In California, it all comes back to housing — even Monday’s blockbuster news that Twitter accepted Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to take the company private.
Musk, in a since-deleted April 9 tweet, asked his more than 84 million followers if Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted to a “homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway” due to the company’s permanent work-from-home policy.
- More than 90% of poll respondents answered yes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Although Musk wouldn’t be able to execute the plan himself because Twitter doesn’t own the building, he is considering cutting staff and closing the recently expanded San Francisco headquarters once his purchase of the company is finalized, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is ramping up his courtship of Musk, who last year moved Tesla’s headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin.
- Abbott tweeted Monday: “@elonmusk. Bring Twitter to Texas to join Tesla, SpaceX & the Boring company.”
- Erin Mellon, a spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom, told me in a statement: “Even after Elon Musk announced Tesla’s move to Texas, they expanded in California. And Elon has started all of his businesses in California, presumably because he knows this is where innovation and talent lives. … Governor Abbott should focus on the people and business whose employees feel threatened, attacked and intimidated by his misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ agenda.”
Monday also brought a slew of other housing news:
- Attorney General Rob Bonta urged the Anaheim City Council to approve at its hastily called “special meeting” today a proposed deal to resolve allegations that the city failed to comply with state affordable housing laws when it agreed to sell the property surrounding Angel Stadium to Arte Moreno, owner of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. If the city council and a court sign off on the proposed deal with the state, Anaheim will be required to use $96 million to build about 1,000 affordable housing units throughout the city within five years and another $27 million for many as 466 low- and very low-income units at the stadium site — potentially fewer than could have been built onsite under the original sale terms. The new deal angered some state lawmakers, including Democratic state Sen. Tom Umberg of Garden Grove: “A government entity can’t agree with a private stakeholder to give them a sweetheart deal, to the detriment of taxpayers and to the detriment of those who need housing,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
- With Newsom facing a May 15 deadline to unveil his revised budget proposal, the mayors of California’s 13 largest cities asked him to commit $3 billion over the next three years in flexible homeless funding for cities. Without the money, the mayors warned, “dozens of homeless interventions would need to be demobilized and thousands of our most vulnerable residents would likely be forced back onto the streets.”
- Meanwhile, a group of state lawmakers and housing advocates called on Newsom to invest close to $1 billion of California’s massive budget surplus in “long-term solutions to the housing crisis.”
- And Heidi Marston, who leads the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, announced she is resigning May 27 due to a disagreement with the organization’s board over staff salaries. The news comes at a pivotal moment for the city and county, which are in the midst of resolving a long-running federal lawsuit over their homelessness response.