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New Poll Shows Why People Are Leaving One of America’s Most Liberal Cities

AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

Townhall has covered how Florida, which has Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has seen an influx of people moving to the state from Democrat-led areas. Recently, the mayor of Miami said in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that people are moving to Florida in droves due to its tax system, which is the opposite of “the socialist model” seen in New York and California.

"Many Americans living in New York state and California are paying more than 50 percent of their annual income to local, state, and federal governments," he wrote, adding that in Miami, "you can keep what you earn, invest what you save, and own what you build."

A series of polls released this week shed new light on why residents plan to leave one of America’s most liberal cities and what issues are causing them to do so.

The San Francisco Chronicle found that roughly one-third of residents surveyed in a recent poll say they are likely to leave the city within the next three years. Sixty-five percent said that “life in the city is worse than when they first moved here.” On top of that, less than a quarter of respondents said they expected life to improve in the next two years. Thirty-five percent said it would worsen.

“Those who want to leave aren’t just young and itinerant — they also express more negativity toward the city’s prospects and elected politicians than those who say they’ll continue living in San Francisco, the survey shows,” the Chronicle’s write-up noted. “They fall across all income brackets, including people in the lowest economic tiers who typically struggle to afford to live in the city.”

Reportedly, 20 percent of people ages 25 to 29 living in San Francisco left between April 2020 and July 2021.

Predictably, homelessness was listed as the top issue impacting the city. Public safety and housing affordability came second. 

Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University, said that if “deeply progressive officials” would work with their more moderate peers “more than they do” to fix the problems impacting the city, more people would stay.

The Chronicle pointed out that the city recently ejected its district attorney and three school board members from office, a sign of “anger” from residents. 

John Whitehurst, a political consultant, told the Chronicle he has “never seen voters more upset and angry in San Francisco than they have been over the last two years and continue to be, and that anger gets expressed in many ways.”

“Two ways, recently, include the district attorney recall and the Board of Education recall.”

Townhall reported how Chesa Boudin, the city’s district attorney, was ousted by San Francisco voters in June. Leah reported earlier this spring that it became apparent that Boudin would likely lose his position as San Francisco had become "a living nightmare" for many residents and business owners.

"A lot of voters who voted for him actually felt duped, felt like it was a bait and switch," said Recall Chesa Boudin Committee spokesman Richie Greenberg, according to Fox News. The poll was conducted in June, shortly after the recall.

Another poll released by the Chronicle found that 48 percent of residents said that the school board over the past three years had done a “poor” or “very poor” job, making the city a better place to live. This came after three members of the board were recalled in February.

Board President Jenny Lam told the outlet that they “must regain the trust of our community.” 

“The city deserves a Board of Education that operates effectively and consistently prioritizes improving student outcomes.”

The Chronicle noted that “racial divisions also persist, and in some cases have grown more strained” in recent years.

“Based on the Chronicle’s survey, that outmigration will continue,” the write-up concluded. “People who expect to move away in the near future tend to be younger adults — the people who will determine the city’s cultural identity, drive the local economy, and start businesses and families.”


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