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SGV 115 Connect Transcript: Connie Tamkin


clt, san gabriel valley, community land trust, people, community, housing, land, home, affordable housing, property, single family home, working, symposium, neighborhood, talk, affordable, years, equity, city, pasadena

Damien Newton  00:00

Welcome to SGV Connect. I'm Damian Newton, sitting right next to Chris Greenspon at the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, I'm with Connie Tamkin president of the SGV Community Land Trust. And we're gonna be talking, building on last week's interview and talking a little bit about what the SGV Community Land Trust is, and what some of the projects that you're working on are. Now we did in last week's interview, talk a little bit about what land trusts are, and we'll start with some of those basic questions before we work in here again, but first, allow me to remind everybody that SGV Connect and the San Gabriel Valley coverage at Streetsblog Los Angeles is sponsored by Foothill Transit, offering car free transit throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the gold line stations across the foothills and the silver streak into the heart of downtown Los Angeles. To plan your trip visit Foothill Transit at Foothill Foothill Transit going good places. So, Connie, thank you for being with us today.

Connie Tamkin  00:55

Well, thank you for inviting me.

Damien Newton  00:57

So as I mentioned in the intro, we did talk a little bit last week about what a community land trust is, but just in case, people haven't listened to that one -- and a link to that podcast is accompanying the text that goes along with this podcast -- but just in case someone hasn't listened to that one, why don't we start off with just a brief explanation of what community land trusts actually are.

Connie Tamkin  01:16

If I may, I'd like to do a little bit of history. So I'm a pastor of The United Methodist Church. And as part of my ministry, I got involved with affordable housing advocacy here in Pasadena, where we were working on increasing the inclusionary zoning ordinance for the city. And what that means is that when any new development for housing has to include a certain percentage to be affordable, the city was currently at 15%. With our work, we were able to get it up to 20%. So that's the current rate that the ordinance has when that was passed as an ordinance. The city council member Margaret McAustin put the vision out there for the San Gabriel Valley Community Land Trust. But that history was important because it's got roots to other affordable housing issues. So land trusts, community land trusts, are different from land trusts. Community land trusts are community driven, community organized, community governed for the benefit of the community. The benefit here is to acquire housing, at an affordable rate, and be able to then offer that housing at an affordable rate that can be both rental or purchase. The structure is that the board would be representative of those who are either tenants or home owners, as well as representative of the communities which would be stakeholders of wherever their's would be within the San Gabriel Valley.

Damien Newton  02:52

And so you talked a little bit there just about the origin of this group. So what kind of projects are you're working on right now? Where are we in the fundraising stage? Or even does the land trust have property yet? Where are we in the process of this land trust?

Connie Tamkin  03:07

Okay. Well, we are in our infancy, we are just a little over a year old. It took a number of years to organize ourselves. Land trusts are quite complex in terms of, there's the organizational part of running the land trust. And then there's the project part of the land trust, acquiring property, getting the funding, getting grassroots people involved in it. So there's like two different entities that need to be working together. So we've just formed, quite frankly, we're still waiting for our IRS, nonprofit status, we are in the queue, we've been notified that we are, we are in process. So that's good news, because that's been holding us up going after other funding to help us move forward with the organization. But in terms of projects, we've been in conversation with a number of entities. And the one that's probably most exciting, that's more imminent, is that two of -- it's a husband wife, here in city of Pasadena don't have any heirs and they want to gift their land in which their home sits on to the CLT. And at the time that they no longer are living, they're going to gift their home to the CLT. CLT is short for Community Land Trust. So we are working with a pro bono attorney, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher here in Los Angeles, working out the details of what that would mean in terms of their tax liability, their property tax liability, if their gifting, what kind of tax benefits they might have to be able to gift it and then working out just what does that mean for them? What does that mean for the CLT? So that's an ongoing conversation that we're having, and we're making progress. And the holdup right now is with the property tax assessment, how they're going to assess it, since there's a split between the property, the ground and the built property, which is a classic CLT approach is that the the ground is separated from the home. The CLT holds the land, and the property then is either leased or purchased by a tenant or a homeowner. So there there is always that split, since they're still living on it. That's makes a little more complicated at the moment, but we'll figure that out.

