AOC Chief of Staff Admits: Green Dream is About Creating a Totalitarian State Not Saving the Planet

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could have been a member of the Soviet Union Politburo.  Instead she wants to turn the United States in the failed, fallen Soviet Union.  This bartender turned Congresswoman created an environmental plan, not to save the Earth, but for government to kill jobs and the economy and force the population to be dependent on government for survival.  Nw, her former Chief of State admits that is behind the Green Nightmere, ur Dream.

“In a report by the Washington Post, Saikat Chakrabarti revealed that “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

The revelation came during a conversation with Sam Ricketts, climate director for presidential candidate Jay Inslee. Chakrabarti further told Ricketts of the Green New Deal, “I think … it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity. More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability and justice throughout.”

Chakrabarti further said of Ricketts’ climate plans with Inslee, who has campaigned almost exclusively on environmental issues, “I’ll be honest, my view is I still think you guys aren’t going big enough.”

As expected all of the Democrat Presidential candidates have  adopted the economy killing, Soviet Union plan to create a New World Order—government over people.

AOC chief of staff confirms: Green New Deal was not really about the climate

by Ellie Bufkin,  & Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, 7/11/19 

The chief of staff for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that her signature Green New Deal was not really about saving the planet after all.

In a report by the Washington Post, Saikat Chakrabarti revealed that “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

The revelation came during a conversation with Sam Ricketts, climate director for presidential candidate Jay Inslee. Chakrabarti further told Ricketts of the Green New Deal, “I think … it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity. More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability and justice throughout.”

Chakrabarti further said of Ricketts’ climate plans with Inslee, who has campaigned almost exclusively on environmental issues, “I’ll be honest, my view is I still think you guys aren’t going big enough.”

AOC had previously tweeted that “@JayInslee’s climate plan is the most serious + comprehensive one to address our crisis in the 2020 field.”

The Green New Deal itself was fraught with complications in its February roll-out, which included confusing language and contradictions in the “Frequently Asked Question” section. Now-withdrawn statements that were widely shared with media and posted online claimed the Green New Deal would provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work” and called for “a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases.”

The FAQ also claimed, “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who is a lead co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, said of the roll-out fumble, “I’m familiar with the fact sheet. But again, it’s separate from the resolution, all right? The resolution is really what the document is that I was speaking to today … That’s the key document. That’s what you should focus on. Focus on the resolution.” AOC later blamed the FAQ on an unnamed aide, saying “I definitely had a staffer that had a really bad day at work.”

The Green New Deal, which some estimated could cost upwards of $93 trillion to enact, also promised “economic prosperity for all.” The resolution was soundly defeated in the Senate in March.

In a video from 2018, Chakrabarti promoted his recently elected boss’ agenda in Congress while wearing a T-shirt that featured the face of Subhas Chandra Bose, who collaborated with both Hitler and Imperial Japan during World War II.

Trump Bails Out California Democrats on Housing Crisis

Obama refused to allow the use of a unused Federal building n Hawthorne for a shelter for the homeless.  President Trump reversed that decision.  Unlike the Democrats he takes action.  While the State of California, the city of San Fran and Los Angeles doubled the amount spent on homelessness in the past five years, the situation has gotten worse.  Instead of fixing the government regulations causing the crisis, California governments have made it worse.

Re:code LA is a stalled $5,000,000 plus program to accelerate Los Angeles Municipal Code handling of discretionary zoning cases.  These code changes are complex, and one staff report alone weighed in at 948 pages.  Community experts estimate these gifts to developers cost City Hall $13 million in contracts to a private law firm. 

The other part of re:code LA is the wholesale revamping of LA’s complex Zoning Code. The proposed alternative is based on Form Based Zoning, through which a greater range of uses would be permitted for each parcel.  When finally completed, these zone changes will – big surprise — inflate property values,  fortified by increased building size and reduced on-site parking requirements. 

Each of these local ordinances allows for larger, denser, more profitable commercial and residential buildings in choice locations, at the expense of existing residents and small businesses.  Project review requirements, including the California Environmental Quality Act, are shunted aside, as investors turn to LA and similar cities for quick, lucrative real estate deals — before the next crash kills the goose that lays their golden eggs. 

Could Donald Trump and those who discreetly agree with him be any happier?”

Trump Bails Out California Democrats on Housing Crisis

Dick Platkin, City Watch LA,  9/19/19 

Planning Watch: The record of California Democrats on the housing crisis, including those who run city governments, like Los Angeles, is not good.

 Their homeless sweeps, bans on sidewalk sleeping, and giveaways to developers have sullied their reputation.  Other than outliers, like Representative Maxine Waters and her $13.3 billion Federal proposal to address homelessness, most California officials linked to the Democratic Party offer Reaganesque solutions.  (Photo above: LAPD and Bureau of Sanitation homeless sweep in deep blue Los Angeles.)

Their supply-side programs will enrich their political patrons, but, unfortunately, make the state’s housing crisis worse.   When not removing homeless encampments and barring sleeping in public areas, the LA City Council has either proposed or adopted a host of ordinances to green-light real estate speculation.  These programs worsen the city’s homeless crisis, which grew 16 percent over the past year.  Meanwhile, higher up on the donor food chain, Democrats in Sacramento adopted several statewide gentrification bills, most notably SB 330

Lucky for these gentrifiers, Mr. Trump and his representatives came to Los Angeles and unintentionally bailed them – at least politically.  

Even though Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed the Trump delegation, most other local and state Democratic officials dismissed their visit as publicity stunt.  They accused them of targeting big cities, like LA, which are run by Democrats.  According to the LA Times, most Democratic officials – for good reason — remained highly skeptical.  A week later, after Trump’s Tuesday visit, their skepticism remains, even though his housing proposals hardly differ from their own.  They both want the deregulation of zoning and environmental laws to supposedly increase the supply of (market-rate) housing. 

