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Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes Ballot Measure Info Session

Join Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes and the Ravenswood City School District Community – teachers, staff, parents and neighbors, this Sunday August 28th, 3-4:30pm at Belle Haven School. You are invited!

This November, Menlo Park neighbors will vote on a local ballot measure designed to stop the Ravenswood City School District from creating affordable homes for teachers and staff at its Flood School site. The measure would also block future homes from being created for your neighbors throughout Menlo Park. YOU can stop thisLearn more about the measure here.

You’ll hear from Ravenswood district teachers, staff, and community members and learn how YOU can champion affordable homes by helping defeat the measure.

Staff housing for school districts can make a huge difference, not just in the lives of the teachers and other employees that serve our children, but for the entire community. This Associated Press video includes interviews with new residents of faculty housing completed this year in Daly City, very similar to what is being proposed in Menlo Park.

[1] The measure would require a regular-election vote of the public before changing zoning of low-density residential parcels, which include the vacant site of the former Flood School and several church parking lots where affordable housing could be created.

Kitchen Table Chat: Color of Law – Belle Haven and Education

Sunday, September 18th at 4:00 pm

Hybrid: Belle Haven Library and Zoom

Join us and Belle Haven Empowered for a chat this Sunday on the history of education in the Ravenswood City School District (RSCD) and Sequoia Union High School District (SUHS). We will discuss the impacts of segregation on the RCSD and decisions made that affected the district’s funding. We will also discuss SUHD’s decisions that segregated our high schools and their impact. 

The Belle Haven Empowered initiative hosts a series of conversations (chats) throughout the year designed to bring Belle Haven neighbors together to share information and discuss topics important to the community. By increasing community involvement in the city’s decision-making and working together for common goals, we can strengthen our voices and representation. 

Please invite your family and friends interested in learning more about the history of Belle Haven and the educational systems to register for this event.  We look forward to seeing you there.

More informational updates and events to be discussed during the chat include:

  • Belle Haven Community Development Fund 
  • Resource Fair
  • Climate topics and events highlighting Environmental Justice
  • New JobTrain Digital Literacy courses 

Join: Pam D Jones and Juanita Croft at the Belle Haven Library or on Zoom. 

When: Sunday, September 18th, 2022 at 4:00 pm

REGISTER HERE After registering, you will receive an email with information about how to join this Kitchen Table Chat.

Independent Report finds that Ballot Measure would block affordable housing

Last month (June 28), your Menlo Park City Council Members commissioned an independent, objective impact analysis of a November 2022 Menlo Park ballot measure.

That report was released last Friday and the findings are clear – the ballot measure would create big barriers for affordable housing in Menlo Park and block teacher and staff housing for the Ravenswood City School District.

If the ballot measure passes in November 2022, it will:

  • Block affordable housing for teachers and school staff at the vacant site of the former Flood School site owned by Ravenswood City School District.
  • Lock in and exacerbate racial and economic segregation by blocking future homes in high opportunity neighborhoods which are predominantly upper income and white.
  • Limit the city’s ability to plan for housing for people at a variety of income levels, in conflict with the city’s General Plan
  • Put the city at risk of being sued by reducing our ability to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH), as required by law (CA 2018 Assembly Bill 686)
  • Block Menlo Park Fire District from redeveloping their headquarters without a public vote.
  • Block Menlo Park religious organizations from redeveloping their properties without a public vote.

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 26, council members will most likely vote to put this measure on the November ballot rather than enact it into law without a public vote, which is the only other option.  City Council measures can also express their opinions to the measure if they so choose.

To watch a presentation on the report and share your thoughts with the City Council, you can dial in by Zoom or phone.

Here’s the meeting information:

Agenda: Items J1 and J2
Zoom: https://zoom.us/join
Meeting ID: 831 3316 9409

Dial In: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 831 3316 9409
Press *9 to raise hand to speak

The meeting starts at 5pm with a closed session.  The Ballot Measure item will likely get started some time after 7pm.  If you would like a text message or email when the item starts, rather than waiting, please send a message with your contact information to adina@menlotogether.org

Non-Single-Family Properties Affected by the Ballot Measure

Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes Campaign Kick-Off

Join a growing list of residents, organizations, and local leaders on
Sunday, July 31
from 3-4:30pm. We will meet at Flood Park in the Fir Group Picnic Area. We will provide light refreshments.

RSVP Endorse   Donate

Our vision at Menlo Together is of a city that is integrated and diverse, multi-generational, and environmentally sustainable and includes affordable homes throughout the city for people and families from all walks of life. That’s why we are proud to join Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes to OPPOSE an anti-affordable housing measure this November!

On November 8, Menlo Park voters will decide on a local ballot measure designed to stop the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD) from creating affordable homes for teachers and staff at its Flood School site1. The measure would also block future homes from being created for your neighbors throughout Menlo Park. If it passes, it will spread to other cities and make it that much harder for everyone you know to find quality affordable homes. YOU can stop this.

At the kick-off, you’ll hear from affordable housing champions, including a resident of the Jefferson Union High School District’s affordable workforce housing in Daly City, and talk about how YOU can champion affordable homes by helping defeat the measure.

Watch this this video to see for yourself how staff housing for school districts can make a huge difference, not just in the lives of the teachers and other employees that serve our children, but for the entire community.

Join Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes and learn how YOU can help defeat the anti-affordable housing measure, preserve the ability of Ravenswood City School District to use their land and resources to support their staff, and support affordable housing in all neighborhoods in Menlo Park. With YOUR help, we can do this! 

[1] The measure would require a regular-election vote of the public before changing zoning of low-density residential parcels, which include the vacant site of the former Flood School and several church parking lots where affordable housing could be created.