Damien Newton  05:35

You have my condolences on the IRS issue. I know that they are way behind these days on 501 C3 issues. We had a small paperwork error with them a couple of years ago, and it took years to sort out. It did sort out, just for anyone worried, you can still make a tax deductible donation to Streetsblog Los Angeles, but it was quite a process that shouldn't have been. And I know that the application process is much delayed from when we created our nonprofit like 15 years ago. So my condolences.

Connie Tamkin  06:04

Thank you. Yes, it's a little frustrating. You're ready to go and just waiting on the papers. But to answer further the question you asked is that with the recent housing element that all cities had to go through, which was demanded by the state - every city got a report card and how well or poorly they were doing, providing housing. Most cities do very poorly, and in particularly in the affordable range. But with that, a number of cities are pretty proactive at trying to put elements into their city plan to make that happen, have affordable housing happen. So for example, here in Pasadena, you know, inclusionary zoning is already as part of that ordinance. But they are open to the Shared Equity model, which is similar to a community land trust, because you do indeed share equity with whoever purchases the home, and CLT owns a tiny portion of it, and the homeowner owns a greater portion of it. So when it's sold at a future date, that part of that equity gets returned to the CLT stays with that property. So Pasadena has a Shared Equity element in their housing element. City of Pomona has an actual CLT component to it, where they are actively working towards creating a community land trust; we are in conversation with them. So I'm gonna back up a little bit. So the SGV CLT is intended to be somewhat of an umbrella, so that communities within the SGV can can do their own CLTs. But because it takes so much effort to get it off the ground and the structure of the nonprofit, the capital money that you need to acquire etcetera is that our vision was that you have economies of scale, when we do the whole region versus city by city or neighborhood by neighborhood. So we're in conversation with them to see how that might actually work, dovetailing our work together. The other city that's really interested is South El Monte. South Pasadena is also considering a CLT kind of approach. They're looking at it in terms of the Caltrans properties of the 710 stub. So those are kind of ongoing conversations. And there's one other player, that's of significance. And that's the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust. They do something different than what we do. But there is an opportunity to work together. So they're only a year older than we are. And we've been in conversation from them from the get go, when we first started talking about this. So there's lots of potential opportunities out there. But we're just sort of just at the beginning of the way. I gave it to my board, as I said, we're kind of like in the army crawl stage when you're an infant, and about ready to just get up and run. That's kind of where we're at.

Damien Newton  09:06

So one project that that isn't a housing project, per se, but you've been working on has been the housing justice symposium at Azusa Pacific earlier this year. While you were there, was there sort of any surprises in the presentations and maybe who was there that maybe surprised you that could be a natural ally or any other coalition building that may have happened as a result of that?

Connie Tamkin  09:29

Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. Yeah. So the housing justice symposium this past April, is a partnership between Azusa Pacific, ourselves, Making Housing Community Happen, and Love Azusa I think was the other partner in it, but ourselves and Azusa Pacific were the primary partners in putting that together. They had an intern. So Margaret Lee is a Professor of Social Work. And she had an intern that was working directly with us our board to pull that symposium together. And that was Rick Nevarez. And his work was to try to identify any grassroots group here in the San Gabriel Valley that might have an alliance or are working towards any kind of housing issues. And so we had sort of three prongs to that symposium. So there are people who came specifically in terms of tenants rights, there are people who are interested in the course of CLTs. And the third area was the opportunity to potentially build housing on church property. So those are the three areas that we covered. What surprised me and was very pleasing was to see all the young people who are very interested and very alive about wanting to do something about the lack of housing, and then lack, of course, of affordable housing. And we've been able to make some wonderful connections with them, and have an ally ship that we're developing. We're calling it the Ambassador Council, there may be a different name at some point. But right now, we're calling it the Ambassador Council, those who were interested who from that symposium said they wanted to be more engaged. And so they've signed their name, gave the email gave their phone numbers, and we've been in conversation with them.