Nevertheless, Mayor Garcetti and Governor Newsom’s offices issued statements listing actions that the Trump administration could take if it were serious about homelessness.  For example, the Governor’s spokesperson said, “He could start by ending his plans to cut food stamps, gut healthcare for low-income people, and scare immigrant families from accessing government services.” 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg remarked, “We need them to stand up big time on the resource side.”  In the same vein, LA’s Councilperson Gil Garcetti told the LAT, “We’re interested in building housing, and finding shelter, and transitioning people who are going through really difficult times.  And, it requires more than a token appearance.” 

Other officials, like LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, stated that California needed the president to declare a state of emergency.  This would unleash Federal funds to address homelessness, but Ridley Thomas feared these funds would be used to clear out homeless camps and shelters.  Others speculated that the Trump Administration’s model would be its immigrant prisons, like Adelanto, which are located far from urban centers.  Similarly, retired UCLA law professor, Gary Blasi, told the LA Times that the Trump administration’s approach would be homeless sweeps to end visible homelessness, not homelessness itself. 

California: Reminiscent of the adage that when you point you finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you, let us take a quick look at the dark underside of Democratic officials’ homeless policies and practices.  What they say and what they do are hardly the same.

The most revealing action is Senate Bill 330, sponsored by Democratic Senator Nancy Skinner, adopted by the State legislature, and waiting for Governor Newsom’s signature or veto.  Largely supported by the California Building Industry Association and the California Association of Realtors, SB 330 is based on the trickle-down economic theory espoused by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.  SB 330 is bound to make the State’s housing crisis worse, not better.  Echoing both Mr. Trump and their real estate industry patrons, SB 330’s political supporters claim government regulations – in this case local zoning, planning, and environmental laws – impede housing production.  If curtailed by State law, housing production would zoom, and California’s housing crisis would melt away. SB 330 would allow the following:

  • Developers could sue cities for not approving their real estate projects based on regulations adopted after they applied for a building permit.
  • Cities could not hold more than five hearings, including workshops, for a proposed project.
  • Cities and local voters, through Initiatives, could not down-zone any residential parcels or establish urban design standards for these parcels.

Furthermore, even though the bill’s supporters invoke California’s very real housing crisis to justify SB 330, the legislation does not require the State or local municipalities to monitor housing construction, costs, vacancy rates, or rents.  It also does not require developers to include any low-income units in their projects. 

In Los Angeles, like Sacramento, there is no shortage of ordinances fueling the housing crisis while claiming to solve it.

Homeless sleeping bans:  Some are brazen, such as a proposed municipal ordinance to ban outdoor sleeping in 124 square miles of Los Angeles, especially in public areas near parks, schools, libraries, day care centers, sidewalks, and alleys. 

Other schemes are less blatant, but just as damaging: 

Community Plan Updates:  For example, the stalled second update of the Hollywood Community Plan would upzone hundreds of parcels.  Like the previous Plan update and zoning ordinance, totally rejected by Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman in 2012, its reincarnation will likely meet the same fate. 

Transit Neighborhood Plans, concocted by LA City Planning and partially funded but not endorsed by METRO, would substantially upzone transit-adjacent neighborhoods, like Miracle Mile and Beverly-Fairfax.  To pull this off, City Planning is trying, despite enormous community opposition, to adopt these increases in the heights, mass, and density of commercial and residential properties prior to the parallel update of the Wilshire Community Plan.  City Hall is pursuing this end run so expensive, high rise market housing can be fast-tracked in neighborhoods near the Purple Line Extension.  The swept-under-the-carpet consequences of this real estate scam would be displacement of low-income transit riders, increased traffic jams and air pollution, and more homelessness.  Unlike enriched property owners and investors, this “progress” would be dumped on those who live, work, visit, and pitch their tents in these gentrifying neighborhoods.  

Transit Oriented Communities Guidelines (TOC) are the newest version of the SB 1818 density bonus program.  Legally challenged by Fix the City, the TOC Guidelines allow real estate developers to evade discretionary zoning processes, such as zone variances and zone changes, by pledging to include low-income rental units in their new market rate apartment buildings.  As for the actual rents of these promised low-income units, or the low-income qualifications of tenants, good luck in tracking down this information.  This is because no one from LA’s Housing and Community Investment Department ever field checks density bonus apartment buildings.  Furthermore, City Hall does not inform nearby community residents of this chicanery through public notices, hearings, votes by decision makers, and appeals.  In cases where the Department of City Planning writes a decision/determination letter, only adjacent property owners receive copies.  In some cases, neighbors do not know about density bonus projects until the bulldozers show up. 

Re:code LA is a stalled $5,000,000 plus program to accelerate Los Angeles Municipal Code handling of discretionary zoning cases.  These code changes are complex, and one staff report alone weighed in at 948 pages.  Community experts estimate these gifts to developers cost City Hall $13 million in contracts to a private law firm. 

The other part of re:code LA is the wholesale revamping of LA’s complex Zoning Code. The proposed alternative is based on Form Based Zoning, through which a greater range of uses would be permitted for each parcel.  When finally completed, these zone changes will – big surprise — inflate property values,  fortified by increased building size and reduced on-site parking requirements. 

Each of these local ordinances allows for larger, denser, more profitable commercial and residential buildings in choice locations, at the expense of existing residents and small businesses.  Project review requirements, including the California Environmental Quality Act, are shunted aside, as investors turn to LA and similar cities for quick, lucrative real estate deals — before the next crash kills the goose that lays their golden eggs. 

Could Donald Trump and those who discreetly agree with him be any happier?

Labor Costs Soar in San Jose and Phoenix

California is expensive.  San Jose, with a collapsing pension system–$3.4 billion unfunded—not enough cops and high taxes, is leading the pack of unaffordability.

“Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.61 per hour worked in June 2019. Wages and salaries averaged $25.12 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%, according to the report. Health insurance accounts for 8.3% of total compensation.

Total compensation costs in March 2019 for private industry workers ranged from $28.48 per hour in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL area to $53.65 per hour in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA metro area. These figures include benefits costs.”

