The San Francisco Bay Area is ground zero for tech companies, astronomical housing costs, and homelessness. Those who are priced out of the housing market or their own homes often blame the influx of high-earning techies into the Bay Area particularly within the last 5 years or so. Few are aware of the powerful trio micromanaging Bay Area residents’ lives, and how in-spite enormous power, the trio has not been successful in making the Bay Area “affordable.” To the contrary, the trio might have made matters worse.
The trio in question consists of Plan Bay Area, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Enabled by California’s state legislators, the MTC and ABAG determine how much land will be available for building homes (not much: about 90% of the Bay Area is “protected” from development in one way or another), how many people must be accommodated within each county (too many according to those who prefer tranquility over GDP growth), how dense cities and counties need to be (pretty dense: remember the 90% under protection?), and how many residents must have access to subsidized housing. All the plans, mandates, and ever-intensifying goals are spelled out in Plan Bay Area.
The lion’s share of the trio’s power rests in the hands of one MTC Executive Director and 21 opaquely-selected MTC Commissioners. MTC’s Executive Director will retire at the end of February 2019, and MTC is searching for a replacement. Commissioner’s term expires in the middle of February 2019, and cities/counties must select new ones or re-appoints old ones.
Given MTC’s enormous power, its significant effect on the lives of Bay Area residents, and the opportunity for activism presented by MTC’s changing of its guard in February, the Nine-County Coalition — an organization dedicated to fighting the growth of entities run by unelected bureaucrats — has decided to unilaterally declare January 2019 “MTC Awareness Month.”
Just Vote No joins them in their effort to make the voting public aware of MTC, its track record, and its obscurely-picked Commissioners.
Pictured below is MTC’s latest effort: the Bay Area’s multibillion-dollar Transbay Center, which opened with much fanfare August 2018, and closed for structural failures six weeks later.