Commentary: Housing, Poverty and the Economy

The census figures from 2017 showed that when the cost of living, specifically housing, was factored in, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation with more than 20 percent of its residents, 8 million people, meeting the “supplemental poverty measure.”

When the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) developed its own California-specific alternative poverty measure, they attempted to see what poverty would like with rents at the nation’s average.

They found that the overall poverty rate drops from 21 to 14 percent, with nearly 2.4 million residents lifted above poverty.  The different was more dramatic for child poverty which fell by 8 percentage points and 717,000 children once the cost of living is lowered.

The bad news is that the 2018 report is just as bad – although the numbers are slightly better with *only* 19 percent in poverty this year as compared to 20.4 percent last year.

The supplemental poverty measure not only looks at income but also takes into account the costs of housing, healthcare, and child care in the areas where people live.  That pushes the rate from 13.3 Californians, slight better than the national rate of 13.4 to 19 percent.

As Dan Walters, the longtime Sacramento-based columnist now working for CalMatters, put it last week, “The most obvious and most important victims of California’s chronic and still-growing housing shortage are the countless thousands of families that struggle to put affordable roofs over their heads.

“The shortage has driven prices skyward in a classic example of a supply-demand mismatch, and housing costs are the largest single factor in California’s shameful status of having the nation’s highest level of poverty.“

But he argued there is another dimension to the housing crisis, he believes the housing shortage will ultimately “bite California’s economy.”

He writes: “It’s hurting the state’s overall economy as employers face increasing shortages of skilled workers, especially in coastal areas where the housing squeeze is the tightest and local resistance to housing construction is the most implacable.”

Mr. Walters uses Ventura County as his example.  Ventura is largely a suburb just north of Los Angeles and it contains some very prosperous areas.  It is also surrounded with agricultural fields and orchards.

This month, Ventura County got some bad news.

“The dominant economic story in Ventura County is a continued decline in total economic activity,” Matthew Fienup, who heads Cal Lutheran’s economic forecasting operation, told a gathering of local officials and business leaders. “We hesitate to the use the word recession, but we don’t know what else to call two consecutive years of economic contraction.”

“Average economic growth over the past four years rounds to 0.0 percent, the worst four-year period for which we have data. While job growth remains positive in Ventura County, sectoral data give little support for optimism. Whether you look to jobs or GDP, the state of the Ventura County economy is weak.”

Here is the kicker, Mr. Fineup believes that the downturn can be directly traced to the growing housing affordability crisis and namely, “the inability of businesses to attract and retain talent.”

This next part should be quite familiar to Davis residents.

Mr. Fineup told the group: “Ventura County’s chronic lack of new construction is driven by a set of urban growth policies … which rank as the most stringent growth restrictions of any county in the United States.”

While Ventura is obviously a lot bigger than Davis or Yolo County – this should sound rather familiar.

Mr. Walters notes, “Ventura is one of several California counties and cities that have adopted Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) restrictions that make it virtually impossible to build housing on agricultural land.

“SOAR is the most virulent form of local not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) policies that are the major impediments to expanding housing construction needed to keep up with population growth, replace housing lost to fires and begin closing a shortage that now is several million units.”

The problem of businesses attempting to attract and retain talent has become a problem in Davis as well.  We have repeatedly cited the statement from the developers of the University Research Park mixed-use development proposal who believe that a barrier to economic development in Davis, to recruiting and retaining business here is that we lack workforce housing.

Once again we are seeing that this is not just a Davis-problem, it is a problem for California as a whole.  And it is a problem that resonates or can resonate with both the left and the right.  The left in the form of increased poverty rates as the result of lack of housing.  The right in the form of a potential economic downturn.

As Mr. Walters notes: “State officials say California needs to be building 180,000 new units of housing a year – a level it achieved prior to the Great Recession, which drove new construction down to as low as 30,000 units.”

Some have recently argued that the slow down in housing is a sign of the next housing market downturn, the end to the bubble, but this evidence suggests that the lack of housing may also end up being a cause of the next downturn here in California.

Writes Mr. Walters, “As the new report on Ventura’s stagnant economy indicates, California will pay a steep economic price if it fails to resolve its housing crisis. Job-creating investment will decline and California will become even more economically polarized with a vanishing middle class.

“Incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom talks of ramping up housing construction. But talk is cheap. The real question is whether he and the Legislature will confront NIMBYism by intervening in local land use policy and compelling Ventura and other localities that resist new construction to meet the state’s housing quotas,” he writes.

He also argues: “It would require courage because NIMBYism is most evident in coastal communities that strongly support Newsom and other Democrats at the polls.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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154 thoughts on “Commentary: Housing, Poverty and the Economy”

  1. Ron

    Some of the points in this article contradict with each other.

    First, a point is made regarding lower-income people getting priced-out of California.

    Then, a claim is made that development restrictions impact economic development.

    Last time I checked, lower-income people get priced-out even further, by economic development.  In fact, they’re actively “displaced”.  One need look no further than Silicon Valley and San Francisco, to see this in action. I believe this phenomenon has even spread to Oakland.

      1. Ron

        There is a contradiction, unless economic development and vast amounts of housing are constructed to house those new workers.  In other words, business as usual – with no apparent goal (other than continuous sprawl). This type of thinking is the reason that California exists in its current state.

        Your example also assumes that the low-income folks (who already live in a given area) are the same ones who would be getting the new jobs. Based upon history, nothing could be further from the truth.

        1. David Greenwald

          You’re correct, if you lack sufficient housing (which is the problem with the high cost of housing), the housing you have will be too expensive.  There is no inherent contradict here.

        2. Ron

          That is simply incorrect.  Economic development will primarily create jobs for those who don’t already live in a given area, and increase the demand for higher-end housing.  It does nothing for lower-income folks, who will be further challenged.

          You seem to be assuming that economic development combined with building a “sufficient” amount of additional housing will drive housing prices down to the point that lower-income folks would then be able to afford a higher-priced area. I’d suggest you’re not putting forth realistic arguments, to say the least. Of course, you’re also not putting forth any actual numbers or examples, so it’s really a pretty silly article/claim.

          1. Don Shor

            Economic development will primarily create jobs for those who don’t already live in a given area, and increase the demand for higher-end housing. It does nothing for lower-income folks, who will be further challenged.

            I have seen business/commercial areas develop without providing the services, retail, and food options that people need, such as when Natomas first got built. The nursery association moved their offices there and when we went to meetings we literally had to go miles just to find lunch. But if a business park is done right, it includes small retail such as convenience stores, it includes fast food and mid-price eateries, and all of those support businesses require staff. Adding a hotel creates a large number of jobs for entry-level workers. The businesses themselves also require landscaping and janitorial services.
            Properly planned and developed, economic development creates jobs at a range of income levels.

        3. Ron

          If they’re landing a low-wage job in a high-priced area (with prices driven even higher by economic development), then they are not necessarily being helped, as a whole.

          I think you’re not putting forth honest arguments, here. And, I suspect that you know better.

