Yes on Z1: Authorize low-income housing

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Caragh McErlean/Staff

Article 34 of the California Constitution requires that a city’s voters grant approval before the city can develop, construct or acquire any low-rent housing. Voting yes on Z1 will provide that approval.

The article was put there as a tool for elites to keep their community’s exclusive. Although the supreme court at the time ruled it constitutional, it was clearly a tool for discrimination. It doesn’t belong in our state’s constitution, but because it has yet to be removed, we now have to waste our time by voting on it every few years. Ugh.

It’s just housekeeping. In 2000, Berkeley voters approved the construction of 500 low-income units. We’ve built roughly 420, and it’s time to approve more in this increasingly unaffordable Bay Area housing market.

Vote yes on Z1 so the city has the power to do something it shouldn’t need authorization to do — build and approve low-income housing within its limits. And given the current state of housing prices in Berkeley, approving this is more important than ever.

Endorsements represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.