Let’s Keep Public Land for Public Good: Help Us Stop SB 1373

By SAJE Staff

June 9, 2022

On June 8, SAJE and United Neighbors in Defense of Displacement (UNIDAD) submitted formal opposition to California Senate Bill 1373. UNIDAD is a coalition of residents and community groups working to promote responsible development in South Central Los Angeles. Specifically, UNIDAD works to ensure “public land for public good”—that any development proposed for publicly owned land be subject to a community-led vetting and approvals process to ensure that it benefits the people who live there. 

If it passes, SB 1373 would amend the Surplus Land Act, an important state law that promotes using publicly owned land for affordable housing and other community-serving uses. In the midst of a citywide housing crisis, these amendments would allow the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency to use valuable public land for gentrifying development projects like luxury hotels and condos. Even now, the city is negotiating the sale of a parcel of land that is the former site of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch Library, named after a prominent leader in the civil and women’s rights movements. After promising for several years that the Bethune site would be used for desperately needed affordable housing, the city is now supporting the sale of this publicly owned land to a luxury hotel developer. If SB 1373 passes, it means more big development projects like this one that bring little value to low-income communities of color that desperately need housing. 

To read our letter of opposition letter to SB 1373, click here.

To get involved with UNIDAD and the Bethune campaign, click here.