Now you know why business are leaving California and moving to Florida and Texas.  Stop blaming corporations for job losses-.  Look to Politburo policies from Sacramento as the real cause.-

Labor Costs Soar in San Jose and Phoenix

By Alexandre Tanzi, Bloomberg,   9/17/19 

Employers are shelling out an average of $53.65 per hour for a worker in San Jose. This is almost twice as much as in Miami.

That’s according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for private industry workers in 15 selected metropolitan areas. Data by metro area is available for March 2019.

Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.61 per hour worked in June 2019. Wages and salaries averaged $25.12 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%, according to the report. Health insurance accounts for 8.3% of total compensation.

Total compensation costs in March 2019 for private industry workers ranged from $28.48 per hour in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL area to $53.65 per hour in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA metro area. These figures include benefits costs.

Since the end of the recession in 2009, employee compensation costs have increased by more than 40% in Phoenix and San Jose. Costs for firms in the Washington D.C. and Detroit areas increased less than 10%.

Among the 15 selected areas, San Jose ranked first both in 2019 and 2009. New York moved to second from third; Seattle jumped to third from sixth, Boston dropped to fourth from second and Houston moved into the top five from eighth in 2009.

Employers in San Jose now pay $15.37 more per hour compared to a decade earlier. On a daily basis, this means an additional $123 expense per worker for firms — five times the increase employers in Miami have faced since 2009.

LA County will ask Supreme Court to uphold bans against sleeping on sidewalks

Go downtown and you see on every street, bikes, cars not moving and people sleeping on the sidewalks.  The same for San Fran and many California cities.  The reason the cops can’t control this is a Supreme Court decision allowing it.    Previously, the Supreme Court allowed the homeless to declare any street corner as their residence, to allow them to vote—instead of putting them into shelters.  The Courts have enabled the destruction of humans’s and cities.

“Los Angeles County will file an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an earlier ruling that found it is “cruel and unusual” for local governments to outlaw sleeping on the streets—when homeless residents have no where else to go.

The brief will supplement the city of Boise’s appeal of a case known as Martin vs. the city of Boise. The decision applies to the western portion of the U.S., and cities and counties are lining up to support Boise, arguing it “has tied the hands of law enforcement.”

County supervisors voted 3 to 2 in favor of filing the brief today. It’s a largely symbolic decision, as the county, unlike the city of Los Angeles, does not have a so-called anti-camping law (with the exception of beaches and high-risk fire zones). “

Will the courts enable the destruction of the cities and humans—that is really what this decision is about.

LA County will ask Supreme Court to uphold bans against sleeping on sidewalks

The vote was split, but some supervisors say they are otherwise “powerless to address camping in public places”

By Jenna Chandler, LA Curbed,   9/18/19  

Los Angeles County will file an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an earlier ruling that found it is “cruel and unusual” for local governments to outlaw sleeping on the streets—when homeless residents have no where else to go.

The brief will supplement the city of Boise’s appeal of a case known as Martin vs. the city of Boise. The decision applies to the western portion of the U.S., and cities and counties are lining up to support Boise, arguing it “has tied the hands of law enforcement.”

County supervisors voted 3 to 2 in favor of filing the brief today. It’s a largely symbolic decision, as the county, unlike the city of Los Angeles, does not have a so-called anti-camping law (with the exception of beaches and high-risk fire zones).

But in their motion to submit the “friend of the court” brief, Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn said that if the Supreme Court does not overturn the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision, it could, in the future, render the county “powerless to address camping in public places by anyone until it provides shelter for everyone.”

“Now, more than ever, it’s critical we have access to every tool at our disposal to combat homelessness,” Barger said today.

The supervisors represent unincorporated Los Angeles County, including such neighborhoods as East Pasadena, East Los Angeles, Sunland, Baldwin Hills, and Altadena.

More than 80 people turned out to speak on the proposal, many of them representing the Services Not Sweeps campaign, the ACLU, and nonprofit service providers, including the Venice Family Clinic. They argued that anti-camping laws punish poor people and only make it harder for them to climb out of homelessness—and supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, who cast the dissenting votes, agreed.

“If this case goes to the Supreme Court and is overturned, any jurisdiction, not just Los Angeles, could totally bar people from the streets,” Kuehl said. “Our goal must be to provide housing to those who need it, not to criminalize poor people who have nowhere else to go in the name of addressing the crisis.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas was considered the swing vote, and when he voted to support it, he was booed.

The ruling in the Martin case came down in September. The majority judges found that “as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

But they noted “even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible.”

That has prompted the city of Los Angeles to begin tweaking its rules. It has a blanket ban against sitting, lying, and sleeping on sidewalks that it stopped enforcing at night in 2007. Now it’s considering tailoring the rules soit would be illegal to sit, sleep, and lie near parks, freeway overpasses, schools and routes to schools, existing shelters, on bike and recreational paths, and in “crowded sidewalk areas” and major venues.

City Attorney Mike Fuerer told the Los Angeles Times that he plans to submit an amicus brief in the Martin case too, “in the hopes that the court will clarify the extent of the city’s authority to regulate when and where people sleep on the street.”

Josh Hawley: If GOP Wants a Future It Will Have to Become ‘Movement of Working People’

The Democrat Socialist Party is the Party of corporations, the rich and the special interests.  They are the Party of unions, which steal from workers.  What should the Republican Party be representative of?

“The Missouri senator charged during the interview that the Republican Party will have to embrace populist issues such as trade, fighting monopolies across American industry, lowering healthcare costs, and immigration reform so that the party can survive.

“If the conservative movement wants to have a future, it’s going to have to commit itself to being the movement of working people,” Hawley said. “If we do that, if conservatives do that, if there’s a core group that will do that, then the rest of D.C., the lobbyists, they will follow along. It’s going to have to be people-driven change.”

