Commentary: Democrats in California Deserve to Get Spanked On Housing

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Nice video piece in the Times this week from Johnny Harris and Binyamin Appelbaum.

“It’s easy to blame the other side. And for many Democrats, it’s obvious that Republicans are thwarting progress toward a more equal society,” they write in their introduction.  “But what happens when Republicans aren’t standing in the way?”

Basically they ask: “What do Democratic do with all the power?”

California is a perfect example of this.  Harris says that California is the quintessential liberal state – and while probably true, I would argue it’s more Democratic than it is liberal or certainly not progressive, but yeah, the Democrats do own the problems here as they have now basically had an uninterrupted decade in power – they control all the levers of government.   You look at the eight biggest cities, only in Fresno and Bakersfield, are there Republican Mayors.

They identify housing policy as a key area where California falls short.

“You cannot say you are against inequality in America unless you have affordable housing built in your neighborhood,” Appelbaum states.

This is the critical point where I think we fall down not just in California as a whole, but in Davis specifically.  People who rail against income and economic inequality and then who go home in their million dollar homes and their single family neighborhoods really are cooking the goose here.

Harris whips out the California Democratic Party platform and points out that “Democrats completely agree here in this document.”  He notes, “The word housing is mentioned over 100 times.”

“The neighborhood where you are born has a huge influence on the rest of your life,” Appelbaum says.  “Children who are born where there is degraded environmental conditions, with a lack of access to high quality public services or schools or public transit are at a permanent disadvantage.”

From the Democratic platform: “Housing in America should be stable, accessible, safe, healthy, energy efficient, and, above all, affordable. No one should have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, so families have ample resources left to meet their other needs and save for retirement.”

It continues: “Democrats believe the government should take aggressive steps to increase the supply of housing, especially affordable housing, and address long-standing economic and racial inequities in our housing markets. We support innovative approaches to eliminating the racial wealth gap in America. Rehabilitating housing and expansion of housing owned by land trusts will increase the amount of housing available for secure homeownership.”

They quote officials around the state who state, bluntly and plainly, “housing is a human right.”

And yet as Appelbaum points out, instead of welcoming people to California, they ought to post, “Keep out” signs “because the cost of housing is so high that for many people its simply unaffordable.  The state is simply for the most part stopped building housing.”

Housing construction he said has slowed down to the point where “it is nowhere near sufficient to keep up with California’s population.”  The result is “price has gone up up and away.”

Harris in his voice over points out that all over California, people say that they are liberal, progressive, they believe in a more equal America – “they show up at the marches.  They put up their signs about everyone being equal.  But at the same time, they’re actively fighting to keep their neighborhoods looking like this.

He said, you have a tendency to say, “That isn’t so bad…”  But then he points out, “This is the specific result of policies intentional policies that keeps these neighborhoods spread out and full of single family homes – as opposed to higher density buildings like duplexes or apartment complexes.”

This he said is the fight.

He uses Palo Alto as the example.

The Bay Area has added in recent years an amazing 676,000 jobs but only 176,000 housing units.  So Palo Alto, he said, voted to change the zoning of one section of the city – on a two acre plot of land and rezoned it to build an affordable housing  project for elderly members of the community.

In response, the liberal members of the Palo Alto community held a vote to overturn the council’s decision and turn it back to low density, single family homes.  It was Palo Alto’s Measure D and it passed 56-43.  So now instead of affordable housing for the elderly, we have large single family homes.  Each of the homes are worth $5 million each.

“I think people aren’t living their values,” Appelbaum charged.  He pointed out that if you go to these meetings, “it’s always the same song and it goes something like this, ‘I am very in favor of affordable housing, we need more of it in this community, however I have some concerns about this project.’”

We hear about harms to the neighborhoods, concerns about the project and the result, usually, “nothing ever gets built.”

“This is happening all over California,” Harris said.  “The result is that these neighborhoods are so expensive that they keep any one out who is not part of this group of super rich residents.  Many of whom bought their properties decades ago and spent their time fighting to keep the value of their real estate assets super high.”

