Measure S Would Grip Los Angeles In A Housing Shortage

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Los Angeles, CA–The City of Angels is suffering from a housing shortage, to the point that median prices have risen into the rarefied air of $610,000. This trend has grown starker recently, with L.A.’s prices increasing by an astonishing $240,000 in just 5 years, leading to sudden spikes in homelessness and evictions. It might seem counter-intuitive, then, to pass a broad sweeping measure that would effectively ban new housing construction. But that is what residents could do if they vote “yes” on the upcoming Measure S…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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California State Senator Scott Wiener: ‘San Francisco’s Progressives Lost Their Way On Housing’

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–Back in 2012, while spending a summer in San Francisco, I would attend the city’s Board of Supervisors meetings on a weekly basis. The big ongoing topic back then, like today, was the city’s housing shortage, and how it was escalating prices. It was amazing to hear the wave of counterproductive, even clueless, solutions that 10 of the 11 supervisors would suggest for the problem. These ranged from decreasing building densities, to strengthening bureaucratic review, to placing construction moratoriums on certain neighborhoods, to strengthening tenant protections that are already strict, and that have led landlords to abandon between 10,000 and 30,000 units citywide.… Read more

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San Francisco, A Leading Immigrant Hub, Sues Trump Over Sanctuary City Order

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–On January 25th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating that so-called “sanctuary cities”–or cities where local government officials choose not to cooperate with federal deportation agents–would lose federal funding. Now San Francisco has struck back, with a lawsuit titled City and County of San Francisco v. Donald J. Trump….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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The Case For Localizing Federal Transportation Policy

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

[This article has been modified and updated from a Capitol Hill briefing I gave for the Cato Institute. You can watch the full speech here.]

Should the federal government dictate urban policy? This seems to be the default assumption among many Republicans and Democrats, for pet issues ranging from housing to infrastructure to immigration. But for those who care about cities, this approach may be wrong for two reasons. The first is that the federal government redirects tax revenue away from cities and into less productive rural areas, amounting to a raw deal for major metros.… Read more

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America’s ‘Inner City’ Problem, As Seen In One Baltimore Neighborhood

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Baltimore, MD–Much was made about the campaign rhetoric from President Donald Trump on America’s inner cities. This is because he spoke about them in the blunt and sensationalized way that only he can.

“Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” he declared at one campaign stop. “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.”

Similar statements during the presidential debates caused the press and social media to jump on him, often sarcastically placing his phrase “inner city” into scare quotes….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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I Spent A Year Traveling Through America’s Fast-Growing Sunbelt

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

There’s a severe shift occurring right now in the United States. The Northeast and Midwest are ceding people to the South and West, with migrants moving particularly to America’s Sunbelt. Like with other global migration shifts, there is an underlying political context to all this. Regulations on housing construction and other economic activities are making certain northern cities hostile to all but elite income groups. Meanwhile, the more open southern economies are receiving the exodus, becoming more economically and culturally dynamic. For the last year, I’ve traveled through this southern slice of the country, witnessing all these changes at street level–and it’s been something to behold…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Yimby Nation: The Rise of America’s Pro-Housing Political Coalition

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Los Angeles, CA—America’s burgeoning pro-housing movement has many layers, and I recently witnessed one of them firsthand on a rare rainy night in Los Angeles. The activist group Abundant Housing LA was hosting its monthly meeting in a south-side Latino food mart, serving what seems to be the mandatory SoCal culinary combo for social settings, tacos and beer. The event featured a 4-person panel of local land-use experts, and another 50 attendees, who were united around a common cause: loosening land-use regulations to build more housing.… Read more

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When Local Control Backfires

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]

 

Many political analysts believe that local government is the best government. The act of delegating responsibilities to states and localities is thought to increase accountability by putting governments closer to the people. But local governance can backfire, especially when parochial interests trump larger regional concerns. Nowhere is this more evident than in housing, where prices are skyrocketing in many U.S. cities…[read the rest at Governing Magazine]… Read more

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A Conversation With Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Oklahoma City, OK–With Donald Trump’s election—along with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and Republican governorships in 31 states–this would seem like a golden age for the GOP. And yet something about the party feels unsustainable. Their branding, now rooted more in nativism and white identity politics than in promoting liberalized markets, is unpopular in urban areas. According to an Atlantic Magazine report, this recent election, for all its supposed race and gender divides, was really about city versus country. 88 of America’s 100 largest counties (all of them over 600,000 people) voted for Hillary Clinton, marking a dramatic increase even since Al Gore’s presidential run.… Read more

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Oklahoma City’s MAPS Is A Model Public Works Program

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Oklahoma City, OK–There have been numerous failures throughout the history of public works initiatives, with different major U.S. cities subject to bureaucracy, graft and poor design. And then there’s the program in Oklahoma City. Since 1993, the state capital has pursued multiple stages of its Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS), funding structures that have been credited with reviving the city. And it has done this the right way, following accounting principles that seem lost on bigger cities. Recently I visited some projects and spoke with officials who were instrumental behind MAPS, to hear what other cities could learn…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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