Most Angelenos today can see that we’re at an historic juncture with the city; housing is at the forefront of social issues facing not only Los Angeles, but all of the state of California. I can appreciate my personal position within the dynamic: I’m 27 years old and still living at home with my mom, where the two of us split rent in a rent-controlled unit amid an area that’s only recently been dubbed as “East Hollywood”.
The situation is precarious; like many Angelenos, my mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s with virtually no wealth in assets, and although in a few years she’ll be able to claim social security benefits and plans to apply for housing assistance based on her income, she also understands that there is virtually no guarantee she’ll be able to secure anything.
She is one of millions of recently migrated Angelenos whose future is not exactly accounted for, and I’m one of a generation of millennials whose opportunity to build a home as it’s traditionally thought of is at an historic low. The question is obvious, then: where are people like my mother and I going, exactly? And in the case of a disaster, how could people in such circumstances possibly survive?
At the same time, throughout the past year the impact of the state’s wildfires and subsequent mudslide tragedies showed any Californians reading their papers how the fiscal and logistical burdens placed on the state by more extreme weather patterns are only growing dramatically in cost, size, and frequency alike. The events also revealed how regardless of where people fall on the income ladder, the state is largely under-prepared to help.
So then, where are the people of California going? One way or another, we’ve got to find out. Then we’ve got to share that information, and move. The rest is Jimbo Times.