Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: No easy answers for poverty in a pandemic

Amid all of the chaos of the past few weeks, I find myself dumbfounded by the raging national debate over the amount of stimulus checks. Whether it’s $600, $2,000, or any other one-time denomination, part of the discourse feels like our leaders are agreeing that we should be allowed to eat cake, but still not...

Bramson: Finding it hard to sleep tonight

With an utterly horrific and terrifying year nearly wrapped up, I have spent the past few weeks thinking about what gifts might still be under the tree despite all the carnage. And I have to admit it’s hard to get in a festive mood this holiday season. The pandemic is still raging across the country,...

Bramson: How we can get out of the way for affordable housing

On the heels of an historic year that has hammered poorest people the hardest, I find myself thinking about the future of affordable housing. Even in the best of times, it’s a tough row to hoe. From finding a place where it’s even feasible to build to navigating the complex innerworkings of the local land...

Bramson: When ballots open doors

With the election season now crashing down upon us, it’s a good time to think about how your vote might open – or close – some doors for your fellow residents in the days ahead. Oddly, despite a housing crisis of epic proportions, a tsunami of anticipated evictions and hundreds of thousands of people seeking...

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...