Calling California the “Golden State” is becoming more ironic as each year goes by. Beneath California’s appealing aesthetics, beautiful beaches, and wonderful weather lies a slew of problems, most caused by the action, or inaction, of our Democratic politicians.
Our prison system is inconceivably overcrowded, and this issue is by no means aided by the “early release” legislation that has been promoted over the past 10 years. Proposition 47 and its successor, Proposition 57, both attempted to deal with reduced penalties for certain crimes. The consequences of this lack of law and order only siphons more money from the pockets of taxpayers and threatens the well-being of all citizens.
The former made the arrest of hard drug users incredibly difficult, tying the hands of law enforcement to take dangerous public drug users off the streets. The latter raised serious concerns over its definition of “nonviolent” crimes. On the list of crimes Prop 57 dubbed “nonviolent” and subject to early release from prison were sexual assault by an intoxicated perpetrator, human trafficking involving sexual actions with minors, domestic violence involving trauma, and assault using deadly weapons.
California’s environment is certainly worth protecting, but the recent Democratic actions proposed aren’t the way to go about it. The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) passed in 2006 aimed to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045. The result? Unaffordable housing and land costs that are still increasing to this day.
Other propositions to curb global warming involved transportation improvement initiatives, but not for freeways and roads. Instead, legislators opted to give up on the car entirely, looking towards a high-speed rail that will never pay for itself, zoning laws that diminish available parking, and public transport shifts when public transport isn’t popular to begin with.
Zoning laws also affect homebuyers. High-density infill results in minimal open space, unavailable parking, and sky-high prices thanks to a shortage only created by the “environmental” interests of our current legislation.
The sky-high price of housing contributes to another problem—the homelessness epidemic plaguing our streets. It’s difficult to remove homeless encampments, incarcerate the mentally ill, and provide resources for those who desperately need it when the laws keep everyone in a constant battle for some sort of leverage.
Despite these issues, we can’t give up hope for our state. Through the power of their vote, citizens need to tell their legislators that enough is enough and demand change. If we submit to the whims of unethical legislation, then we can say goodbye to what once was the best state in America.