In his address at the end of his term as President, Dwight Eisenhower warned the American people, “To be afraid of Big Government, Big Corporations and the Military/Industrial Complex—along with Big Unions”  As GOP’ers we need to represent the workers—not those that use and abuse workers and families.  Sen. Hawley understands the problems we face as a Party.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Exclusive– Josh Hawley: If GOP Wants a Future It Will Have to Become ‘Movement of Working People’

Sean Moran, Breitbart,   9/18/19  

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Wednesday that if the Republican Party “wants to have a future,” it will have to become a “movement of working people.”

Sen. Hawley spoke to Breitbart News Wednesday on a wide-ranging series of topics including the future of the Republican Party and populism, fighting big tech’s dominance on the Internet, as well as immigration.

The Missouri senator charged during the interview that the Republican Party will have to embrace populist issues such as trade, fighting monopolies across American industry, lowering healthcare costs, and immigration reform so that the party can survive.

“If the conservative movement wants to have a future, it’s going to have to commit itself to being the movement of working people,” Hawley said. “If we do that, if conservatives do that, if there’s a core group that will do that, then the rest of D.C., the lobbyists, they will follow along. It’s going to have to be people-driven change.”

Sen. Hawley’s, like President Donald Trump’s, vision for a populist Republican Party represents a dynamic shift from a GOP that would discuss cutting taxes and spending while advocating for more interventions abroad.

In contrast, Sen. Hawley has proposed ending America’s “forever wars,” securing America’s southern border, reducing immigration, enacting more trade policies to revitalize American industry, and ending big tech’s dominance on the Internet.

Hawley has introduced several bills to encapsulate his vision for a populist GOP.

Most notably, Sen. Hawley proposed the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, which would audit social media companies for bias, and if regulators found bias in either the big tech companies’ algorithm or content moderation process, those companies would lose their Section 230 immunity.

Trump praised the legislation as “very important” during a social media summit at the White House, and a poll found that nearly a majority of Americans back the bill.

Hawley also cosponsored legislation with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the America First Drug Pricing Plan, which would lower drug price costs and would increase healthcare transparency by mandating that pharmacies  inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket compared to paying with their insurance.

The Missouri senator has even proposed bills that would fight against foreign currency manipulation and help American exports compete with China. Hawley has also proposed legislation that would help Americans receive job training and break up the “higher education monopoly.”

Sen. Hawley spent much of his time during the August recess visiting Missourians, learning what matters to the average American. He said that Missourians on both sides of the political aisle no longer feel represented by the Washington, DC, class.

Sen. Hawley spoke to Missourians who said that meth is destroying local communities. Sen. Hawley recounted that many liberal media pundits and Democrats often ask him why he cares about illegal immigration when Missouri is far from the border. The senator said that methamphetamine coming from Mexico is destroying local communities.

Hawley said, “Come with me to any town, any town in the state of Missouri of any size, and I will show you communities that are drowning in meth, drowning in it. It is literally killing people, it is destroying families it is destroying schools and whole communities.”

“Missouri is a border state,” Hawley said, adding that “We have to got to secure the border to stop the meth” and “stop the flow of illegal immigration.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) recounted similar problems of methamphetamine coming from Mexico in an interview with Breitbart News in May.

Sen. Hawley said that the D.C. establishment pushes for issues that run contrary to their wishes.

Hawley said, “You go to my state and listen to them and they tell you, by the way this is on both sides of the political aisle, what they tell you especially if they’re working folks, they say, ‘Nobody in Washington is listening to us, the establishment of both parties has failed us and the establishment all agrees — they want these trade deals that are not good for us, not good for America, they want open borders, they want to ship all of our jobs overseas, and they want to pursue these forever wars without end. They do not want that. Nobody wants that, no voter wants that.”

“They are saying we are rejecting the status quo, we want a new kind of politics that’s going to put the interests and needs of the working class, middle-class Americans, first,” Hawley added.

As the country moves closer toward the 2020 elections, many Republicans have been attacking their Democrat opponents for advocating “socialism” and “socialist policies” such as the Green New Deal or Medicare for All. Sen. Hawley believes that the best way to combat the Democrats is to push for policies that will benefit what he calls the “American middle.”

Sen. Hawley said that part of that will involve revitalizing American manufacturing, driving healthcare costs down, and breaking up the higher education monopolies.

“We have to stay focused on the issues that actually matter to real people and have to challenge the leadership class. So, as the Democrats turn towards socialism, is that a problem? Yeah, it is, but it just goes to show you that they have no idea how to respond to the needs of working people. We can’t just reject their crazy ideas. We also have to push forward with an agenda that actually benefits what I call the ‘American middle” which is the middle of our society, people that really sustain our society,” Hawley said. “So it’s going to be a pro-worker agenda, it has to get wages up, we have to get manufacturing going again, we have to get healthcare costs down, to get folks new opportunities to get skills and jobs training, break up the monopoly of higher education, and take on the monopolists in the economy and their sweetheart deals with government.”

Did California Just Abolish Single-Family Zoning?

While not the full answer to the housing problem, the use of “granny flats” will alleviate some of the problem.  Now the State of California has mandated these be allowed.  Imagine your backyard with one or two 500 sq.ft. “homes” instead of grass?

“From the passage of statewide rent control to the failure of a bill legalizing more home construction near transit and job centers, it hasn’t been a great year for free market solutions to California’s housing shortage. That is, at least, until you consider the quiet success of efforts to allow for more accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

In the waning days of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed a series of bills loosening up zoning rules governing ADUs, sometimes known as granny flats or in-law suites. These reforms—which build on legislation passed in 2016—put additional limits on the powers of local governments to regulate ADUs to death, and allow more homeowners to convert their garage or tool shed into affordable rental housing.”

The bottom line is that local government regulations have caused the homeless and affordable housing problems.  Until government stops promoting bad policies, these issues will be with us—granny flats or not.

Did California Just Abolish Single-Family Zoning?

The Golden State now allows homeowners to build up to two accessory dwelling units on their property by right.