This really could have been written Davis.  So many of the people fighting housing projects – already own their homes, bought them at very low cost back in the 80s and they have reaped huge financial windfalls as the price of housing in Davis has skyrocketed.

Moreover, many of the people fighting things like DISC in 2020, already have their jobs, their careers, or are retired.

They will vote for Biden or Obama nationally, they will talk about things like racism, they may even march in the marches, but when it comes to enacting policies that will create jobs and housing for  people to be able to share in the Davis experience, they oppose it.

As someone who is clearly on the far left, I am very critical of the left on these issues.  There really is no excuse to fall so far short of stated goals.  But in fairness, the NY Times could have done the same piece and focused on conservative states as well.  We will leave that for another time.

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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55 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    What?

    Democratic representatives have been the ones pushing for housing, against the wishes of their own constituents.

    They’ve also done nothing to contain sprawl, nor have they taken any steps to discourage development in high-risk zones. In fact, they support it (e.g., via government-funded levees in those zones, etc.).

    They also continue to pursue industries which create housing challenges in the first place, and are directly supported by those interests.

    1. David Greenwald

      “Democratic representatives have been the ones pushing for housing, against the wishes of their own constituents.”

      That’s part of the point – the people who elect the Democratic representatives, say they are for x, y, z until it comes to their neighborhood. Then suddenly it becomes – not here, not this, not now…

      1. Bill Marshall

        say they are for x, y, z until it comes to their neighborhood. Then suddenly it becomes – not here, not this, not now…

        Am assuming you’re “not like that”, David… so you would welcome the homeless, whether addicted or not, those who espouse weapons to “settle things” (think Jan 6 folk), self-righteous religious folk, (X, Y, Z), if they came to your neighborhood?

        I know my answer if the question was posed to me…  “fish, or cut bait”… posturing doesn’t ‘move the football’, when you expect others to “do what you say, not what you do”…

        Honest questions, requiring reflection…

        1. David Greenwald

          You’re suggesting that people who would live in affordable housing are addicted homeless who espouse weapons? I’m not sure of your point or if you were trying to make one.

        2. Bill Marshall

          You’re suggesting that people who would live in affordable housing are addicted homeless who espouse weapons? I’m not sure of your point or if you were trying to make one.

          Total BS, as you wrote/posted,

          the people who elect the Democratic representatives, say they are for x, y, z until it comes to their neighborhood. Then suddenly it becomes – not here, not this, not now…

          And you never had the ….. to answer,

          so you would welcome the homeless, whether addicted or not, those who espouse weapons to “settle things” (think Jan 6 folk), self-righteous religious folk, (X, Y, Z), if they came to your neighborhood?

          My point is, you appear to be “self-righteous”, dissembling as to how YOU would react… which was the question… you have not gone over the top, you have gone under the bottom… which is cool for “opinion (or opinionated) journalism”…

          But was not only non-responsive, but was casting aspersions onto me.  Your blog, your right…

          On the matter of affordable housing, whether I could accept marginalized folk in my neighborhood, I suspect I’m more ‘progressive’/liberal/compassionate than you… as you skated the question I posed, based on your post… I would not have ‘skated’…

          But my background is engineering/analytical, not PoliSci (although I aced the only PoliSci class [upper division] I took), so I don’t understand that as well…

          I find those who are analytical like to find out how THEY should behave… PoliSci folk tend to think more in terms of how OTHERS should/must behave.

           

  2. Ron Oertel

    Children who are born where there is degraded environmental conditions, with a lack of access to high quality public services or schools or public transit are at a permanent disadvantage.”

    For whatever reason(s), this does not seem to apply to many immigrants, some of whom start life in much more-challenging conditions than almost anyone in the U.S. experiences. I know people to whom this applies.

    For that matter, aren’t the founders of Google immigrants? Not sure of their background. I’ll leave out Elon Musk, for the moment.

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t think most immigrants would agree with you – the first generation often live and work in horrible conditions and hope that their kids will be able to have a better life.

      1. Ron Oertel

        676,000 jobs

        176,000 housing units

        I come to a very different conclusion than you do, regarding how that should have been handled.

