The Two Hundred, an initiative sponsored by California Community Builders, is a statewide coalition of community leaders, opinion makers and minority advocates, to mitigate the growing racial wealth gap through homeownership and home building in California.

Residents of California are no strangers to legislative battles over rent control, zoning laws, and tenant protections. As the ever increasing wealth gap is discussed more frequently in national debates, and will be sure to be exacerbated by COVID-19, most seem to be forgetting a core element of the American Dream and primary way to build generational wealth: owning a home. Prior to The Two Hundred, there has been no cohesive statewide voice to advocate for low and moderate income communities of color for homeownership.

The racial wealth gap divide, exacerbated by California’s housing crisis, was created, in part, by the catastrophic economic impact of the Great Recession, when millions of Americans, especially households of color, lost what little equity they owned. We now fear that the recession following COVID-19 will result in a similar loss of wealth and protection for communities of color. We advocate for those families who have been left out of the dream of homeownership since it became part of the American Dream. The Two Hundred also advocates for millennials and students who, due to the shortage of affordable housing, the high cost of land, the mindset of developers and State policies that favor multi-family rentals are stuck with large student debt, ever increasing rents, and locked out of the same wealth-building legacy opportunity that created wealth for white, middle class families.

The Two Hundred Leadership Council is an assembly of veterans of the civil rights and social justice movements. This group was named The One Hundred when it began with one hundred housing and homeownership advocates across the state. Later, we renamed ourselves The Two Hundred to reflect our growing size. Now, we have 700+ members who are all fighting for more effective and equitable housing policy. Our leadership brings a unique combination of experience that include: grassroots organizing, intricate knowledge of the levers of power and how to engage them; policy advocacy; proven ability to work with diverse populations; experience with the inner workings of bureaucracy and institutions and the respect that comes with a lifetime commitment to social justice.

Our Leadership Council has over twenty members of California’s finest housing champions, including:

  • John Gamboa, founder of California Community Builders and former Executive Director of both Greenlining and Latino Issues Forum
  • Herman Gallegos, former CEO of several business firms, including the U. S. Human Resources Corporation and Gallegos Institutional Investors Corporation, one of the first Latinos elected to several boards, and founder of The National Council of La Raza
  • Denise Pinkston, Chair and Vice Chair of the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board, member of the SPUR Housing Committee, and member of the Technical Committee ABAG/MTC Committee to House the Bay Area (CASA)
  • Robert Apodaca, founder of ZeZen Advisors, former Chairman and Trustee of Alameda County Retirement Board, and former Senior Vice President & Partner of Kennedy Associates
  • Brian Hanlon, President and CEO of California YIMBY, and  California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA)

To join The Two Hundred and the fight for better homeownership policies, please join our mailing list here. Please also like our Facebook page @TheTwoHundred and follow us on Twitter @the200leaders to keep up with the latest housing news every day.

Have more questions about The Two Hundred? Check out our FAQs.