Damien Newton  11:20

So taking a step back to more of a meta view. We read a lot when we talk about homelessness and the issues surrounding homelessness, that one of the easiest ways to combat homelessness is to stop people from becoming homeless. So one of the main ways to do that, of course, is to have affordable housing, to have renter protections. If you were to take a larger view of the San Gabriel Valley, what do you think the state of affordable housing is right now, throughout the throughout the SGV?

Connie Tamkin  11:55

Well, because we're in the LA metropolitan area the housing pressure and the pricing is obscene. But there's a whole range of affordable housing. So most people, when they talk about affordable housing, are talking about the lower three tiers of the area median income. So that's the 10%, 15%, to up to 30%. And those standards are set by HUD, all across the nation. So LA area has an area median income. There's also the area of affordability, which are the next tiers up. So anywhere from 30% of every area median income to 100%, area median income, these are typically your firefighters, your teachers, the infrastructure of your cities. And these folks can no longer live in their own cities, maybe where they were raised, they cannot afford to live there, where they serve or work. And so that's like, we'd call them the missing middle. It still needs affordable housing. And that's really what a community land trust addresses is that segment. There's different kinds of funding available for the lower three tiers for affordable housing, and the Community Land Trust works in this next segment up. Once you get to 120% of AMI, you probably can afford to purchase a house probably with some help, initially, but you're within striking distance of being able to purchase a home for yourself, but lower than that, the market just doesn't allow for anyone to be able to. Banks aren't going to loan to you, because you just don't make enough money.

Damien Newton  13:42

I think we've talked with the, with the groups working on the El Sereno Community Land Trust quite a bit, and they they seem to be not in that 120% range as  they're working with the Reclaimers, they're working with United Caltrans Tenants, when we talk about community land trust, because you would just sort of mentioned that it's usually a middle class economics here. Is there a different model then for for different types of land Trust's? Or...? Again, I'm learning about these as I go along too and I'm probably more knowledgeable than, you know, 90% of the world on this issue.

Connie Tamkin  14:19

Well, like I said, land trusts are very complex, and they are locally specific. So for example, El Sereno is the beneficiary of the LA County Supervisors' district pilot program to fund a CLT. So they were able to launch with some of those dollars that were allocated, and they've purchased a small multi tenant which they're going to try to convert into a tenant owned opportunity. That's the nature of where that property is located in the city of Alhambra. Here primarily in San Gabriel Valley, we have a greater predominance of single family homes, compared to the the density more in Los Angeles city proper, right. So even though city by city, the percentages changed, we're still predominantly renter oriented versus homeownership. Homeownership is of course, you know, skyrocketing. But it doesn't mean that rental income level would want to be homeowners. So I have a son in law who's in his late 20s, early 30s, they'd like to be able to purchase a home, they can't afford to purchase a home, and they make decent money there, that would be thatmiddle class working, you know, professional kind of person, and they're not not able to do so. So because of the type of housing that's here, in San Gabriel Valley, because it tends to be more single family, the age of the inventory is also pretty old. Because these are old communities that are established here. So from the 1930s to the 1980s, that's when there was this building boom, with single family homes, a certain sort of the postwar one and two, development. Since then, there's been very little development of single family homes and more development of multifamily units. So again, depending on the nature of the community, and the type of inventory that's there, that would shape what the need is and how a community land trust would respond. And again, that's why that community piece is so important is that the community shapes the design of how we respond, the trust is what  holds that property to keep it affordable. But how it gets actuated is very dependent on the community that it's in.