Christian Britschgi, Reason,   9/19/19 

From the passage of statewide rent control to the failure of a bill legalizing more home construction near transit and job centers, it hasn’t been a great year for free market solutions to California’s housing shortage. That is, at least, until you consider the quiet success of efforts to allow for more accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

In the waning days of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed a series of bills loosening up zoning rules governing ADUs, sometimes known as granny flats or in-law suites. These reforms—which build on legislation passed in 2016—put additional limits on the powers of local governments to regulate ADUs to death, and allow more homeowners to convert their garage or tool shed into affordable rental housing.

“The big news is that we have effectively ended single-family zoning in California,” says Matthew Lewis, director of communications for California YIMBY, an advocacy group that sponsored two of the three ADU bills.

The first bill, AB 68, lets homeowners build up to two ADUs on their property by right. That means local governments don’t have the discretion to deny these projects or impose additional conditions on their approval outside of what’s already spelled out in the city’s zoning code.

In addition, the bill restricts the size, setback, and parking requirements local zoning codes can impose on ADUs. It also reduces the time local governments have to approve new units from 120 days to 60 days.

Two other bills, AB 881 (also sponsored by California YIMBY) and SB 13, prohibit local governments from requiring that an owner occupy the new units, and reduce the fees homeowners can be charged to build them.

These provisions helped build political support for the bill among homeowners, says Lewis, who tells Reason that they “see some self-interest in being able to create some rental income for themselves.”

If the state’s past experience with ADU liberalization is any guide, this year’s changes will also lead to a surge in new housing supply.

In 2016, state lawmakers passed legislation that allowed homeowners to build one ADU by right and limited the types of impact and utility fees they could be charged for constructing them.

In response, ADU permit applications in Los Angeles jumped 30-fold after these news laws went into effect, increasing from just 257 in 2016 to 3,818 in 2017. In 2018, a full 20 percent of the permits granted for new housing units in Los Angeles were for ADUs, according to a report from the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based urban policy think tank.

More cities could be taking advantage of ADUs, but traditional zoning rules often get in the way, says Margaret Morales, a policy analyst at the Sightline Institute. “The biggest ones are often parking requirements. Requiring extra off-street parking can be difficult if you have a small lot and it’s very expensive,” Morales says. The same is true of other standard policies like minimum lot coverage standards and setback requirements which limit the amount of land that can be devoted to backyard cottages or other types of ADUs.

“If cities set those outrageously high,” says Morales, homeowners aren’t able to squeeze new units onto their property.

Following California’s lead, Seattle recently passed new ADU legislation which allows up to two such units per single-family lot, eliminates minimum parking requirements for ADUs, and abolishes the city’s owner-occupancy rules for these granny flats.

On the downside, that same law imposed maximum size limits on new homes.

Morales says that more granny flats are a great way to add new supply in cities with a lot of single, detached family homes. She also cautions that they “are not the silver bullet to solve our housing shortage alone. I think they are part of the multi-prong package we need to consider.”

Nevertheless, the past successes of ADU legislation in places like Los Angeles demonstrate how much new housing can be built when government gets out of the way.

California High-Speed Rail board votes to bring trains to San Francisco

The scam artists behind the High Speed Rail admit they lied about the costs, the routes and the system to be used.  The cost has gone up FOUR times the original cost, ridership dropped by 50% and the cost to the riders (if there are any) is now about $150.  But, since nothing will be running, if ever, should it happen, that is ten years off, at a minimum.  Now we find that the high speed rail to San Fran is really a slow boat to China.

“Out of four route proposals, board members favored a Merced-to-San Jose connection designated Alternative Four, one that “blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Caltrain and Union Pacific Railroad corridors before continuing to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass” through a tunnel.

For the future San Jose-to-San Francisco route, board members also picked a “blended configuration between…within the existing Caltrain corridor.”

As Caltrain explains it, “blended” means that future bullet trains will use a combination of existing rail infrastructure from regional transit agencies along with newly built trackways laid down specifically for high-speed rail, potentially shaving billions off the final price.

That is NOT a high speed rail, it is a duplication of a failed, money and rider losing government transportation system ALREADY in existence.  Why do they save money?  Because they are not building anything new.  If this was a private system, the government would sue for fraud on behalf of the investors.  Maybe AG Becerra needs to stop suing the President and start suing on behalf of the people of California.  We have been ripped off.

California High-Speed Rail board votes to bring trains to San Francisco

“Blended route” for the way to San Jose—and beyond

By Adam Brinklow, SF Curbed,   9/20/19 

California’s ongoing bullet train project is late, over-budget, and politically assailed everywhere from Sacramento to the White House, but the nearly $80 billion venture still (pardon the term) chugs along, as the High Speed Rail Authority board voted Tuesday for routes that will eventually connect trains to the Bay Area.

Out of four route proposals, board members favored a Merced-to-San Jose connection designated Alternative Four, one that “blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Caltrain and Union Pacific Railroad corridors before continuing to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass” through a tunnel.

For the future San Jose-to-San Francisco route, board members also picked a “blended configuration between…within the existing Caltrain corridor.”

As Caltrain explains it, “blended” means that future bullet trains will use a combination of existing rail infrastructure from regional transit agencies along with newly built trackways laid down specifically for high-speed rail, potentially shaving billions off the final price.

The connection from San Jose to Los Banos will run 84 miles. The Bay Area portion of the route will run 51 miles, from Diridon Station up to the Transbay Transit Center.

The routes favored at Tuesday’s vote may change in the future. Actual construction remains years away—the earliest environmental impact reports on the planned connection between San Jose and Merced won’t appear until early 2020.

But High-Speed Rail CEO Brian Kelly still called the vote “a major milestone for the high-speed rail program in Northern California.”

State Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose sounded more measured, calling the route “a positive first step,” but praised the authority for paying attention to public opinion in the South Bay.

With a series of setbacks and miscues about high-speed rail over the past year, Tuesday’s vote at least proves the proposal is underway with plans to connect major regions of California.

