Philip Wasserman | Staying Here in Cali

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I’m not leaving.  

It seems everyone is leaving California. U.S. Census data reveals the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area saw a loss of population of 71,037 between 2022 and 2023. More than 800,000 Californians left in 2022, which is the most recent report I could find on migration out of our state. 

Those leaving talk about being fed up living in our blue state and seeking red-state pastures. Actor Sylvester Stallone has announced that he and his wife will be relocating to Florida, having purchased a $35.4 million mansion in Palm Beach. Notwithstanding millionaires who move to Florida, the most popular destinations for Californians who choose to relocate include Nashville, Austin and Boise, not necessarily in that order. 

As for Nashville and Austin, how ironic that both cities are blue islands in a sea of red. Texas, Tennessee and Idaho have their charms, but they don’t have the Pacific Ocean. Bugs Bunny tried to dig a tunnel to Pismo Beach, but we can get there in a few hours on the 101 and enjoy fried clams and delicious chowder. Spend the day at the Getty Center and/or Getty Villa and you’ll leave amazed and awash in a cultural experience you cannot get in the hinterlands. 

What about Santa Clarita? Our Cowboy Festival is massively underrated and whoever is running the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center is booking world-class talent. We’ve got a network of incredible bicycle trails, paseos and open spaces. A reimagined and remodeled Valencia Town Center as a mixed-use urban setting of retail, restaurants, entertainment, housing and open space has promise.

Still thinking of leaving? Before you decamp from California, consider whether the health care available in your intended new state measures up to California. For young women that would include the availability or lack thereof of reproductive health care. 

I’m not a Pollyanna about California. We’ve got big problems that need solving, which can feel insurmountable, and we need to hold ourselves and our elected officials accountable. 

But as the singer/songwriter Joe Buchanan says, bad news is loud, but the good stuff is quiet. 

Finally, whenever I consider leaving California, I think about that old saying. You know the one: Wherever you go, there you are.  

Philip Wasserman

Stevenson Ranch

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