Senator Wiener Responds to President Trump’s Attacks on His Housing Legislation

August 17, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), released the following statement in response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed written by President Donald Trump and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson that attacks Senator Wiener’s key pieces of housing legislation: SB 50 and its predecessor SB 827. SB 50 would have reformed zoning laws to legalize affordable housing and multifamily housing across California in areas connected to good jobs and transit. 

Trump and Carson’s op-ed attacked efforts from Democrats to desegregate housing. They lament that "a relentless push for more high-density housing in single-family residential neighborhoods, has become the mainstream goal of the left." They then list all of the laws passed to make it legal to build affordable housing in places like Minnesota and Oregon, and conclude with: "For the past three years, the state senator who represents Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco has led a push to abolish single-family zoning in California." 

That state senator, of course, is Senator Wiener.

“Donald Trump and Ben Carson published a racist op-ed that attacks me for fighting to legalize affordable housing in neighborhoods zoned to only allow single-family housing. This is an ugly and desperate attempt to appeal to white suburbanites, whom they fear are going to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November. Trump’s cries to ‘Protect America’s Suburbs’ and to uphold the ‘Suburban Lifestyle Dream’ are dog whistles promoting racial segregation, and are completely unacceptable. 

I will never stop fighting to allow affordable, multi-family housing to be built in areas near good jobs and transit. It’s the single most important thing we can do when it comes to fixing our housing crisis. The era of NIMBYism dictating housing policy is coming to an end – a ‘Suburban Lifestyle Dream’ must include diversity, access to opportunity, and housing that’s affordable for all. We will not let racists like President Trump get in the way of housing reform in California.”