June 2022 Newsletter

Happy June! Happy Pride!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy June and happy Pride Month! The year is about half-way over and it’s starting to become apparent which New Year resolutions we’ve kept* and which ones need a little more work.** This month we’re excited to share updates on research we’ve produced, student leaders who are graduating,*** laws we’re working to change, and a short remembrance for a friend of CCB that recently passed.

Since it’s June we wanted to take a moment and recognize the 51st anniversary of the first Pride March, which itself was held to commemorate the previous year’s Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. As the National Center for Lesbian Rights noted back in 2020, “the 1st #Pride wasn’t a party or celebration, it was a RIOT led by Queer POC.” Stonewall (and even earlier in San Francisco at Compton’s Café), was a visceral reaction to police brutality, discrimination, and a refusal to be accept being treated as second class citizens. As the Human Rights Campaign and over 100 other civil rights organizations stated in an open letter, Stonewall was, “a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.”

Of course, we can’t talk about Stonewall without acknowledging a leader who has begun to receive more recognition in the past decade, but is still not as well known as she should be: Marsha P. Johnson. Marsha was from, according to her, “Nowheresville,” New Jersey, and grew into a leader in the drag community and someone known for supporting LGBTQ youth in New York, particularly those struggling with homelessness. While she didn’t throw the proverbial first brick at Stonewall, she was at the vanguard throughout the uprising. After Stonewall, Marsha went on to found S.T.A.R. with her friend and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, who herself was a leading figure in Stonewall and subsequent activism.

CCB does our best to live by – and live up to – the example that Marsha set in her leadership. When the problems facing our communities and our country can seem so overwhelming, we try to keep Marsha’s words in mind: “History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.”

This month, in honor of Pride, and Marsha, and Sylvia, and the countless other advocates who stand up for themselves and for others when it can be not only unpopular but extremely dangerous, we hope you’ll consider donating to the Third Wave Fund. Third Wave Fund resources and supports youth-led, intersectional gender justice activism, and their grant-making advances grassroots movements that are queer, trans, intersex, and sex worker-led. We believe Third Wave’s work truly honors and supports the legacy of Marsha and others and we hope you’ll support them too.

In closing, I’d like to sneak in one last quote from Marsha because it’s really meaningful to me and to the values we do our best to uphold at CCB: “You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights.” CCB believes that none of us are free until all of us are free and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, so let’s do our best to be as brave as Marsha in standing up for everyone’s rights, everywhere, all the time.

Adam Briones

CEO, California Community Builders

ICYMI: California’s Legislature Takes On Homeownership

In case you missed the policy brief we published in May, here’s a quick refresher:

Assemblymembers Wendy Carillo and Buffy Wicks held a special committee session in February to explore and understand why California’s homeownership rates are so low, and why this is a racial justice issue. The Little Hoover Commission, California’s in-house think tank, prioritized homeownership issues in its recent set of recommendations for addressing California’s housing crisis. We’ve seen a significant uptick this year in legislation that directly — and sometimes boldly — addresses homeownership issues. To help Californians understand this legislation, we present the following analysis of 2022 bills and budget proposals.

Is 2022 really different?

“CCB Leadership Class of 2022 is out!”

Left to right: Minhal Hanif, who has graduated from UC Davis and is starting a new position at Richmond Promise, supporting low-income students’ access to higher education; Moorea Benmosche, who is a rising senior at UC Berkeley and off to Barcelona for the summer to study city planning; Hannah Phalen, who has graduated from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and is joining Coro as an incoming Fellow supporting public housing rehabilitation in Richmond, California

On a happy-but-kind-of-sad note, our amazing 2021/2022 Student Academy leaders have graduated and will be moving on to the next steps in their careers and education. The best and worst part about training and supporting young leaders is that eventually they grow into young professionals who take their training and leave to go do other interesting, impactful work (exactly as they are supposed to).

We thought a fun last assignment for them would be to interview one another about their time with CCB, what they learned, and some of the major changes they’ve seen during our semi-recent leadership change. The conversation notes come directly from Hannah, Minhal, and Moorea, and haven’t been edited by CCB staff.

See below for an excerpt or click the Learn More button to read the full interview!

What would be your advice for the next student leaders to come through CCB?

  • Moorea: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone at CCB values students’ input and is always excited to hear new perspectives.
  • Hannah: I agree. Also, when starting a project you’ve never done anything like before, believe in yourself that you will get it done and you will have all the support you need to make it happen.
  • Minhalhttps://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billSearchClient.xhtml – Get familiar with it 🙂

Statewide Legislation and Projects

Left to right: Micah Weinberg, CEO, California Forward; Kate Owens, Principal, HR&A Advisors; Gene Slater, Chairman, CSG Advisors (alas, we couldn’t get a screenshot of his face – sorry!); Adam from CCB.