Damien Newton  17:13

Now, what I've seen as I've talked to people at various CLTs, not just as I prepared for this interview, but just as I've been going around is, a lot of the time, the boards of these groups, they do a lot of the leadership and a lot of the work. Is there an opportunity for people to get involved with the CLT at a volunteer level? And if so, what would they be doing? And how do they how do they make that first step?

Connie Tamkin  17:38

So we're at a growing edge of needing to move from being strictly volunteer to having an executive director, because everybody on the board works. So we have other jobs, besides working on this community land trust. And so we need somebody who's dedicated to keeping us all on track about moving forward on an agenda. So that's an opportunity. But it's not quite a paid opportunity. But we did get a gift, significant gift that we can do a stipend to help move us forward to that. In terms of other volunteer opportunities, if people are interested in working in their own community on this, within the San Gabriel Valley, we would like to go be working alongside to help make it move forward. Because it does take the grassroots effort. So classic CLTs, when they were first established, were very grassroots oriented. So it would be neighborhood by neighborhood. "Something's happening in my neighborhood, and we don't like what's happening, you know, these investors are coming in, and they're flipping houses, and they're changing the characteristic of the neighborhood." So the neighbors get all agitated. And then they say, "Well, we got to do something about it." And one of the solutions could be doing a community land trust. And that's how many CLTs have formed, from that sort of neighborhood kind of... Look, again, our philosophy, why we formed the way we did was because that's not sustainable, long term. To be able to keep a CLT going, you need an inventory. Certainly, like a benchmark, you need x number of homes or properties to maybe build to make it sustain itself to be able to continue the work. So the neighborhood level is too small. And since our cities sit side by side by side, it seems to make sense, at least in our opinion, to have sort of that umbrella approach to it, like, let's create the structure so that the smaller communities, movement that happens within a community can get off the ground. But what we need is it really ears on the ground, feet on the ground, what's happening in your community, and then let's work together other for a solution.

Damien Newton  20:01

So you mentioned gentrification just there as one of the ways that the smaller neighborhood based land trusts will happen. Do you see gentrification as an issue that sort of county wide or San Gabriel Valley wide as an issue that is calling for more land trust interventions and more land trust involvement and how communities are planned and growing?

Connie Tamkin  20:26

I think gentrification as if understood about... I think there's like a natural gentrification that happens over a long period of time when people move in and out of neighborhoods. But what we're seeing is a commodification of homes. And we have people who are using it as an investment strategy to purchase a home flip it and then on a bigger scale, there's the institutional buyers have properties, who can outwait everybody because they've got deep pockets. That kind of gentrification is sadly what's happening right now. They're taking advantage of opportunities to move into areas where property is still relatively low in comparison to the region. You can think about any city, you always have some neighborhoods that the homes not not quite as attractive, they may need repair, they're older, so therefore, they're more accessible to buy. Many of us who have own homes, that's your starter home, right? I'm going to buy a home, that needs a lot of work, and I'm gonna put sweat equity into it to make it home. So, that kind of gentrification, where you'd have a starter home, and you're there maybe five, seven years and, and then you buy your next home, that pattern is no longer viable here in Southern California because the institutional investors are buying up those homes, and they're no longer available or affordable to people your guys' age to enter into the market.

Damien Newton  22:13

And by institutional investors, you mean investor firms, banks even, people that are looking at it as an investment probably to turn into a rental property or to flip it at a higher cost to --  

Connie Tamkin  22:26


Damien Newton  22:27

So okay, just wanted to make sure I understood

Connie Tamkin  22:30

That's what I'm talking about. Which I think is different than so many, many years ago. I've got silver gray hair, you know, so many, many years ago, when I was a young adult in our first home. You know, it was a fixer and we did put the sweat equity into it and made it a nice home. And then we started having children, it's like, oh, we need a bigger home,  then we had equity that we put into it by our sweat equity. And we bought into a different neighborhood and in a different home, somebody else would then enter into that marketplace. And you know, it could change the nature of the neighborhood, but over time. So one of the issues that people get up in arms about these days is the affordable accessory dwelling unit, "oh my gosh, you're gonna have all these accessory dwelling units, and it's going to change our neighborhoods and all the parking," that's not really going to happen, like it's [not] going to happen tomorrow. That's a long term slow, infill kind of change in a neighborhood. And that's a more natural kind of approach than having an institutional investor who buys up of a number of properties on a block or a neighborhood and then flips them or just turns them into rental or doesn't really care or just holds them, even without renting them. They just sit as empty properties. They're just waiting,  this is a waiting game because of a profit motive.

