Why I Left California

I’ve been fortunate enough to have hundreds of articles published on public policy, energy, national security, foreign policy, and California politics, but this is the most personal piece I have ever written and submitted to this noble, worthy publication. For that reason, I am not using one hyperlink, and if you know my writings, everything I write is heavily sourced. This is my emotional love letter explaining why I felt forced to leave Los Angeles, California for a suburb north of Dallas, Texas.

Let’s start with the obvious reasons. Highest taxes in the nation. Highest energy costs in the nation. Growing crime rates, without the unfettered ability to defend yourself. Homelessness left unchecked, backed by Democrat-controlled judges, courtrooms, and organizations like the ACLU, which have caused the problem. Uninformed voters, voting for men like Gavin Newsome and women like Nancy Pelosi. Over $1 trillion desperately needed for infrastructure improvements, upgrades, and replacements without factoring in a new electrical grid is needed. That is trillions more.

Unmitigated blackouts will continue growing over continued proliferation of solar panels and wind turbines for electricity. Schools that serve a teacher’s union whose sole job is to elect Democrats. No longer constructing single-family homes, because of climate change and anthropogenic global warming. Try buying a home for less than $800,000 in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Sacramento, because Democrats and stupid faux-Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger believe mankind is overly warming the earth.

I have two books on energy – Energy Made Easy & Just Green Electricity – debunking the entire framework of politicized energy polices based on global warming. And the list goes on and on for the reasons why California is rapidly descending into chaos; and anyone with a family is being forced to move somewhere else.

A few years ago, I flew back to Crowley, Texas where I grew up and went to K-12 for my 25-year high school reunion. The best part was reconnecting with childhood friends; but two classmates in particular gave me grave insight into the state of the U.S. and California. Both had served in the special forces and black ops for the U.S. military and Department of Defense. Both men recounted their service careers, which was laced in humility, bravery, loyalty and a sense of being deeply wounded – not with battlefield scars – but the wounds of seeing their country being led by California into the abyss. Feelings of rage, betrayal and an American public being an ungrateful lot was only tempered when they asked me to write about it for them.

Thell and Jeff this is for you.

Once COVID-19 shutdowns took place in La Canada where I formerly lived, these men’s words echoed in my thoughts daily. For the first time I witnessed Californians transformed into sheep led by unwise, evil shepherds. Add in mask mandates – please look up Stanford University quietly stating they don’t work – and this caused my family to move back to Texas. These two childhood friend’s words woke me up to the fact that the California I resided in, fought for, met my wife in, had my children, and gloriously lived over half my life no longer wanted ascending married couples.

The beginning of my eye-opening experience began from 2008-2012 when I was elected to the Studio City Neighborhood Council whose original mission was to be a local city council and voice for the various neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. Hard working folks and neighbors who care was my experience at the local level until you stepped into the swamp of Los Angeles City Hall and the administrative apparatus to realize it was a bunch of corrupt, greedy leftist Democrats who cared about nothing other than power, taxpayer money, and how much retirement and health care they could suck from Los Angeles residents.

But it was my run for the 43rd district seat for State Assembly against incumbent Mike Gatto, which left the biggest impression. First and foremost, the days of Democrats like Pat Brown, Scoop Jackson, President’s FDR, Truman, JFK, who cared about families, single-family homes, public education focused on students and parents before unions, public safety, national security, and foreign policy that stood for freedom and American values are over.

Stop kidding yourself that a Democrat and Republican are the same. They aren’t. Republicans aren’t perfect, I have insight into this more than most, but if a mean tweet makes you yearn for Reagan or caused you to vote for out-of-control “woke” Joe Biden then you are the problem. Republicans hating Trump was reason enough for me to leave. Grow up.

Those two classmates bled – literally shed blood for your freedom and mine – they deserve better from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. I lost, but my run taught me that people want to be spoken to like adults, and if they don’t like you, they don’t like you, but they knew where I stood. Additionally, you better fight because we are in a war for California and the U.S. While I may have moved to Texas, the communist-led, communist-backed, Marxist-movement, which sadly now controls California and U.S. Democratic Party, is out for power and blood. Make no mistake – we can become China, Cuba, or Venezuela in no time. Cities like San Francisco, Berkeley, Portland, and Milwaukee already have.

Then what did I learn during my run, and subsequent graduation from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy?  California is in deep trouble and now the federal government is looking to California as the harbinger of success. That’s why I had to leave. I no longer felt safe and no longer felt I could protect my family. Unfortunately, none of these events really brought the moving trucks to my doorstep.

After George Floyd’s death, the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) targeted La Canada where I formerly resided and a 500-person protest (what neighbors told me, as I was out of town at the time) was 80 feet from my former home. Imagine if someone stormed my home while I was either in the home or away? Would insurance pay to restore a burned down residence? Would I be allowed to use a weapon against intruding protesters? Or would I have to sign over my life to an attorney (I know a couple of good ones) to keep me out of prison for the rest of my life?

The bigger issues are Democrats who control California and Republicans/Christians in churches to scared to speak the truth – and here’s the truth about BLM. If black men and women want to matter, then matter to yourself. Stop killing each other with black-on-black crime from handguns and assaults that is a leading cause of death. Larry Elder and Heather MacDonald have done great work on this tragedy killing black men, women, and children. I beg you to stop having children raised by single parents at over 75 percent of all births. I beg you further to stop having more abortions than Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians. Begin demanding school systems like the L.A.U.S.D. teach your children instead of serving the goals of the U.S. and California Democratic parties.

