We would love to have you join us in our fight for a more equitable East Bay in 2024 and beyond. If you haven’t already, please join or renew your membership for 2024 and sign up for our mailing list!