        I wonder if the same folks who were (initially) happy about those jobs coming to their town are (now) happy when those same industries subsequently attempt to drastically change their homes, via their own representatives?

        The tech industry’s key agents are California YIMBY, the statewide lobbying group founded and funded by tech executives, and State Sen. Scott Wiener, who, since 2015, has socked away a staggering $554,235 in campaign cash from Big Tech, including sizable contributions from Facebook, Google, and Amazon. California YIMBY and Wiener worked closely for SB 827, and they’ve teamed up again for SB 50. California YIMBY and Wiener are inextricably linked — and Big Tech is the mothership.

        https://www.housinghumanright.org/inside-game-california-yimby-scott-wiener-and-big-tech-troubling-housing-push/

        (I posted this under the wrong comment, but I have personally noticed that many immigrants seem more driven than those who grew up in the U.S.)

        1. David Greenwald

          Kind of interesting dynamic – people need both jobs and homes. It works best when you can put them together, but generally speaking people will take a job and then try to find a home from which they can get to that job.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Yeah, so if an area is constrained (via some combination of geographic or other variables), perhaps it’s better to think about the impact of adding more jobs before rushing headlong into that decision. And yet, that hasn’t been the history – anywhere.

          Lest your own representatives start “representing” industries, rather than residents. As if the system itself doesn’t already encourage that in the first place.

          By the way, there’s vast areas on the western side of the San Francisco peninsula that are governed by strict zoning and public lands.  There’s still farms out there, as well. As it should be.

          Kind of a shame that nothing is left in the Silicon Valley area. You do know where “Orchard Supply” began, right? (Which is now out of business.) I wish I had seen some of that before it disappeared.

        3. David Greenwald

          As the video pointed out – Palo Alto’s voter voted down an affordable housing project and $5 million homes got built instead.  SF just denied CEQA for a large affordable project.  There are always opportunities to build housing, we’ve just made those tough.

      2. Bill Marshall

        Historically true… applies to the English, Scots, Irish, Germans as well… the “privileged whites” by some folk’s definitions… mainly in 17th, 18th, 19th centuries… was true in my family tree…

        There were no ‘remedies’ then…

    2. Richard_McCann

      Your using anecdotes not data. Yes, there are exceptions that rise above their situations, but the fact is that most immigrant children end up in below average economic conditions because where their parents live has all of these shortfalls. The two possible exceptions which is probably the one that is salient in your mind are Chinese, often from other East Asian nations, and high caste Indians (there was a recent article in the Atlantic on this latter group.) The Chinese are often from merchant families and had community support back there.

      The real issue is for two groups that were enslaved by Europeans in this hemisphere, Blacks and Indigenous people, and now have both a lack of cultural support for efforts to rise above because they have centuries of experience of being slapped down, and explicit and implicit societal efforts to suppress them. To try to claim that somehow children should be totally in control of their attitudes about succeeding is simply ignorant about how larger societal and cultural forces shape those attitudes and associated aspirations.

      You also are ignorant of the importance of industrial agglomeration in creating and maintaining jobs. This economic dynamic created the merchant centers on the East Coast, the steel industry in Pittsburgh, the auto industry in Detroit, and Silicon Valley. Businesses thrive where they are located near like businesses. A business can’t just set up a high tech firm in South Dakota simply because housing is cheap there. So if we want to maintain economic vitality we need to create housing in the places where thriving businesses agglomerate.

      1. Ron Glick

        Perhaps, but it gets to the point that as a defender of the limit line you are part of the problem. But like so many who you call out in this article you refuse to take responsibility for your part in the problem.

        On the other hand the Democrats in Sacramento have appropriated $22 billion to try to alleviate some of the housing problems in this state. So they have tried, at least at the state level to address the problem. Its going to take some time to spend that money but we will see in the next few years if the Dems live up to their rhetoric.

        1. David Greenwald

          “On the other hand the Democrats in Sacramento have appropriated $22 billion to try to alleviate some of the housing problems in this state. ”

          You may notice that neither the article nor the video by the NYT calls out the Democrats in Sacramento nor their policies.

