Daily Journal: Housing crisis spurring a political awakening

Daily Journal: Housing crisis spurring a political awakening
April 9, 2018 Peter

Knowing the pain of writing huge rent checks each month to live in the Bay Area during a housing crunch, Victoria Fierce is out to make communities opposing building new homes experience a similar financial burden. “I speak truth to power. I get in front of the dais and say ‘I will come after you, and it will hurt.’ And then they shrug it off. Then it hurts,” said Fierce, who helps operate the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund. Fierce, who has sued Bay Area cities such as Lafayette and Berkeley over housing opposition, is preparing to bring her organization’s fight to San Mateo following the City Council rejecting a proposal to build a 10-unit condominium building off El Camino Real. The Oakland software professional turned legal housing expert is part of a energized group fed up with the local housing market refining that is refining its tactics and formalizing strategies to promote residential development. “We have political power and we are not afraid to use it to seek our goal,” said Fierce, who considers herself a YIMBY — an acronym representing Yes In My Backyard, or an alternative answer to the traditional call of “not in my backyard,” from property owners often fighting housing development in their neighborhood due to concerns over threats to their quality of life. Development critics have historically been recognized as NIMBYs.

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