In the News

July 17, 2017

Now here in Sacramento, lawmakers are considering extraordinary legislation to, in effect, crack down on communities that have, in their view, systematically delayed or derailed housing construction proposals, often at the behest of local neighborhood groups. The bill was passed by the Senate last month and could be acted on as soon as this week.

“The explosive costs of housing have spread like wildfire around the state,” said Scott Wiener, a Democratic senator from San Francisco who sponsored the bill. “This is no longer a coastal, elite housing problem. This is a problem in big swaths of the state. It is damaging the economy. It is damaging the environment, as people get pushed into longer commutes.”

July 14, 2017

California’s housing emergency can be measured in many ways — its 78,000 unsheltered homeless, nearly half the nation’s total; the 180,000 additional units a year the state needs but has no apparent prospect of producing; the tensions over urban gentrification that some are blaming for a spate of East Bay apartment building arsons.

But perhaps the most remarkable sign of the crisis is that the Legislature is at long last on the brink of doing something about it.

July 13, 2017

A bill currently making its way through the California legislature would do much to combat the lack of understanding or hostility confronting so many LGBTQ seniors in residential care. Senate bill 219, by Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would create a “bill of rights” for LGBTQ seniors in residential care facilities, prohibiting refusal or eviction on the basis of sexual orientation, HIV status or gender identity.

July 7, 2017

The bill moving through the Legislature, Senate Bill 700 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would slash the price of energy storage through a tiered rebate program to help this technology go mainstream, just as solar power itself has. If approved, the law would promote energy storage with a focus on disadvantaged neighborhoods and affordable-housing communities.

July 5, 2017

At least 20 states across the nation provide local jurisdictions the flexibility to decide alcohol service hours or permit alcohol sales after 2 a.m., a misdemeanor in California. This includes major cities across the country, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Louisville, New York City and Washington, D.C., which have alcohol service hours past 2 a.m. This puts cities in California attractive to tourists at a particular disadvantage.

We think it’s time to grant the same kind of discretion to local governments in California, and Senate Bill 384, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would do just that.

June 30, 2017

Wiener introduced Senate Bill 35, which would trigger a speedier over-the-counter permit process for multifamily affordable housing projects when cities lag in meeting housing goals assigned by the state. The faster process would apply to housing types with unmet needs such as low-income housing.

In some cities, these housing goal numbers “sit on a shelf and collect dust,” Wiener said.

June 29, 2017

Gay California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) provided a legislative update that included several bills he authored or co-authored, including Senate Bill 179, the Gender Recognition Act of 2017, which would allow people to choose "non-binary" as the gender on their birth certificates and other documents.

June 23, 2017

State Sen. Scott Wiener will be in San Francisco’s LGBT Pride parade this Sunday with a message: “We must gather our strength for the battle ahead.”

Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, said under President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, he considers the rights of LGBT people under direct attack.

June 21, 2017

The tax measure has wide support from politicians across the region, including co-authors state Sens. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and assemblymembers from San Jose, South San Francisco, Monterey and San Francisco.

“These funds are crucial to modernizing and improving our regional rail, which has been ignored and underfunded for decades,” said Wiener in a statement. “We need to get serious about improving gridlock on our highways.”

June 20, 2017

This year, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has a bill, SB35, with similar goals to the governor’s.

Streamlining the state’s regressive zoning and development laws in exchange for the housing we need is not an easy compromise for state legislators, but it’s a wise one. The alternative is the status quo — a housing crisis that’s pricing out more and more Californians.