In May, a project update report found that the likely final cost now sat at $79.1 billion, almost double the $40 billion voters approved in 2008, with the route from Bakersfield to Merced now $1.8 billion pricier than previously calculated.

California is presently entrenched in litigation with the federal government over attempts to cancel nearly $1 billion in grants, a move the state alleges is politically motivated.

Originally, the first phase of the bullet train was to connect LA and San Francisco by 2028, but the latest projections estimate that only the Central Valley portion will run by then.

Field of dreams Or neighborhood nightmare?

Scammers are alive and well in Monterey.  The people of Monterey are learning a lesson.  Just because government SAYS it will spend bond money one way that has nothing to do with the truth.

This is what the educrats (politicians running government education) told the people of Monterey to get 70% to approve a bond:

“The flyer goes on like that for three more paragraphs before mentioning athletic facilities in a list of potential uses for the money:

  • Providing up-to-date science, technology, engineering, arts and math classrooms
  • Fixing and replacing leaky roofs and old portable classrooms
  • Replacing aging plumbing, gas, sewer and electrical systems that are over 50 years old
  • Updating classrooms for career technical education and workforce training programs
  • Repairing and updating classrooms, science labs, athletic and other school facilities to keep pace with 21st-century learning (emphasis added)

The flyer notes that the bond money can only be used to improve public schools in the district and cannot go toward administrative salaries.

Instead the majority of the money is being used to create a SECOD football field, athletics facilities and better press sections.  The NEW stadium will also create a traffic and noise disstaer for THREE neighb ors and at nights when the games are being played all three areas will be flooded with massive bright lights!  All in the name of “education.

This is a lesson the people need to learn.  Government lies.  You never give known liars money—they will spend it on what they want.  A drunk asks for money for food—then spends it on vodka.  Enough said.

Field of dreams Or neighborhood nightmare?

By Royal Calkins, Voice of Monterey Bay,  9/19/19   

At first glance, controversy over plans to enlarge the Monterey High School football facility and add permanent lighting might seem like just another neighborhood dispute of little importance to anyone beyond the potential glare.

But a deeper look also raises concerns about the way the Monterey Unified Peninsula School District — like most other school districts in California — manages great sums of public money and whether the district can be trusted to play straight when asking taxpayers to okay bond financing measures. Though the $213 million Measure I was approved just 16 months ago, district officials are already surveying potential voters about the idea of another large round of borrowing in the coming years.

Neighbors of the hillside campus are focusing on the lighting and traffic problems in a pricey area that is already straining to accommodate after-school events. Others, meanwhile, say they feel they were tricked into supporting the measure because campaign literature emphasized the need to repair and improve classrooms, science labs and other instructional space while making little mention of athletics.

Community concerns about the impact of permanent lighting and the adequacy of the district’s review of the environmental issues prompted Superintendent P.K. Diffenbaugh on Tuesday to announce that approval of the environmental study will be postponed, along with a public hearing that had been scheduled for Sept. 24. He said he hoped the move would ward off litigation over the adequacy of the environmental review.

That announcement came the day after Voices raised questions about a seeming conflict of interest regarding that review. The district had hired a Monterey firm, EMC Planning Group, to review the issues of stadium lighting, traffic, sound and other factors and to prepare the environmental study — a “mitigated negative declaration”— which details why the district should not be required to prepare a full-fledged environmental impact report. The EMC report cost the district $30,000 while a full EIR could cost three times that.

The apparent conflict is that EMC’s president, Michael J. Groves, has been Monterey High’s baseball coach for nearly three decades, a part-time position that carries a small stipend.

Diffenbaugh said Monday that the district’s lawyers had opined that there was no impermissible conflict because Groves would not personally benefit from the project itself. It wasn’t clear whether the lawyers considered that EMC’s fee came from project funds. Groves declined a request to comment, saying by email Wednesday that the district had not authorized him to speak to the media.

EMC’s contract required the firm to respond to community letters generated by the negative declaration with the anticipation that fewer than five would be received. Before the deadline at the end of August, there were more than 200. A sizeable number, many from MHS graduates, supported the stadium project but a clear majority were in opposition, mostly because of concerns over the lighting. (Among the letters supporting the project was one from Joe Livernois, a founding editor of Voices.)

Among the critical responses was an extremely long one from Molly Erickson, a Monterey lawyer who specializes in environmental litigation. She included traffic and sound studies as well as a lighting study she had commissioned that concludes light pollution from the football field would be considerably worse than EMC predicted.

“As a homeowner in the Monte Vista neighborhood one block away from the neighborhood, I am very concerned about the impact of the proposed stadium lights, specifically the height and lumens … and the impact on parking in the surrounding neighborhood,” wrote Mo Ruehsen. “Also, since when do bleachers, stadium lights and a new athletic field cost $12 million?”

Lisa Knight wrote, “We have lived two blocks from Monterey High since 1984. There have been relatively few problems … . However, we do have concerns about the proposed revamping of the field. Permanent lighting would change the nature of the neighborhood at night. We would have much more traffic without adequate parking … . Please do not allow modifications that make the school a less desirable.”

But another neighbor, traffic engineer Rich Deal, were among those supporting the plan.

“I welcome the higher activity level and positive energy that night games will bring along with some extra noise, light intrusion and parking problems,” wrote Deal, who has also been a part-time water polo and swim coach at the school. “The students using this field are OUR kids playing football, girls field hockey, boys and girls soccer and boys and girls track. Providing a venue for night games is one more positive thing we can do to offset all the far too negative things available to our kids off the field at night.”

Several letter writers from the neighborhood said they felt the stadium project had been sprung on them without meaningful public input, an assertion that Diffenbaugh finds laughable.

“We met with every Rotary Club that would have us, with the Monterey City Council, the Seaside City Council, the  Marina City Council … ,” Diffenbaugh said. He said the stadium project was addressed at public school board meetings on several occasions and that the neighbors will be given a fair chance to air their views when the public hearing is rescheduled.

Others complained that they had voted for the bond measure because the district emphasized the money would be used for repairs and improvements to classrooms and other instructional space.

