Southern California's great migration

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Southern California's great migration

Post  deekee420 on Tue May 17, 2011 12:18 pm

Southern California's great migration
Amid shifting demographics, Southern California has another chance to master the art of planning for sustainable growth.

May 2, 2011

According to the latest census data, there's been a great migration in Southern California over the last decade a movement that has pulled people from Los Angeles and Orange counties and transplanted them in the Inland Empire. Many moved for the jobs, especially in the booming housing construction industry; others moved to grab one of those houses as prices closer to the ocean soared beyond reach. Working-class and immigrant families sought affordable housing in less crowded communities where schools would be better and neighborhoods safer.

As a result, the populations in Los Angeles, Long Beach and other large cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties dropped. So did the number of nonwhite children, a trend that defied the pattern throughout the rest of the nation. Meanwhile, the number of immigrants, mostly Latino, in Riverside and San Bernardino counties leaped during the boom years. From 2000 to 2007, the number of immigrants in the Inland Empire rose by more than half. The change was so abrupt that many schools in that region struggled to provide services for students who were not fluent in English, an issue they had not grappled with before.

With the housing market's sharp downturn and the flailing economy, things haven't worked out for many of us as we'd planned. But it's safe to say that this is especially true of the people who took their American dreams to the Inland Empire. Real estate prices there fell more sharply by half and the jobless rate, at 14.8%, is higher than in neighboring counties.

Those two trends were even more closely related than in most areas of California: Many of the Inland Empire's jobs, and by far the biggest portion of its job losses, were related to the construction industry. Many families were unable to afford their mortgages. Several of the newer housing developments became foreclosure ghost towns.

The quick rise and fall of the Inland Empire which already shows the first signs of recovery has thrown into sharp relief a longstanding truth about Southern California's growth pattern: Its dependence on cars, its sprawl and the general lack of regional planning create an unwieldy hodgepodge of housing and jobs that make its residents too vulnerable to shifts in the economy.

Of course, poorly planned sprawl has served the entire region badly in many ways. It adds yet more cars to a freeway system that wasn't built for the load; efforts to provide public transportation have been limited, and sometimes for good reason. With no single centralized location where most jobs are found, it's hard to build a system that can take enough workers where they need to go. Long commutes add to already long workdays at the same time that they contribute to pollution, global warming and dependence on foreign oil. Not to mention gas prices that are well above $4 a gallon at the moment.

Many Southern Californians have long drives to work, but the average commute of Inland Empire residents is significantly longer, according to census data released in 2009. About a third of residents commute outside the region mostly to Los Angeles and Orange counties. And, according to the University of Redlands, only about 5% use public transit. Eighty percent drive solo.

People tend to commute farther in bad times. They may have picked their house in part to be close to work, but what happens if they lose that job? Without a centralized employment hub for the region, their new job might be at any distance, in almost any direction. As hard as it is to find a job, it's even harder to sell a house and uproot a family. So most people stay put, open up their wallets to spend yet more on gas and suffer the hours needed to get to and from work.

Sprawl makes even the region's wildfires more devastating. At this point, most of the available land for large-scale development is located near wilderness areas that were once considered remote. Now, fires in those areas threaten homes and lives; their dollar toll is higher.

For many Latino families who moved to the Inland Empire, the change was isolating as well. They were separated from neighborhoods that provided social opportunities and businesses that catered to their wants and needs.The switch to the suburbs was especially problematic for new residents of any background who found themselves suddenly jobless by late 2010, the poverty rate in the Inland Empire had grown more than almost anywhere in the nation. Yet, unlike in older, more developed areas, there were fewer social services.

Though the overall trend of the last decade was toward the Inland Empire, the troubles these residents encountered were so dire that, by mid-2009, there were the first signs of reverse migration growth of ethnic minority populations slowed in the Inland Empire and began rebounding in such gateway cities as Los Angeles. Demographers theorize that at least some people were moving back to be closer to social networks and support services.

But families need more. They need affordable housing, safe communities, decent schools and open space in the form of neighborhood parks. And, of course, they need jobs.

These are issues worth pondering as Southern California begins the process of pulling itself out of the recession. With housing starts up slightly in the Inland Empire, officials there have a chance to insist that any new construction must be contingent on adequate public transit, water, energy and other infrastructure for sustainable growth and to encourage denser, infill development rather than construction in the hinterlands, where commutes are tougher and wildfires more of a danger. And officials in the coastal counties must provide equal thought to providing the schools and affordable housing that enable families to stay there. More regional planning is needed to create employment hubs and inter-county transportation.

The state sadly missed out in 2008 on an opportunity to encourage such steps when two bills that provided incentives for smarter planning by, for example, linking the award of housing funds to municipalities that reduced the number of automobile miles traveled never became law. One floundered in the Legislature; the other was vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The halting recovery of the economy offers another chance at this.

Copyright 2011, Los Angeles Times
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  American Zombie on Wed May 18, 2011 4:34 am

Whoever wrote that article was irritating. Talking about "smarter planning" by the "officials"...sounds like a statist clown...
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  chang on Wed May 18, 2011 8:16 am

cray wrote:Whoever wrote that article was irritating. Talking about "smarter planning" by the "officials"...sounds like a statist clown...

so what do you suggest instead? surely a state as populous and wealthy as cali needs some sort of central planning, and better its done well than taxpayers money wasted....


