The heavy hand of the regional government is about to befall the Bay Area once again.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is expected to approve its state-mandated Bay Area 2050 Plan at its meeting today. This is the third version of the plan (others were completed in 2013 and 2017) and goes beyond fundamental issues of housing, transport and employment.
The commissioners are largely elected officials appointed to represent a county, towns within the county or major cities. This structure, similar to that used by the Bay Area Air Quality Control District, relieves commissioners from having to face voters directly and take responsibility for their decisions. This non-intervention distance allows commissioners to take controversial action without ever having to face the music of voters.
Today, for example, the plan includes a universal minimum income of $ 500 per month as it looks at social equity. There have been a few guaranteed income pilot programs and Oakland is preparing to launch one. This type of program seems far too similar to what President Joe Biden and most Democrats are trying to squeeze Americans’ throats with with the $ 3.5 trillion bill pushed by Socialist Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders, a favorite of the United States. Californian progressives.
The guaranteed income program will take an act of the legislature. This is part of a $ 1.5 trillion program – no source of revenue to fund it has been identified.
The report’s authors expect the Bay Area’s population to grow to around 10.3 million people from 7.8 million today, while jobs increase from 1.4 million to 5.4 millions. The Bay Area, with its rising housing prices (both rental and for sale) has been crippled by rapid employment growth topping new housing by at least a 4 to 1 margin. mitigated both population growth and employment growth based on the experience of the pandemic. What will this long-term impact of the pandemic be in an open question.
Planning over a 30-year period is essentially a series of presumably educated guesses. The Building Industry Association of Northern California, in a 2017 analysis of the 2013 plan for 2040, highlighted how job growth exceeded expectations, while housing was 30% lower than forecast. That sums up the challenge well.
Incidentally, the East Bay representatives are Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley (Pleasanton is included in his district), Contra Costa Supervisor Frederick Glover and Orinda City Councilor Amy Worth.
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