Hi All! Is there any interest in the LPSF joining the coalition of groups opposed to Plan Bay Area? While this would be mostly a symbolic measure only since ABAG/MTC will formally choose option 2 on July 18, it would be a gesture of solidarity with those who have been fighting this outrageous plan for a few years now. (And it wouldn't hurt for the LPSF to get its name on something decent for a change so folks know we actually do something.) No cost either. Yes, there are a lot of Republican groups listed below, but you have to give them credit for fighting the plan since the beginning. If it weren't for the Tea Party pushback, the plan would have been formally adopted a while ago, and most of us would never even have heard a thing about it until after adoption.
I attended the hearing on Friday, and I'm glad I went. It appeared to me that we were outnumbered by the plan's supporters by around 60%/40%. Every environmental group and every public housing group in town were well represented, as were all the folks who work in the industry with the bureaucrats. Again, as in the San Francisco hearings, lots of young folks speaking in favor of bike trails, mass transit, and against freeways and cars--and of course for "affordable" housing. (Prop C was praised.) For the most part, "they" sat in one half of the audience and "we" sat in the other half. Of course as often is in these hearings, the bureaucrats take up half the room with their tables, and the public is squeezed together like sardines in what's left of the room (kind of like the intention of the plan), and many are left standing for the entire hearing. We were well behaved--no heckling and only one booing as I recall. While just about everyone
tried to exceed the 2.5 minutes they gave each of us to speak, most finished up pretty quickly without too commotion. The timekeeper was fair, politely cutting off everyone when their time was up. The Mayor of Oakland was there, and she recommended that we be cut down to 90 seconds each, but even the timekeeper said that was unreasonable. To me it sounded like he was saying let's give the poor slobs their full 2.5 minutes each, even though whatever they say won't change a thing and we will proceed as scheduled to pick the option we like the best. One of my favorite speakers was the kid on the right of Rosa Koire below (lady in purple). In the hearing he spoke about coming from Eastern Europe and what it was like there and why did the bureaucrats want to try and repeat that bit of history. Many complaints about the validity of the survey results, which suggested that the public does support the goals of Plan Bay Area. Clayton Smith (who
we've seen at Free Exchange and GGLR) asked why they didn't ask the question, "Have you ever heard of Plan Bay Area?," which got a laugh, since most folks have not. Myself, I did say I was from the LPSF and one of the questions that should have been asked was, "Is it a proper function of government to be involved in housing?" (To which I noticed the timekeeper's expression was well, that's kind of an interesting question--again, that's us Libertarians--irrelevant but interesting.)
One of the new things that came out of the hearing due to all the complaints about the plan was that they are now predicting a lot of "revenue" will come from Cap and Trade. All along folks have complained where's the money going to come from for all these grandiose plans, and now suddenly Cap and Trade was mentioned several times during the Recommendation part of the hearing. Billions coming from Sacramento from Cap and Trade, they now say.
The next hearing is this coming Thursday, June 20 in Oakland (101 Eighth Street) at 7:00 PM. I will attend, and while I won't have time to stop in The City to pick up folks, after the meeting I can take folks home back to The City since there will be no time constraint. (The BART station is very close to where the meetings are held.) I'm going to see this project through to the end, even though there's no question of the outcome. In the immortal words of one of us (a nameless feisty little person who pulls no punches when she speaks), "I'm not going down without a fight!"
Sorry for such a long manuscript. Please advise your thoughts about the idea of joining the coalition.