          Some have resisted the YIMBY movement because it’s displacing lower-income folks. (And, those concerns are originating from those communities – which are disproportionately communities of color). Given your concern regarding social issues, I find it strange that you’re not reporting on that.

        4. David Greenwald

          Don: To add to your point, one of the benefits of the high tech industry is that they offer good jobs that don’t necessarily require college or advanced degrees.

        5. Ron

          David:  Again, economic development primarily helps those who are in a position to take advantage of it.  And, it drives housing prices up even higher.

          If you’re going to put forth these types of arguments, I’d suggest that you include actual numbers regarding the amount of housing that would be required to drive housing prices significantly downward, especially if new economic development is simultaneously pushing prices in the opposite direction.

          I’m also looking forward to your reporting on the concerns related to the YIMBY movement, which are primarily coming from communities of color (who are being displaced by higher-income people).

        6. David Greenwald

          Ron, I don’t know how else to put it, but you’re wrong.  Period.  The problem you’re citing is lack of affordable housing, not economic development.

        7. Ron

          I’m not sure if you’re referring to “Affordable” housing, or “affordable” housing.

          If you’re referring to affordable (non-subsidized) housing, I’d suggest that you put forth some actual numbers, regarding the amount of new housing that would be required to drive prices significantly downward.  Especially if you’re simultaneously advocating for economic development, which drives housing prices in the opposite direction (upward).

          By the way, I’m quite certain that MRIC (in any form) will be used by development activists (such as yourself) to advocate for more housing. The writing is clearly on the wall, regarding this – even before the proposal comes forth.

          And, when the fiscal costs of housing are included in analyses, the economic arguments start disappearing.

        8. Rik Keller

          Greenwald said: “Ron, I don’t know how else to put it, but you’re wrong.  Period.  The problem you’re citing is lack of affordable housing, not economic development.

          Actually, he’s right. And you are being naive about the neoliberal deregulation that YIMBY types are pushing. Ron is referring to opposition groups such as those described in the article who helped to kill SB827:
          “The YIMBY movement has a white privilege problem,” said Anya Lawler, a lobbyist with the Western Center on Law & Poverty, a legal advocacy group and adversary of SB 827. “I don’t think they recognize it. They don’t understand poverty. They don’t understand what that’s like, who our clients really are and what their lived experience is.”
          https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-housing-bill-failure-equity-groups-20180502-story.html

          The YIMBY groups also failed Civics 101: “In this case, Hanlon said, guarding against displacement and promoting affordable housing were always at the front of his mind. But because he was just starting his organization, Hanlon said he didn’t have time to meet with equity groups before the bill was released. He planned on addressing their issues as SB 827 moved through the Legislature.

           

    1. Richard McCann

      Ron

      Are you saying that economic growth always prices the poor out of housing? That poor are always made worse off by economic growth? That the only solution to reach equity is to pull everyone down to the level of the poor? Because I’m not seeing what your alternative is that is implementable in today’s world.

      1. Ron

        Richard:  The answer to your three loaded questions is “no”.

        Perhaps you’d care to answer the questions I’ve been asking of the other development activists. That is, by how much would you like to see housing prices decline? And, how many houses would it take to accomplish that goal? And, how would you reconcile that goal with the pursuit of economic development (which tends to drive housing prices higher)?

        Let’s see some actual, supported numbers. And then, we can move on to follow-up questions regarding fiscal, environmental, and infrastructure impacts.

        1. Richard McCann

          If your answers are “no” then why do all of your comments presume “yes”? You have not specified the conditions of why the current situation in Davis leads you to say “yes” to these three questions for this situation. And you still haven’t specified your alternative.

          Provide me with the funding to undertake the study and I can provide you with a range of forecasts for how the housing market might evolve. But given that this is a website discussion, I’m not prepared to spends the hundreds of professional hours required to develop that forecast for free. Given that you answered “no” to my 3 questions, the burden is on you, not me, to demonstrate that increases economic development and housing will NOT lead to reduced housing cost pressures. (BTW, my housing cost metric is not a change in price, but rather in increased affordability for a larger share of households. That can come about through increased economic development even in a rising housing price market.)

          Yet, you still have not answered the first question that you answered with a question. Start with that instead. You don’t deserve an answer to your question until you do that.

  2. Ken A

    David writes: “The bad news is that the 2018 report is just as bad – although the numbers are slightly better with *only* 19 percent in poverty this year as compared to 20.4 percent last year.”

    I was out in Winters this weekend where a couple young white guys who went to Cal Poly were using a GPS device to map the planting of a new orchard and another white guy (that has a nice F350 to tow his Bobcat tractor who lives with his parents in Orangevale) was working on a drainage project.

    The farmer I was out there with said that as more things get automated he has a lot less people working for him and even as the percentage of Latinos in the state increases he is hiring less and less Latinos since not many of them own the specialized machines or have the specialized skills he needs.

    A relative works for a group in Ventura county that runs programs for school age kids and she said almost every public school kid in Ventura county gets a free lunch (and almost every kid at the private school Thacher comes from a family with more money than you can imagine) and that Ventura county is becoming a place for rich old people and some poor families (and a private boarding school where the super rich from SF and LA pay $250K per kid for high school).

    P.S. I wonder if Ron has ever looked in to moving to Ventura County with even less growth than Yolo County…

    1. Ron

      P.S. I wonder if Ron has ever looked in to moving to Ventura County with even less growth than Yolo County…

      Ken:  I wonder if you’ve ever considered moving to a place that has development policies more to your liking.  Such places are not in short supply, even though they are not necessarily doing well economically – despite those policies.

      1. Ken A

        My point is that as farming (in both Ventura and Yolo counties) gets more high tech it will require less and less people (ask some Yolo County old timers how many people worked to with tomatoes in the 1960’s vs. today) and the smaller number of people will be better educated and better paid.

        I’m wondering if David can tell us what percentage of  “high tech industry” workers didn’t go to college (and if he consider the janitors at Oracle, Facebook and Google as working in the “high tech industry” when he writes “one of the benefits of the high tech industry is that they offer good jobs that don’t necessarily require college”)…

  3. Rik Keller

    Least surprising pivot ever: Greenwald starts off discusses PPIC data that accurately diagnoses some of the problem (for example, from one of the PPIC’s recent reports “The state’s affordability problem has been aggravated by slow growth in household income”) and then spends the last part of the article extensively quoting Dan Walters’ and Matthew Fienup’s propaganda straight out of the build-baby-build and deregulation “solutions” being pushed by the California Building Industry Association and the like.

    You wouldn’t know from Greenwald’s article that a January 2018 PPIC report shows that Ventura County’s housing prices have increased the least from the 2011/2012 low among the California 15 most populous counties, and have also not risen past the 2006/2007 peak levels.

    Here’s some context: Walters’ decades-long career as the  token conservative columnist at the Sac Bee is a history of failed ideas, bad prognostications, and terrible policy advice. Fienup has been a vocal proponent of Trump’s corporate tax giveaway who wants to provide even more corporate welfare to keep California “competitive”.