        2. Ron Glick

          “the Democrats do own the problems here as they have now basically had an uninterrupted decade in power – they control all the levers of government.”

          In power where for a decade? At the capitol in Sacramento. If you were talking about the cities the Dems have controlled those for 50 years so anyone with the power of inference would understand that you and the NYT story are talking about are state government in that statement.

  3. Keith Y Echols

     I would argue it’s more Democratic than it is liberal or certainly not progressive,

    Lol…so assuming there’s a conservative to progressive spectrum; which state is more liberal and progressive than CA?

    There seems to be some underlying assumption that cities and communities can just massively create new housing with a magic wand.  No body wants new housing near them.  More people means more use of local resources…..and the most direct way of new homes effecting current residents is traffic and parking.  Why should people have to sacrifice some of their quality of life for newcomers?

     Many of whom bought their properties decades ago and spent their time fighting to keep the value of their real estate assets super high.”

    DISC and the Mace curve is a perfect example.  What was one of the primary issues that killed DISC with the voters?  Traffic.  Put more people on Mace and there will be more traffic.

    Homebuilders aren’t going to massively build new homes to meeting the housing crisis.  And more to the point, there generally isn’t the infrastructure in place to build a massive amount of new homes anyway.  To get many voters happy with DISC and Mace you’d have to undergo a massive building project; expand the on off ramp and roads on Mace or create an entirely new road system and entrance/exit to the freeway.

    Anytime you expect people to act against their own self interests (and in most cases short term self interest) you’re going to be disappointed.  Being left or right (good lord…does everything have to be cloaked in a political tint these days) it doesn’t matter; both sides don’t want to sacrifice what they have for other people.  Perhaps continuing to push policies that go against people’s self interests and expecting them to magically be accepted isn’t the answer.  You have to provide solutions that make it personally worth what the people (with homes and jobs etc..) are giving up.  That’s going to probably come in the form of a mix of infill and peripheral development.  In the short term peripheral development gets approved (in most cities other than Davis) in order to better fund infill redevelopment, affordable housing and infrastructure growth.  Hopefully a balance of peripheral growth and infill redevelopment can be struck so that growth and affordability is meanable while not become sprawl like Arizona, Nevada or Texas.   Of course finding that balance is easier said than done.

    1. David Greenwald

      Few quick responses…

      “Lol…so assuming there’s a conservative to progressive spectrum; which state is more liberal and progressive than CA?”

      My point is that California for the most part is not progressive. I would have to look more closely to see if it’s most liberal, it might be – it might not be.

      “Anytime you expect people to act against their own self interests”

      That’s probably true. On the other hand, holding people to their stated values.

    2. Richard_McCann

      First, David published an article recently on how the state needs to step in because local interests generally weigh against providing the housing needed.

      Second, I think a big part of this solution is to change the property tax split between the state and localities. Rescinding redevelopment agencies tipped this balance against local housing without backfilling the lost revenues. Reinstating the funding formula without the condemnation powers could solve this problem. The popularity and widespread abuse of condemnation powers that led to its downfall illustrates how successful this could be.

      1. Keith Y Echols

        , David published an article recently on how the state needs to step in because local interests generally weigh against providing the housing needed.

        I will repeat the premise of my initial comment that forcing people to act against their own self interest won’t work out too well.  Lawmakers that push housing on people that don’t want it in their immediate neighborhood are going to lose votes and any progress made will likely be rescinded.

         I think a big part of this solution is to change the property tax split between the state and localities.

        I agree.  I’ve never understood why the majority of property tax revenue goes to the county.  I know the county provides many services.  But the majority of people live in the incorporated cities; so you’d think property tax revenue would be best used by the people that pay the majority of the property taxes.

        I’d rather stay away from reconstituting the RDA.  Even in a limited capacity.  It was a cluster #$% of mismanagement.

        1. David Greenwald

          “I will repeat the premise of my initial comment that forcing people to act against their own self interest won’t work out too well. ”

          What constitutes “force” in this context?

        2. Keith Y Echols

          What constitutes “force” in this context?