Damien Newton  24:00

Yeah, the street that I live on is going to be rezone for multi unit residential, and we're all looking at each other on our street waiting to see who who blinks first and sells to the investing company that's going to probably one day buy our entire block. I mean, there will be more units built there than the single family houses that are there now. So in the long run, it will be an increase of housing stock, but since we're all looking at each other...

Connie Tamkin  24:25

It's kinda a double edged sword on that, right. The community at large would benefit from having more housing, right. But you know, so I live in Monrovia here in the in the valley, and that's where I'm living --

Chris Greenspon  24:43

Can I just interject and thank you for referring to as the valley, that's all.

Connie Tamkin  24:48

Okay. Sure. Other than the other Valley.

Damien Newton  24:51

Oh, that other Valley. Yeah.

Connie Tamkin  24:54

But you know, so I live in one story townhome that we have like 20 units as part of that, but you know, next door is a single family home, it's actually kind of a really interesting mix, and I think a dynamic mix of multifamily and single family, residents within any given block in the neighborhood. We seem to have a love affair of being single family home owners with our big yards. And I mean, I like it. I'm a gardener, I'd like to have that too. But it's not really realistic over time. That's very much an American phenomena to have a single family home with lots of land, we're very spoiled in that way. And I think part of the challenge for us as citizens is to think about what that means in terms of accessibility for affordability for other people other than ourselves.

Damien Newton  25:59

Looking on, you talked about this a little bit at the start, but I feel like we're at the point where we can we can start to wrap up a little bit. What do you think is is next outside of some of the things we've talked about for the Community Land Trust, like you were you were talking obviously, about waiting for the IRS designation and start to do some more fundraising, but maybe talk more about what's the goal, five years down the road, 10 years down the road for the land trust?

Connie Tamkin  26:22

Well, I can, soon as we get ourselves positioned, there's a segment of the population that we have sort of targeted, that we think we can be of benefit to. So sadly, with the economy the way it is, and the fallout from the pandemic, and just  the market itself is that we have many people who are facing foreclosure of their homes. What we think we can do is come alongside those families. And not everyone's going to agreed with this, but there'll be some that this would be a benefit to help you stay in your home, and the refinance with the bank. So we working with the bank, whoever's the mortgage holder. And we'll do the classic split of splitting the ground from the built property. So the CLT owns the land, which is the most expensive piece here in Southern California is the land right. The CLT holds the land that lowers the basis point for the built home to refinance it so that the family can stay put in place. The trade off is that there's an affordability covenant built into that renegotiated mortgage that when it gets sold at a later date, it has to remain affordable. So that's a different approach. It's again, a Shared Equity that a portion of it stays with the property for the next the benefit of the next buyer, but the person who's in it now benefits is certainly the one that's been destabilized by foreclosure, they've been stabilized. So it's a stabilization strategy doesn't necessarily mean that we're producing more units. But that's a strategy that when we're looking at some CLT's, again, it depends on the nature of where they are. Their intent is to develop new housing. And usually when they're developing new housing, they're not developing single family, they're doing multifamily housing, which is, of course, very much needed. There are plenty of nonprofit developers who can do that. That's not our niche, we believe that what we have is to stabilize communities, do the infill, capture what's available as a relatively affordable, get a subsidy to lower it. So it really is indeed affordable, building that covenant, building that Shared Equity, everybody wins in the long term. So those are our two strategies about how we're looking at it, versus development. So one is more maintaining inventory versus losing inventory. And then, of course, there's also the need to build more inventory, which could be done within the structure of a CLT.