Diffenbaugh said materials promoting the bond measure made it clear that athletics would be included in the mix of projects. He said the Monterey High project was not envisioned at that time but emerged when the district’s facilities advisory committee set priorities for bond spending.

Critics, however, point to a recent survey of district residents that found sports facilities to be among their very lowest priorities.

For many years, Monterey High’s night football games were played at Monterey Peninsula College. Temporary lights, powered by propane, were installed about 15 years ago at the high school stadium, but district officials say they are inadequate and cause pollution. In addition to new, permanent lights, the project would involve the removal of more than 200 dirt parking spaces to allow for construction of a 500-seat visitors’ section across from the home crowd. Diffenbaugh’s staff calculates, however, that the project and related steps will actually add 21 parking spaces.

The stadium, created in 1938 as a WPA project, is now called Dan Albert Field in honor of the former mayor and longtime football coach.

While some of the critics say this would eat up money that should go into general campus improvements, the superintendent emphasized that the project is needed for safety reasons. He explained that athletes involved in several sports — including football, soccer and lacrosse — now share just one practice field, creating numerous hazards. The bond project would add a second field along with a softball diamond, a press box and a 2,400-square-foot weight room.

The bond measure on the June 2018 ballot was supported by more than 70 percent of those voting. The ballot language did mention athletic facilities and stadiums but only fairly deep in the fine print.

One of the flyers distributed by district officials in the run-up to the election begins:

“Students in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District — which serves Monterey, Seaside, Marina, Del Rey Oaks and Sand City — have made great strides in recent years. Graduation rates have steadily increased and district schools have been recognized statewide by the California Department of Education and California Business Roundtable and nationally by the US News and World Report and by the National Education Policy Center.

“Despite the growing success of our students, the District’s newest school was built in 1965, more than 50 years ago, and all of our schools are in need of repair. Additionally, there are over 100 aging portable classrooms in our District. Some classrooms and school facilities have been updated recently, but there is more work to be done. Upgrades to our schools would help ensure that every student has equal access to a safe and modern learning environment.”

The flyer goes on like that for three more paragraphs before mentioning athletic facilities in a list of potential uses for the money:

  • Providing up-to-date science, technology, engineering, arts and math classrooms
  • Fixing and replacing leaky roofs and old portable classrooms
  • Replacing aging plumbing, gas, sewer and electrical systems that are over 50 years old
  • Updating classrooms for career technical education and workforce training programs
  • Repairing and updating classrooms, science labs, athletic and other school facilities to keep pace with 21st-century learning (emphasis added)

The flyer notes that the bond money can only be used to improve public schools in the district and cannot go toward administrative salaries.

The flyer concluded, “A citizens’ oversight committee, annual audits and detailed project list would be required.“ It doesn’t say when the project list would be required and doesn’t mention that such project lists are routinely amended again and again until taxpayer dollars have paid off the debt.

It doesn’t say that the citizens’ oversight committee is appointed by district officials and that the committee’s role usually involves little more than reviewing financial paperwork to make sure the recordkeeping is in order.

Until recently, Monterey neighborhood activist Carole Dawson chaired the district’s bond oversight committee. She resigned early this year, but not out of concern about the Measure I process. She said she maintains confidence in the district’s leadership and feels that its management of bond matters “has greatly improved in the last few years.”

Dawson said, however, “I am not happy about the way the Monterey High School athletic field improvements project has been handled.” Unlike others who object to bond proceeds going toward athletics, she said her concern is the lack of an environmental impact report and the chance that proposed limits on the use of the stadium will not last.

In an email, Dawson continued, “The district has put together a set of rules that they said they will abide by, which limit the number of night games, the hours, use of loudspeakers and lights, etc. … I don’t think anyone objects to five to seven home night football games per year at MHS. However, the fear is that over time the number will grow to five to seven night games and other events per week because the district can make money renting out the field.”

Over time, Dawson predicted, the stadium will draw more visitors, creating more traffic, noise and litter while spreading unwanted light across the neighborhood.

“Three neighborhoods are impacted by this project: Old Town, Monterey Vista and Alta Mesa,” she wrote. “Believe it or not, the sound from MHS games can be heard as far away as the Alta Mesa neighborhood.”

Diffenbaugh said it certainly is possible that district officials sometime in the future could open the facility up to more events but there are no plans to do so. He said a formal policy limiting the usage will go to the school board for approval shortly and that it will include references to the district’s long-term wishes.

Dawson and other committee members were critical of the district’s handling of a previous bond measure that made considerable use of bond lawyers and consultants who had contributed significant amounts to the successful bond campaign. Subsequently the state enacted legislation preventing bond professionals from receiving contracts to work with bonds they helped create. That caused many bonding firms to stop contributing to bond campaigns. The new rules don’t apply to contractors, architects or vendors that might benefit from the proposed projects.

In addition to checking with legal counsel about the firm that prepared the environmental documents, EMC, Diffenbaugh said the district checked on another potential conflict. School board member Betty Lusk is the mother of Monterey High’s head football coach, Henry Lusk. The superintendent said the lawyers said Betty Lusk is free to vote on stadium-related issues.

Charles Barkley: Democrats ‘only talk to black people every four years’

Donald Trump challenged black Americans to a flat statement, “Vote for me, what do you have to lose?”

In the 2.5 years since his election Black Americans have lost unemployment, gain jobs, wages and a better life.  In fact, thanks to the LBJ Great Society and numerous welfare programs, black American lost families and hope.  The Democrats promised government schools—which failed their children, while Republicans supported education reform and charter schools—Dems give black children bribe payers for teachers.

“Speaking on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, Mr. Barkley recalled a conversation he had with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones during his 2017 special election victory against Roy Moore in Alabama.

“I said ‘Doug, I’m going to support you. I’m going to try to get every black person in Alabama to vote for you.’ And it worked out. We won for the first time in 40 years,” Mr. Barkley recalled, Mediaite reported. “But I said, ‘We need to start holding you Democrats accountable,’ because they’ve been taking black people’s votes and they only talk to black people every four years.

