California’s Secret Government

In Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed eliminating California’s approximately 400 redevelopment agencies (RDAs). In theory, RDAs spearhead blight removal. In fact, they divert billions of dollars from traditional services, such as schools, parks, and firefighting; use eminent domain to seize property for favored developers; and run up California’s debt to pay those developers to construct projects of dubious public value, such as stadiums and big-box stores. Most Californians have long been unaware that these agencies exist. As of late March, the outcome of Brown’s battle against the RDAs was in question, with the state legislature lacking the votes to approve it. In short, it is high time that the agencies were shut down.

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