The California Dream shared-appreciation mortgage team had the opportunity to give an overview and outline of the proposed mortgage program that our team has designed to the Senate Subcommittee on Government and Finance last month. For more information, here is a link to watch the presentation as well as a Wall Street Journal article on the program released that day. We’re excited that the proposal has been included in the Legislative 2022-23 State Budget at $1 billion annually for 10 years (see “Summary of the Legislative Version of the 2022-23 State Budget,” page 25). Stay tuned, we look forward to sharing our final report when it becomes available later this summer!

CCB’s two sponsored bills have passed out of the Assembly and are making their way through the Senate!

  • Assemblymember Mia Bonta’s AB 2560, co-sponsored by Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Richmond Community Foundation and CCB, will create new, much-needed sources of acquisition and construction financing for affordable homeownership. The bill will require local governments to: 1) Identify blighted properties through code enforcement, nuisance abatement, and tax delinquency; 2) Collaborate with social equity investors, banks, regional charitable foundations and infill community developers to create increased financing opportunities to develop affordable homes to be located on currently blighted property; 3) Make these homes available to first-time homebuyers whose incomes do not exceed 120% of the area median income; and 4) Determine policy and administrative changes required to achieve the above. Next step: Senate Government and Finance Committee hearing on June 29th!
  • Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s AB 2873, the “Affordable Housing Supplier Diversity Act,” co-sponsored by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles, California YIMBY and CCB, will require the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee to collect supplier demographic data over a period of two years from developers who receive funding from the tax credit program. The information collected will then be used to set diversity and inclusion goals and will be publicly available through an annual report. Next step: Senate Appropriations Committee, hearing date TBD!

Thanks for coming out!

Thanks to everyone that came out to our first ever happy hour! The tacos, beers, and friends were all top notch (plus Ron had a nice birthday). If you didn’t make it this time that’s ok, we’ll be having another one soon!

In Memoriam

Al Pina, a longtime friend and colleague of CCB, passed away suddenly last month and we would like to take a moment to remember his life and work. Al was founder and CEO of the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Cooperative and spent the past three decades working to ensure that large banks treat their relationships with communities of color as mutually beneficial partnerships, not charity.

Al was a man who existed somewhat outside of the times and definitely outside of current standard-operating-procedure at most nonprofits. While he was the first to admit to being strong-willed and impolitic, he lived life on his own terms and never moderated his advocacy if he thought there was an opportunity to make a difference. Al will be missed by those who knew him, and we look forward to carrying on the work that he was so passionate about. If we can match even 10% of his fire, then we’ll know we’ve done a good job.

Goodbye to our favorite student leaders!

During our last Zoom together (above) CCB staff and student leaders said our goodbyes and talked about our hopes for the summer, both for CCB and in our personal lives.

CCB’s staff wishes a heartfelt goodbye to the amazing young people that we were lucky enough to work with and learn from. We look forward to seeing all of the great things they’ll accomplish in the coming years!

Sylvia Aguilar

Chief Operating Officer

This summer, I look forward to completing and sharing CCB’s new Strategic Plan!

Personally, I’m also looking forward to making more time for creativity and potentially trying my hand at painting or ceramics.

Moorea Benmosche

Public Policy Intern

This summer, I hope CCB continues to produce such informational, digestible, and entertaining newsletters throughout the summer (and beyond)!

Personally, I hope to improve my Spanish this summer while I study abroad in Spain!

Adam Briones

Chief Executive Officer

This summer, I hope that CCB can continue to bring our friends, colleagues, and community together in-person (safely and responsibly).

On the personal side, I’d like to find more new music to listen to and not just continuing to rely on what was popular when I was 25.

Ron Chavez

Director of Community Development

This summer, I hope the California Dream program is included in the governor’s finalized budget and is fully funded by the end of the year.

Personally, I hope to do more salsa dancing.

Minhal Hanif

Program Manager

This summer, I hope CCB finds brilliant new interns to continue in the very-recent interns’ legacies.

Personally, I hope this summer to have a really smooth transition from student life to adult life. AKA, I’m going to start waking up early for breakfast. Also, all three of my cats will finally meet. I hope they become really good friends.

Hannah Phalen

Senior Program Manager

This summer, I hope CCB’s upcoming in-person events kick off smoothly and I hope I get an invite!

For myself, this summer I hope to spend more time doing projects around my house and preparing for my wedding this Fall!