  4. Ron

    As a side note, broader forces are now starting to force housing prices downward. It is the beginning stages of a correction:

    “While homebuilders are still not ramping up entry-level supply, they are starting to cut prices.

    A new survey from the NAHB, which has yet to be released, found 41 percent of builders reported reducing prices as a sales incentive for July through October Oct 2018, up from 26 percent a year earlier.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/home-construction-tumbles-and-a-top-analyst-calls-a-correction/ar-BBR7SMt?li=BBnbfcN

    1. Rik Keller

      Ron: if/when another housing crash/downturn happens, we can observe once again that when things are booming and prices are increasing, the BIA types talk about “undersupply” and the need for deregulation. But then when the crash happens, they don’t talk about “oversupply”.

      1. Ron

        Rik:  That’s for sure.

        One of the “pluses” of the Davis housing market is that it doesn’t experience the same level of downturns or upturns as other communities do.  Based upon your 10:05 a.m. comment, it sounds like Ventura doesn’t, either.

        Anyone who’s advocating “building our way” to affordability while simultaneously pursuing economic development should be prepared to put forth actual, supported numbers regarding the amount of housing that would be needed to accomplish that goal. The goal itself is also undefined, in terms of the actual drop in housing values that some are seeking.

        1. Ron

          Again, by how much would you like to see home values drop, and how many houses would it take to accomplish that goal (while simultaneously pursuing economic development)?

          For those who are honestly seeking a drop in home values, broader market forces are now causing that to occur.  This should be welcome news, for some. (I view it that way.)

          1. Don Shor

            how much would you like to see home values drop, and how many houses would it take to accomplish that goal

            Per Gov.-elect Newsom, 500,000 houses a year.
            https://la.curbed.com/2018/11/8/18073066/california-governor-election-gavin-newsom-housing-plan
            The biggest threat to slow-growth policies is likely to come from the political leaders in Sacramento. But on the plus side, if you are looking for funding for affordable housing, he has pledged to significantly increase funding for that.

        2. Ron

          The need defined by whatever developers are willing to build, if they’re given approval to do so?

          Again, by much would you like to see housing values drop, and how many houses would be required to accomplish that goal (while simultaneously pursuing economic development – which increases the need)?

        3. Ron

          Craig:  You haven’t answered the question.

          Don:  The governor is primarily proposing Affordable housing, which some argue drives up the cost of non-Affordable housing.

          1. Don Shor

            The governor is primarily proposing Affordable housing, which some argue drives up the cost of non-Affordable housing.

            No, the 500,000 units and the affordable housing proposals are two different things.

          2. Don Shor

            You haven’t answered the question.

            Where should people live, Ron? Where should people work?
            You never answer those questions, except with some version of “somewhere else.”

        4. Craig Ross

          My answer Ron is still that you asked the wrong question. What we need to focus on is the input – houses marketrate and affordable – not the output – cost.

        5. Ron

          The governor’s plan is unrealistic.  According to the article Don posted:

          “The number of homes Newsom proposes to build would be unprecedented. Since 1954, developers have constructed more than 300,000 units in a year only twice.”

          Let’s see what happens when the governor runs into opposition, which also already caused abandonment/dilution of some prior proposals (primarily from Assemblyman Scott Weiner).

          I’m going to be especially amused, when some of the communities that resist growth more than Davis get involved. Perhaps Ventura is one of them.

          Craig is still refusing to answer the question. Again, by how much would you like to see housing values drop, and how many new houses would it take to achieve that goal?

          If you can’t answer that, you don’t have a plan (or even a goal).

        6. Keith O

          Why does California welcome illegals into our state with its policies when we can’t even house the people we already have?

          Why won’t Democrats ever answer THAT question?

        7. Ron

          And again, I’d ask Craig, Don, David, or any of the other development activists how they can reconcile the pursuit of economic development (which increases demand for housing), while simultaneously expressing concern for lower-income folks who are most vulnerable to housing price increases?

          Put forth some numbers, regarding the amount of new housing needed to accomplish your goal. (But first, let’s see you define the goal, itself.)

          By how much would you like to see housing prices decline, and how many houses would it take to accomplish that goal (while simultaneously pursuing economic development)?

          Once you answer those questions (with supported numbers), we can move toward follow-up questions regarding fiscal impacts, environment impacts, infrastructure demands, etc.

           

          1. Don Shor

            Put forth some numbers, regarding the amount of new housing needed to accomplish your goal. (But first, let’s see you define the goal, itself.)

            My goal was more rental housing. I advocated for that with very specific numbers over a long period of time. We have pretty much achieved my goals for starting the process of providing that. I recall that you opposed all or most of those projects.

        8. Richard McCann

          Ron, you said:

          “And again, I’d ask Craig, Don, David, or any of the other development activists how they can reconcile the pursuit of economic development (which increases demand for housing), while simultaneously expressing concern for lower-income folks who are most vulnerable to housing price increases?”

          You pose the question as though the world is static and noninteractive–that economic development happens completely independent of housing development. Of course, the opposite is true. Mostly economic development spurs housing growth, and the incongruities occur when poorly conceived regulatory intervention suppresses housing development in the face of growth, which is what has happened in the Bay Area. In most U.S. history and world history, the two have run in reasonably close parallel and housing has been made available across the income spectrum.

          The biggest source of the problem with housing affordability is the increasing income disparity. Higher income households are bidding up housing prices more rapidly because their income growth is outpacing average income growth. The best way to address housing affordability is to decrease income disparity. That’s why we had increasing home ownership into the 1980s as income disparity was decreasing.

          And you answered Craig Ross’ question with a question. To deserve an answer, you first need to answer his question: “Where do you get affordability without building more housing…?”

        9. Ron

          “The biggest source of the problem with housing affordability is the increasing income disparity.”

          I agree.

          “Higher income households are bidding up housing prices more rapidly because their income growth is outpacing average income growth.”

          Probably true.

          “The best way to address housing affordability is to decrease income disparity. That’s why we had increasing home ownership into the 1980s as income disparity was decreasing.”

          Probably true.

          “And you answered Craig Ross’ question with a question. To deserve an answer, you first need to answer his question: “Where do you get affordability without building more housing…?”

          If you review the thread, you’ll see that none of the development activists answered the questions that I asked (first).  That is, by how much would you like to see housing prices decline?  And, how many houses would it take to accomplish that?  And, how would that work if simultaneously pursuing economic development (which tends to drive housing prices higher)?

          The development activists can’t even define their “goal”, to begin with.  The questions I asked are directly related to the question that Craig subsequently asked of me.

          1. Don Shor

            That is, by how much would you like to see housing prices decline?

            They won’t. In markets with limited supply the rate of increase in rental housing costs could be moderated by increasing supply. Some markets, especially coastal California, are so hot with respect to home ownership that I doubt economic development will make much difference overall.

