ALPERN AT LARGE--Some of us fight for more affordable housing, and some of us choose to instead lie their tails off and use the venerable goal of affordable/middle-class housing as a way to empower creepy liars to build non-affordable housing and make a whole lotta cash to make higher-end and more expensive housing instead.
As for that latter group, State Senator Atkins, we're looking at you.
Senator Atkins, you've become "Exhibit A" as to why Californian Democrats increasingly hate Sacramento and local city governments as much as they do President Trump. No one reeeeeally cares about whether or not you're the first lesbian leader of the California State Senate if your spouse gets a lot of money in her future if SB 50 passes.
And for the Republican "opposition" supporting Atkins's ramming SB 50 down the throats of Californians who want MORE housing but ALSO neighborhood preservation, we're looking at you, too. Shame on you...shame all over you.
There's a reason why the Republican Party is despised by its diminishing base, and it's because too many Republicans in Sacramento have whored themselves to the WRONG developers as much as we've seen folks like Wiener, Newsom, Atkins, and Garcetti do.
Neither the Republican nor Democratic leadership are helping the middle class, and they goddamn well know that. Forget about "building affordable housing" or "eliminating business-unfriendly regulations" that the Democratic and Republican leadership proclaims, because building huge developments adjacent to single-family residences is anything but acceptable.
At the local level, we've seen GREAT developers and their projects quickly pass muster with the majority of local/civic leaders.
We've also seen mega-monolithic nightmares rammed through by financially-conflicted councilmembers sponsored by the WRONG developers who are naught but professional liars. These poop sandwiches are what the public is supposed to consume, and smile about, when the final monstrosities prove anything but affordable, environmentally-appropriate, or an improvement to the region.
So State Senator Atkins, we know you think you're a "leader" and pretty slick in moving the flawed SB 50 bill (do you think we're all liars and fools after years of seeing LESS affordable housing as a result of construction by those CLAIMING but LYING about affordable housing?) from the Appropriations to the Rules Committee.
But what you're doing is anything BUT courageous and democratic, or even transparent in the slightest, and it's anyone's guess what your political future is.
But what you're doing is anything BUT an unacceptably harsh slap in the face to Californians who'd be equally appalled by a heterosexual Republican State Senate leader with a spouse in the housing industry, and with a disgraceful conflict of interest requiring any reasonable person to recuse herself.
Like Newsom and Garcetti, you're just a local version of the Orange Man in the White House, but without an impeachment of which you're as much or more deserving of.
And the Republican "opposition" is no less in need of a good political tar and feathering.
Back in the day, small and environmentally-sustainable homes, and with sufficient and appropriate infrastructure to support them, were the cornerstone of California's budding middle class--and hence the American Dream had a bright future.
Now the Californian coast, with its focus on the wealthy, and a diminution of power of that middle class, is becoming a new Manhattan, and with its so-called leaders desiring and jonesing to be that new and environmentally, economically problematic Manhattan.
In other words, if Senator Atkins and her spouse stand to make some serious bank, and ditto for the rest of the "woke" leadership in Sacramento, then to hell with the environment.
To hell with the economy as it stands for the middle class.
And to hell with our quality of life.
Because we're just "the little people", and we're NIMBY's, and we're not smart or experienced enough to see what proper/more/sustainable/affordable housing is, and what it's absolutely NOT.
Thanks for reminding us that Integrity is a bipartisan issue, State Senator Atkins--I'm sure that the Orange Man in the White House would be proud of you Trumping state and city environmental and zoning laws, and the intent of Californian laws of proper transparent governance, just to make a whole lotta cash in your highly-profitable future.
(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was (termed out) also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)