Chris Greenspon  29:22

So I have a question. And I'm coming from a much more lay perspective than Damien, who's very knowledgeable about this stuff. And it's the reason why I booked these two interviews for him to be the main swinger on them, but like you pointed out earlier, Connie, myself, I'm at the age where I would love to be able to buy a starter home but you know, here in the Southland, finding anything south of $600,000 a piece is basically non existent. So anyway, of course, my wife and I have looked at other ideas like trailer parks and condominiums and stuff, and so I'm not implying anything here about community land trusts, but for someone like myself, who doesn't have too much knowledge, how is this setup of the land trust owning the land but not the home, how is that any different from a trailer park where you have to worry about the landowner selling out the lot from under you?

Connie Tamkin  30:27

Good question. Very good question. So, I'm going to talk about an ownership model. So we're in a covenant relationship with the homeowner. Community Land Trusts do a lot of work and stewarding, caring for the buyer. Usually, these are first time buyers, they're entry point buyers. That's because they qualify by income as that, and we want them to be successful. So there's an ongoing relationship that land trusts, again, community based, that is working with those owners within the land trust, to help them be successful, that's helping them to understand that there are property taxes to do. So you want to be saving some money for that. You need to you know that homes have upkeep. It's not like renting where you call the landlord, and they're going to take care of me, no, it's you, you need to take care of it. So there's an education piece to that. There's also financial literacy as part of that, helping the person or a couple, or family to be successful. And in that enterprise of owning a home, the person might say yourself, it comes to a point you've owned a home, you want to sell the home, obviously, the market has changed. And, you know, typically a market increases, rarely do we go downwards, but you know, it increases, you still get the benefit of the increase in the market. But there's a share of that benefit that stays with the property. And that's what keeps it affordable. That's part of that Shared Equity relationship. So, it's different in the sense that all we do is hold the land and that you own the property, you get to make decisions on the property. There's usually some guidelines about, you know, you don't want to be putting in a Jacuzzi for however mucha aJacuzzi costs, because you're really not getting the return on the investment. So, it wouldn't make a prudent decision, because when you go to sell it, you're not going to have that. So there's some guidelines sometimes that CLTs will do with owners to help them say, let's be reasonable about home improvements,  not luxury improvements, but quality improvements that are going to have a lifetime benefit. So, again, close relationship, we're working with owners, more in a guidance kind of relationship, you as the owner, you have control over if you want to sell the home. Circumstance may cause you to sell the home, it may be the timing is, it's a crash, the markets really hard, I really think I need to sell a home. That's fine, you get the benefit of just like any free market type of opportunity that without outside of the CLT. The difference being is that there's a Shared Equity piece that stays with the property. Otherwise, it's exactly the same. Outside of that benefit is the land piece is taken out. And that's where most of the value is held, at least here in Southern California, because the land is very expensive.

Chris Greenspon  33:49

And another question I have, I don't know if you have anything to cap it off with Damian, but this will be my last one. So through your outreach so far, such as the symposium held at APU, has the group, the community land trust, then building any relationships, volunteer organizational, with people who are on the lower rung of renting or even unhoused? And I asked this question, again, not to imply anything but just coming at it with my like, generalized millennial skepticism of, you know, we see nonprofits all over the place that are not really run by the people who they may be serving. So is is there a principle in what this group is doing to include those people who are struggling more and maybe less of like an accomplished professional class?

