The Future of Our Children and Our Community Are In Peril (Part 1)
Posted in the San Mateo Forum
#1 Nov 4, 2013
In January 30, 2012, the Daly City Council concluded its meeting with Daly City residents and has decided to move the Daly City ‘General’ Plan – Housing Element forward. While the plan has many good features, it is not perfect and its ‘major’ imperfections will cost our children and adults with special needs dearly, and our economic interests as a community severely.
What are we to lose? Simply put our children’s and adult with special needs educational futures are at stake. How? Daniel Webster Elementary School and the Christopher Columbus Elementary and special needs school have been earmarked by the Jefferson School District for closure and its locations to be relegated as ‘surplus’ land. If The Plan goes unhindered, these projected closures will mean absolute DISPLACEMENT and DENIAL of education for our children and for adults with special needs that learn from these schools. It means REASSIGNMENT of the displaced to other nearby schools that will almost, if not, double the number of students that are already in packed classes. It means special needs adults will be scattered to other institutions that ‘may’ accommodate them. It means loss of teachers and school staff jobs. And worst of all, it means the loss of many dreams, dreams only made possible through good education that leads to opportunities to a promising and brighter future.
What will become of these ‘surplus’ places? The Daly City Council is gearing to put forth and approve the General Plan that will authorize the construction of hundreds of new homes in vacant and ‘surplus’ lands where our Daniel Webster Elementary and Columbus School now stand. Now you may ask,“But why?!” the point exactly. Is building new homes at a time when people are barely head above water paying ballooning mortgages and having to face difficult choices choosing between putting food on the table over paying utility bills the answer? Absolutely and unequivocally, NO!!!
This is not the time for this time many are still faced with daunting stagnant wages or long term underemployment and even worse, unemployment.
Those of us who have seen our home values plummet since 2008 have yet to see the worse if the Housing Element of The Plan passes. For the uninitiated, it’s simply the economics’ law of supply and demand - more new houses mean more supply. In a low demand and mediocre to low price market, more housing supply ultimately means LOWER HOME PRICES. Homeowners will see the second wave of their retirement nest eggs vanish in front of their very eyes. It will be the final financial blow that follows the 401k and real estate dooms of 2008.
Who benefits from the General Plan – Housing Element? The developer, the Plan proponents and supporters with obvious vested business and economic self-interests are the only clear winners, no one else and most definitely not the people and community of Daly City. It is a plan pushed by special interest designed to generate the purest profit, a plan deceptively draped in the guise of community improvement. Why and how? The Plan was founded from community outreach, census and financial data from May 2008. Of note however; May 2008 was the peak of the economic bubble at which time housing prices were artificially inflated and the demand, high. It was a time when there was a clamor for more affordable housing and many were looking to fulfill the American dream. Four months thereafter, in August 2008, we witnessed the beginning of and the demise of many to financial ruin in our country and consequently our Daly City. It was never the same since and never will. Therefore, if the basis of the supposed housing ‘need’ is flawed, at best, outdated, then the whole argument of the Housing Element of the General Plan is, in itself, flawed and poorly founded.
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