All cities in the United States have “planning departments,” responsible for reasonably safe and attractive places to live. San Francisco and the Bay Area have upped the ante, and given us “Plan Bay Area” (also referred as One Bay Area, Smart Cities, Sustainable Development). Ostensibly to confront rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions , Plan Bay Area is forging ahead with plans for significantly reducing private vehicle miles, dense development near transit lines, linking development of affordable housing with market rate housing , open space preservation – or from a Libertarian point of view, laying the groundwork for micromanagement of your life and mine.
Plan Bay Area did not simply arise like Venus from the waves, but is the result of legal precedents. California AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels no later than 2020. California SB 375 of 2008 asserts that without improved land use and transportation policy, the state will not be able to achieve the goals of AB 32. SB 375 indicates that, “The issue was not ‘if’ land use and transportation policy were going to be connected to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but ‘how’ and ‘when.’ The issue was not ‘if’ a governmental entity would regulate the car and light truck in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…but ‘how’ and ‘when’.” Along with the how and when regarding transportation and land use as directly related to greenhouse gas emissions, SB 375 and Plan Bay Area , provide how and when to ensure that all income levels “benefit” from the plan. Once again, we are faced with exhaustive regulations ensuring outcomes, rather than guidelines ensuring opportunities.
Lest readers of our Voter Recommendations above think Libertarians are anti education based on our position on Proposition A, I would like to assure everyone that is not the case. The Libertarian position on all issues favors personal responsibility, freedom of choice, and competition – educating children is no exception. Libertarians would like to see more parental involvement, which greatly improves students’ success, as well as saves scarce resources. As a working Mom, who found ways of volunteering more than 50 hours per year for my child’s school , I feel comfortable saying that working full time and volunteering a few hours per kid can be done! Libertarians would like to see San Francisco make it easier for charter schools, home schooling, and voucher programs to flourish in our City; which would give parents more choices as well as provide much needed competition to the one-size-fits-all traditional public school system. The City is no longer as hospitable to families with children as it once was (who can afford a house or flat in this town that would fit two or three kids any more!), and families are moving out. Therefore, it is time for the School District to innovate, not invest more taxpayer funds in the status quo.
And speaking of children’s education, one of our members has put together an excellent teaching tool, primarily appropriate for high school social studies teachers. “An Educator’s Resource for Teaching Liberty” is non-partisan, but pro-liberty. It can be downloaded at http://lpsf.org/teachercd.zip.
Pride Week is over, and Libertarians were there. Over the years, Outright Libertarians have volunteered their time and resources to staff a vendor booth at Pride. Not only to outreach, but also to listen. How does a Libertarian respond to someone who says she would never vote Libertarian because she needs the protection from discrimination that government affords. Not an easy question, and the most sincre response we could offer was to suggest that if she would want to marry her partner, the government would simply say "no." How much time does a staff at the booth dedicate to a teen who realizes that what we are saying is not taught at his school -- all the time it takes to answer all his questions. How about the comment that Libertarians are "all white and rich?" Oh, that's an easy one--just look closely at who you are talking to!! So many stopped at the Outright booth, each with a story, a comment, a question. We are grateful for the opportunity to meet and talk to all of them.
Pride Outreach Team