Letters to the Editor: People are leaving L.A. for a reason. You don't have to be anti-woke to see that

CalStar Reality, Inc. has a For Sale sign outside 3010 Montrose Ave., in Glendale on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
A for-sale sign hangs in front of a condo complex in Glendale in 2020. Last year, California's population declined by an estimated 138,000 people. (Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: When I tell people here in Richmond, Va., that I moved from Los Angeles, the response is universal bewilderment: Why would anyone voluntarily leave the City of Angels, a land of sunny beaches?

I have to agree with columnist George Skelton: Whether it’s primarily taxes or not, it’s money.

It’s not just the price of housing. It’s the price of utilities, transportation and entertainment. Politicians fail at fixing the problems of overcrowded jails, poorly functioning schools, mentally ill people left to the streets and, oh yeah, housing.

Want to live close to downtown? Got a tent? Willing to settle for a two-hour commute each way to work? Want a condo walking distance from the beach? Ha, you're a riot!

Southern California has rolled up the carpets and bolted the gates. Maybe with last year’s record rainfall, they can turn the L.A. River into a crocodile-filled moat.

I have little tolerance for right-wing politicians and their anti-woke campaign, but they’re not all wrong about L.A. People are moving away.

I’d write about Richmond, its walkability and its canopy of trees if I wanted to convince people to move here, but I don't, so I won't. I'll keep L.A. and California in my prayers.

Susanna Wilson, Richmond, Va.


To the editor: I’m tired. I’m tired of politics. I’m tired of taxes. I’m tired of reading articles about why people are leaving California.

I acknowledge Skelton’s concern about California’s population loss and how that might reflect a need for policy changes. I like California but have considered moving to other states with lower taxes. None compares to the California I know.

I’ve worked all my life, retiring from careers in the military and healthcare. I moved to California 46 years ago because of excellent job opportunities, income, mild weather and the lifestyle. I believe population shifts can be normal and healthy.

Southern California is now pretty crowded, with attendant high housing costs. Those market forces may not be modifiable through legislative action. Our tax structure, however, should be evaluated to ensure maximum efficiency. That would require bipartisan oversight, which is in short supply nationwide.

If people are leaving California because of taxes or dogmatic political reasons, the rest of us are probably better off for it. Still, this could result in less revenue for the state, requiring budget adjustments. We will need governors more like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jerry Brown than Gavin Newsom.

Herman Galicia, Yucca Valley

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.