Community Meeting: 61 New Affordable Homes for Veteran Families in Menlo Park

Are you Invested in creating 100% affordable homes for veterans and their families in your community

Join your neighbors this upcoming Monday July 18, 2022 from 6:30 – 7:00 PM to chat with MidPen Housing Corp about the new Veterans Affairs affordable housing proposal

Veterans Affairs have selected MidPen Housing to create affordable, multi family homes on their Palo Alto Health Care System Campus (view map below). This is your opportunity to learn about the proposal and provide your feedback! 

This proposal will provide 61 of much needed affordable and supportive homes for Veterans and their families who are unhoused or at-risk in your community. The homes will be available to households earning 30-50% of the Area Median Income ($55,900-$93,200 for a family of four). The homes will be a part of a 2-3 story building – consisting of 54 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, and 2 three-bedroom homes; an additional two-bedroom will be set aside for an on-site manager. The larger homes will be for Veterans with families and/or their in-home caregivers. 

May 2022 General Meeting Recap

We had our first in-person General Meeting, at Flood Park. It was great to spend the time on a beautiful day, hearing about important housing, transportation, and environmental justice challenges in the context of our local history. 

We heard from decades long Belle Haven residents and community leaders, Juanita Croft and Pam Jones, who shared their first-hand experience with, and analysis of, our local history and the legacy of residential segregation and environmental injustice.

We also heard from Cade Cannedy of Climate Resilient Communities and Marlene Santoyo of Menlo Together and Menlo Spark, about environmental justice and how we achieve it.

Folks were very interested in discussing the Housing Element and Environmental Justice Element process which is ongoing in our city right now, as well as ways to support new affordable housing at the former Flood School Site and the SRI Site Parkline Project.

Engage with us and our partners!

Housing Element: Education for Advocacy Workshop

On May 26 we held a Zoom workshop about Menlo Park’s draft Housing Element: a planning process required by the state every eight years in order for cities and other municipalities to plan for homes at all income levels.  

The purpose of the workshop was to share context and information to advocate for a Housing Element that supports our vision of an equitable, integrated, diverse, multi-generational, accessible and environmentally sustainable city.

We reviewed the draft Housing Element and discussed opportunities to advocate to the City Council at their June 6 meeting. Participation is critical – by both homeowners and renters. We must use our voices to ensure future housing that meets the needs of our community, now and over the next decade.

Thanks to everyone who attended the workshop and to those who wrote letters, made phone calls, or provided public comment at the City Council meeting.

Here are some helpful resources from the workshop:

Menlo Park City Seeks Funds and Input for Willow Road Ped/Bike Improvements

The City of Menlo Park is pursuing a state grant through the Active Transportation Program (ATP) to fund pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along Willow Road between Bayfront Expressway and Highway 101. This project includes a new pedestrian crossing at O’Brien Street and separated bikeways on both sides of Willow Road. For more information, visit the City’s Willow Road Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements project page.

Menlo Together supports the city’s mission to improve transportation alternatives, enhance safety for bikers and pedestrians, and eliminate gaps in the walking and biking network. Read our full letter of support

We welcome you to take this short online survey to provide input on improvements the city can make to this plan. 

Housing Element Site Tour

Join Peninsula For Everyone, Menlo Together, Housing Leadership Council, Silicon Valley Bike Coalition and other housing advocates to see where Menlo Park is planning to build new homes. This event is part of Affordable Housing Month.

An expert group of speakers will be there, including:

  • State Senator Josh Becker
  • Affordable housing providers Alta Housing and MidPen Housing
  • Menlo Park Vice Mayor Jen Wolosin
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley

The tour includes several “priority sites” for the next eight years. You can bicycle the route, or follow in a car. We’ll have scheduled stops for those who want to drive or do not wish to do the bike route.

More Information

  • What is a Housing Element? Check out our introduction to the Housing Element blog post.
  • Event Hosts:
    • Peninsula For Everyone is a group that works to create a more inclusive and sustainable Peninsula by advocating for building more housing, better transportation, and protecting renters.
    • Menlo Together is a group of Menlo Park and Peninsula residents who envision a city that is integrated and diverse, multi-generational, and environmentally sustainable. We advocate for an accessible and inviting downtown Menlo Park with housing at all affordability levels, and with pedestrian and bike-friendly spaces, developed to be carbon-free.
    • Housing Leadership Council works with communities and their leaders to create and preserve quality affordable homes. HLC envisions a San Mateo County that works together to build inclusive, equitable, and healthy communities where all people can access safe, affordable homes and the resources needed for their families to thrive.
    • Silicon Valley Bike Coalition’s purpose is to create a healthy community, environment, and economy through bicycling for people who live, work, or play in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. We envision a community that values, includes, and encourages bicycling for all purposes for all people.

Affordable Teacher Housing at Flood School Site

The Ravenswood City School District is proposing to produce affordable housing on their property at the former Flood School Site (321 Sheridan Drive in Menlo Park). District staff would have first priority to live there.

In addition to producing much-needed affordable housing for education staff, the project would generate sustainable revenue for the district on the order of 1-2% of their current budget. Read the school district’s proposal .

Menlo Park, like all Bay Area cities, is currently drafting its Housing Element — the plan for where and how affordable homes can be built over an 8-year period. The City has identified the former Flood School site as having the opportunity to produce some of the 1,500 affordable homes required by the state for this cycle.

On Tuesday, May 3 at 7pm, the City of Menlo Park will hold a public input meeting about the project.

Here are ways you can support affordable housing for teachers and school staff:

  • Attend the meeting and make public comment.
  • Write a letter of support to Housing Element Project Planner Calvin Chan with the subject line, “Housing Element Update – Support for RCSD Housing Project at Flood School Site.”
  • Add your name and affiliation to this letter of support.