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Departing Californians Asked To Withhold Criticism of Their Home State

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The letters editor of the Los Angeles Times, Paul Thornton, urged departing Californians to refrain from criticizing the state as they leave.

He highlighted the significant number of people leaving California and expressed dismay at the negative sentiments expressed by some departing residents.

Thornton also defended California’s progressive values, pointing out the state’s historical appeal and its ongoing commitment to implementing progressive ideals.

“To the people leaving California: May the road rise to meet you as you seek better lives in new places. Now, can you please extend some goodwill to those of us who remain?” Thornton wrote.

“More than 800,000 Californians moved away in 2022, and many thousands more left last year. Often, the departees, cash in hand from the sale of their $1-million bungalows, feel the need to express disdain for their home state, and even some anger too,” he wrote.

Thornton then wrote of someone who mentioned being criticized for bringing “those weird California ways” when he moved to a small town.

“And which ways would those be?” Thornton asked. “Perhaps it’s our embrace of LGBTQ+ Californians. Or it’s our liberal politics, with the state Republican Party shrunk to irrelevance after its vicious attempt in 1994 to marginalize immigrants with Proposition 187.”

“Perhaps I’m sensitive because California — and especially Los Angeles — used to be the place people would come,” Thornton wrote. “And plenty still move here, especially immigrants. I come from an immigrant family blessed by the working-class riches our state once offered.”

“California is big, powerful and therefore tempting to disparage. We have 39 million people, Hollywood and Shohei Ohtani. This state is a haven for reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, but income disparity and the housing crunch are critical problems we have to fix for progressive ideals to match the reality on the ground,” he said.

He implored those leaving to avoid disparaging the home of 39 million people, emphasizing the need for constructive dialogue.

“If you must leave California for Texas, Arizona, New England or anywhere else, don’t be a person who trash-talks the home of 39 million people,” he wrote.

California experienced a net loss of 75,423 people in 2023 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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