How to Stop SB9 & SB10 and Other Unwanted Building Codes? Support the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative

by on August 15, 2023 · 4 comments

in California, San Diego

By Leighann O’Reilly

Support the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative.

The Our Neighborhood Voices initiative restores the authority of your local representatives to decide what gets built in your community, on your street, and right next door to where you live.

We are organizing a campaign to bring back our neighborhood voices in local planning with a 2024 statewide ballot measure.

In San Diego, this means a two-step process to ensure voters have a say in their housing codes:

1). Get the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative on the ballot and passed.

2). Vote out Todd Gloria/Toni Akins and all the other city council members that support the state mandates and high-density codes in our backyards.

Housing codes should be up to the voters and not up to the state to tell us how to live. Without this initiative, San Diego does not stand a chance of returning local control to the voters. Also, Our Neighborhood Voices is endorsed by Neighbors for a Better San Diego (NFABSD). NFABSD is the grassroots San Diego group fighting for our voices as well.

Why do we need the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative?

Amending the state constitution with an initiative to put local communities in charge of land use and zoning laws will send a clear and powerful message that the recent state housing laws that damage our community without providing any affordable housing do not solve our problem – in fact, they are making our affordable housing crisis even worse.

We can’t afford to let developers make billions without paying anything to offset the impact of all this new housing on our communities – sticking all of us with the bill by overstressing our local infrastructure. We can’t afford more gentrification and economic displacement in working-class neighborhoods and communities of color. We can’t afford more traffic gridlock and less parking, since these state housing laws have no funding for roads or transit, and no parking requirements.

Who is backing Our Neighborhood Voices?

The initiative is supported by a statewide grassroots coalition of Californians that includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents and voters from every part of the political spectrum.

There are five initiative proponents, three of whom are local elected officials, one is an affordable housing advocate, and one is a former city planning commissioner. Our Neighborhood Voices is building a statewide coalition of community advocates, elected officials, and Californians from all walks of life who agree that it is time to restore our voice on local community decisions.

Don’t we just need to build more housing?

We need to build more housing that is affordable for middle and lower-income Californians as an urgent priority. Simply allowing developers to build more housing in a market that is already dominated by investors and lots of expensive, vacant housing units will only produce more expensive housing that very few Californians can afford. That is exactly what is already happening under the current state housing laws that seek to increase.

What about the environment and housing equity?

The initiative was written to ensure full compliance with all state environmental laws and all fair housing and anti-discrimination laws. The initiative does not conflict with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and in fact it helps local agencies ensure that new development gets sufficient environmental review and protections.

Single family neighborhoods are not inherently discriminatory, and many people of color own and rent homes in these neighborhoods that represent the main means of building wealth for them. Now that BIPOC single family neighborhoods exist, Our Neighborhood Voices finds it ironic and disturbing that there is an effort to undermine and devalue the importance of single family homes.

How will the initiative affect the relationship between state and local government?

The initiative will help restore a balance of power between our state and local government by putting communities back in charge of local land use decisions and encouraging our state legislators to remain focused on matters that are truly of statewide concern, like working with local communities to implement real solutions to California’s affordable housing crisis.

How can I help?


Our Neighborhood Voices is a grassroots effort that will require lots of money and volunteers to succeed. Any donation, large or small, will help, and you can make it online right now at Please make sure to join us to stay up to date with our initiative.

Please come to a Zoom Meeting. We meet every Wed. at 6 pm. Go to our website and click on the link to our Zoom meeting. Mayors and city council people from all over California generally come to this meeting. Feel free to ask any questions or just listen.

Where can I find more information?

Please visit for more details, and you can also email us at if you have a question or concern.

Thank you!

Leighann O’Reilly is a neighbor volunteer with ONV.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

chris schultz August 15, 2023 at 12:39 pm

The business monopoly known as SDSU needs to be held in check all the way to their land use ideology and the neighborhoods adjacent to them. I agree with the premise of this article.


Deborah Porter August 16, 2023 at 10:07 am

Thanks for making it so easy to donate using the PayPal link on the top of the newsletter…. and also for keeping us informed about what’s really going on in SD and OB


Leighann O'Reilly August 16, 2023 at 6:29 pm

Hi Deborah,
Please come to an Our Neighborhood Voices meeting each Wednesday night via Zoom at 6 pm. We’d like to get on the ballot in 2024.


Stephanie Vallejo August 16, 2023 at 6:29 pm

Excellent information. I will definately repost and contribute.


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