In 2016 guest speaker Michael Coleman addressed our community at a meeting of the Advocates for Arden Arcade. He spoke of how the Legislature, in passing annual budgets over some recent years, had fundamentally changed the way local governments are financed. As a result, established unincorporated communities and newly urbanizing areas that wanted more of a say for their own communities were blocked from doing so. It appears the Legislature did not pause to ask whether their annual budget decisions would harm or impeded the delivery of municipal services to the residents and businesses of unincorporated areas across California. The already-difficult uphill path towards community-based decisions had become much steeper as an unintended consequence of the Legislature's actions. Mr. Coleman suggested Arden Arcade could contact other like-minded places elsewhere in California to identify and pursue a common array of solutions.
It turns out that there are several unincorporated communities across California that are all more or less in the same boat: their local area is treated as less important than nearby cities, their citizens are underrepresented, unwanted land uses are imposed regardless of community sentiment, and so forth. The Advocates for Arden Arcade are now reaching out to other localities in California that would like a greater say in what happens in their community, so as to learn from their experiences. The posts in this section of our web site will focus on issues held in common with those communities and will explore the myriad ways that greater local control is being proposed, dealt with and, on occasion, achieved across California.