But this is the gentrification of Southern Humboldt. (Credit to commenter Sell! Sell! Sell! on Kym Kemp’s site)
It’s what happens when our public representatives honor land owners. And let’s face it, we aren’t honoring land owners who come and go, but land values, and when we do this, we should not be surprised at these result.
Kym Kemp, who tells the stories of the people and culture she loves, addressed this important article from the Chronicle about the skyrocketing interest in rural Humboldt land. If you haven’t read Kym’s take already, please check it out, including the copious comments.
It’s bleak out there for those this political movement was supposed to help. Supervisors Estelle Fennell and Rex Bohn sold themselves in 2012 as representatives of the people. They would help empower people economically and change the government to relax the onerous regulations. They and their supporters took advantage of high profile and overly weaponized enforcement to sell their faux populism.
In the end though, the people they listened to where the people they knew and the people who contributed to their campaigns. It was and is clear but they both made their allegiances sound like it was something worth supporting. They both are doing it to this day which is why one has been endorsed by both Assembly-member Woods and State Senator McGuire and the other endorsed additionally by our local Democrats.
But both of these candidates could not be worst for democratic causes. Their priorities could not have been more clear than when they both worked outside of the public process they promoted to Principle #7 of the guiding principles from protecting natural resources to “honor landowners’ rights to live in urban, suburban, rural or remote areas of the county while using a balanced approach to protect natural resources“. Yes, they really, really wrote that!
I understand I am beating a dead horse, but that legal language makes what they are doing so clear. And now we are living through what we should have known, but were either not interested or perhaps too interested in what they were selling.
So as Rex and others have famously proclaimed when dismissing enviro concerns, no Humboldt will not become Santa Rosa. But that was not ever the real danger. The danger from my perspective was the pattern of growth, not the growth itself. It turns out the other crucial problem to all but those few who are profiting from the increased property values is that economic survival for those without land just became even more difficult not better as the former leader of a local property rights organization told her constituents.
But that is the inevitable result when our public infrastructure is not there to protect not only the environment from degradation, but protecting us from ourselves. It’s really very simple, if frustratingly anti-intuitive: our economic system is set up to consume itself if not carefully regulated. We continue to buy into the rhetoric that tells us otherwise and Humboldt is now living through the results.
Please vote for Bud Rogers this Tuesday those of you living in the 2nd District. He may be a neophyte to politics. He may have his own theories that aren’t always, well, completely thought out, but he is not part of a disingenuous political movement that has rushed Humboldt to another economic and environmental precipice.
And for more reading on the 2nd District race, here is the entertaining, awesome and often spot on John Hardin.
Vote this Tuesday 2nd District.
Sincerest apologies to the 1st. Your Democratic political infrastructure failed you. We are going to need YOUR help to change this in 2020.