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The Lockean Project

Living here not a ‘privilege

“Living here not a ‘privilege’”, Carmel Pine Cone – May 12, 2023

My wife and I have lived in Carmel for 35 years.

I am disturbed by the statement by councilman Jeff Baron reported in the May 5-11 Pine Cone: “This unwillingness of communities to build housing has resulted in dislocations for everyone who is not as privileged as we in this room are to live here.” Is that a statement crafted to induce guilt into Carmel residents?

First, I am not “privileged” to live in Carmel. I am blessed. And fortunate. It is a right as a U.S. citizen to own property. It is not a “privilege.”

Neither I nor anyone else should feel either guilt or social obligation because we live in Carmel. No king bestowed our homes on us. Like many Carmel residents, I’ve worked hard, even sacrificed, for the money it took to live and raise our children here.

Yes, of course, I want good housing for other people. We need it. And there is plenty of land within 15 miles of Carmel to build lots and lots of housing and infrastructure.

As to the generally positive value of mandates, as mentioned in the Pine Cone article, the State of California has made terrible mandates recently. Like forcing street cart merchants onto every city, releasing over 20,000 inmates early, and moronically making jaywalking legal.

Forcing Carmel to build 349 new units is outrageous. As a city, we need to fight this totalitarian state mandate with everything and every way we can.

Asking our city leaders to have fortitude and fight for our sovereignty is appropriate. Weeks ago, when the city council announced it would not fight but would go peacefully along with the state housing mandate, every Carmel resident we know was appalled.

Jon Levy, Carmel