Bay Area Tries to Screw the Poor

It’s bad enough when folks from the Bay Area pretend that they are smarter and more sophisticated than everyone else. It’s bad enough that they trash southern California (inaccurately) for “stealing” its water from the Owens Valley while enjoying water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

But trying to undermine environmental justice while pretending to be progressive is going too far:

Bay Area public officials are challenging a state plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight climate change by cleaning the air in some of California’s poorest and most polluted communities, most of which are in Southern California.

The officials say the state’s method of determining which communities are helped is flawed because it would exclude some of their region’s most at-risk residents….

To pinpoint the neediest communities, the California Environmental Protection Agency spent years and about $1.5 million developing a screening tool that uses 19 measures of environmental exposure, health risk and socioeconomic status.

Using that analysis, more than half the funds would go to Los Angeles County communities and most of the rest to other areas of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Less than 5% would go to the Bay Area.

Twenty Bay Area legislators have decided that since, under an objective funding formula, they don’t get as much money as they want, there must be something wrong with the formula. They don’t actually specify what’s wrong with the formula, but…you know…there has to be something. (The reporter is Tony Barboza, who is very good and thorough: if there were an argument there, he would have reported it).

This is precisely the sort of political mucking-around with funding formulas that has undermined justice efforts in the past. Them that’s got shall get, them that don’t shall lose, and the devil take the hindmost. Enough with this. Either you have data or you don’t: “we don’t get as much as we want” is not data.

Oh yeah: and the Giants suck.

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