Some Californians are packing up boxes, loading them into their vans, and moving away from their state. Data suggests that 167,000 Americans are leaving California, which puts California at the top of the list of states with this mass migration.
Several native Californians told The Epoch Times that what has driven them to move to other states is mainly the political climate and declining quality of life and education.
Peter Kam, president of Coldwell Banker George Realty, said some Californians choose to sell their properties partially because they are moving to another state with cheaper house prices and lower state income taxes.
Francine Verbarg was born and raised in Northern California. Before retiring, she worked for the Irvine City Council in Orange County, California, with former state legislators on border issues. She will be moving to Idaho with her family. “We’re leaving next week. We will still own property here, but it breaks my heart to leave.”
Verbarg is a long-time Democrat. She shared with The Epoch Times that she would no longer live in California although California is the blue state. She added, “It’s the political climate, number one, and the tax situation, number two. It’s really the malfeasance of the government at every level in my opinion.”
“I’m old enough to remember when California, believe it or not, used to care a lot about education. I was fortunate enough to go to school here then.” Now things are different, Verbarg said, people “can look at our schools and understand the unions, how they’ve infiltrated them, they run Sacramento.”
Based on tax returns and exemptions in 2018–2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) produced data on American migration between states in 2017–2018. It shows that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers and dependents migrated from blue states to red states, bringing a total taxable income of nearly $27 billion into their new state.
Planning the Escape Route
Mrs. Lopez lives in La Puente, California, and currently works in the county government. As her state is currently facing political disturbance, she shared this, “What’s coming up in California policies and what’s happening up in Sacramento is scary. They don’t have any good plans for us.”
Since 2017, Lopez and her husband have been planning an escape route for a future “emergency liberation” from California.
“America’s traditions, freedoms, and our constitutional rights are being stolen, particularly in blue states like California and New York.” Lopez went on to say, “We already know how corrupt California’s elections are … This will be a proletariat blue state. I don’t feel safe, and I don’t trust our government.”
“Look how we’re doing it here in California: We don’t ask for Voter ID, all the laws here that the Democrats want to pass, the evil things that they’re doing, all the criminals being let loose. Every scheme that they are plotting will come to pass in this state.”
Looking Forward to the Red States and Their Traditional Values
Lopez admits that her generation, born in the 70s, still remembers the traditional way of life of the past. She is drawn to Republican states that still hold onto traditional values like earning an honest living, respecting life, protecting citizens’ constitutional rights, and lower taxes.
So she bought property in a red state in 2019 and said, “If things fall apart in California, at least we have a safe and secure home.”
As a Christian, Lopez has lost faith in California’s education system. She disagrees with both the “Critical Race Theory” and the radical sex education the state is promoting.
In addition, Lopez said “If California starts mandating vaccine passports, taking away more gun rights, and starting more crazy taxes,” she will move away immediately. “I’d rather go down fighting in a red state than one that’s going to hell in a hand basket.”
Is California Turning Into a ‘Nanny State?’
Mr. and Mrs. Lopez also created a chart that records different legislations (laws) passed in each red state. They will use this information to choose which state to move to if they leave California. Many of her friends, who also work in the state government, do the same.
Helen (a pseudonym) is a political lobbyist formerly living in Sacramento. She has moved with her family to Tennessee, where there is no state income tax. During the pandemic, she felt that her living standards had dramatically improved, compared to living in California.
Helen believes that California is turning into a “nanny state” where “it’s not just with the regulation of business, but how you think, how you teach your children, how you work during the pandemic. I think a lot of that stuff is problematic. I don’t think the government should be involved in any of that, I think it should be someone’s personal choice.”
Helen also shared that most of her closest friends have left California for Idaho, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, and other red states. She feels that people choose to move to red states for a better lifestyle, but also because they prefer the policies and political climate.
Vivian La Farge and Anna Shea contributed to this report.