            And, how many houses would it take to accomplish that?

            That obviously will vary in different regions, so your question isn’t really answerable. What we faced in the market here in Davis has been addressed by providing for a few thousand units of rental housing.

            And, how would that work if simultaneously pursuing economic development (which tends to drive housing prices higher)?

            Housing demand and supply are regional. Nearly every community exists in some level of symbiosis with other nearby communities with respect to housing costs, transportation, and availability of jobs.

        10. Ron

          Housing demand and supply are regional. Nearly every community exists in some level of symbiosis with other nearby communities with respect to housing costs, transportation, and availability of jobs.

          I agree.  In this way, Davis can never really be that far “out of whack” with surrounding communities.  (It’s always been somewhat more expensive, due to UCD.)

          But obviously, if more “availability of jobs” is created where it’s not needed, it’s going to increase the discrepancy. And, that will be true even if housing is included in a development, as there’s no way to ensure that the residents are workers within the development.

          Here’s an idea: Create economic development where it’s actually needed and desired.

  5. Keith O

    The census figures from 2017 showed that when the cost of living, specifically housing, was factored in, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation with more than 20 percent of its residents, 8 million people, meeting the “supplemental poverty measure.”

    Thank the Democrats, they control our state.

      1. David Greenwald

        Keith – Craig has a point.  I would guess you’ve probably voted against four of the five Measure R projects.  Maybe only three.

        But there’s a bigger point and it is where I agree a little with Ron (don’t fall over), I don’t know that we can build our way to affordability.  California, especially coastal California, is probably always going to be more expensive than average.

        1. Keith O

          David, why don’t you answer why California’s policies invite illegal immigration when Democrats have no solution for housing them or their subsequent poverty?

        2. David Greenwald

          How do you know they have no solution for housing?  They just passed a slew of bills barely a year ago, and the funding for much of it hasn’t come through.

        3. Keith O

          Look at the actual numbers, 8 million living in poverty.  Democrats have run the state for how many years now?  Look where they’ve brought us.  Will any new housing projects even keep up with the flow of illegal immigrants much less help stem the flow of overpriced housing and poverty?  Democrats have failed, you just won’t admit it.

        4. David Greenwald

          You just changed the subject.  You said the Democrats had no solution for the housing problem, I pointed out that the Democrats have passed a slew of housing bills, so your response had nothing to do with the housing issue, instead you want a partisan debate – I’m not interested in discussing that, I’m interested in discussing housing policies.

        5. Rik Keller

          David Greenwald said “…I don’t know that we can build our way to affordability.” Yep.

          This is especially the case when housing is both a necessity as well as a vehicle for international investment speculation. And we should keep in mind that a key component of the housing affordability equation is income.

        6. Mark West

          “why California’s policies invite illegal immigration…”

          Historically, because the locals won’t do the work that is needed to support the local’s lifestyle.

        7. Ron

          In reference to Mark’s comment, one would also have to examine the amount of wages paid to undocumented workers.  (For that matter, low-wage documented workers, as well.)

          In reality, Affordable housing subsidizes employers who can’t (or won’t) pay their employees a sufficient wage. The same goes for all of the other government subsidies for low-wage workers.

          Some of the strongest supporters of the current system enabling undocumented workers are the employers who benefit from them.

        8. Richard McCann

          Keith O

          Undocument immigrants have been declining for more than a decade, so you’re wrong about their presence being the source of this problem. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/28/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

        9. Ron

          And by “benefit”, I’m referring to taking advantage of undocumented workers. Sometimes, this results in criminal charges (but this is apparently rare). I understand that enforcement primarily focuses on these employers, not the workers (who end up suffering, either way).

          I just watched a PBS program regarding this situation.

        10. Keith O

          Rich M

          I never said that illegal immigrants are the only source of the problem but they are a source.

          Anyone that doesn’t admit that obviously has a bias.

           

           

        11. David Greenwald

          How do you know they are a source?  And don’t point to sheer numbers, we know those numbers.  How do we know that they are a proximate cause of lack of housing?  I have tried several different times now to find data on where undocumented immigrants actually reside and whether they are taking up housing that others would occupy.  So maybe you have access to data I haven’t seen on that.

        12. Keith O

          Duh, it’s not rocket science.  There are estimated @3 million illegals residing in California.  They’re living in housing somewhere that could’ve gone to California citizens.  That would be a huge dent in the problem.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            As I said, “And don’t point to sheer numbers, we know those numbers.” I was interested in actual data, which I have yet to be able to find.

          2. Don Shor

            There are estimated @3 million illegals residing in California. They’re living in housing somewhere that could’ve gone to California citizens. That would be a huge dent in the problem.

            Significant numbers are mixed-status families.

          3. David Greenwald Post author

            And a good number are seasonal and may not have permanent residences, part of why I asked the question I did. Unfortunately Keith wants to throw stuff around without having an actual conversation on what it means. He also completely avoided addressing whether he believes the housing package will work or not.

      2. Richard McCann

        Keith O, you say:

        “Democrat policies have put 20% of Californians into poverty. Yet its voters still vote Democrat. Hard to figure.”

        It’s not hard to fathom when the alternatives that are presented are worse than the disease. Proposing reduction in personal civil liberties and greater authoritarianism along with calls for outright ending of social safety nets and entire self reliance on personal income and wealth as the only means of survival, all of which have been called for by many state (and national) GOP politicians (Tom McClintock first comes to mind of expressing all of these points in his campaign documents) makes that choice unpalatable. Until the state GOP figures out that they can’t be the GOP of Alabama, there will be no effective challenge to the Dems. Quit trying to achieve Ayn Rand’s fantasy world, and voters might start listening.

        1. Keith O

          California is lost, just admit it.  Democrats have run the show and they ran California into the ground.  Now that they have a supermajority it’s only going to get much worse.  You can’t blame the GOP for what they should be when we have the Democrats for what they actually are.  The proof is in the numbers that this article illustrates.

        2. David Greenwald

          You make me laugh Keith, you’re obviously arguing with people who by and large disagree with you.  So it would seem you would need to do more than you’re doing to argue your point.

        3. Ron

          David:  I would not discount the impact that undocumented workers are having on housing challenges, especially for those at the lower-end of the wage spectrum.

          It’s likely depressing wages, as well.

          Where I differ with Keith (to some degree) is that I wouldn’t just blame Democrats for this. The willingness to take advantage of undocumented workers likely cuts across party lines and ideology.

          Again, I just watched an excellent PBS program regarding this in a particular industry (which had nothing to do with California, Democrats, or Republicans).

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’m skeptical of the depressing wages angle as well. Neither of you offer data or anything other than conjecture, which isn’t particularly helpful.

        4. Keith O

          you’re obviously arguing with people who by and large disagree with you. 

          Soon you won’t have to worry about that because all the commenters will be agreeing with each other.  You can lead the choir.

