This Letter Could Be My Letter

My husband sent me this letter yesterday. As I read it, I told him: “We could have written this.” We are both second-generation natives of our beautiful California, and now, with tax rates through the roof and heading higher, government bureaucracy that boggles the mind, road and utility infrastructure that is failing, poor schools, and the threat of constant fire, we are seriously considering a move.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that when people keep giving and giving and paying and paying and start to feel that there’s little in return, they’ll get fed up and bail. More taxes start to feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back, and as California continues to bite the hand that feeds it, the state will have its reckoning. I said to my husband that I’m feeling like I’m living in Ayn Rand’s infamous Atlas Shrugged, and a bunch of us Californians are about to shrug.

San Francisco is a shell of itself: Tech firms all over the region are saying they’ll let their team members work from any location. Employers can go anywhere, and there is little reason to stay because getting great workers is no longer a matter of physical access but digital access. You can distance learn at UC Berkeley and Stanford and all our beautiful universities. So really, there’s no more reason to stay.

Governor Newsom, please listen. Just about every friend and professional I speak to in the same boat is getting ready to leave. Beautiful climate isn’t enough to keep us here. You need to do more. Please do more, or this time next year, we’ll be one of the households who’s left and there will be droves of others following suit. Who’s next?

Subject: Open Letter to Gov. Newsom: ‘Don’t Make it Easy to Leave the State We Love’

Anthea Stratigos is a Silicon Valley CEO, wife, mother, public speaker, and writer, among many other passions and pursuits. She is Co-founder & CEO of Outsell.