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Build, Baby, Build: Make the City Affordable Again

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Anthony Orlando

If you live in a major city, you probably know two things to be true: One, the rent is, as they say, “too damn high.” And two, there isn’t much you, as a renter, can do about it. But what if the second fact weren’t true at all? What if the city’s rental affordability crisis were in your hands? Would you do something about it? You probably would, and that’s why you’ll want to hear from the one renter who’s taking on big-city politics and showing us all how it’s done.

In this episode, we get down to the grassroots of housing advocacy with Sonja Trauss.

Ms. Trauss is the Founder and Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation, a political advocacy group dedicated to increasing housing in San Francisco. She has been profiled by the New York Times and chosen as a member of the Forty Under 40 by the San Francisco Business Times.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.


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Related Reading


“In Cramped and Costly Bay Area, Cries to Build, Baby, Build” by Conor Dougherty

“How a Prep School Math Teacher Has Exploded the Debate Over Affordable Housing in San Francisco” by Lydia DePillis

“The Pro-Density Movement Giving NIMBYs a Run for Their Money” by Gabrielle Lakusta

“What Is Neoliberalism?” by Sonja Trauss



This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

@AubreyHi @jonHLYP @coreyhedden

Bedrosian Center