Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
… and rushing to Riverside...
“People Leaving County in Droves” says the headline
in the LA Daily News. “…Decline Continues in San
Francisco,” says the San Francisco Chronicle. Two of the
marquee city names in the world—beautiful locations on
the coast, culture, fine dining, and diverse populations, complete
with major research, science and educational institutions. How
could this be happening? Have they found a better beach? A better
view than that from the Hollywood Hills? Better shopping than
the Westside Pavilion? Where are they going?
to the US Census Bureau, they’re going to Riverside.
And San Bernardino. And Bakersfield. Or even worse—out
of state entirely, to Clark County, Nevada, and Maricopa County,
We who live
in and represent Riverside and the Inland Empire, and the San
Valley, have known this for a while. An area
long used as the butt of jokes about lack of culture, deserts,
smog, traffic and “the 909,” has increasingly become
a place people want to live. And not just any people, but LA
people! People who have allegedly lived the good life, been close
to the beach, and Hollywood, and the cultural centers downtown,
and have now chosen to live in Corona, and Temecula, and Murrieta,
and Lake Elsinore. Chosen!
The census data shows that the rate of people leaving Los Angeles
to surrounding counties has accelerated, and that San Francisco
had the steepest drop in the state, despite improving economic
conditions in the area. But why?
Clearly housing costs are a major driving force. Even as housing
prices have more than doubled in the outlying areas, the prices
in LA and San Francisco are even more ridiculous. People are
trading small places in LA for larger places and longer commutes
in Riverside and San Bernardino, and even Kern County. This must
confound the urban planners, who are certain that if we just
build denser housing with more mass transit, everybody will be
a lot happier.
also about quality of life. Despite the fact that nearly half
legislature hails from Los Angeles and the
Bay Area, and has been for as long as anyone can remember, and
despite being home to some of the richest people and most valuable
and beautiful property in America, they have managed to turn
their urban cores into nightmares. Their schools are among the
worst with no prospect of improving, crime continues to be a
real concern, and government services are spotty at best. They
may not have to drive as far to get somewhere, but the drive
will be miserable from beginning to end any time of day.
class is leaving as fast as they can leave. It is looking like
that will be left in the end are the super-rich
who can afford private security and private schools and homes
on the hills and on the beach, and the super-poor who can’t
afford to move.
And what are these cities and their legislators doing to stop
the exodus? Passing symbolic resolutions. Performing gay marriages.
Investigating the police. Letting the public employee unions
have their way. Piling more mandates on employers. Planning more
trains. Expanding services to illegal aliens.
LA’s refugees to Riverside and the other non-beach
regions of our state. I hope this population shift brings new
clout to the Inland Empire, and the San Joaquin Valley, and other
places where rational, economically sensible, politically independent
people with a strong sense of community, family, and faith have
congregated over the years. Perhaps we can change the political
dynamic that has kept LA and San Francisco largely in control
of our state’s budgets and priorities, squandering money
on their own corrupt messes, and short-changing the rest of us—a
situation that has forced us to do more with less in education,
transportation, and infrastructure. Perhaps we’ll finally
get our “fair share” of state revenues, so that we
can continue to provide a way of life and standard of living
that has people deciding that maybe there are more important
things than living next to the beach.
new neighbors! We’ll leave the light on for
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.