Monday Morning Thoughts: Education and Awareness a Key to Driving Community Change

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Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

In a thought provoking piece this weekend in the Atlantic, Reihan Salam writes: “Why YIMBY Righteousness Backfires: Treating suburbanites as hateful snobs will not make them more welcoming of newcomers.”

Salam argues that the central challenge facing the YIMBY movement is: “If it’s wrong to want to live in a bucolic neighborhood largely populated by people who can comfortably afford exorbitantly high housing prices, most Americans don’t want to be right.”

Salam argues that as “an intellectual project” YIMBYism “has been wildly successful, and for good reason. The evidence that boosting housing supply to meet housing demand can foster economic growth and spur upward mobility is overwhelming.”

But at the same time, “the YIMBY movement has failed to overcome deep-seated skepticism among voters, who intuit that new homes mean new neighbors, and that new neighbors can mean new headaches.”

It is a great piece and worth reading.

I have a somewhat different take as someone who has been fighting this battle on the ground for years locally now.

As I see it—as a convert myself—I was won over into the camp that housing is social justice.  For years I saw the battle as one of greedy developers or “capitalists” who built over open space and farmland at the expense of the environment.

Where I started to shift is that the more I got to know how the system impacted people, the more I recognized that housing insecurity was at the heart of their day-to-day struggle, and the only people benefiting from growth restrictions were people who were already wealthy enough to own homes in the first place.

And while progressives convinced themselves that growth restrictions helped the environment, they failed to recognize the huge environmental impact of commuting due to the failure to put housing near jobs and reliable transit.

As the piece in the Atlantic notes, “despite incontrovertible evidence of a housing-affordability crisis, one that is still driving hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income families out of the state, many Californians are bitterly opposed to the recent housing push…”

Much of his piece attempts to explain why “California voters have proved so hard to win over.”

From my perspective there are two primary problems.  There are a group of people who simply don’t care.  They have theirs—they have their job or are at the end of their working career, if not retired.  They have their house.  Many purchased their homes 30 to 40 years ago, when the cost of housing was far lower and thus they have benefited from the housing crisis.

For those people they not only benefit from housing scarcity, since they already have theirs, they are harmed or at least think they are harmed by additional growth which in their mind leads to more traffic, more crime (which is at the heart a big hidden driver here), or it will devalue their homes.

While I would and have argued that the traffic argument is far more complex, yes, adding housing will add people—but it could also subtract traffic by bringing more people in close proximity to their jobs.

Can you win this group over?  Sometimes.  The traffic issue is one that a lot of people don’t understand well, and to the extent that things like climate change matters, you might get some converts.  But I think at the end of the day, there are some people you just can’t reach.

There are two other groups that are more ripe for conversion.

There is the group of people who support housing in general, but believe it needs to be affordable housing.

And then there is another group that is largely apolitical or at least disengaged.

I meet a lot of people who are basically soccer parents—they have school age kids, they both work, many of them commute to work, they are nominally liberal, but not really engaged, especially on the local level.

Many of them moved to a place like Davis because it had good schools, was reasonably close to places like Sacramento or the Bay Area, and it is nice and safe place to live.

At the core, they don’t want the community to change much—that’s why they moved here.  But they can also be moved on issues like general housing affordability and schools.  On the other hand, they are concerned with things like traffic, visual blight and, of course, crime.

This group could fall into a group of people as described by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative who commissioned a series of focus groups and surveys, culminating in a report published last year which found, “Most renters and owners we heard from expressed that they are wary of affordable housing solutions in their neighborhood, citing worries that it will result in crime, noise, litter, illegal dumping, and a general lack of property upkeep.”

Moreover, although a large majority of respondents “broadly embraced diversity as a current or aspirational feature of their neighborhood,” they expressed deep discomfort with the idea of having neighbors significantly poorer than them.

This is a group that can be engaged.  But it will take work and education.

Then you have the affordable housing group.  They tend to be more engaged.  They are heavily social justice oriented.  But many are deeply skeptical of market rate solutions.

On the one hand, I hear things like: “We don’t need more unaffordable housing” and on the other hand, I often hear skepticism about the intentions of developers.

I think there are primarily two problems with that approach.  First, I don’t think we have enough housing, period.  I see relatively modest homes selling for $900K to more than $1 million—that should tell you that we actually don’t have enough housing, period.