“All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote,” he said.

He added that he didn’t think Republicans bothered to reach out to black voters at all. “

Too bad Barkley has not spoken to Dr. Ben Carson or Sen. Tim Scott—or the blacks that got jobs thanks to the Trump economic policies.

Charles Barkley: Democrats ‘only talk to black people every four years’

By Jessica Chasmar,  The Washington Times, 9/20/19 

Former basketball star Charles Barkley said in a new interview that he thinks the Democratic Party should be held accountable for “taking black people’s votes” for decades and giving little in return.

Speaking on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, Mr. Barkley recalled a conversation he had with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones during his 2017 special election victory against Roy Moore in Alabama.

“I said ‘Doug, I’m going to support you. I’m going to try to get every black person in Alabama to vote for you.’ And it worked out. We won for the first time in 40 years,” Mr. Barkley recalled, Mediaite reported. “But I said, ‘We need to start holding you Democrats accountable,’ because they’ve been taking black people’s votes and they only talk to black people every four years.

“All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote,” he said.

He added that he didn’t think Republicans bothered to reach out to black voters at all.

It’s not the first time the NBA legend has criticized the Democratic Party. In July, he said “every black person” he knows has always voted Democrat, and “all those people are still poor.” He has also been critical of the Republican Party and President Trump.

Former basketball star Charles Barkley said in a new interview that he thinks the Democratic Party should be held accountable for “taking black people’s votes” for decades and giving little in return.

Speaking on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, Mr. Barkley recalled a conversation he had with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones during his 2017 special election victory against Roy Moore in Alabama.

“I said ‘Doug, I’m going to support you. I’m going to try to get every black person in Alabama to vote for you.’ And it worked out. We won for the first time in 40 years,” Mr. Barkley recalled, Mediaite reported. “But I said, ‘We need to start holding you Democrats accountable,’ because they’ve been taking black people’s votes and they only talk to black people every four years.

“All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote,” he said.

He added that he didn’t think Republicans bothered to reach out to black voters at all.

It’s not the first time the NBA legend has criticized the Democratic Party. In July, he said “every black person” he knows has always voted Democrat, and “all those people are still poor.” He has also been critical of the Reblican Party and President Trump.

Anti-Education Progressive Running for OC Board of Education

Andy Thorburn does not believe parents should be allowed to get the best education possible for their children.  Andy Thorburn believes no teacher should be allowed in the classroom without pay a bribe to a union.  Thorburn believes government indoctrination, ala the old Soviet Union is what your child needs.

“Thorburn offers nothing new – just the same old-same old that has been failing public education for decades. He is the candidate of the teachers unions and ideologues who are just opposed to charter schools, period. This election is part of a teachers union effort to overthrow the pro-charter majority on the OC Board of Education and close off what has been a vital avenue for charter school applicants to get a fair hearing.

For voters who believe charter schools offer a valuable and valid alternative to conventional public schools, and support providing that choice to families with school children should – Trustee Ken Williams aligns with their views.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to squash charter schools and empower the status quo, Andy Thorburn is more your style.

Vote against Thorburn—do it for the children.

Wealthy, Anti-Charter School Politico Running For OC Board of Education

Matthew Cunningham, Anaheim Blog,   9/20/19    

Andy Thorburn wants to be elected.

To something.

Last year, the rich, progressive, perennial candidate lost a nasty primary election for the 39th Congressional District to a more moderate (and equally rich) Democrat, Gil Cisneros – who went on to narrowly defeat Republican Young Kim in the general election.

Earlier this year, Thorburn set his sights a little lower and jumped into the special election to fill the vacant 3rd Supervisor District race, vowing to spend whatever it took to win. However, he ultimately stepped aside in favor of Democratic Party establishment favorite, former Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Now, Thorburn, a resident of affluent Villa Park, has again adjusted his political ambitions downward and is running for the Orange County Board of Education, seeking to defeat four-term incumbent Dr. Ken Williams.

In his campaign video, Thorburn promises to “deliver the building blocks of change to our public schools” – whatever that means. Most parents would probably prefer a promise to improve the quality of education given to their children to vapid progressive sloganeering.

Thorburn promises to “invest in classrooms, not bureaucracy” and emphasis STEM education, expand after school programs, extracurricular activities and career training – in other words, the same promises made by every school board candidate everywhere.

The real issue in this and the other two OC Board of Education contests is charter schools.

Charter schools are popular. Parents who are frustrated with the often poor or mediocre education offered by the school in the attendance area like charter schools.

The public school unions, on the pother hand, feel threatened by charter schools, and hate them.

The California Teachers Associations is spending millions of dollars in a war on charter schools and school choice. In school districts where the board of education is controlled by teacher union-backed trustees, charter school applications are virtually dead-on-arrival.

Union-sponsored legislation signed recently by Governor Gavin Newsom greatly expands the grounds on which a local school board may reject a charter applicant. Under the new law, local school boards can turn down charter schools they view as not “consistent with the interests of the community” – i.e., for any reason at all.

A charter school applicant that is turned down by a local school board appeal the decision to the county board of education. The Orange County Board of Education has traditionally had majority that is friendly to charter schools – which frustrates the efforts of teachers unions and their progressive allies to prevent the expansion of charter schools in OC.

OC Board of Education member Dr. Ken Williams is a long-time supporter of school choice and charter schools.

Thorburn offers nothing new – just the same old-same old that has been failing public education for decades. He is the candidate of the teachers unions and ideologues who are just opposed to charter schools, period. This election is part of a teachers union effort to overthrow the pro-charter majority on the OC Board of Education and close off what has been a vital avenue for charter school applicants to get a fair hearing.

For voters who believe charter schools offer a valuable and valid alternative to conventional public schools, and support providing that choice to families with school children should – Trustee Ken Williams aligns with their views.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to squash charter schools and empower the status quo, Andy Thorburn is more your style.