Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: The failed state of the status quo

Make no bones about it: 2020 has been rough. From the horrible spread of coronavirus to wildfires blackening the sky and scorching the earth, we have all felt the impacts of this year in some tragic and personal way. If you woke up tomorrow to a meteor crashing, a plague of locusts swarming above or...

Bramson: Linking up with affordability

What makes San Jose great? The verdant parks, wild spaces and plentiful sunshine. The diversity and richness of its culture and history. The boundless innovation and abundance of some of the world’s most creative and thoughtful people and companies. There’s no shortage of possibilities, which is why our city consistently ranks as one of the...

Bramson: Shared equity at home

It’s no secret that homeownership has been a challenge, if not an impossibility, for many poor people for a long time in this valley. From the redlining of the 1930s to the current day attempts of the federal government to dismantle the protections of the Fair Housing Act, we continue to take actions that limit...

Bramson: Housing, race and professional responsibility

For most of my career, I’ve worked on issues related to affordable housing and homelessness. It was never a pursuit that I dreamed of growing up, but coming from a family that struggled with poverty and housing insecurity at times, I’ve been close to these topics one way or another for most of my life....

Bramson: How to help vulnerable families survive COVID-19

In the 1930s, with the Great Depression blanketing the country, countless families faced the heartbreaking uncertainties of how to pay the bills, what to eat for each meal and even where to sleep the next night. With staggering unemployment, Americans were displaced at record numbers, shocked, dejected and hopeless. Then, perhaps not so different from...

Bramson: When a virus needs a home

What would it be like if we responded to homelessness like a disaster? I’ve heard this question many times over the years. The implication being that while the word “crisis” is thrown around pretty liberally these days when we talk about the conditions for people on our streets, we rarely act with the same mobilized...

Bramson: Why the deepest affordability matters the most

The recent defeat of SB 50 – a controversial bill authored by Sen. Scott Wiener which ostensibly sought to increase residential density near transit corridors and job-rich areas – brought forth a somewhat troubling new dimension to an already complicated housing conversation. Not only was the bill opposed by the typical cavalcade of single-family homeowners,...

Bramson: Homelessness trumps manners

Over the holidays, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast California for its homelessness problem. It’s not news to anyone that there’s a big crisis here and these tweets – coupled with a threat to somehow intervene if our state doesn’t get moving – have actually been a pretty regular overture from the leader...

Bramson: There’s no place like home for the holidays

As the giving season approaches, I find myself thinking about the curious custom of gift wrapping. Going way back to ancient China where paper was first invented, putting presents in packages for others has been going on for centuries. There’s both a psychological and tangible effect about containing an object and creating a sense of...

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