Connie Tamkin  34:46

Well, you're hitting at the heart of the community piece. So as we've been working with people in the community, from  connections that we made through the APU symposium is that they are representative of their community. All right? We can't be everything to everybody. I mean, I can't be anybody other than who I am,  an older white woman, heading towards her 70s. So I mean, that's a different demographic. But in our developing our network, and again, we're young ish, but we are a developing network, we've been working with LA Forward, with the San Gabriel Valley cohort, again, developing those relationships, working on projects together, learning more and more about the whole landscape of affordable housing and unhoused. The thing is, is that the affordable housing and unhoused issue is so vast, and we cannot be everything to everybody, there are people who are very well suited, who have been doing this for that lower rung. And that's just not our niche. It could be if we thought that we were going to be developers, but we don't feel that that's what we're being called to do at this point in time. With that said,  historically, CLTs are relatively few across the nation. So there's a network of us across the nation, and we talk to each other, we have a really strong network here in California called the California CLT Network. So we share information, we share experiences, and expertise with one another. So as an example, the granddaddy or the grandmother of CLTs here in the United States is in Vermont, Champlain CLT, they had been classically a single family home CLT. With the pandemic, they felt that in their many years -- they've got many years on them -- with the pandemic, they saw that, we have an unhoused population that needed to be housed, they saw an opportunity to buy a motel and do a conversion to SROs single resident occupancy. So that was there, they observed that what's happening in their community, they had a vision about what to do, because they have a long standing relationship. Now with investors, they have their board, they said, "This isn't normally in our wheelhouse. But this is something that I think we need to do." And everybody said, "Yeah, let's do it." So a CLT has the breadth to address a variety of issues. So you could be working with that at-risk, unhoused or needing to be housed. But it's just this infancy stage for us, we need to sort of figure out which segment we feel we can best serve. And at some point in our history, it's possible that we'd be serving others. But there's one other comment I want to make about unhoused, or possibly unhoused. There's because of the cost of housing, the risk of being unhoused, you can be working, and you know, the risk of being unhoused is really, really great at this time. So there is that sort of middle segment that is also at risk, because housing is just not affordable. The other segment that is at risk is the senior citizens of our communities were being priced out of homes that they can no longer afford to live in. That,here in Pasadena, is the growing edge of unhoused people as senior citizens. And that's just tragic. So within a CLT, you could possibly address address those issues. But as a startup, we have to kind of zero in on a segment and say, "Okay, let's get our feet on the ground. Let's get some expertise. Let's get some track record. Let's get our finances you know," that we started having relationships with. And that just takes time. I wish we had a quick fix. I really do it. It just takes time.

Chris Greenspon  39:12

I just appreciate that you answered a question like that with its little controversial edge which such candor, that's really refreshing. And I've definitely enjoyed getting to sit here and hear from you. Damien, do you want to impart any parting words or anything before we go?

Damien Newton  39:31

No, I'm good. I think you you know, earlier in the interview -- I changed my mind I'm not good. Earlier in the interview, I asked like a nicer version of that question. And what I note is we actually got slightly different answers in how it was doing it. So the framing there was is interesting to me. I'm constantly learning new, new interviewing styles.

Connie Tamkin  39:49

Well, the thing is -- don't badmouth yourself -- is that it's such a very complex issue. And you know, I could talk for hours about the various pieces of it. We don't have that time, but I appreciate the time that you guys took to interview me and learn about -- I'm also learning you know. I'm a pastor first. I'm in affordable housing second so...

Chris Greenspon  40:19

All right, well, thanks everybody who tuned into parts one and two of this talk on the the newish San Gabriel Valley Community Land Trust. And Damian enjoy your vacation

Damien Newton  40:34

You know, when this posts, my vacation will be almost over.

Chris Greenspon  40:38

Oh, well, you know, I guess ring a few more drops out of it by the time you hear my final edit on this. Anyway, thanks. All of you listening at home or maybe on your bike, it seems kind of dangerous. Thanks regardless, don't get hurt. Be safe. Bye bye.

Damien Newton  40:58

If you have one earphone and while you're riding your bike, it's just like listening to a radio in the car.

Chris Greenspon  41:05

You said that off Mic

Damien Newton  41:07

I wasn't intending that...