Second, I am skeptical that we can build the housing we need without the higher end housing to make it profitable and thus feasible for investors (i.e. developers).  That’s not to say I oppose efforts to build more affordable housing, I just see the need as broader and see subsidized housing as one piece of a broader puzzle.

Bottom line though, I think people need to re-orient themselves—neighborhood preservation is largely a fool’s errand.  Change is omnipresent.  You cannot stop change.  And by trying, you create change—just unplanned and in a different direction.

I think, though, we need to have broad discussions and education to inform the public of the consequences and benefits of various different approaches.

That said, I do agree with a key point raised by the Atlantic piece: “None of this is to suggest that YIMBYism is doomed. But if YIMBYs want to nudge more Americans in their direction, they’d do well to hector less and listen more.”

I agree that you are generally not going to shame people into changing their views.  However, you can present them with different ideas that challenge their thinking and bring about slow incremental change over time.

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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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21 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: Education and Awareness a Key to Driving Community Change”

  1. Matt Williams

    There is the group of people who support housing in general, but believe it needs to be affordable housing.

    .

    I am in the “it needs to be affordable housing” social Justice group, but here in Davis addressing housing by itself is only dealing with a symptom, not the actual disease.  It will not achieve the desired Social Justice.

    Fiscal studies have clearly shown that SFRs cost municipal jurisdictions more than they generate in revenues.  That is even more the case in Davis where the sales tax revenues are so paltry.  The root cause that needs to be addressed is jobs.  Right now the jobs in  the City of Davis do not pay sufficient wages for the person working to afford a $900,000 home.  Further, young families do not want to raise their children in apartments.  So we need to develop an Economic Development Plan with clearly identified target markets and market segments that capitalize on Davis’ core competencies.  Until we do that, the new homes are going to be purchased by commuters whose earnings in non-Davis jobs affords them the luxury of being able to afford a Davis residence, and the people needing Social Justice will be passed by.

    1. Richard McCann

      Matt

      We both agree that the City needs an economic development, but even without that we have too many restrictions on starting and bringing more mundane businesses to town. The controversy over allowing Nugget to expand into the Covell marketplace is just one illustration. Relying on Measure J/R/D approval for new business parks that can’t gain commitments from outside firms or UCD because of the uncertainty is another. And your right that we run the risk of much of the new housing going to commuters, although the data from the Census you highlighted shows there’s been a substantial increase in commuters into Davis over the last two decades. So there’s incremental steps that we can take to improve this situation before getting to a full blown plan for a long term future.

      1. Matt Williams

        Richard, the Nugget expansion into the Covell Marketplace had nothing to do with Measure J.  That location was already urbanized, so the trigger of  conversion from non-urbanized to urbanized was never tripped.

        I agree with you about commitments from outside firms, but having an Economic Development Plan that identifies and illuminates the target market segments that are a good match to the intellectual capital and core competencies of Davis and UCD is not an unreasonable expectation.  If a startup company went into a venture capital firm or other financing institution with no analysis of their target markets, they would be laughed out of the building.

        Further, if the City developed that kind of market analysis then UCD would be able to better understand how collaboration in the pursuit of those markets is in their best interests (illumination of a win-win).  As it is the Economic Development plan consists of two words, “Trust me.”  And it is an impossibility to hold those two words accountable for hitting project milestones.

        Regarding the jobs changes, I have data from the same source, the US Census from 2004 thru 2020.  Because of COVID I’m using below the 2004-2019 job changes by Industry  first for the jobs in the City Limits, and then the jobs for employed Davis residents.

        What do those numbers tell us

        (1) the increase in commuters out of the City is a modest 7% as shown by the total 1,631 jobs added over a baseline 2004 number of 23,188

        (2) of the 1,739 jobs added in the City of Davis, 1,288 of them were Healthcare jobs and 477 were Hotel and Food Service jobs.  Add those two up and you get 1,765 jobs.  So all the other industries combined were unchanged (they actually lost 26 jobs).

        (3) of the 1,631 jobs added for City of Davis residents, Public Administration jobs  accounted for 89% of those gains, and Healthcare accounted for 52% of those gains.  Also Educational Services lost 1,532 jobs which is a reflection of fewer and fewer UCD Faculty and Staff living in Davis.