        5. David Greenwald

          An additional question for Keith, not that he answered any of my other questions, if you do manage to remove immigrants from the equation, who fills their gap in the economy?  Does the economy simply contract or does it get filled with others moving in – in which case the impact on housing is negated by the new arrivals?  I don’t know the answer to this, but this is a complex and dynamic system.

        6. Richard McCann

          Keith O

          California has an economy that is the envy of most “red” states. And you avoided the key point of my post–that the GOP has not provided a viable acceptable alternative. I see many problems in how the Dems run the state (but they also have managed to generate a huge budget surplus while generating the most economic growth of all but a few small oil-driven states). But switching to a bunch of knee-jerk blowhards who are willing to support the election of a criminal family to the Presidency is not acceptable. Bring back the pre-Reagan GOP and I’d be willing to consider it.

  6. Ron

    As I said, “And don’t point to sheer numbers, we know those numbers.” I was interested in actual data, which I have yet to be able to find.

    How would you find that, if they’re “undocumented”?  Perhaps best case is an estimate.

    The problem with bringing up immigration (“illegal”, or otherwise) is that it invariably ends up in allegations (or actual occurrences) of discrimination.  It is a difficult subject to honestly discuss, similar to discrepancies in crime (alleged, or actual) between different “races”.

    But, I’d suggest that one reason Donald Trump won is because many (apparently) agreed with him, regarding illegal immigration.  (I’m not one of those folks, at least in the manner in which Trump has approached it.)

    I’m still wondering when Mexico is going to pay for that wall. I found the former Mexican president’s reaction to that statement highly amusing.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I think the picture is quite a bit more complex than Keith suggests with a summary statistic. Also if a good portion of the people in question have lived here for a decade, is that what is driving the current housing problem? I’m far from convinced on the Trump point, but that hardly is reason to capitulate on the issue.

      1. Ron

        I guess that part of the answer is whether or not you think there was a “housing/income imbalance” for more than a decade.

        I can tell you an anecdotal story, regarding a blue-collar friend of mine (who is probably more “liberal” than you), but strongly believes that he has been out-competed for jobs (lately) by undocumented workers.  And, he believes this is a significant change from the conditions that existed in his younger days.  In that sense (only), he thinks that Trump has struck a nerve.

        Recently, he moved out of California (and seems quite happy about that). (However, he is now retirement age, and probably won’t work again.)

        I’ve heard this from other blue-collar workers, as well.

  7. David Greenwald

    It is interesting, Ron is arguing that economic development leads to higher costs of housing – I can find no research to back that claim.  Most of the research I see, is that rising housing costs, suppress economic growth (the point of this column).

    1. Ron

      Hmm.  What do you think accounts for the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley?  Is it just due to the weather?

      And frankly, how has the cost of housing suppressed economic growth there?

      Do you think that the cost of housing in Davis might have something to do with proximity to UCD (and Sacramento)?

      How much research have you actually done?

      (Seems like you’re drifting off into “less than forthcoming” arguments.)

        1. Ron

          Very good.  I think we’re getting somewhere.

          Now, what leads to increased demand for housing in a given area? (Not including obvious vacation areas, such as Tahoe.)

        2. David Greenwald

          My question is why are you only focusing on the demand side of the equation?  There are a variety of things that increase demand, but demand is only half the equation. Increased demand by itself does not cause housing to go up.

        3. Ron

          “Increased demand by itself does not cause housing to go up.”

          Yes, it does.  Unless matched by a corresponding increase in the type of supply that meets that demand.

          This latest thread started off by your outrageous suggestion that economic development has no impact on demand.  Really?

        4. David Greenwald

          So I think the accurate and defensible comment is – any time you adds jobs (not just economic development) without adding housing, you *could* increase the cost of housing depending on the area’s ability to absorb the people arriving for those jobs. That’s different from saying that economic development increases housing costs.

      1. Don Shor

        Hmm. What do you think accounts for the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley? Is it just due to the weather?

        Population of “Silicon Valley” is over 3 million people in something like 20 cities, including high-cost and low-cost housing areas. Compare Palo Alto to East Palo Alto.

        1. Ron

          East Palo Alto is a dangerous slum, last time I checked.  It would be interesting to know if the YIMBY’s are trying to change that. Does it include public housing?

          Strange, how housing for 3 million people still hasn’t reduced housing prices. Maybe providing housing for 4 million will “fix” that.

          But no – the demand for housing in Silicon Valley “has nothing to do” with nearby employment opportunities. (You and David realize how ridiculous this makes you look, right? It’s like arguing with pathological liars.) (Sorry, but it really is.)

        2. Mark West

          Ron: “It’s like arguing with pathological liars.”

          Many of us are quite familiar with that feeling, Ron.

          Ron: “East Palo Alto is a dangerous slum, last time I checked”

          I doubt you have ever been to East Palo Alto. My brother used to live there and often commented on how his friends from Oakland refused to visit because of how ‘dangerous’ it was. He never visited Oakland for the same reason…

           

  8. Ron

    I think the lesson we’ve learned here today is as follows:

    1)  Development activists cannot articulate their goals, starting with the amount of new housing they advocate to reduce housing prices by some undefined amount.

    2)  Millions of immigrants have no impact on housing prices (or wages), apparently because they’re living under rocks and are not working.

    3)  Economic development has no impact on housing prices, despite examples seen in Silicon Valley, etc. It’s a complete mystery, regarding the cause of the high housing prices there.

    4)  It’s a waste of time to argue with those who aren’t presenting honest arguments.

    1. Richard McCann

      Ron, it’s not that those who have responded to you haven’t answered these points–it’s that you don’t like their answers so you try to claim that they haven’t answered them. Each one of your points has been addressed extensively by myself and others. Meanwhile, you have NEVER answered the questions put forward to you about what are your solutions to the issues raised. It appears your answer is “my head is in the sand. Nah nah nah.”
      1)  Development activists cannot articulate their goals, starting with the amount of new housing they advocate to reduce housing prices by some undefined amount.
      – You’re asking for certainty in a policy goal that is a false god. The biggest single mistake made by too many politicians is declaring a set goal that we will “achieve X number by doing Y number.” Even then, the specificity you want requires substantial and expensive economic modeling that is well beyond the resources of anyone posting here and probably falls into the bailiwick of SACOG.
      2)  Millions of immigrants have no impact on housing prices (or wages), apparently because they’re living under rocks and are not working.
      As David has pointed out, SOMEONE will be doing most/all of those jobs, so the same number of people would still be here. In addition, the undocumented immigrant population has been decreasing, and ALL of the rest of us are “immigrants” here (even those of Native American heritage has ancestors who were immigrants.) So that population group has no differential impact on housing prices. (We left out the issue of wages, but the flood of women into the workplace beginning in the 1970s also had a substantial impact on wages. That issue is MUCH more complex than the level at which you try to oversimplify to.)
      3)  Economic development has no impact on housing prices, despite examples seen in Silicon Valley, etc. It’s a complete mystery, regarding the cause of the high housing prices there.
      As I pointed out, this country is an example of how economic development has led to the EXPANSION of affordable housing, with one demonstration being the expansion of home ownership shares since WWII, and the decrease in the share of household income to housing costs until the last decade. It’s not mystery as to why Davis has high housing prices–you just don’t want to hear that its people of your ilk that is the cause.
      4)  It’s a waste of time to argue with those who aren’t presenting honest argumen
      Agreed. You haven’t yet presented an honest argument or accepted your responsibility for creating our local problems.

