On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast”, CalMatters’ Matt Levin and the Los Angeles Times’ Liam Dillon interview Wicks on the bizarre duplex debacle, the state’s emergency eviction protections, and her newfound fame.
Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, a Democrat from Oakland, had a memorable end to the state legislative session. So did her daughter — although at four weeks old, she won’t remember much.
Wicks made national headlines when she brought her newborn to the floor of the state Assembly to urge fellow lawmakers to vote for SB 1120, a bill that would force single-family-only neighborhoods across the state to allow duplexes where previously only one home could be built. Wicks was denied a request to vote remotely because she was told her recent C-section did not constitute a sufficient health risk for COVID-19.
While Wicks became a viral sensation, her impromptu late-night speech was ultimately in vain. Because the bill was approved just minutes before midnight, it could not get final sign-off from the state Senate in time to meet a constitutional deadline.