        Jobs within the City of Davis by NAICS Industry Sector 2004-2019                                            
        Count            Share           
        6                   0.3%              Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
        -3                  -0.2%            Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
        -20                -1.2%            Utilities
        2                   0.1%              Construction
        114                6.6%              Manufacturing
        67                 3.9%              Wholesale Trade
        263                15.1%            Retail Trade
        7                   0.4%              Transportation and Warehousing
        11                 0.6%              Information
        -883               -50.8%           Finance and Insurance
        -608               -35.0%           Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
        525                30.2%            Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
        125                7.2%              Management of Companies and Enterprises
        -81                -4.7%            Administration & Support, Waste Management and Remediation
        371                21.3%            Educational Services
        1,288             74.1%            Health Care and Social Assistance
        105                6.0%              Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
        477                27.4%            Accommodation and Food Services
        98                 5.6%              Other Services (excluding Public Administration)
        -125               -7.2%            Public Administration
        1,739             100.0%         Total

        Jobs Change by NAICS Industry Sector 2004-2019 for employed Davis Residents
        Count            Share           
        109                6.7%              Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
        2                   0.1%              Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
        25                 1.5%              Utilities
        171                10.5%            Construction
        88                 5.4%              Manufacturing
        181                11.1%            Wholesale Trade
        259                15.9%            Retail Trade
        156                9.6%              Transportation and Warehousing
        16                 1.0%              Information
        -462               -28.3%           Finance and Insurance
        -187               -11.5%           Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
        350                21.5%            Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
        6                   0.4%              Management of Companies and Enterprises
        66                 4.0%              Administration & Support, Waste Management and Remediation
        -1,532            -93.9%           Educational Services
        840                51.5%            Health Care and Social Assistance
        120                7.4%              Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
        132                8.1%              Accommodation and Food Services
        -164               -10.1%           Other Services (excluding Public Administration)
        1,455             89.2%            Public Administration
        1,631             100.0%         

         

      2. Ron Oertel

        Matt

        Richard:  Why would you care about what Matt has to say in the first place, since he doesn’t live in Davis?

        And why would you care about what Don Shor has to say, since he also doesn’t live in Davis?

        Isn’t “living in Davis” your personal “qualifying factor”, in the first place? Or do you only raise such concerns “selectively”?

  2. Ron Oertel

    I read the Atlantic article that David built his article around, as well.  Overall, it reads like a “how to” guide to convince residents to accept YIMBYism, rather than questioning it in the first place.

    One thing “left out” of David’s citation from the Atlantic is the following passage (in regard to Zuckerberg):

    To understand why California voters have proved so hard to win over, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, one of the leading philanthropic champions of YIMBYism, commissioned a series of focus groups and surveys, culminating in a report published last year.
    “Lower housing costs are a powerful tool to attract and retain workers, and large employers can exert significant influence in state legislatures. That employers in California’s technology sector have played an important role in the fight against tight zoning is no coincidence—they’re keenly aware that as housing costs in the Golden State rise, they can either pay higher wages or watch as their workers decamp for cities in Idaho or Nevada.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/07/yimby-california-social-justice-kahlenberg/674714/

    (One can apparently sign-up for a “free trial” with the Atlantic, to see the entire article.)

  3. Ron Oertel

    Where I started to shift is that the more I got to know how the system impacted people, the more I recognized that housing insecurity was at the heart of their day-to-day struggle, and the only people benefiting from growth restrictions were people who were already wealthy enough to own homes in the first place.

    Are you referring to an example such as the following?

    Attorneys for Facebook’s CEO have filed suits against hundreds of Hawaiians centered around his 700-acre Kauai estate, alarming neighbors

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/23/mark-zuckerberg-hawaii-land-lawsuits-kauai-estate

    Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is angering neighbors with construction plans at his Hawaii vacation property.

    Zuckerberg is building a six-foot-tall wall around his waterfront property on the island of Kauai, and neighbors say it is blocking their ocean views and breezes, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/mark-zuckerbergs-hawaii-wall-irks-neighbors/

    And in San Francisco:

    He bought four houses surrounding his multi-million dollar home after discovering that a developer planned to turn one of them into a huge estate that would have ‘a direct view into his bedroom’.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2947711/Mark-Zuckerberg-s-fight-bedroom-privacy-Inside-Facebook-billionaire-s-battle-backdoor-neighbor-sold-California-property-discount-rate-exchange-entree-Silicon-Valley-elite.html

    What a YIMBY philanthropist, indeed

    But one thing I do agree with (in regard to both the Atlantic and David’s article is that “education and awareness are key”.

    (It’s just that I view the “relevant subject matter” in an entirely-different way.)