      1. Ron

        Richard:  I don’t think it’s particularly useful to run through this again (with the examples already presented earlier), so perhaps we should leave it at that.

        For sure, economic expansion will lead to pressure and calls for more housing development.  It’s been demonstrated time and again. Even some companies are pushing for that, and are financially supporting the YIMBY movement. (If you’d like, I can probably find some articles showing that.)

        1. Ron

          The companies that claim that they need housing for their new workers in order to locate in Davis are another example of how economic expansion increases pressure to add housing.  I’m not sure how much more “obvious” of an example you need.

          Of course, one might question whether or not those claims are entirely forthcoming.  It seems that the real profit for developers is in housing, not commercial development. Of course, we also do not know what type of communication may be occurring between the developers and companies. (They’re certainly going to be on the “same side”, along with folks like you and the Vanguard, itself.)

        2. Richard McCann

          Ron

          As I pointed out, your claims that these questions were not answered was false. You even contradicted your answer to my 3 questions above. I think your response finally revealed what you truly believe–“under absolutely no circumstances can Davis ever add any more housing or population.” You epitomize the truly irrational no-growther.

      2. Craig Ross

        The truth comes out…  and it’s fascinating.  Ron is opposed to housing.  Any housing it seems though he might slightly protest.  He views economic development as a mechanism that may lead to increased pressure for housing.  So he’s opposed to economic development.  I suppose then, that he is either in favor of more taxes or service cuts.  And I suspect that Ron gives us insight into the thinking of many slow growth / no growth people in town.  Now those of us who are hoping for jobs after school – SOL.  Those who rely on economic development for their livelihood, likewise, SOL.  Forget about leveraging the power of the university.  Forget about the good that can come from clean technology, medical technology, environmental technology, and food technology dealing with food insecurity.  And hey, if you get priced out of Davis because there’s not enough housing or the taxes have gone up too much, oh well.  Thanks for the insight into your worldview Ron.

        1. Ron

          Craig:  You misunderstand my motivations.  Not sure if that’s purposeful.

          It’s not likely that what you or the other development activists propose would directly harm my home, or its value.  However, the type of thinking that you espouse will harm Davis.  It’s the same type of thinking that’s gotten California to this point, with some exceptions where folks have risen up against development pressures.

        2. Craig Ross

          I don’t know what your motives are.  What I do know is what you are proposing would harm Davis in a misguided effort to save it.  Stifling economic development and strangling new housing will kill Davis.

        3. Ron

          If you “don’t know” what my motivations are, perhaps you should refrain from wild speculation in the future.

          Davis will be just fine, if the development activists are kept in check. (They’ve certain found a “home” on the Vanguard, though. Quite a nest of them on here.)

        4. Ron

          O.K. – I’ll get dragged into this again, for the moment.

          I assume that you’re referring to the fiscal deficits caused by past development decisions, and failure to control costs.

          I’ve addressed this more than once, but will provide a brief overview again.

          First, I probably wouldn’t be giving out raises at this time, even the limited ones that the council recently approved.  Those add to the cost of unfunded retirement liabilities, as well.

          Regarding unfunded liabilities, I’m wondering why development activists believe this trillion-dollar problem is going to be solved (individually) by cities, counties, jurisdictions and the state itself.  It seems much more likely that the problem will come to a system-wide head, which will have to be dealt with at that level.

          Of course, by presenting this issue as an individual-entity problem, it provides development activists with yet another opportunity to present what they offer as a “solution”.  Given history, those “solutions” have often turned out to be anything but that. One only needs to examine other communities (which are essentially run by development activists), to realize that their fiscal condition is likely worse. I recently posted a link to a site which shows this, and can do so again if needed.

          For example, West Sacramento is worse-off than Davis, in this regard.

           

        5. Richard McCann

          This is the single most intriguing exchange that I’ve seen Ron involved in on this site. Craig has posited what Ron’s outlook on Davis might be, and Ron first responds with “yawn” and then “You misunderstand my motivations.  Not sure if that’s purposeful.” Yet, Ron still give NO insight into this motivations other than “Davis will be fine,” again first presenting a stone wall (a typical Internet troll tactic when confronted with no way out), and then offering up completely tangential issue on pension liabilities (that he admits can’t be solved at the local level.) We’re left wondering how “Davis will be fine” in this view, especially if there are these large liabilities? We have someone claiming a right to engage in discussion in anonymity but then refusing to actually engage in discussion on the most directly relevant issue–his outlook on in the issue being discussed.

        6. Ron

          Richard:

          I’ve already provided quite a few responses in this thread, including those to you and Craig.  The questions have already been answered, although I could provide some additional suggestions.  (For one thing, I think the city should try once again for a tax dedicated to road and bike path maintenance.  I believe it came pretty close to passing, last time. I also understand that there’s some effort to change the requirements of such measures, so that a simple majority vote is all that is needed.)

          Unfortunately, some of the same folks who ask me questions that have already been responded to will then “point out” how many times I’ve already responded, apparently in an attempt to set me up and then undermine me as a commenter. (In other words, they’re more interested in attacking me, than having an actual discussion.) Interestingly enough, these types of attacks sometimes come from those using their full names.

        7. Richard McCann

          Ron, you still haven’t answered Craig’s question of where affordable housing is coming from. And you still have avoided answering how you would resolve the multitude of issues facing the city. Again, this exchange illustrates what you have been doing all along, not only here but on other articles.

          As for commenting directly on your motivations, as an anonymous poster you have implied that you are willing to accept that you will be heavily criticized for your opinions and that you feel you are protected from the consequences. You have relinquished your standing to complain about treatment from other commentators. Come out from behind your mask and you may garner the respect you crave. Sorry that you feel so hurt for being called out.

        8. Ron

          If it’s not already clear to you, I’m not “hurt” at all by what you say.

          Although I’m not a religious man, all I can say is “God help the Vanguard”, since their new policy isn’t going to make any difference in reference to those who use their full names.

          Look for activity to possibly rise in the “other” blog, though.

  9. Eric Gelber

    Obviously, the housing crisis is complex and multifaceted. It’s easy to blame undocumented immigrants for California’s housing shortage and high costs; but, in truth, the situation would be worse without an immigrant workforce. As Dan Walters alludes to, one of the primary factors driving up housing costs is the declining number of workers in the construction industry. In California, about 42% of workers in construction overall are immigrants, and undocumented immigrants make up about 14% of that workforce. Drastically curtail immigration and the existing worker and housing shortages will be significantly exacerbated.