          I suppose “force” wasn’t the right word.    Richard’s comment about your comment said that you wrote and article about the state “stepping in”  because local interests generally weigh against providing the housing needed.  I had the RHNA requirements and the state housing bills in mind.  I also balked at the suggestion of reforming the redevelopment agencies; their use of eminent domain could possibly be problematic.   I support the ability to have affordable housing go through the ministerial process.  But I believe that you can only push/force the issue so far.

          1. David Greenwald

            So what happens if you end up with insufficient housing and local communities are unable or willing to step up?

        3. Ron Oertel

          So what happens if you end up with insufficient housing and local communities are unable or willing to step up?

          How do you define “insufficient housing”? What does that mean to you?

        4. Keith Y Echols

          So what happens if you end up with insufficient housing and local communities are unable or willing to step up?

          To answer, I’ll refer to my earlier comment:

          Homebuilders aren’t going to massively build new homes to meeting the housing crisis.  And more to the point, there generally isn’t the infrastructure in place to build a massive amount of new homes anyway.  To get many voters happy with DISC and Mace you’d have to undergo a massive building project; expand the on off ramp and roads on Mace or create an entirely new road system and entrance/exit to the freeway.
          Anytime you expect people to act against their own self interests (and in most cases short term self interest) you’re going to be disappointed.  Being left or right (good lord…does everything have to be cloaked in a political tint these days) it doesn’t matter; both sides don’t want to sacrifice what they have for other people.  Perhaps continuing to push policies that go against people’s self interests and expecting them to magically be accepted isn’t the answer.  You have to provide solutions that make it personally worth what the people (with homes and jobs etc..) are giving up.  That’s going to probably come in the form of a mix of infill and peripheral development.  In the short term peripheral development gets approved (in most cities other than Davis) in order to better fund infill redevelopment, affordable housing and infrastructure growth.  Hopefully a balance of peripheral growth and infill redevelopment can be struck so that growth and affordability is meanable while not become sprawl like Arizona, Nevada or Texas.   Of course finding that balance is easier said than done.

           

        5. Bill Marshall

          Keith Y E… ERAF… the State glommed on to the money (post Prop 13), gave the biggest ‘excess’ to schools, and later, to Counties… they gave most of the property tax to schools, so the State could say they were ‘supporting’ them, while liberating other State revenue for other purposes… then they had a ‘guilt thingy’ and directed more $$$ to Counties, and finally to Cities… that’s a bit of an over-statement, but only a bit.

          I agree (somewhat) on RDA… it had its place, but got abused on the expenditure side, and actually drained property tax revenues from some entities…  good concept, poor execution… hence, the “pass-through” agreements…

          RDA’s (or equivalents) should not be entered into lightly,  for sure…  a two-edged sword, as it were… they can be good, or evil… like Mello-Roos Districts… some good things, some bad unintended consequences… depends how they get set up, and how they are administered…

          The Prop 13 administration (excluding commercial property reassessments, if they ‘play the game’) is a very bad ‘joke’… as Paul Gann intended it to be…

           

  4. Keith Y Echols

    My point is that California for the most part is not progressive. I would have to look more closely to see if it’s most liberal, it might be – it might not be.

    My point is that if California is about as progressive as a state can get (when compared to the spectrum of all the other states); is expecting more progressiveness kind of silly?

    On the other hand, holding people to their stated values.

    Will get you frustrated an nowhere quickly.  Most people vote and think with their pocket book.

    The key or trick is for leaders (political, social and business) to come of with solutions that align the two (values vs. pocketbook) and/or compromise them (hey…traffic will suck in your area for a time but you’ll get better parks and rec services, better mass transit…or community day care or…).  Ultimately it all comes down to a sales job.

  5. Ron Oertel

    Your using anecdotes not data.

    Not seeing any data from you.

    The two possible exceptions which is probably the one that is salient in your mind are Chinese, often from other East Asian nations, and high caste Indians (there was a recent article in the Atlantic on this latter group.) The Chinese are often from merchant families and had community support back there.

    I understand that (as with many immigrants), the support often flows both ways.

    And if some Indians are “high caste”, does that not also prove an exception to your rule?

