A new poll revealed that almost two-thirds of California residents have considered moving out of the state recently.
The survey highlights mounting frustrations that Californians are feeling over their state’s policies related to escalating living costs, rising crime, increased political polarization, and parental rights concerns.
The survey found that 40% of state residents say “they are somewhat or very serious about leaving,” with another 24% “saying they are thinking about it, but not too seriously.”
The top reason respondents gave for wanting to leave the Golden State was affordability, with 61% saying living costs are too high. According to RentCafe, the overall cost of living in California is 39% higher than the national average, with housing costs an eye-popping 102% higher than the average and utilities 22% higher.
Crime in the state has risen in recent years as well, which critics say is exacerbated by lax law enforcement policies.
In April, Whole Foods announced it was closing its flagship store in downtown San Francisco in order to “ensure the safety” of its employees, with widespread reports of rampant theft and syringes and pipes found in the restrooms.
The city saw a 23% increase in property crimes between 2020 and 2022, mostly involving burglary and theft. California law states that theft of items worth $950 or less is considered a misdemeanor, “which means that law enforcement probably won’t bother to investigate, and if they do, prosecutors will let it go,” says the Hoover Institution’s Lee Ohanian.
Particularly concerning for parents in California are a series of bills (both already passed and still moving forward) in the state Legislature that are aimed at rolling back the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their kids.
Currently, Republicans are attempting to combat a state law that requires that a child’s announced gender identity change at school be kept secret from their parents.
Another bill made California the first state in the nation to allow minors to become wards of the state if they flee to California for irreversible gender-transition procedures against their parents’ wishes.
The bill prompted state Sen. Scott Wilk, a Republican, to declare during a hearing, “If you love your children, you need to flee California.”
Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, concurred, pointing out that a large majority of the controversial bills being considered are centered around sexuality and gender identity of children.
“I think [we are monitoring] almost 40 bills in the state of California that are dealing with different types of issues,” he explained during a recent episode of The Washington Stand’s “Outstanding” podcast, adding:
Most of them are specifically related to sexual orientation and gender identity. … We’re talking about placing those decisions in the hands of young people who are still emotionally developing. They’re emotionally vulnerable. They are trusting that adults are going to have their best interests at heart. And when they say, ‘Your parents actually don’t have your best interests at heart. They actually don’t want you to live out your true, authentic self. … We know what’s best for you over your parents.’ I mean, that is extremely, extremely dangerous.
Hundreds of thousands of Californians have already left the state. California’s Finance Department recently revealed that the state experienced a net loss of 800,000 people over the last three years. As noted by The Epoch Times, “Recent population declines are unprecedented, as the Golden State saw its citizenry grow consistently for more than a century” up until 2020.
“I think you’ve seen a huge shift in the political climate of the state of California,” observed Keller, noting that California hasn’t had a conservative Republican governor in almost 30 years.
You’ve seen, despite the fact that we still have an overwhelming number of conservative voters, their voice is being silenced and their values are being attacked at a really alarming rate. … It’s easy to be salt and light, but it is a lot harder to fight back against some of the insanity that’s coming out of the Legislature in Sacramento.
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