Clueless in Palo Alto

This is a letter I wrote to the Daily Post after reading an article describing how the Palo Alto City Council was outraged at having to comply with recent changes in California housing law.

So the Palo Alto City Council is moaning about how unfair the State is to insist they encourage more housing? And want to be paid for the additional costs involved?

Color me confused. For many years Palo Alto was happy to reap the benefits of more commercial
development, more hotels, more retail outlets…but not to see that its fair share of the housing needed by the people who staff such enterprises got built within its borders.

Granted, that wasn’t unique to Palo Alto. Most Peninsula communities, including San Carlos whose council I served on, failed to provide housing for their commercial development, preferring to foist it off on other communities.

We need to stop taking advantage of our fellow Californians, who just want to live not too far from where they work. Accommodating that, by the way, will also significantly reduce highway congestion, and help slow down cooking the planet to death.

The Palo Alto Council’s comments are astoundingly tone deaf. Time to belly up to the bar, folks, and stop taking advantage of those least able to defend their interests. Those new laws you oppose are the direct result of your ongoing failure to recognize other people have rights, too. Even if they don’t happen to be able to vote you into or out of office.

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