    1. Ron

      Eric:  How many in the construction industry, for example, are taking advantage of undocumented workers (either directly, or indirectly)?

      And, how does that impact those immigrants, workers and employers who “play by the rules”? Why even subject anyone to the legal process of immigration, if it’s just going to be bypassed?

      Is the construction industry no longer a viable option for those here legally (either by birth, or legal immigration)?

      What are the larger ramifications of a semi-permanent undocumented population? There’s got to be a whole host of financial, fiscal, and social issues, regarding that. What a mess this is.

  10. Ron

    Eric: I think you deleted your subsequent comment, but thought I’d leave this response:

    I’d recommend PBS’ Frontline show, regarding an example of undocumented workers in the chicken industry.  (Also, quite an opportunity to see how the chickens themselves are treated.  It’s enough to make you become a vegetarian.)

    The workers themselves are “enslaved”, to pay off the debt that’s owed to the people that smuggle them into the U.S. The smugglers sometimes hold the deed to the family property, in the immigrant’s home village.

    1. Ron

      Needless to say, the young undocumented workers in this example (some of them minors) were sorry they ever came to the U.S.  They mistakenly believed that their lives would be better.

      Today, we refer to situations like this as “human trafficking”.  And, it’s largely invisible, unless you know where to look.

    2. Ken A

      Ron, most people in Davis will never watch the PBS story since it will make them feel bad about the $6/hr “undocumented” people that mow their laws, clean their homes and clean the wine bars, yoga studios and coffee shops they go to keeping prices low (and don’t ever mention the low skilled “documented” workers that can’t find a job since if they are legally paid through a payroll service they must be paid the minimum wage + have taxes taken out).  Most people in town are happy saying they “care” about the “undocumented” but don’t want to be reminded that working for $6/hr cash in CA is no dream life and that after we have a couple million people working for cash below minimum wage we not only have a couple million legal residents out of work we have a lot less tax revenue (including the half the employer is supposed to pay).

      1. David Greenwald

        How is that really different than the immigrant in 1900 getting paid $1 a day to work at the textile mills?  You think they had a great life?  My wife’s mother worked as a farm laborer and then as a domestic, but she enabled my wife to go to college.  I’m really not sure what you are driving at here – life of immigrants sucks (and my wife’s mom wasn’t an immigrant, she was first generation born here).

        1. Jim Hoch

          “life of immigrants sucks” Life of the uneducated can suck. I know lots of immigrants in the biotech and healthcare space and they have a great life. Patrick Soon Shiong seems quite pleased with his life here.

      2. Ron

        Ken:  As you probably know, PBS is not exactly a conservative bastion.  And yet, the program noted that (in this case) the involvement of law enforcement and subsequent prosecution of the smugglers ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the “lien” on at least one family’s property, back in their home village.

        It would be interesting to know how much law enforcement is directed at employers/smugglers, vs. the immigrants themselves. (Not something that the Vanguard would necessarily be interested in, of course.)

        It was also interesting to see how the employers “disassociated” themselves from those supplying the workers.

    1. Ron

      Truth be told, there aren’t many commenters today.  But, the few who venture on here get challenged (and sometimes harassed off). It seems that today was another day in which I chose to “go the distance”. (It certainly wasn’t my plan, when I got up this morning.)

      Not sure if I’ll continue on here, as I end up wasting entire days at a time (without really knowing how it’s being received – except by the development activists). Ultimately, one has to ask themselves if it’s worth the daily battle on here, vs. perhaps moving to other venues. These battles predate the Vanguard.

    2. Mark West

      “101 comments….you’re welcome David.”

      >40% coming from two anonymous posters

       

      “In 2 weeks this goes down to 18 comments and 4 contributors.”

      You may be right, but I doubt it. I suspect that there are a number of readers who happen to share Ron’s opinion

      “4)  It’s a waste of time to argue with those who aren’t presenting honest arguments.”

      who are biding their time until the quality of the conversation improves (in a week or two)…

       

      1. Matt Williams

        Mark, there probably are other readers who share Ron’s opinion, but I suspect they will continue to be just readers and not commenters.

        With that said, if Ron had not made his initial comment, David and Don would not have felt the need to add their rebuttal comments.

        Later on, when Keith and Ken added their initial comments, the detail was different but the same pattern repeated itself.  Without the initial comment, no rebuttal comments.

        It isn’t just the comments by the anonymous posters, but also the back-and-forth yammering that those initial comments spawn.

         

        1. Mark West

          Matt – When someone posts information that you know to be false, do you rebut it so as to set the record straight for others, or do you ignore it allowing those not as well informed as you to believe the information to be true? Similarly, when someone else posts in a way that mischaracterizes something you or someone else has said previously, do you rebut that or let it stand? Where do you draw the line, when the false and disingenuous posts are repeated throughout the day by a few like-minded individuals?

          Unfortunately, the back and forth is often necessary here due to the inappropriate behavior of certain posters. One option to deal with the problem would be more stringent Moderation, including pulling offending posts and banning posters as some sites do. Alternatively, as this site has chosen, force posters to take public responsibility for their comments by signing their real names. There will still be those who choose to ‘play the game’ as Ron, Keith, and others have been, but there will be fewer of them, and hopefully fewer incidences of the yawn-inducing back and forth.

        2. Ron

          Matt:  Regarding my initial comment – it’s just as true now, as it was 100 comments ago.

          To paraphrase Mark, does one just let others put forth less-than-forthcoming responses and mischaracterizations, unchallenged? 

          I suspect that reluctance to get dragged into this type of back-and-forth is part of the reason that some others don’t comment on here.

          As you note, initial comments trigger subsequent comments, thereby leading to extended back-and-forth.  (A reason to not make any comments at all, and let these articles die a natural death.)

          Regarding the other comments from Mark, there’s a serious need for a mirror. Unfortunately, some who use their full names are the same folks who put forth the most inflammatory, one-sided comments.

        3. Matt Williams

          Mark and Ron, my answer to you both is the same.  In the yammering nabob of negativity that the Vanguard has (largely) become, the correction of information that you personally believe to be false and or misleading has become a fool’s errand.  I believe that more often than not the two of you would look at the same piece of information and see both of the faces of Janus.

          Mark, the “conversation” you and I had at the Sudwerk Loading Dock shortly after the June election is a perfect example of one of those “ne’er the twain shall meet” situations.  We looked at 5,000-7,000 student beds from very different perspectives.  The “falseness” of 5,000-7,000 was irrelevant.

        4. Ron

          Matt:  I recall quite a bit of back-and-forth “yammering” (as you describe it) with you, in the past.  😉  However, you seem to have wisely stepped back from that.

          I have heard from others who no longer engage on here, as it is so unpleasant (and can waste vast amounts of time). In fact, it’s also a large part of the reason that there’s another Davis blog (which doesn’t seem particularly active, lately).

        5. Ron

          I don’t know what that is, but it certainly sounds serene.