    The real issue is for two groups that were enslaved by Europeans in this hemisphere, Blacks and Indigenous people, and now have both a lack of cultural support for efforts to rise above because they have centuries of experience of being slapped down, and explicit and implicit societal efforts to suppress them.

    Are you not aware of how this country treated Chinese immigrants?  Or, Japanese immigrants (and Japanese Americans)?

    What is your explanation for their comparative/relative success?

    For that matter, aren’t those of Hispanic heritage also rising up the economic ladder at this point?

    To try to claim that somehow children should be totally in control of their attitudes about succeeding is simply ignorant about how larger societal and cultural forces shape those attitudes and associated aspirations.

    Reaching beyond anything I stated.

    You also are ignorant of the importance of industrial agglomeration in creating and maintaining jobs.

    The “industrial agglomeration”.  Sound like something that Austin Powers might try to fight.

    Dr. Evil created jobs, as well.

    This economic dynamic created the merchant centers on the East Coast, the steel industry in Pittsburgh, the auto industry in Detroit, and Silicon Valley. Businesses thrive where they are located near like businesses. A business can’t just set up a high tech firm in South Dakota simply because housing is cheap there. So if we want to maintain economic vitality we need to create housing in the places where thriving businesses agglomerate.

    That’s exactly what changes, over time.  Witness the different paths of Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Austin.

    If one were to write-off entire sections of the country (as you appear to advocate), what’s going to happen to those left behind?  Seems pretty irresponsible.

    1. Ron Oertel

      In fact, one might argue that high housing prices (along with high taxes and other costs of living) are exactly what drives “disbursement” to areas that welcome economic development.

      Along with excessive tolerance of issues like crime, homelessness, protests and freeway blockages, obsessing over pronouns, etc., in areas that are already-expensive.  (I actually saw a nametag recently at the Co-Op, which listed the acceptable pronouns of the cashier.  “She” used normal pronouns, the same ones that were just fine a couple of years ago – and are still mostly in use around the world. The funny thing is that pronouns weren’t even listed at all, until recently.)

      Of course, the areas that folks migrate to also experience rising housing prices, as a result.  As is occurring in Austin and other places.  Including locations that are actually in nicer, wilderness-type areas that appeal to those who can telecommute.  (There’s some very pricey locales in some scenic and outdoorsy mountain towns, throughout the West. Some of these areas have experienced the largest increases in price, lately.)

      In other words, high housing prices (and other issues) are ultimately what limit and disburse the same unbridled economic growth that created the problem in the first place.  And housing prices won’t actually rise above what the market will support.  There’s apparently people with quite a bit of money, who can afford to purchase pre-owned (used) homes. Happens all the time.

      I just love that phrase, “pre-owned”. Some ingenuous marketing team came up with that, in regard to used cars.

       

      1. Richard_McCann

        Are you not aware of how this country treated Chinese immigrants?  Or, Japanese immigrants (and Japanese Americans)?
        What is your explanation for their comparative/relative success?

        Most Asian immigrants arrived within the last century. While early Chinese immigrants were effectively enslaved, that was no longer  the case by the late nineteenth century. Asians were isolated, but their ability to buy property, go to schools or own businesses were not limited to the same extent. In addition, these populations had the benefits of the societal support in their home countries. As I mentioned, many Chinese immigrants come from merchant families that were better off in those societies.

        BTW, high caste Indians have similar benefits in their home countries and have higher expectations of themselves which lead to greater success here.

        Your statements lead to the conclusion that individuals totally control the attitudes that will lead to their success. If that isn’t your intent, then be clear about what your intent actually is.

        If don’t recognize the term “industrial agglomeration” it only illustrates your ignorance on this matter. It is very well understood and studied in the economic profession.

        Your right that these evolve, but you can’t simply it somewhere else by telling people to buy houses elsewhere, e.g., South Dakota, and expect the businesses to show up there. You have the process completely backward.

        It’s also ironic that you argue that we can simply move economic activity to another region by having people move there, but you have explicitly argued against the ability to attract new businesses to a region through local economic development efforts such as research parks. So which is it?

