During this past fall season, Brilliant Corners took action on various advocacy initiatives at the state and local level with the goal of reducing the barriers to housing for our unhoused neighbors and justice-impacted individuals. We have outlined the advocacy opportunities that we pursued last season that align with our mission to make housing more accessible for all.
At the State Level
In November, we joined Housing CA and other housing service providers and partners to issue a joint statement in response to Governor Newsom’s rejection of local homeless plans. The joint letter expressed concerns with Governor Newsom’s announcement and his planned rejection of local homeless action plans required under the Homeless, Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program. We also expressed concerns about the choice to withhold critical grant funds already approved and committed to local emergency systems, putting existing services in jeopardy. Two weeks later the Governor reversed course after pressure from the sector and local governments, releasing the dollars while also discussing ways to strengthen local housing plans.
We also joined the Bring California Home (BCH) Coalition, Housing CA and other partners to develop and propose improvements to strengthen the HHAP program, including ongoing and increased funding, a focus on permanent housing options, and expanded accountability measures. These coalitions are working with elected officials to introduce a bill into the next legislature.
At the Local Level
This fall, Brilliant Corners proudly endorsed Measure ULA. The United to House LA (ULA) initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot would provide ongoing funding to address housing and homelessness through a real estate transfer tax. The measure would create funding to reduce homelessness, build more affordable homes, protect seniors and veterans from losing their homes, and create new jobs through a real estate transfer assessment. We expressed our support of this measure via social media, and encouraged staff to join in phone banking and canvassing opportunities in advance of Election Day on November 8. Additionally, our Director of Multifamily Housing Development, Vanessa Luna, serves on the Social Housing committee for Measure ULA. We are happy to share that Measure ULA was approved by City of LA voters and we look forward to participating in implementation conversations.
We also expressed opposition to CA Prop 27, which, while positioned as a housing and homelessness bill, was ultimately geared towards online sports betting outside Native American tribal lands. We expressed our opposition because this was an online betting proposal masquerading as a homelessness and housing bill, and only 8.5% of the revenue generated would be dedicated to homelessness with no actual guidance included in the proposition on how the funds generated would be applied toward addressing homelessness.
Care First Community Investment (Formerly known as Measure J)
Brilliant Corners continues to take action to voice support and recommendations for fully funding Measure J and the Care First vision in Los Angeles. November was an exciting month as Los Angeles celebrated the anniversary of Measure J. The Reimagine LA coalition celebrated two years of mobilizing and shifting the L.A. County budget into one that supports our community over criminalization and incarceration.
Throughout the fall season, our team continued attending the Care First Advisory Committee meetings , and encouraged community members and Angelenos to attend these meetings to continue demanding a care first budget, but also to make recommendations about what resources they want funded. The Care First Advisory Committee released the Concept Recommendation Form for Year 3 in November and received over 90 recommendations. Our coalition partners also launched the Care First Budget Survey that asks LA County residents what resources are needed to see their communities thrive. If you haven’t taken the survey, and you live in LA County, please visit reimagine.la/survey.
Fair Chance Housing Ordinance
We are continuing the efforts in our campaign to bring about the LA County Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which would give equal access in the housing application process to people in LA County who have experienced incarceration. We are currently working with three of the Board of Supervisors’ offices and are in the coalition-building stage of our process.
In our previous advocacy update, we put out a call out for community participation, and are now starting to build out a Fair Chance Housing Coalition that includes peer organizations. Our team, in collaboration with Californians for Safety and Justice, will be developing a fact sheet for stakeholders.
If you would like to learn more or want to participate in any way, please reach out to our Housing Justice Manager, Jose Osuna, at email@example.com.
On October 26th, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) Reentry Advisory Council hosted its very first Reentry Symposium. The symposium brought together service providers, justice-impacted individuals who work in the field of reentry, youth leaders, educators, residents, civic leaders and government agency representatives to discuss the state of reentry in Long Beach. Brilliant Corners Housing Justice Manager, Jose Osuna, was the keynote speaker and delivered a powerful opening address about his experience and how a supportive reentry community makes all the difference.
The symposium, titled ‘Strengthening the Reentry Landscape in Long Beach,’ focused on ways community partners can help people live productive, healthy lives after being released from incarceration. Several of our staff members attended the symposium to learn from individuals with lived expertise. Our team gained valuable insight on the barriers to housing that make the reentry process more difficult. We also learned how we, as a service provider, can show up and support our participants who are justice-impacted. We are so grateful to the community of Long Beach for putting on this powerful event.