March Advocacy Update
Thursday, March 2, 2017
by: Julianna Tetlow, California Strategies

Section: Government Affairs

BOMA GAC Breakfast with Councilmembers Sherman and Alvarez
On February 8, GAC members had breakfast with City of San Diego Councilmembers Scott Sherman and David Alvarez. Dubbed “The Odd Couple” of City Hall, Councilmember Sherman is a small business owner and lifelong resident of San Diego's 7th District and Councilmember Alvarez is a lifelong champion of social, economic, and environmental justice representing the City’s 8th District.
At the end of last year, Councilmembers Sherman and Alvarez were appointed to serve as the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. They wasted no time in tackling our region’s most pressing issue – Housing Affordability and Affordable Housing by introducing their Housing Policy Legislative Strategy document, which includes a series of reforms to streamline processes and ease the burden of development. Their proposed policy changes include amendments to CEQA, Community Planning Groups, parking requirements, the permitting process for development, DSD efficiency, self-certification, and more.
The discussion was informative, insightful and greatly appreciated by all. 

The legislative breakfast program is designed to be an intimate discussion wherein BOMA members meet and dialogue with elected or appointed officials from throughout the region.  If you have a suggestion for a future breakfast guest, please contact Julianna Tetlow at
Federal ADA Reform
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an important civil rights measure, long supported by BOMA, which prohibits discrimination and ensures accessibility to any public accommodation. Unfortunately some unscrupulous attorneys and serial plaintiffs have abused these laws by bringing forth claims that do not seek to address true accessibility issues, but rather identify highly technical, potential infractions with demands for exorbitant settlements.
In light of the success we’ve had in California in amending the law to allow building owners, managers, or tenants an opportunity to address infractions prior to the pursuit of legal remedies, these folks are now bypassing our state judicial system in favor of Federal court.
To combat these “drive-by” lawsuits at the Federal level, Texas Representative Ted Poe introduced H.R. 620, also known as the ADA Education Reform Act of 2017, on January 24. Modeled after the major reforms we’ve seen in California H.R. 620 is intended to promote ADA compliance through education, clarify the requirements for demand letters, and to provide for a notice and cure period before private civil action can be taken.
The bill currently has five co-authors including our very own Congressman Scott Peters. In addition to contacting your Representative to request their support for these important reforms, we encourage you to reach out to Congressman Peters or his staff to thank him for his leadership on this issue.
You can find your Congressmember by clicking here.
Finally, if you or your business has been a target of frivolous ADA litigation, we want to hear your story.  Please contact Julianna Tetlow at or by phone at (619) 255-0727. In the meantime your legislative advocates will continue to follow the progress of these important reforms. 

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