Some of the greatest achievements in history have been accomplished by men and women of color. A wise pastor once told me that Christianity is an eastern religion, and Jesus Christ was more dark-skinned than he ever was a lighter skinned European type. Lastly, I plead with black men and women to stop voting for Democrats, stop attending churches supporting BLM, critical race theory, or any dogma that says you can only succeed with Democrats’ help, and take back your lives.

California, the U.S., and world needs you to succeed. Republicans aren’t perfect, but Democrats are using and killing you in record numbers. Donald Trump gave a damn a helluva lot more than Joe Biden ever has or will.

So, goodbye to the once golden state. If any of you folks still brave enough to live there want to experience what good old fashioned American freedom looks and feels like, come to Texas without your mask, and bring your California realtor’s contact information with you.

Todd Royal and is an energy consultant, author and columnist based in Dallas, Texas. He can be reached on Twitter @TCR_Consulting


  1. My husband and I spent last week in Idaho looking at homes and trying to decide if we should leave California. We are both native Californians born and raised in the SF Bay Area. Most of our families live in the Bay Area also. What hit us first about Idaho was that the restaurants were all open and most people weren’t wearing masks, and the people who were wearing masks it was because it was their choice.

    Thanks for your thoughtful article. All true and so sad.

    • Idaho is targeted by the left and can use all the conservatives it can get. The current legislative session shows how serious the CRT/BLM forces are – as elsewhere, largely supported by teachers’ unions –and Governor is wishy-washy. So you would be welcome!

      • Chris Renner says

        Not true. The state went 75% for Trump, vaccine cards are illegal, women’s sports are secure and the one venture into CRT was met with a resounding dump. The Governor is a little wishy-washy but our sales taxes and income taxes are dropping and the property tax was recently lowered a little bit. However, in order to keep this paradise, we only want responsible citizens willing to work hard and willing to flash their smiles at both neighbors and strangers.

  2. Donald J says

    We left the CP State of California 7 plus years a go and have been rewarded with common sense and sanity returning to our lives. We know and interact with neighbors not just next door but all up and down our suburban street. We can leave a window open at night without great fear of intrusion. We witnessed a contingent of BLM visit our community only to leave disheartened somewhat by our lack of admiration for their canned line of manure for lack of a more descriptive wording. The respect for law and order and the Officers charged with maintaining it is refreshing compared to the hate and discontent promoted by the CP Media propaganda machine. So far our adopted State appears to be run by politicians who listen to their constituents and not the big Tax and Spenders of the Left Coast. Our roads overall are better maintained and vehicle maintenance due to poorly maintained pot hole infested highways and byways is minimal. My spouse and I were both born and raised in California and saw and experienced the best of it before the decay and government overreach settled in.

    • Yes, the ROADS! Our roads here (we left CA 5 years ago) are MUCH better, and highway taxes are low. I think it’s because our county/state actually spend the tax money on fixing roads instead of all sorts of other politically motivated ideas. CalTrans is a joke.

  3. So true & so sad. Thanks for sharing your story. We’ve been looking to move out of Taxifornia as well…having an established business has made it a bit harder to pack & go. But we seem to be slowly loosing our sanity here & who knows the increased danger that our lives are in. We are loosing more & more confidence in this state, the cities I live in and by & the counties I am near. It’s a disaster with people more scared of a virus that has a survival rate higher than car accidents, heart attacks, cancer & 10 other things that kill people every single day! The plandemic data is staggering, yet Cammifornians refuse to look at it. And those that do know the truth – refuse to speak up against the terrible crimes that this state-cities-counties are committing against all its citizens. How come the only ones that speak-up when a confrontation happens – are the ones for the lockdowns & the masks. Why are they feeling empowered & the rest are not? I believe that we are the silent majority – even in this crazy state, and the very loud minority is controlling us. We need to stop them somehow, we need to change the game.

  4. The siren song of socialism rings true to our California non producers and authoritarians. Gaming the system has become an acceptable occupation. Something for nothing is now deserved for just existing. Government promises to take care of everything. If we can only get rid of the half of the country that disagrees with us.
    This is an age old curable cancer remanufactured by the democrat far left that is eating away at the soul of our state and our democracy.
    If we let it, it will continue until the money runs out and our free society withers. Then, like Argentina we will suffer in the knowledge we elected smooth talking, self serving leaders, absolutely corrupted by power.
    Our enemies are circling like vultures, reveling in our dying patriotism and common sense.
    VOTE out all incumbents! Give a no name a chance to get the job done. Political seniority is our enemy.

  5. Jan Bell says

    Thank you for putting in writing what so many Californians like myself are thinking and doing. Escrow closes on my house in Anna TX at the end of May. Looks as if we’re going to be neighbors.

  6. Brandon Baily says

    We are out June 5. Tennessee or bust! Native Conservative Californian. NO MORE!

  7. Really??? says

    Reading and understanding.

    As I write I am crafting a drawback from commitments to this state, and society. Generations deep and I am being forced out. I watch the Soviet style government edicts flow from Sacramento. I watch my friend who was born in Communism, rescued from it by his parents fleeing them, and his wife who escaped China, and they cannot believe the people of California, New York, etc. are so ignorant not to see the corruption and destruction of the State and Nation.

    I took on significant 7 figure debt thinking I could work my way out of it. Now Newsom and his Communist buddies have made it almost impossible. I’ll sell. I’ll get a very small profit that will give me a retirement barely that of a teacher.

    Where will I wind up? No idea.

  8. TheRandyGuy says

    We’re leaving for my home state of Tennessee. I finally convinced my CA native wife that it is time to go when she admitted and accepted the fact that CA is a lost cause: It is bad, will never get better, and will only get worse. So, we take the incredible appreciation on what is best described as a nice house (not a mansion) and buy something similar for about 1/3 of the cost. And the CA plates can’t get off my vehicles soon enough. Diversity is killing this place.

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