  4. Ron Oertel

    Why YIMBY Righteousness Backfires

    The reason “why” is because there is no underlying basis for their “righteousness”.  It is driven and funded by business interests – the same interests which created the problem in the first place. (Though truth be told, the “problem” hasn’t really been fully defined. For sure, it’s a “problem” for these technology companies, when they have to pay their influx of new workers a sufficient wage – or risk losing them to other locales.)

    For years I saw the battle as one of greedy developers or “capitalists” who built over open space and farmland at the expense of the environment.

    Nothing has actually changed, regarding that.  Though I think the more-accurate word of the two might be “capitalist”.  This is the system we’ve created/allowed, which incentivizes continued sprawl for those in a position to pursue it.

    And while progressives convinced themselves that growth restrictions helped the environment, they failed to recognize the huge environmental impact of commuting due to the failure to put housing near jobs and reliable transit.

    Employers such as Facebook are creating the situation in the first place.  But now, their efforts are starting to fail (see exodus from San Francisco, the enormous decline in public transit ridership, etc.).

    No actual problem for these tech companies, however – they’ll just continue moving operations to places like Texas. Or perhaps increasingly – overseas. (While simultaneously claiming THAT’s a problem, as well.)

    Whatever happened to those private “Google buses”, by the way?  The ones that allowed tech workers to avoid mingling with the “commoners” who have to take public transit?

    https://localwiki.org/sf/Google_Bus

     

     

     

     

    1. Walter Shwe

      The reason “why” is because there is no underlying basis for their “righteousness”.  It is driven and funded by business interests – the same interests which created the problem in the first place. 

      I am a proud YIMBY and not driven or funded by any business interests whatsoever. I didn’t create the problem, people like Ron and Keith created the problem of chronic underdevelopment and lack of affordable housing. NIMBYs created the problem of lack of retail stores in Davis. Davis put out a giant sign saying “You are not wanted here” to Raley’s, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes among others. Guess what, they implemented a strategy of everywhere but Davis. The lack of retail has created inadequate revenue for the City of Davis and lead to insufficient competition. The result is higher prices for Davis residents unless they patronize stores outside of Davis. I think that’s called sales tax leakage.

      1. Ron Oertel

        NIMBYs created the problem of lack of retail stores in Davis.

        The city itself (along with the usual “development activists) “did its best” to drive-away the University Mall re-developer.  Fortunately, they weren’t “successful” in that, though they no doubt caused a significant delay in receiving tax revenue and driving out the existing businesses there.

        Davis put out a giant sign saying “You are not wanted here” to Raley’s, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes among others. Guess what, they implemented a strategy of everywhere but Davis. The lack of retail has created inadequate revenue for the City of Davis and lead to insufficient competition. The result is higher prices for Davis residents unless they patronize stores outside of Davis. I think that’s called sales tax leakage.

        I think that this is called “encouraging low-wage workers to live in the community where they work”, rather than “add” to the so-called “housing shortage” – especially for those at the lower-end of the income scale.

        Seems to me that the development activists are usually the ones who create so-called “housing shortages”.

        I am a proud YIMBY and not driven or funded by any business interests whatsoever. I didn’t create the problem.

        That’s what the underlying business interests are counting on – gullible people who are incapable of analysis, and pick fights with the “wrong side”. Essentially “carrying their water” for them.

        1. Walter Shwe

          The city itself (along with the usual “development activists) “did its best” to drive-away the University Mall re-developer.  Fortunately, they weren’t “successful” in that, though they no doubt caused a significant delay in receiving tax revenue and driving out the existing businesses there.

          The lost sales tax revenue due to the delay is insignificant. Existing tenants were going to leave anyway. The new University Mall tenants would simply replace what was lost over time, bringing Davis back to square one.

          Davis put out a giant sign saying “You are not wanted here” to Raley’s, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes among others. Why put up to your Measure J nonsense? Bye bye Davis for good!

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I don’t really understand Ron’s point anyway, they were going to demolish the existing mall and put a mixed use building there. Instead, they are going to demolish the existing mall and put a commercial building there. Either way, they are demolishing and rebuilding.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I don’t really understand Ron’s point anyway, they were going to demolish the existing mall and put a mixed use building there.

          That was not their original plan.

          Instead, they are going to demolish the existing mall and put a commercial building there. Either way, they are demolishing and rebuilding.

          Is that right?  They’re tearing the entire mall down and rebuilding it?  Was that the original plan?

          Well, at the least – the city delayed those plans via their “interference” for a couple of years.

