News

The Bay Area Billionaires Are Breaking My Heart

An opinion article in the New York Times today highlights the Bay Area's rapid and, at least so far, successful response to the COVID-19 crisis, juxtaposing it with a defining challenge that the region continues to grapple with: a lack of affordable housing and entrenched homelessness, despite being home to one of the highest concentrations of immense wealth in the world.

At the outbreak of the pandemic, the region acted decisively, including instituting the nation's first shelter-in-place rules, securing hotel rooms for the homeless, and closing certain roads to cars to create public outdoor spaces for pedestrians. Still, as the pandemic drags on, it lays bare the limits of Bay Area techno-optimism and underscores the urgency for real, lasting public policy solutions that encourage things like affordable and climate-resilient housing and equality of opportunity. 

"This isn’t a problem that will be solved by flying cars," according to the article. "It will be solved by better zoning laws, fairer taxes and, when we can make it safe again, more public transportation. We will have to commit ourselves to these and other boring but permanent civic solutions."

Opinion: The Bay Area Billionaires Are Breaking My Heart, The New York Times