Jonas Peterson – two kids’ father
Jonas Peterson enjoyed the California lifestyle and trips to the beach while living in Valencia with his wife, a nurse, and their two young kids. But in 2013, he answered a call to head the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, and the family moved to Henderson, Nev.
“We doubled the size of our house and lowered our mortgage payment,” said Peterson, whose wife is focusing on the kids now instead of her career.
Part of Peterson’s job is to lure companies to Nevada, a state that runs on gaming money rather than tax dollars.
“There’s no corporate income tax, no personal income tax…and the regulatory environment is much easier to work with,” said Peterson.
Breanna Rawding – marketing communication
Some companies have made the move from California, and others have set up satellites in Nevada. California, a world economic power, will survive the raids, and it will continue to draw people from other states and around the world. Its assets include cutting-edge tech and entertainment industries, major ports, great weather and dozens of first-rate universities.
But the Golden State is tarnished and ever-more divided by a crisis with no end in sight, and this year’s legislative efforts to spawn more housing for working people lacked urgency and scale. Slowly, steadily, and somewhat indifferently, we are burdening, breaking and even exporting our middle class.
Breanna Rawding, 26, felt the squeeze. She grew up in Simi Valley and until recently worked in Anaheim as a marketing coordinator, but lived in Burbank because family friends let her stay in a tiny backyard cottage for just $400 a month.
Her commute, by car and train, took between 90 minutes and two hours each way. She wanted to move to the Platinum Triangle area, near her job, but scratched the idea when she saw that studio apartments were going for as much as $1,700.
Rawding endured the commute, as well as a long-distance relationship with a boyfriend who was raised in Torrance and went to UCLA, but lived in Las Vegas. There, he could afford a nice apartment on his teacher’s salary, and he recently signed papers to buy a house in a new development.
“I didn’t want to leave California. I love the weather, I love the outdoors, I love my family and friends,” said Rawding, a Chapman University grad.
But in California she saw a future in which she’d be trapped, indefinitely, by high rents, ridiculous commutes, or some combination of the two.
“I saw articles about millennials leaving California because they were never going to be able to have houses they could afford,” she said.