Palo Alto planning commissioner can't afford to live in Palo Alto, resigns and moves

Professor Wolff, I thought I would share with you the following articles about the sudden resignation of the Palo Alto planning commissioner, who said she is moving to Santa Cruz because she can't afford a home in Palo Alto. Typically the plight of people like her rarely evokes sympathy from me. But she said the point of her bringing her resignation to the public's attention was not to garner sympathy, but to bring attention to working-class folks in Palo Alto who can't afford to live here. The lack of affordable housing in that city, and on the peninsula region of the Bay Area in general, has been garnering more airtime in recent years. Teachers and first responders, etc. who work in Palo Alto can't afford to live there. Many live as far away as cities like Modesto and Turlock, and commute some 90 to 100 miles to work in Palo Alto. In the articles, you'll see the outgoing commissioner says the city council is, in part, to blame because it ignores the pleas of its citizens for it to build more homes and less commercial office space. Though that may be true, it's probably not hard to see why the council ignores its everyday citizens if you follow the money... On the TV news yesterday morning, one reporter said, in trying to gauge the reaction of Palo Alto residents, that some have said people who can't afford to live in Palo Alto just have to work harder. Your oft-used punchline, "That's how capitalism works," seems appropriate here. I'm sure it won't be terribly long before this sort of issue in Palo Alto is common across much of the Bay Area. Here are a couple articles about it:

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  • Matthew Cornelius
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-08-12 15:20:12 -0400