Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm Not Saying It Is...But I'm Not Saying It's Not...

Gee...Coincidence that the "Libby" Capital of America can't get families with children to reside there?!


Child Population Dwindles in San Francisco

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - Anne Bakstad and Ed Cohen are starting to feel as if their family of four is an endangered species in San Francisco.

Since the couple bought a house five years ago, more than a dozen families in their social circle have left the city for cheaper housing, better schools or both. (How can the schools be so bad? I thought the government would do a wonderful job with all of that local tax money they collect!)

The goodbyes are so frequent that Carina, age 4 1/2, wants to know when she is going to move, too. Eric, 2 1/2, misses Gus, his playmate from across the street.

"When we get to know people through our kids, we think to ourselves, `Are they renters or owners? Where do they work?' You have to figure out how much time to invest in people," Bakstad said. "It makes you feel like, `Where is everyone going? Stay with us!'"

A similar lament is being heard in San Francisco's half-empty classrooms, in parks where parents are losing ground to dog owners, and in the corridors of City Hall.

San Francisco has the smallest share of small-fry of any major U.S. city. Just 14.5 percent of the city's population is 18 and under.

It is no mystery why U.S. cities are losing children. The promise of safer streets, better schools and more space has drawn young families away from cities for as long as America has had suburbs.

But kids are even more scarce in San Francisco than in expensive New York (24 percent) or in retirement havens such as Palm Beach, Fla., (19 percent), according to Census estimates.

San Francisco's large gay population — estimated at 20 percent by the city Public Health Department — is thought to be one factor, though gays and lesbians in the city are increasingly raising families.

Another reason San Francisco's children are disappearing: Family housing in the city is especially scarce and expensive. A two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot starter home is considered a bargain at $760,000. (Hmmmm...San Diego County has even higher home prices yet their population of 18 and under is 26% http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06073.html ).

A recent survey by the city controller found 40 percent of parents said they were considering pulling up stakes within the next year.

Determined to change things, Mayor Gavin Newsom has put the kid crisis near the top of his agenda, appointing a 27-member policy council to develop plans for keeping families in the city. (I can save you some money Gavin...I think it's pretty obvious what "families" think of socialism...take a hint. I can't believe you're surprised that charging people a tax on grocery bags isn't working at keeping families in your city.)

"It goes to the heart and soul of what I think a city is about — it's about generations, it's about renewal and it's about aspirations," said Newsom, 37. "To me, that's what children represent and that's what families represent and we just can't sit back idly and let it go away." (You killed "aspirations" with your socialist philosphy!)

Newsom has expanded health insurance for the poor to cover more people under 25, and created a tax credit for working families. And voters have approved measures to patch up San Francisco's public schools, which have seen enrollment drop from about 62,000 to 59,000 since 2000. (You just don't learn...high taxes for ineffective social programs are what got you in to this mess!!!)

One voter initiative approved up to $60 million annually to restore public school arts, physical education and other extras that state spending no longer covers. Another expanded the city's Children's Fund, guaranteeing about $30 million a year for after-school activities, child care subsidies and other programs.

"We are at a crossroads here," said N'Tanya Lee, executive director of the nonprofit Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. "We are moving toward a place where we could have an infrastructure of children's services and no children." (The liberal philosphy of abortion leaves you with a whole lot less children!! Ever wonder why caucasions have the lowest birth rate but the highest abortion rate?! Hint: It's not because caucasions don't have as much money as minorities either.)

Other cities are trying similar strategies. Seattle has created a children's fund, like the one in San Francisco. Leaders in Portland, Ore., are pushing developers to build affordable housing for families, a move Newsom has also tried. (Looks like the few remaining bastions of liberalism are soon to follow in its leaders footsteps!!)

For families choosing to stay in San Francisco, life remains a series of trade-offs. They can enjoy world-class museums, natural beauty and an energy they say they cannot find in the suburbs.

But most families need two or more incomes to keep their homes, and their children spend most of their days being cared for by others. (I thought liberals were trying to avoid just this situation that they ended up creating. Strange since the "red-states" still enjoy a high standard of living including quality education and homes with one working parent so children can be raised by parents instead of strangers!)

"We have so many friends who are moving out and say how much easier life has been for them," Bakstad said. "If we can make it work in the city, we would love to stay. In a way, the jury is out." (The jury is out...but you just don't seem to get the verdict!!! You should have learned from socialism the first time...Russia (failed), Canada (failed), Italy (failed)...starting to ring a bell?!)

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