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Hypocrisy and privilege 

I recently read a commentary by Londie Padelsky ("Cart without a horse," Nov. 16). In it she talks about the sheer hypocritical approach of the SLO City Council on housing and building development. First, I want to thank her for her honesty. As a SLOcal, I've lived here since birth and now I can't stand to live here anymore. I've recently been affected by gentrification and mental health issues, in big ways: having a girlfriend commit suicide, a best friend and his girlfriend move because they can't afford it anymore. Tupac said it best: I see no changes. Friends I've known are dying in county jail almost every day. The pressure is inexplicable, the disrespectful attitude to anyone average or involved in the struggle is appallingly blatant, and every day no hope comes.

How long do privilege and blessings last? What's the point of the happiest town in the world if it's exclusive?

My mom was on the board at the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo. After a minor mental breakdown, she's living in senior housing near the Amtrak station, and it's absolutely shit and run-down squalor. Friends on Section 8 tell me it's not worth it, because no low-income housing exists, no jobs pay enough, and a tiny house is a pipe dream from some far-off distant hipster fantasy.

This is my hometown, my birthright. I'm not leaving. I work here because I want to. The cogs of agenda are always turning, however, and instinctively, I know it's best to "get out of Dodge."

Keep doing what you're doing.

Joseph Steinmann


Readers Poll

How do you feel about the availability of mental health services in SLO County? 

  • There is not enough access, and there needs to be more.
  • There is access but only for those with a lot of money.
  • Most people should be able to afford it if they knew how to find it.
  • People need to learn to get over their issues themselves.

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