Senate Bill 323 (Wieckowski – D, Fremont) is making its way through the Legislature and we need your help.
This is essentially the same bill that CACM fought last year and was vetoed by Governor Brown. The bill eliminates flexibility for all associations in the state by prohibiting them from imposing board candidate disqualifications. The bill is overly prescriptive and narrow in terms of what qualifications may be imposed. The recent amendments to the bill actually remove one of the amendments that CACM negotiated and now allow a member convicted of a financial felony to run for the board. Among other reasons this is problematic, this compromises an association’s ability to insure against bad acts in some cases and exposes the association to significant liability. Furthermore, when a homeowner sues the association alleging an election violation, this bill shifts the burden of proof to the association to prove that it did not intend to commit such a violation. The bill also adds layers of unnecessary complexity to an already complex process. Here’s the last committee analysis to give you an idea of the arguments and background for the bill.
This year, the bill is moving through the Legislature and we have a new Governor so all hands on deck are needed to defeat this measure. The bill will be heard on the Assembly floor sometime between August 12 and September 13 when the Legislature adjourns. PLEASE HELP US BY COMPLETING ONE OF THE BELOW ACTIONS BY AUGUST 12.
What you can do to help
Meet with your legislator in their district. Here is a target list of members we need you to contact. If you live in one of these districts, please call the district office and say that you are a constituent (or your company is based in the district) and are requesting a meeting with your legislator regarding a bill that will be heard on the floor in the near future. If you can take another person with you, a manager or board member, the more the merrier. You can ask to speak with the scheduler or the staff person in charge of housing issues for the legislator. If the legislator is unavailable, you should set up a meeting with the appropriate staff person. See the template letter. You should draft a letter based on the template (or your own if you prefer) and provide it at the meeting.
Call your legislator in the Capitol or District office. The target list provides contact information for both the district office and Capitol office. If you prefer to call the district, call and ask to speak with the staffer that works on housing issues. We encourage you, however, to call or email the Capitol staffer on the target list since it is most likely that person will be the point person in advising the legislator on how to vote.
Suggested Call Script:
Hi. My name is _____ and I am a constituent in your district. I would like to express my strong opposition to SB 323 (Wieckowski), which is currently on the Assembly Floor. This bill restricts homeowner associations from imposing necessary qualifications for candidates who run for an HOA board. For example, it would prohibit an HOA board from preventing persons convicted of financial crimes like embezzlement and theft to run for the board despite the fact that they manage large association budgets comprised of homeowner money. Generally, the bill imposes a “one size fits all” approach on the over 50,000 HOAs across the state and each association should have the flexibility to do what it deems in the best interests of its particular community.
If possible, expand on how it will impact the homeowners living within the associations you serve. We encourage you to read the bill so you can come up with some of your own talking points. Also, see the template letter and the CACM opposition letter to get ideas for talking points. However, note that the CACM opposition letter was submitted before the amendment was made to remove the felony disqualification.
Email a letter. Here is a sample letter. Feel free to customize the letter as appropriate. The more customized the better. Put the letter on your company letterhead of if you are writing as an individual constituent, it can go on a blank paper. This should not be conveyed as you representing CACM. We want it to look like you are reaching out separately from the trade organization and that there is a large number of opposition stakeholders.
Lastly, it is important that we know what action you have taken and if you have made contact. Please inform us of your efforts and if you make contact, with who you spoke to, and what their response was. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.