June 14 Press Conference of Opposition Exposes Lies of Plan Bay Area

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.

Thanks!
Aubrey

Sounds good Aubrey….thanks.

Mike

Hi Aubrey,

Thanks for attending the meeting and for the description of proceedings. I noticed too that all of a sudden cap and trade is spoken of, while not a peep before! Yes, by all means, I vote for LPSF joining the coalition against plan bay area.

Marcy

I'll second everyone else's comments. Thanks Aubrey for attending, and definitely we should be listed as part of the opposition coalition. We oppose Plan Bay Area, so why not try to get public credit for our opposition and network with others around the issue?

  Did the bureaucrats actually say they were going to choose "option 2" (whatever that is, I don't immediately recall) on July 18? Or are you assuming that's what they'll do? I'll try to go to the hearing on Thursday in Oakland.

  I suggest we make a transparency and disclosure a major focus in our comments going forward. Demand to know the details of their decision-making process and costs, including planning timelines, discussions among planners, staff salaries, etc. The more information they are pressured into disclosing to the public, the greater the chances of procedural missteps or something else coming to light that someone will be able to use to derail this crap.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

Giving you a choice to team between planning a plan B plan C and plan D is like giving you a choice between cutting off your right pinky cutting off your left pinky cutting off your right arm or cutting off your left arm and it's so nice that they offer us the chance for the public to have input in which decision is made

Hi Starchild and All,

Starchild, you asked about final adoption of the plan. This is scheduled for Thursday, July 18, 2013. My guess is that barring major unanticipated events, the plan will be adopted. Here is what the announcement says:

"Policy Board - Special Joint Meeting - MTC and ABAG Executive Board
Time: 6:30 p.m. (*tentative)
Location: Oakland Marriott, East Hall
1001 Broadway Street, Oakland, CA, 94607
Approve Final Plan, Final EIR, Regional Housing Need Allocation, Air Quality Conformity Analysis."

I cannot tell by looking at the Meetings & Events page of One Bay Area if there are any more Town Halls/Public Meetings; there seems to be Board Meetings, maybe in which one could comment? I know Aubrey is going to a meeting on Thursday, so I might be mistaken.

Personally, I would not feel comfortable asking for transparency, when supposedly every meeting is announced on the website, some also via e-mail if you subscribe, and anyone can attend. Detailed plans and timelines are also on the website (for those who do not have a computer, there are public computers at libraries).

What I do not see on the website are salaries; however, given that we are talking about a coalition of Bay Area governments, it might be that the salaries are paid by the participants' own governments, not by Plan Bay Area. For an idea of the MAGNITUDE of this coalition see the Roster http://www.abag.ca.gov/overview/ABAG_Roster.pdf

My focus is, and will continue to be the social engineering part of this plan. I have expressed my weak OK with the effort to clean up the environment (encouraging such environmentally friendly things as bikes, public transit, pedestrian amenities, planting vegetables if one has a garden). But the doggoned condescending attitude implicit in "affordable housing" is more than I can stand. Sally Z. posted a great 2-minute comment, "Chis Parejas blasts Plan Bay Area for Racial Stereotyping." I will forward her e-mail later.

Marcy

Hi Marcy and All! Thanks for your input. I have sent off an email to Chris Pareja asking him to add the LPSF to the coalition list of organizations opposing Plan Bay Area. Chris is the one who blasted the racial profiling in the plan--he often brings up this theme when he gives public comment, and he gives public comment against PBA very often! I see from the business card that he gave me that he must have run for Congress at some point (15th Congressional District).

As for Thursday's meeting, I checked the agenda, and Public Comment is listed there, so here we go again. Pack us in again like sardines but they won't be able to silence us yet! I will try to think of something interesting, unique, and Libertarian that hasn't been said yet--no easy task, considering there have already been a lot of great comments made by a variety of folks.

Thanks!
Aubrey