        If you disdain the attitudes we hold in Davis, why do you bother coming here? Why do you bother trying to change what we do here? You have no connections to Davis other than as a periodic visitor–why do you care about us?

        1. Ron Oertel

          While early Chinese immigrants were effectively enslaved, that was no longer the case by the late nineteenth century. Asians were isolated, but their ability to buy property, go to schools or own businesses were not limited to the same extent.

          I don’t believe that’s entirely true. For example, were they allowed to own property in gold rush towns (or in the town of Locke)?

          In addition, these populations had the benefits of the societal support in their home countries.

          I can see how this would be a primary difference between black people, vs. all other skin colors.  Due to the manner in which they arrived, as well as the less-developed nature of their own country of origin.

          Then again, how many people in this country maintain ties to their “homelands”, either for the first generation or beyond?  (Note the plural use of “homelands”.)

          BTW, high caste Indians have similar benefits in their home countries and have higher expectations of themselves which lead to greater success here.

          Don’t know much about the different “castes” in India, but I do know that (depending upon the context and “who” is defining them), they may or may not be “people of color”.

          Your statements lead to the conclusion that individuals totally control the attitudes that will lead to their success. If that isn’t your intent, then be clear about what your intent actually is.

          My intent?  Prevent sprawl.

          If don’t recognize the term “industrial agglomeration” it only illustrates your ignorance on this matter. It is very well understood and studied in the economic profession.

          Thanks.  Try to “develop” a sense of humor.  (I hesitate to use the word “develop”.)

          Your right that these evolve, but you can’t simply it somewhere else by telling people to buy houses elsewhere, e.g., South Dakota, and expect the businesses to show up there. You have the process completely backward.

          People do buy houses in South Dakota.

          It’s also ironic that you argue that we can simply move economic activity to another region by having people move there, but you have explicitly argued against the ability to attract new businesses to a region through local economic development efforts such as research parks. So which is it?

          It’s already occurring:  See Austin. (I believe it’s occurring in other locales, as well – including some you might not expect.)

          If you disdain the attitudes we hold in Davis, why do you bother coming here? Why do you bother trying to change what we do here? You have no connections to Davis other than as a periodic visitor–why do you care about us?

          Oh, I don’t disdain the attitudes that “we” hold in Davis.  Only yours.  Well, a few others on here as well, but you’re at the top of the list.

           

           

           

           

           

        2. Ron Oertel

           

          Then again, how many people in this country maintain ties to their “homelands”, either for the first generation or beyond?  (Note the plural use of “homelands”.)

          I can tell you that my own ancestors were at war with each other, during WWII.

          Then again, they’re all white people – so I guess that provides some kind of context.

          Of course, WWII also saw Asians fighting with each other.

          And I hesitate to think of what’s going on in the continent of Africa, today.

          As if any of these categories are one big happy and cohesive group.

          I understand that (a long time ago), all of our ancestors were from Africa.  And before that, they were fish who walked onto the land.

          I do know that white skin is probably not the most practical color to have, in areas with a lot of sun. Including California, actually. Probably more suited to cave life, or dark forests.

          1. David Greenwald

            Do you ever recognize that when you dissemble like this it makes you look exceedingly bad to any objective observer reading this?

        3. Alan Miller

          Do you ever recognize that when you dissemble like this it makes you look exceedingly bad to any objective observer reading this?

          Do you ever recognize that when you judge others like this it makes you look exceedingly bad to any objective observer reading this?

    2. Richard_McCann

      Not seeing any data from you.

      I’ve posted lots of data on differences in household income levels by ethnicity in past posts. Read those–I’m not in charge of your reading materials.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I’m not responsible for looking up stuff that you claim to have referenced.

        Sounds like you have some concerns regarding income levels by ethnicity.  Maybe you should focus on that, rather than advocating for “sprawling for equity”.

        1. Richard_McCann

          If you read it when I posted it, then you would have the information. I’m not responsible for you failing to read the data that I’ve provided. I’m not going to keep posting the same data over and over again, and having you continue to ignore it over and over again. I’ve done what I need to do–now you’re turn. And you’re still relying on anecdotes, and even those aren’t documented.

