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Big City Mayors Coalition Advocate for State Action to Combat Homelessness Crisis

Mayors Coalition met with Governor Newsom and state legislative leaders to discuss funding and homeless solutions

Post Date:03/09/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2020

Contact:

Rachel Davis, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, 408.712.9149, rachel.davis@sanjoseca.gov

SAN JOSÉ, CA - The Mayors of California’s largest cities gathered today in Sacramento with Governor Newsom and legislative leaders to advocate for a deeper partnership with the state to combat the state’s homelessness crisis. In their meeting with Governor Gavin Newsom, they thanked the Governor for his commitment to homelessness and housing affordability, as reflected in his recent State of the State with a historic budget investment.

“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s bold call for a consistent stream of funding to sustain proven, short-term solutions to the homelessness crisis, like tiny homes, motel rehabilitations, and other homeless prevention programs that we’ve launched in our own cities,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We must scale these efforts to meet the crisis faced by our most vulnerable residents.”

Homelessness is at a critical point around the state and is becoming increasingly more desperate with every passing week. A 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stated that homelessness increased in California by more than 16% from 2018 to 2019, leaving more than 151,000 Californians without permanent housing. The Big City Mayors coalition has committed to fighting for homeless Californians and will work closely with the Governor’s office and State Legislature to address the crisis through state-city partnerships. One-time funding is being used in California communities for innovative and rapidly deployable measures like tiny homes, homeless prevention systems, overnight warming locations, safe parking programs, and more. 

Last week, the Mayors Coalition sent a letter to the Governor supporting the concepts proposed by the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. Specifically, the Big City Mayors supported the creation of a legal mandate to compel government at all levels to commit to dramatically reducing unsheltered homelessness.

“The homelessness crisis is not going to be a city-by-city fix. We need comprehensive solutions for all of California, which requires that we align our cities and work with the Governor and the Legislature,” said Mayor Liccardo. “We have no time to waste. We are here today to say that we are ready, willing, and already underway with the life-saving work that thousands of our homeless residents critically need.”

The Big City Mayors is a coalition of Mayors across California’s 13 largest cities. Members include Mayors from Los Angeles, San Diego, San José, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Stockton.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti - Los Angeles

“Angelenos are mobilizing every resource to confront the homelessness and housing crisis — but cities can’t do this alone. I’m proud to join my fellow mayors in Sacramento as we call for California to make a permanent investment in homelessness solutions.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer - San Diego

 “Cities are on the frontlines of providing solutions to address our statewide homeless crisis, and San Diego has proven that we know how to put resources into action. The big city mayors highlighted our ongoing efforts today to Governor Newsom and pushed for continued partnership to help cities get even more individuals off California’s streets and into a permanent home.”

Mayor London Breed - San Francisco

“We’re working hard every single day to provide shelter and services to people who are experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, and yet homelessness in San Francisco and across California continues to get worse. The one-time funding provided by the state in the past few years has helped us create new shelter beds and invest in critical resources to reduce youth homelessness, but we need long-term, ongoing funding from the state to address the homelessness crisis head-on and get people off the streets and into housing.”

Mayor Lee Brand - Fresno

“I am honored to join with my fellow Big City Mayors who are leading the way in finding innovative solutions to this critical issue.  I appreciate Gov. Newsom’s commitment to providing us with the tools we need to help the homeless and improve the quality of life in our cities.  I hope the Governor and state Legislature will continue that commitment by providing us with a reliable, long-term funding source as well as considering other changes that will assist California cities in providing a humane and effective solution to this very important matter.”

Mayor Darrell Steinberg - Sacramento

“I am proud to join with my fellow big city mayors to continue to push for a strong partnership with the state around reducing homelessness. Together, we are fighting for the resources and accountability framework that will actually get tens of thousands of people off the street and into housing.”

Mayor Robert Garcia - Long Beach

“Housing affordability is one of the greatest challenges that we face as a state. We are ready to partner with Governor Newsom and state leaders to build more housing and provide the critical services that people experiencing homelessness need.”

Mayor Libby Schaaf - Oakland

“As Big City Mayors we are a non-partisan group focused on the shared goal to end homelessness. We are stronger when we work together, and we will continue to work closely with Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders until we end this crisis once and for all.”

Mayor Karen Goh - Bakersfield

“The toll of homelessness across our state causes irreparable harm to our most vulnerable and threatens to forever impact the quality of life of all citizens and businesses. We are grateful for the state funding that has enabled our cities to increase critical emergency shelter and short-term solutions. However, this crisis demands continued bold and resolved actions. The complexities call for continued honest and transparent questions. Our cities stand united as we seek sustainable, systemic change. Together we will pursue comprehensive solutions to address root issues of trauma, mental health and drug treatment, affordable housing, and well as the prevention of inflow into homelessness.”

Mayor Miguel Pulido - Santa Ana

“Homelessness in California has grown into a humanitarian, public health and public safety crisis that is affecting every community. Santa Ana has worked diligently to provide shelters, housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, and under the leadership of Governor Newsom, we hope to see every city play a role in solving this statewide problem.”

Mayor Rusty Bailey - Riverside

“Homelessness is not just a government problem, but a societal issue that everyone has a role in fixing. We can’t claim that we value diversity and inclusivity and turn our heads on our most vulnerable populations.  We must continue to work closely with our governor and legislative leaders to tear down barriers, invest funds and increase housing to protect our homeless veterans, disabled, elderly and children.”

Mayor Michael Tubbs - Stockton

“I am grateful that Governor Gavin Newsom continues to make homelessness and housing a priority for his administration. In doing so, he has provided cities like Stockton and others a myriad of options to combat this crisis. The governor has called upon the Big 13 to lead by example by aggressively working with the state to find unique solutions such as using surplus state property to build affordable housing or providing individuals experiencing homelessness with mobile trailers for shelter. Both the mayors in the Big 13 and the governor understand that the challenges we face today are decades in the making, but our solutions must be urgent.”

Mayor Harry Sidhu - Anaheim

“Anaheim shows how Sacramento’s investment in addressing homelessness is changing lives and changing life in one of California’s great cities. Utilizing a direct allocation of state funding, we have helped hundreds off our streets and restored parks, streets, and other public places. But there is still work to be done. With a proven formula of daily outreach, shelters, services, and affordable housing, we look forward to continuing our partnership with California and leading our region in addressing this statewide issue.”

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