          For sure, commenting and responding on this forum can destroy one’s serenity. I’ve been looking for a reason to stop (at least for awhile), so I’ll probably use the upcoming policy change to do so. Looking forward to it, actually.

        6. Ron

          Oh, wait – I do know what that is.  Yes, that’s good advice/guidance.

          Then again, we’d have Covell Village (and probably a lot of other developments by this point), if we chose to simply accept what others propose. (In other words, the “status quo”.)

          The folks I admire are those who have fought/sacrificed for something different. In fact, that’s the history of the entire environmental movement, as well. A lot of unsung heroes working in the background to preserve land, etc.

        7. Matt Williams

          The Serenity Prayer isn’t simply acceptance.

          Give me grace to accept with serenity
          the things that cannot be changed,
          Courage to change the things
          which should be changed,
          and the Wisdom to distinguish
          the one from the other.

        8. Richard McCann

          The pattern I see is that the anonymous posters have the most creative unsubstantiated fictions (although they will drop a real fact or study into the mix once in a while), while those who are identified are much more likely to cite to a source or a study. Even when I disagree with Rik Keller, it’s about disagreement over interpreting a study or a set of data that I can review. That’s not true from the anonymous posters who seem to prefer to reside in a world that each has constructed for himself. That lack of anchor in the world the rest of us inhabit makes discussion very difficult and unrewarding in general. As with Mark West, I’m here to correct the record much more than to argue my preferred policies.

        9. Ron

          Richard:  The accuracy of facts presented on here have no relationship to the identity of the commenter.  I’d be surprised if you could find any correlation to back your claim.

          You, and anyone else are free to challenge the facts presented, regardless of the identity of the commenter.

          Note that all commenters are adhering to the Vanguard’s current ID policy, which, by the way, is not completely anonymous.

  11. Ron

    In reference to my “hero” comment, another one is gone.  I generally know the story, but not all the players.  Many folks don’t even know the story (in Marin, or in the battles that have occurred elsewhere – even in Davis).

    “If we are not wise in our actions now, Marin County will suffer the same dreary fate of so much of the Bay Area and Southern California: urban sprawl at its worst,” Mr. Arrigoni wrote in 1968.
     
    “Without Pete, we would have a four-way ‘parkway’ from San Anselmo to Olema,” said former IJ editor and reporter Nels Johnson, who covered Mr. Arrigoni and credited him for his “pioneering” leadership in re-shaping the county’s governmental structure. “Even Gary (the late supervisor Gary Giacomini) said if hadn’t been for Pete, there would have been nothing left to save.”
     
    Giacomini was the leader of the push to protect West Marin with restrictive zoning that saved open ranchland from market-driven suburban sprawl.
     
    “Marin County would be a much different place if it weren’t for Pete Arrigoni,” said Marin Supervisor Katie Rice, who today holds the 2nd District supervisorial seat. She credited Arrigoni for standing up and preventing “the wholesale development of West Marin.”

    https://www.marinij.com/2018/12/19/former-marin-supervisor-peter-arrigoni-dies-at-87/

    All I can say is thank you. Even if I’m never (personally) able to live there.

    Something about the right thing to do.

      1. Ron

        I honestly think your response is rather sad, in that you don’t seem to appreciate what was saved.  I’m quite familiar with Marin.

        The Vanguard article above started out by noting that similar efforts in Ventura county has saved surrounding orchards and farms, but then goes on to present that as a “negative”.  (That view is both sad and harmful.)

        1. Ron

          In reference to Ventura county, it seems that David’s views directly conflict with the goals of organizations such as this:

          https://www.soarvc.org/

          Circling back to Marin, I find it rather ironic that our privileged governor-elect hails from there, while simultaneously setting extremely ambitious “goals” regarding the construction of new housing, statewide. (I’ve also seen reports which state that he might commute from Marin to Sacramento, during his tenure.)

        2. Ron

          I wasn’t referring to where he was born. He’s been living in Marin for years.

          “California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who cruised to victory over Republican John Cox on Tuesday, says he and his wife haven’t decided whether they will remain in Marin or move to the governor’s mansion in downtown Sacramento.”

          https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/11/12/will-gavin-newsom-and-family-leave-marin-for-governors-mansion/

          Pretty sure that I can find other articles regarding his privileged background, but it seems beside the point.

        3. Richard McCann

          Ron, yes with regard to Newsom it is beside the point, which raises the question of why you even bothered to bring it up. Yet more deflection typical of an Internet troll…

        4. Ron

          The reason I brought it up is because Newsom is essentially pushing for sprawl in areas that he doesn’t live in.  And, he might not even be willing to live in an area that’s already experienced a significant amount of sprawl, while fulfilling his duties as governor.

          You can be sure that Marin will remain relatively protected. (Not as a result of the governor’s effort, but by those who came before him. He’s merely enjoying the fruits of that labor.)

        5. Richard McCann

          Ron, so it DOES matter to you. Somehow you’ve made the leap that Newsom who has resided most of his adult life in SF will now suddenly be representing the tiny interests of Marin. And what is SO ironic is YOU are a “gates up” no growther out solely to protect YOUR personal interests in Davis! LOL!

        6. Ron

          Where did I say that Newsom will be representing the tiny interests of Marin, when he’s governor?  I said that he’d be enjoying the work of those who came before him, in that regard.

  12. Richard McCann

    Ron, you still haven’t answered Craig’s question of where affordable housing is coming from. And you still have avoided answering how you would resolve the multitude of issues facing the city. Again, this exchange illustrates what you have been doing all along, not only here but on other articles.

    As for commenting directly on your motivations, as an anonymous poster you have implied that you are willing to accept that you will be heavily criticized for your opinions and that you feel you are protected from the consequences. You have relinquished your standing to complain about treatment from other commentators. Come out from behind your mask and you may garner the respect you crave. Sorry that you feel so hurt for being called out.

    1. Ron

      I thought I made it clear, regarding where affordable housing is going to come from.  It will come from creating more demand for housing, resulting from the pursuit of economic activity.  (Oh, wait – that works in the opposite direction.  Never mind.)  🙂

      When I legally change my name to “Ronny Slow-Growth”, I’ll fully reveal myself. But really, I find your comments more amusing, than hurtful.

  13. Ron

    Thought I’d post a section from the history of SOAR, in Ventura county.  (The same county that David expressed concern about in the article above, regarding its land preservation efforts.)

    SOAR has dramatically halted the traditional urban sprawl expansion pattern that has plagued Southern California. Located just north of Los Angeles County, Ventura County has been able to hold onto much of its natural open spaces and greenbelt buffers between cities and slow the loss of agricultural land to far below the rates experienced in other parts of Southern California, such as Orange County and the San Fernando Valley. Cities in Ventura County have become more focused on re-development, infill and renewal of decaying urban cores. Major urban sprawl projects like the Hidden Creek Messenger project proposed for the open space between Moorpark and Simi Valley have been stopped as a result of SOAR.

    https://www.soarvc.org/about/history-of-soar-in-ventura-county/
     

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