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7 causes Gavin Newsom has the worst job in politics

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4. The California Dream is out of attain

Despite all of the wealth generated by Silicon Valley, Hollywood and big agriculture and power industries, California fares terribly on some primary measures of prosperity.

Soaring poverty and homelessness, exacerbated by rocketing rents and a dearth of inexpensive houses, supply grim counterpoints to the California portrayed by Newsom and different Democrats as America’s shining star. Images of determined Californians residing within the streets, at instances underneath circumstances paying homage to refugee camps, underscore the advanced and intractable disaster.

Newsom’s marketing campaign pledge to create hundreds of thousands of latest housing items has run into the laborious realities of laws, native opposition and environmental restrictions. High-profile housing payments have faltered in the course of the first two legislative years of Newsom’s governorship.

“This is a difficult, complex challenge that takes political will to prioritize these things,” mentioned Carol Galante, school director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. “At its core, it really is the underbuilding in my view, and that’s a huge political problem to fix.”

The state has tried to offset earnings inequality — California has essentially the most billionaires of any U.S. state by far — with a progressive tax construction that depends closely on the very best earners.

But the pandemic recession has nonetheless lower into state sources whereas threatening to push large numbers of financially ailing Californians out of their houses — an eviction and foreclosures disaster that might deepen California’s present housing disaster. Newsom signed a stopgap eviction halt, however nobody sees it as a long-term answer.

His administration has used federal {dollars} to deal with extra homeless folks; advocates are intently watching to see if that progress is sustainable. Looking forward, Galante warned that policymakers can not “take our foot off the gas” on housing manufacturing, noting that after the Great Recession, rents spiked even because the financial system recovered.

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