          Davis put out a giant sign saying “You are not wanted here” to Raley’s, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes among others. Why put up to your Measure J nonsense? Bye bye Davis for good!

          Well, they said “hello” to Target about 15 years ago, via a vote. I was surprised that ACE’s housewares store didn’t close right then-and-there, in addition to (possibly) University Mall.

          Big box stores generally serve a region, not a city. There would never be a CostCo or Home Depot in Woodland, AND the same thing in Davis.

          Woodland doesn’t even have a Lowe’s, and I believe Best Buy is hanging on by a thread.

          Why would there be a Raley’s in Davis, in addition to Nugget?

          There will never be a Walmart in Davis, unless it’s perhaps one of those “supermarket” type of Walmarts.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            All plans have called for tearing down the mall and rebuilding it. The only difference is that now there is no housing component, whereas before there was.

        3. Walter Shwe

          Big box stores generally serve a region, not a city. There would never be a CostCo or Home Depot in Woodland, AND the same thing in Davis.
          Woodland doesn’t even have a Lowe’s, and I believe Best Buy is hanging on by a thread.
          Why would there be a Raley’s in Davis, in addition to Nugget?
          There will never be a Walmart in Davis, unless it’s perhaps one of those “supermarket” type of Walmarts.
           

          (Edited) My point was that Costco and Home Depot would have unquestionably considered Davis if not for the tyranny of Measure J. There is a Lowes in West Sacramento.  Raley’s is a logical choice for Davis since they are headquartered in West Sacramento and not another state. Walmart has a long history of establishing stores in every community where it believes it can make money. There are full size Walmarts in Woodland, Dixon, Vacaville and West Sacramento just for starters. They don’t seem to care if one store siphons business from another location. Can you read the minds of the Walmart executives in Bentonville, Arkansas? There are those pesky little things called facts.

        4. Ron Oertel

          [edited]

          My point was that Costco and Home Depot would have unquestionably considered Davis if not for the tyranny of Measure J.

          How do YOU know?  Again, it didn’t deter Target.

          There is a Lowes in West Sacramento.

          So?

          Raley’s is a logical choice for Davis since they are headquartered in West Sacramento and not another state.

          Davis already has Nugget and Safeway.  How many more grocery stores do you think it needs?  Davis already “stole” Nugget headquarters from Woodland, as well.

          In addition, most food items in grocery stores aren’t taxed in the first place, so those sales do not benefit a given community.

          Walmart has a long history of establishing stores in every community where it believes it can make money.

          You’re claiming that they’re in every community in the state?  That’s factually incorrect.

          There are full size Walmarts in Woodland, Dixon, Vacaville and West Sacramento just for starters. They don’t seem to care if one store siphons business from another location.

          So?  (And by the way, all of those places suck, compared to Davis.)  The Walmart in Woodland is like going into a third-world country, only worse.  It is not a pleasant experience.

          Can you read the minds of the Walmart executives in Bentonville, Arkansas?

          Can you?

          There are those pesky little things called facts.

          Let me know when you have an “important” one, such as the “fact” regarding capitalization of the second “c” in CostCO.

          Here’s the thing:  I don’t WANT most of those big-box stores in Davis.  And I’m saying that from a perspective of someone who cares about Davis.  Truth be told (and yeah, this will sound like “elitism” – “nice” communities don’t have big box stores – ESPECIALLY Walmart).  Or more accurately, they “stick them” in nearby communities, which DO suck. Even Woodland put Walmart in a location that can be avoided, at least. Far-away from housing, as well.

          I am looking forward to the redevelopment of University Mall, however. Had student housing been included there, it would have compromised the mall for everyone else.

          If I was “running the world”, I wouldn’t create a system where each community is its own fiefdom regarding sales tax collections in the first place.

          Also – if communities haven’t already done so, they’re going to have to figure out a way to collect sales tax from online sales.

           

        5. Ron Oertel

          Oh, and not to “pick on” just Walmart, but Target also (sort of) sucks, as well. Even the one in Davis isn’t particularly-attractive. (You’d think it might be nicer being in Davis, but nope.)

          CostCo (yeap, I’m capitalizing the second “c”, no matter what) – is starting to suck, as well.  Used to be nice, but it’s now getting that low-class “Sacramento” type of feel, to it.  A general rudeness (from customers) which wasn’t there during its early years.

          Sacramento also sucks, by the way.  Or at least, wide swaths of it.  I suspect that a lot of Natomas customers are starting to use the Woodland CostCo.

