Homelessness And Housing Are The Top Concern Of California Voters

It's really not a surprise, regardless of where you lean politically, YOU want Governor Newsom, the California Legislature and your local government officials to do SOMETHING about the homelessness problems in your neighborhoods once and for all.

According to a statewide poll from the Public Policy Institute of California:

"Asked to identify the most important issue for the governor and legislature to address in the coming year, Californians are most likely to name homelessness (20% adults, 23% likely voters). One year ago, a much smaller share (6% adults, 7% likely voters) identified homelessness as the top issue. Currently, homelessness is the top issue among Republicans (28%), independents (22%), and Democrats (20%).

Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO told CAL Matters:

"That's a record. it's never, ever been in the double digits.”

The poll also shows that an additional 10% of adults and 11% of likely voters said "housing costs and availability" were the next important issue for lawmakers to tackle.

Gov. Newsom said in his budget proposal speech that homelessness is "the issue that defines our times," and has pledged $1.4 billion of his 2020-2021 state budget specifically for homeless services to help cities across the state deal with the ongoing homeless problem. He's also toying with a proposing a state constitutional amendment that would make it easier to sue cities that fail to deal with their homeless problem.

On Jan. 8th, Newsom signed an executive order requiring agencies to 'take immediate action' to make 'state properties and facilities' available as housing options for the homeless. It also detailed his intention to have 100 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers and crisis teams deployed to areas throughout the state to address the problem.

Since then, the governor has been on a week-long tour of the state with stops in Los Angeles, Riverside, Fresno and Grass Valley to view the problem for himself. He ends the tour today in Oakland, where FEMA has set up more than a dozen trailers on an empty lot near the Oakland Coliseum. These trailers will be used for temporary housing and mobile health and social services clinics.

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