Homelessness and the cost of affordable housing.
It is not uncommon to see metal gratings on the doors of homes as a defense against loitering, but also as a safety issue and gun violence and robberies and homicides rise.
As a native New Yorker, this reminds me of what 42nd st. and Grand Central station used to be before the 'great cleanup'.
At the same time, rents in this city have gone up stratospherically to the point where only the very gainfully employed, often in sectors that pay 6 figures can afford to live in this city.
Before we get on the opposing sides of this argument about who did what to whom, lets stay problem-focused.
1. High rates of homelessness drive high crime which in turn drives down the value of neighborhoods.
2. Quality of life even for the wealthy becomes poor when they have to huddle in their homes in fear of invasion, are unable to walk down their streets without fearing for their lives and carry guns in the homes out of fear, not just a desire for a gun.
3. The more desperate these homeless people become, the more aggressively they also interact with those they perceive as haves. This occurred in New York city, in New Orleans after the floods and is now occurring here.
This is a clear and present danger to citizens who cannot live free, unhampered lives because they share a space with the homeless who also become aggressive against those they perceive as having.
This is an untenable state of affairs that needs to be urgently addressed, not just in California but in al the large cities of the US which have seen this issue ongoing for decades.
2. The housing affordability issue needs to be solved to provide housing for all. Housing for all, is not a mandate that should be considered 'optional' in this country, but should be seen as the bare minimum that any country with any self-respect and claim to wealth should have. This is a non-negotiable right. The issue then is how to provide housing for the unemployed or underemployed and where that money should come from.
I think there needs to be a fiscal overhaul of government to look at just where our dollars are being spent. This is a non-partisan hard look at where our money is going and should be done outside of the purview of lobbyists who just work to maintain the status quo. We are a very rich nation but national tax bloat and taking on many social and other contracts as well as taking care of the world, has blown the US budget out of sight. This needs to be contracted significantly. Free market principles need to be applied to ANY budgetary item and a case for - against each line item needs to be made. Unprofitable or poor yield items need to be trimmed and the ever escalating budgets for nice to haves, like the ever-expanding military budget needs to be looked at.
Much like a household budget, we need to live within our means, and not expect that we can continually expand the waist size without running out of $$.
The solution is not endless taxation although that also needs to be looked at, but on the appropriate dispensation of current funds with an expectation that places that receive funding show how those funds are used and if misappropriated, then to be dispossessed of funding eligibility.
This will allow us to free up funds for urgent issues such as housing, healthcare and education, the truly bare minimum issues that need to be addressed without expanding the national budget.
And if the 2-party system cant stop the nonsense long enough to figure out how to solve these problems, then
1. Vote them out
2. Cut their pays
and lets use the money to solve these problems.
Being voted to work for the people is a privilege, not a right and failure to carry out your responsibilities should come with a cost.