          Let’s hope that they make University Mall attractive, but it’s probably mostly going to be used by students (who are on a budget). Lots more student housing recently-built (or under construction) in that area. Which is fine.

          UCD students are a “different class” than some lifelong Walmart patrons, for example. However, truth be told, I “feel” a difference, compared to how they were 20 years or so ago. (Not as friendly, perhaps more self-centered.)

  5. Tim Keller

    I agree that education is pretty darn important here.

    I was reading through the comments on a next-door thread last month discussing the new proposals downtown and some of the responses there made me realize that the Vanguard’s comments section are an elite intellectual island compared to what is in the minds of some of the people on next-door.

    Most of the people commenting in that thread were complaining about parking, or wondering why we would even want housing downtown… it reminded me of a similar article that I had read on strong towns discussing the same dynamic…  Thinks like “capping parking makes traffic better” are not necessarily self-explanatory.. and yet our city has already gone down that pathway with our core plan, and not really explained it to the citizens.

    I am also coming to understand that we need to be careful what we say when we use the words “affordable” housing, and “density”

    With the former, many people assume “affordable housing” = crime.  Even if im talking about “small-A affordable – ie: market rate missing middle.

    And when I say greater density, people assume Im talking about singapore  / new york density, when in fact, Im talking about density less than what you find in Paris / Amsterdam / Madrid:  All of which are considered very “nice” cities compared to anything you find in American suburbia.

    I think that both the city AND the pro-growth groups are on the hook for doing this kind of engagement / education.   This sea-change in thinking away from the single-family paradigm is going to be a lot easier if we can help people understand it.

  6. Richard McCann

    Ron O

    What is happening in Davis is independent of what’s going on in the Bay Area. Our housing demand isn’t being driven by those tech companies. It’s really being driven by UCD demand and pushing those employees and affiliated organizations such as the seed companies out of town. They want to live here, not commute in. There’s no corporate backing going on for those who are advocating for change. But importantly, all of them either live here or want to live here, unlike a certain resident of Woodland.

    1. Ron Oertel

      What is happening in Davis is independent of what’s going on in the Bay Area.  Our housing demand isn’t being driven by those tech companies.

      Richard:  I know someone (personally) who has a tech job in Palo Alto, but is a full-time telecommuter who chose to live in Davis.  Nice guy, actually.

      I also know of a YIMBY university professor, who (ironically) “chooses” to live in a more-expensive locale than Davis (San Francisco), and “commutes” to UCD. This is a guy who is essentially using his position at UCD to advocate against the community that he chose not to live in, while living in a more-expensive locale. How does that make any “sense”?

      It’s really being driven by UCD demand and pushing those employees and affiliated organizations such as the seed companies out of town. 

      Are you suggesting that “seed companies” (e.g., those requiring large plots of land) are going to move from locales outside of (any) city limit, to a locale within a city limit?  That makes no sense.

      They want to live here, not commute in.

      As you just noted, the “seed company” jobs are already outside of Davis – so why are you claiming that they are commuting “to” Davis?

      Do you even think about what you claim, before chiming-in?

      And how would you know where they want to be?

       

       

  7. Walter Shwe

    Richard:  I know someone (personally) who has a tech job in Palo Alto, but is a full-time telecommuter who chose to live in Davis.

    So what? One person definitely doesn’t indicate any kind of trend. If you could cite a few dozen individuals that would be a trend. You seem to think that one or a few instances indicates an actual trend. I bet there are people just like your single acquaintance living in other states that have the ability to work entirely remote.

     

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      I’m glad that you brought this up, as my own comment didn’t really address the more-important point:  Business interests (including the technology industry) are funding the YIMBY movement, which then affects every city in the state – not just those where those funding interests are located.

      And in fact, the “technology” areas are also where a lot of the YIMBY politicians come from in the first place.

      As such, a city like Davis is mostly just “collateral damage” Of course, some are attempting to justify sprawl via these YIMBY efforts, as well.

      Make no mistake – this is no “grass roots” movement.

      It’s all going to fail, anyway. It likely already IS failing.

      Of course, there are a lot of commuters who live in Davis, as well.  Some work in Sacramento, some work in the Bay Area.  I don’t believe this has ever been fully analyzed.  But it’s far more than “a few dozen”. (Of course, a lot of them are able to telecommute now – and not just technology industry workers.)

      Some consider those who work on UCD’s campus to be “commuters”, as well.

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