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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  American Zombie on Wed May 18, 2011 4:03 pm

chang wrote:
cray wrote:Whoever wrote that article was irritating. Talking about "smarter planning" by the "officials"...sounds like a statist clown...

so what do you suggest instead? surely a state as populous and wealthy as cali needs some sort of central planning, and better its done well than taxpayers money wasted....


central planning. lol. I'm not exactly a central planning type guy. That's commie talk. lolz
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  TumbleWeed on Wed May 18, 2011 4:33 pm

Whoever wrote this article is about 30+ years late. There is similar scenarios statewide, the bay area/central valley etc. Presently, there are large amounts of long time San Bernardino city, and Rialto residents are relocating to places in the high desert such as Victorville, Apple Valley, and Adelanto. In the past two years it has been such, that it can be described as a sort of small scale diaspora. People often look for a fresh a start, new surroundings, affordability, etc. It's human nature. "There is nothing new under the sun."
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  American Zombie on Wed May 18, 2011 4:52 pm

Yea. Prices help guide peoples decision on what to do, what to buy, where to work and where to live. Let supply and demand work.. More laws and more "smart" planning by the "wise" officials is not going to do any good. If anything, start repealing shit. As for a place like California with a big population needing more central planning? I think the exact opposite. The more people the more impossible it is to centrally plan. The less people, the easier it is to central plan. So it's much easier to centrally plan for your family, the people you know real well, and sometimes those plans are successful. But when it comes to thousands and millions of people, it's time to decentralize.
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  .02 cents on Thu May 19, 2011 11:58 am

cray wrote:Yea. Prices help guide peoples decision on what to do, what to buy, where to work and where to live. Let supply and demand work.. More laws and more "smart" planning by the "wise" officials is not going to do any good. If anything, start repealing shit. As for a place like California with a big population needing more central planning? I think the exact opposite. The more people the more impossible it is to centrally plan. The less people, the easier it is to central plan. So it's much easier to centrally plan for your family, the people you know real well, and sometimes those plans are successful. But when it comes to thousands and millions of people, it's time to decentralize.

I would disagree. I say, do the math, plan really well, and move forward. Will planning be perfect in a diverse place like the IE or almost any other southern cali area? No, but it sure as hell beats allowing current trends to dictate the allotment of resources with very little insight into the future. If they would have planned better years ago, instead of allowing the previous supply and demand trades of the day, we might be in a better situation. But I dont think (at least Riverside) wanted to grow. They liked staying small (for a fairly large city) and compact. But Riverside got flooded, which was not the trends of the market. I would say that your proposal has been the policy, and I hear complaining about that perspective. So fuck it, if people are going to complain regardless, do the math, plan and budget well, and move forward...


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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  American Zombie on Thu May 19, 2011 3:39 pm

Well I'd like to know exactly what type of policy should be passed? Correct me if I'm wrong but the point of the original article was that too many people moved to the Inland Empire during the housing boom years and when the economy collapsed they found themselves stuck in the IE with no work?

I would really like to know what they meant by "linking the award of housing funds to municipalities that reduced the number of automobile miles traveled "...Somebody please dumb it down so I can understand. I read it over and over..I just don't get it. How do cities reduce the number of automobile miles traveled?

I remember a while back some unelected California board wanted to pass laws to purposely make gas cost more. The plan was to make people want to move back into the big cities and away from places like the Inland Empire..But I don't know if this is the same being proposed here.
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  .02 cents on Thu May 19, 2011 6:29 pm

I haven't done the math myself, nor do i get paid to foresee these things. But i suggest we get someone with good experience to spearhead the project, that will hopefully get us going in the right direction. Any suggestions???
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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  Guest on Thu May 19, 2011 7:37 pm

a good book on why they raise staple commodity prices like: GAS/BEEF/COFEE ETC...is Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper. Former US Navy Intelligence Team member. RIP Him or Noam Chomsky have great insight on these events.

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Re: Southern California's great migration

Post  American Zombie on Fri May 20, 2011 4:29 am

.02 cents wrote:I haven't done the math myself, nor do i get paid to foresee these things. But i suggest we get someone with good experience to spearhead the project, that will hopefully get us going in the right direction. Any suggestions???


Don't get me wrong, I'm not against plans, I'm against central planning either by politicians or hand picked bureaucrats. It always leads to disaster. It's nice to sit back and let the so called experts fix it all but it leads to too much corruption, bribery and power tripping. And even if they were perfect angels with the best intentions and the smartest minds, it's still impossible to centrally plan such things for a big population.

No matter how the writer of the article tries to spin it, the fact of the matter is that the Inland Empire was one of the hardest hit by the housing bubble of the last decade. The problem of the housing bubble is something mostly caused on the federal level. So that is why everything went to shit here. Way too many houses were built, and bid up to unsustainable prices. When the bubble popped, people found themselves stuck. That's the painful bust that followed the boom years. It's really sad that this was done to people.

As for commodity prices going up.. It's because of currency devaluation. It's mostly not because the price of commodities are going up, but because the value of the dollar goes down. The entire monetary system is set up in such a way to transfer wealth from one group to another. From the middle class to the financial elite. The important thing to remember is the people that get their hands on the newly created money first are the ones that win out. By the time most people receive the money, prices have already risen. So the dollar loses value, the stock market goes up...wall st does just fine but the people are stuck paying higher food and energy prices. It such a rip off system.
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