On May 27, 2021, the West Pasadena Residents’ Association held its virtual annual meeting and informational program. This year we took a deep dive into the current topic many people are concerned about: our state’s housing shortage and how it severely affects California’s urban centers.
Two video program versions were placed on YouTube for public viewing.
We kicked off our meeting with Dan Beal’s president’s message…
…and then we presented WPRA’s Community Service Awards to Rosa Laveaga, former Arroyo Seco Project Supervisor and to Priscilla Taylor who recently retired from our board after serving 26 years.
We elected our 2021 to 2022 Board of Directors and moved on to our discussion topic: The Housing Crisis: How do we build our way out of the housing shortage, and especially affordable housing?
We started our focus on our local planning challenges within Pasadena, expanding the conversation to the LA County area and then widening the analysis even further to state legislation. Moderating was Avram Gold, WPRA Vice President of Communications. WPRA Treasurer, Blaine Cavena handled the webinar engineering as Tech Director.
Our lineup of introductory speakers were:
Pasadena Mayor, Victor Gordo
Pasadena District 6 Councilmember, Steve Madison
LA County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger
and our State’s District 41, Assembly member Chris Holden
We then followed these four reports with a panel discussion. Our special guest panelists were:
Our District 25 State Senator, Anthony Portantino
Pasadena’s Director of Planning and Community Development, David Reyes
Executive Director of nonprofit Heritage Housing Partners, Charles Loveman. Jr.
and nonprofit Abode Communities President & CEO, Robin Hughes.
Topics discussed were: more production vs the reach for more land, the lack of current state funding and existing county subsidies, the struggle to finance affordable housing, state vs local control, gentrification, communication breakdowns in Sacramento, developer influence and lobbying, and ending with the question: Will there really be a reduced demand for cars in the future?