No, “density” doesn’t rhyme with “sanity”

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

The recitals seem all right: big California cities are becoming increasingly unlivable as population continues to concentrate, traffic gets worse and housing costs soar. Not a lot of disagreement there. And yet it feels like there’s something in the Kool-Aid of many editorial boards and op-ed writers which makes them take a shine to SB50, […]

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Down the Rabbit Hole on Housing

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

At the end of his pro-SB50 piece, Scott Lay asks: “Could Scott Wiener become the next Howard Jarvis-like figure?” A better question would be:  “Could Scott Wiener become the next Gordon Gekko-like figure?” The notion of painting corporatist Scott Wiener — Wall Street and the CBIA’s strongest advocate in Sacramento — as a populist everyman […]

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SB50: Sticking it to SoCal

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

According to state senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, author of SB50, which would take away local zoning authority from municipalities, including eliminating single-family zoning in much of LA County, “one of the root causes of California’s housing crisis [is] hyper-low-density zoning near jobs and transit.” Why, then, you might ask, did Wiener recently amend […]

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YIMBY ZOMBYs and California’s Housing Crisis

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

In Lethal Weapon 2, whenever he is confronted with potential arrest for some villainous deed or other, South African diplomat Arjen Rudd, masterfully portrayed by Joss Ackland, whips out his credentials and shouts “Diplomatic Immunity!” Rudd’s supposedly unanswerable response brings to mind the refrain of corporatist Democrats, their right-wing Koch Bro Bros and the YIMBY ZOMBYs […]

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Super Bowl Time: When the Rams Go Marching In

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

The great Stephen A. Smith called the Rams NFC Championship Game victory over the Saints “a heist.” Others – not the least Saints fans themselves – have called it a lot worse. More than a week later and less than a week before the Super Bowl, the controversy hasn’t died down. In fact, several lawsuits […]

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Scott Wiener’s SB 50 is a WIMBY Bill

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

Zev Yaroslavsky, former LA County Supervisor and former LA City Councilmember, astutely noted that state senator Scott Wiener’s SB827, which would take away local zoning authority from cities and replace it with Sacramento-mandated levels of density in certain areas, was a “real estate bill, not a housing bill.” The exact same assessment should apply to […]

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A Corporate Wealth Tax: Making the Oligarchs Pay

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

It may be en vogue among a certain group to express concern about the influence of Russian oligarchs within our political system, but perhaps we should all be a bit more concerned about the home-grown variety, the Silicon Valley and tech billionaires. Given their huge wealth, influence and control over information, we need to start having serious […]

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Deconstructing the Opposition to the California Water Fix

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

Here we go again.  There’s nothing better than California water politics to prove the sagacity of French writer Alphonse Karr’s immortal quip: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (“The more things change, the more it’s the same thing.”) Last week the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Board voted for a second time to finance […]

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Hetch Hetchy: An Historic Opportunity for the Administration

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

Just a few days ago Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove re-opened after a three-year restoration project to remove the asphalt parking lot and trails that have jeopardized the long-term health of its magnificent giant sequoias. The reopening of the Grove presents Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Administration with a rare opportunity to correct an […]

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Stereotyping Beverly Hills

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

A day after Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding, we can read that Syracuse University suspended an engineering fraternity for a “racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic” video. On that same day, Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, remarked that “anti-Semitism is in full sight in Europe.” Last year right here in the US, the Anti-Defamation League saw the largest […]

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