Make no mistake about it: housing is a complex but extremely important issue, one where rising rents and fears of gentrification are paired with the desire to move forward and become a destination city—which is precisely why Mayor Robert Garcia will be kicking off his housing forum cities tonight.

The public is invited to the following meetings to discuss the issue:

  • Mayor’s Roundtable with Housing Advocates: Sept. 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Mark Twain Library Community Room, at 1404 E. Anaheim St.
  • Community Forum and Resource Fair: Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jenny Oropeza Community Center at Cesar Chavez Park, at 401 Golden Ave.
  • Mayor’s Roundtable with Developers: Oct. 14 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Michelle Obama Library, at 5870 Atlantic Ave.

Garcia assembled a group, chaired by former Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, that consisted of housing advocates, developers, and community leaders earlier this year. The point? To research how the city can build more affordable housing while addressing the needs of a budding workforce. While the group is expected to craft recommendations for the mayor by year’s end as it it continues to privately meet, the public has been largely devoid from the conversation until now.

“As we grow, we need to make sure that our economy is working for everyone, and that all our residents have access to quality housing,” Garcia states.