Situation: The East Bay and Alameda County have gone through tremendous population growth over the past several years. It is easy to understand why people want to live in our CA15 communities. This is a tremendous area to live in with great schools, diverse culture, and easy access to just about everything a person could ever want.
Impact to CA15: The problem is that the population we currently have exceeds the capacity that the infrastructure was designed and built to handle. Several of CA15 cities (Pleasanton, Fremont, Dublin, San Ramon) now struggle with overcrowded schools which impacts both student and teacher performance. Residents in 2016 have stepped up to the plate and have funded over $1B in School Bonds: Castro Valley-$123M, Dublin-$283M, Pleasanton-$270M, San Leandro-$104M and Livermore-$245M.
In addition to higher taxes we’ve all been impacted by the traffic congestion on the freeways AND our neighborhood streets. Many communities now struggle to manage “cut through” commuters. These are drivers who rather than stay on the clogged freeways take to navigating through neighborhoods and city streets to get to their destinations.
Residents complain to their Mayors and City Council members, but the local politicians feel handcuffed by California laws and regulations. Something needs to change!
Eric’s Position: I’ve been to a few of the town halls that Eric has held in the district, and I know this concern has been raised in those forums. His Facebook page is often filled with comments about the congestion and need for improvements. Despite the chorus of pleas from constituents for help he appears to feel that CA15 needs even more government subsidized housing. In an August 17th, 2017 on Facebook he says the East Bay needs more housing and wants to run BART through our neighborhoods.
My Position: The problem is that many cities in CA15 are overcrowded. More housing in the already overcrowded CA15 cities will only make a bad situation worse. I don’t support mandating additional homes and apartments when the existing residents feel compromised. Cities need time to adjust their general plans and work with their residents to factor in a reasonable growth rate. I would work with both Federal and State representatives to explore:
- Rewriting legislation that will bring more balance to this issue
- Options to protect cities from suits that offer no-win solutions
- Solutions that provide cities the opportunities to build their communities in a planned, organized and responsible manner.