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Author of California's Smart Growth Law Gets WSJ Platform

Amanda Eaken

Posted May 3, 2012

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On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy letter by California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, in response to Wendell Cox’s April 7th piece California Declares War on Suburbia. In it, Steinberg handily refutes Cox’s wild somersaults of logic which assure doom and gloom if Steinberg’s SB 375 – California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act – is implemented.

The occasion for Cox’s Op-Ed was the unanimous vote by the 83-member bi-partisan Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council to adopt their region’s first plan to implement SB 375 on April 4th, 2012. The Council did right by the 18 million residents of Southern California in adopting this plan. Here’s why:

  • It will reduce traffic congestion, for the first time in the region’s history, despite adding 4 million new residents;
  • It will improve air quality, saving the region $1.5 billion per year in public health costs;
  • It will bring a range of housing choices to the region, creating precisely the kinds of homes Southern Californians want, and helping the housing market recover;
  • And it is projected to save households $3,000 a year by offering shorter commutes.

It’s difficult to understand why anyone would argue that Californians should fear—rather than embrace—a plan that will bring so much good to the region. For an entertaining and deeper examination of Cox’s absurdity, it’s hard to beat the California Planning and Development Report piece Wendell Cox Launches Attack On Regional Planning, Common Sense.

In recognition of SCAG’s accomplishments, Senator Steinberg will address the SCAG Regional Council today May 3, 2012 at 3:00pm PT at their regularly scheduled council meeting. To view the webcast, visit SCAG's website and click on May 3 Meeting.

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Steinberg is a puppetMay 3 2012 11:09 PM

SCAG is a Politiburo, and Ikhrata is a Commissar. A real one. Of course there was a unanimous vote. They get them in North Korea as well.

IrvinMay 4 2012 04:40 PM

Kudos to the WSJ for printing the senator's letter - which I think is excellent. My only question:
Steinberg writes, "Housing choices and preferences are changing, and those who imply otherwise have their heads in the sand. Market research reported in this paper just last year reveals a shrinking market demand for single-family homes."

It would be EXCELLENT to have a link to that article!

I am familiar with other articles and reports showing a glut of single-family housing on the market in CA due to changing demographic, foreclosures, and lifestyle preferences. (

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