San Francisco liberals are the kind of people who abhor nativism in all its forms and recoil at statements, like those recently made by President Donald Trump, that America "is FULL!". Yet in their own neighbourhoods, they often act as if the country were packed to the brim. The city council, acting unanimously, recently rejected a 63-unit housing complex because it would cast a shadow on an adjacent park. In nearby Berkeley zoning officers can deny new development that "would unreasonably obstruct sunlight, air or views." Local residents in a posh part of the city have raised over $100,000 to contest plans for a new homeless shelter, claiming that the new "megashelter" will breed crime and violence ("drug users" and "pets, including those designated as 'vicious' will be allowed" they warn). These tactics, along with excessive environmental reviews, have hampered new development in the city. Since 1990 the city has averaged a mere 1,900 new housing units each year.
San Francisco, where median monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat has reached $3,500 according to Zillow, a real-estate website, is only the most pathological example. West Coast cities, which are under near-total control of the leftiest Democrats around, rank among the least affordable for middle-class Americans and most inhospitable to the poor. Every morning traffic in the Bay Area is clogged by service-sector commuters, some of whom live far off in the state's Central Valley and must make three-hour long treks in each direction. The smog from the cars settles in the valley, resulting in some of the worst air quality in the country.
April 20, 2019
There's another excellent blog article here: https://marketurbanismreport.com/the-di ... us-cities/
The people who live in coastal urban cities tend to be a pretty liberal bunch. We’re leading the country on minimum wage laws, paid sick leave, climate change mitigation, and a host of other important issues. We care deeply about equality of opportunity, and we're willing to invest our time and money to advance that effort—even if the people we help don’t always look like us or come from the same neighborhood, state, or even country. I’m proud to count myself among their number.
And then we turn to housing. Maybe it’s just because we’re doing great on so many other fronts, but when I look at our inability to solve the housing crisis in places like San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., I’m left feeling nothing but depression and hopelessness. It’s all the more frustrating because unaffordable housing might be the most important economic problem facing residents of liberal U.S. cities, and we’re perfectly, comprehensively, and unmistakably blowing it.
In the following ways, our policies just don’t align with our stated ideology:
We are pro-immigration… but anti-migration
We are pro-equity… but anti-housing
Sticking with the "global thinking" theme, consider the different approaches that liberals take to immigration into our country versus migration into our cities.
On the one hand we offer our full-throated support for liberalizing federal immigration laws and creating paths to citizenship for undocumented workers. We do so because we recognize that immigrants add value to our country, that at our core we are a country of immigrants and this is a source of strength and resilience, and that most immigrants are simply moving here in search of greater opportunity, which we can all appreciate.
On the other hand, when a person wants to move to any of our thriving coastal cities in search of greater opportunity -whether they're citizens or not, rich or poor, immigrant or migrant - well sorry, pal, but we're all full up. We understand that the United States is a symbol of hope and aspiration for people around the world, and we welcome immigrants to our shores with open arms, but only so far as the borders of our city. If they want past this border, they're going to have to earn enough to displace a poor person, because we're damned well not building any new housing for them to live in.
The timing is ironic, in a way. As we look with scorn upon Donald Trump and his plan to build an impenetrable wall between the U.S. and Mexico, we've erected a wall around our cities - no less effective for its invisibility - to protect existing residents from the invasion of "outsiders." Our country is open, but our cities are full.
So at the same time Progressive Liberals are welcoming immigrants into their country, they're covertly trying to keep more people out of their cities. There is a "wall of money", as well as onerous anti-development policies keeping people out, especially poorer people.
There's obvious a bit of hypocrisy in some ways, a bit of a paradox.
Progressive Liberals are only not against immigration because they already have their own peculiar ways of keeping people out.