  6. Ron Oertel

    Do you ever recognize that when you dissemble like this it makes you look exceedingly bad to any objective observer reading this?

    You have a habit of speaking for others.  Also, of attributing more to it than what I said.

    It was just some thoughts, in response to what I see as a purposeful divisiveness that some of a particular political persuasion prefer to emphasize. Not sure if that’s the goal, but that’s how it comes across to me (and probably some others). (I’ll go ahead and speak for others, as you and Richard often do.)

    No one cares about their own skin color, let alone someone’s else’s. (Yeap, speaking for others again.)
     

  7. Ron Glick

    “sprawling for equity”.

    Sounds like a good idea especially in a place like Davis where there is land to build on  that doesn’t disrupt established neighborhoods. Too bad Measure D makes it easier to do infill than peripheral development the reverse of the normal order of development.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Infill is not necessarily easy, depending on intended use… that’s the main reason it hasn’t happened as much as some would like… practically, and ‘politically’…

      Another problem is the physical configuration of many otherwise prime locations, due to whims of the politicos… also reflects practical and political…

      1. Keith Y Echols

        Infill is not necessarily easy, depending on intended use…

        Yes, it’s been my experience that if you’re not changing anything in terms of the existing planning/zoning; that infill development is pretty easy.

        My first project went that way.  Other than getting the city to vacate part of the road (which was never fully built out and was eventually cut off by Hwy. 85) to add back to the lots as well as a stop light issue…it was one of the relatively easier developments I was ever part of (it was also small) compared to the ones that required annexation and actual infrastructure build out.

        But if you’re trying to rezone something.  Adding density…etc… they we’re talking water, sewer, electrical capacity, adding traffic/street capacity/parking….as well as having to go deal with neighbors who often aren’t happy that something denser then than what’s currently exists in their neighborhoods is going up near them.   Or to illustrate it in more tangible terms; it’s usually easier and cheaper to dig up a field and put in water and sewer pipes for a peripheral development than it is to dig up the street in an existing neighborhood to add sewer and water pipe capacity…etc…  It’s usually easier and cheaper to pave and lay a new road than it is to widen an existing road or add new roads in a city.

  8. Ron Oertel

    Too bad Measure D makes it easier to do infill than peripheral development the reverse of the normal order of development

    The “normal order of development” is the problem.  Even folks like Wiener and Newsom seem to (sort of) recognize that, though they’ve done nothing to contain it.

    David (or Ron G.): I noticed that you didn’t respond to this:

    David:  So what happens if you end up with insufficient housing and local communities are unable or willing to step up?

    Me:  How do you define “insufficient housing”?   What does that mean to you?

      1. Ron Oertel

        Not seeing how that question is “dissembling”.  It’s your own quoted statement, and goes to the heart of what you push for, every day.

        It’s a question for you, not me.

      2. Bill Marshall

        I’m interested in [insert whoever] response to my question not more dissembling by you.

        Careful… often the person being asked the question dissembles and even twists the question to impugn the one asking the question… I’ll not ‘name names’ today, but many will know who (more than one) I allude to, and it’s sorta’ humorous how many times one ‘kettle’ calls the other ‘discolored’ [gotta’ avoid the ‘original term’, for fear of offending] as to dissembling… too easy for a ‘dissembler’ to assert I (or someone else) meant something I (they) didn’t… as was done yesterday, and many times in the past…

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I’m interested in Keith Echols response to my question not more dissembling by you

      I believe I answered your question above.

      I should add that it sort of dovetails with Rob Davis’ response city council votes.  I’ve said that getting anything done in politics is a sales job but especially in Davis where you have to cater more directly the electorate.  As I said, you’re going to have to sell voters that the benefits of new housing outweigh their concerns.  You can probably do that for a good portion of the voters but probably not the ones where the new development is going to be built.  So essentially you have to get the rest of the city to tell one part: “suck it up and take one for the team”.  Which is where Rob Davis said that he voted for the good of the entire community and not just his district (I’m going to assume that’s true…I don’t know if it is.).

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