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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Thinking of heading out of town?

Uploaded: Oct 26, 2021
As a native Californian and a life-long resident of Alameda County, I will confess to having similar thoughts to Bay Area residents polled by two organizations recently.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Council and the Bay Area News Group (my former employer of 39 years) conducted a poll that showed many residents believe that the quality of life and other key metrics have declined. That prompted the thoughts of moving out of the former Golden State.
Given the stress of the pandemic and the aggressive shutdowns in Bay Area counties by public health officers and the governor, 56% of those polled said they were likely to leave in the area in the next few years. That’s up from the still substantial 47% in the 2020 poll. The poll covered five counties including Alameda and Contra Costa.
Residents are fed up with the sky-high housing costs, the soaring number of homeless people leaving on the streets and the failure of government to develop any policies to deal with it. The cost of living was named by 84%.
Throw in that many schools districts in the Bay Area, particularly the larger ones, were very slow in getting kids back into classrooms for in-person learning that contributed to a lost year of education and you can understand the results.
Prior to the pandemic, you could mix in traffic congestion that led to long, long commutes as other issues.
Many people have suffered with fear and anxiety during the pandemic that only magnified the frustrations and willingness to think about living somewhere else.
Notably, 71% believed the quality of life now was worse than five years ago. That opinion was dominant in people ages 50-64 earning between $100-250K. For Republicans in that group, it was 92%.
The high cost of housing was cited by 76%, while 68% cited the overall cost-of-living. Homelessness was named by 66%, while wildfires/droughts polled at 60%.
Couple that poll with the work-from-anywhere policies that major employers are adopting or considering and an exodus becomes more likely. That would be tough news for the Silicon Valley, the Peninsula and downtown San Francisco which have lots of Class A office space designed for high-tech companies. The Bay Area always has benefited from the critical mass of talent because this was the place to be.
Is it still?
Some firms are still pushing for employees to return to the office regularly, but they’re getting plenty of pushback from their workers who have become accustomed to an extra two hours at home daily thanks to no commute. That will take a big sell or become a big selling point for another potential employer as life returns to whatever the “new normal” is.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by DublinMike, a resident of Dublin,
on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:59 am

DublinMike is a registered user.

Of our Dublin friends, only one couple moved out of state. Those that did moved, moved to San Diego due to employment and to be near their kids. The others moved to El Dorado area. Already one couple wished they didn't due to heat, lack of cultural diversity and politics.

Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Oct 26, 2021 at 10:12 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

the problems that are hurting California can be fixed but until you get Liberals with
no leadership abilities and failed agenda's out of office the nonsense will continue. Look at what we have here is the problem,: Eric Swalwell failure, Nancy pelosi failure diane feinstein failure, adam schiff failure..Gov Newsom failure....get them out of office and good change will occur if not then expect things to get worse! That is a fact. Democrat Liberal policies do not work.

Posted by Rich+Buckley, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 26, 2021 at 10:36 am

Rich+Buckley is a registered user.

Hang on, stay put, stay away from street protests, keep your immune system strong. This is the beneficial learned-inaction in the face of change... What the Chinese call the Wu Wei.

WW4 which we are in right now, includes a dimension of Morality in addition to the strategies of Kinetic War and Information War. Transparency and disclosure will be the new normal.

Self organizing collectives (SOC's) include volunteer masters in every branch of the military, government, and corporate America. America has harmony within our disarray.

October - November 2021 are the months of great change in which the threshold event occurs where we leave the old behind and together move forward.

While change is difficult most all of us, we will get through this.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Oct 26, 2021 at 8:45 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

A happy person can be happy anywhere. There is no "perfect" place to live. I would move out of California if we couldn't afford to live here. Otherwise, we're staying here. I know people who moved out of California, and they had a whole new set of things to eventually complain about where they now live. You're better off changing your mindset and counting your blessings. I've lived in California all my life, and have no desire to live elsewhere. California is a great state!

Posted by Jake+Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

Jake+Waters is a registered user.

As of now, I and my wife are grounded by our adults kids and adult grandchildren. They have their friends and careers. We have all spoken of leaving this state, but the usual obstacles show themselves when you consider new jobs, leaving friends, and more. My wife and I are retired. We can go anywhere. Sometimes it's a matter of knowing the devil and evil here, rather than confronting the unknown there. The one thing we know is it is going to get worse in California. All the signs are present supported by the misguided and unknowledgeable citizens that are willing to fall in lockstep blindness. California is the hope of the Democratic Party in that what they achieve here they achieve elsewhere. The pandemic opened Pandora's box, and provided our leadership (I know, a poor choice of words) the playbook of the World Economic Forum. Guess who was positioned by them back in 2005 as a young up and coming star- Gavin Newsom. It seems he is dead on center to cripple this state into submission. He has the heart of a true megalomaniac. As more restrictions gain strength, more people will leave, and perhaps the unknown may not be the path less taken.

Posted by KG, a resident of California Reflections,
on Oct 27, 2021 at 5:30 pm

KG is a registered user.

For the folks who don't like the California life and hate the politicians in this state, why not move to Texas. You will not confront any unknowns in Texas as (removed) states. It sounds like you will love it there.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 27, 2021 at 5:39 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

California definitely has its problems. The homeless problem, housing problem, water, fires, etc. but, it is still the most innovative corner of the world. It is a beautiful state especially here in the BayArea. The folks who criticize the state and point fingers need to get out of Pleasanton and travel the country and then go out to other countries. You will see how good we have it in California.

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