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Vomiting anarchists, burrowing owls, and the San Francisco housing crisis with Kim-Mai Cutler


Season 2, Episode 3

If dense cities are so good for communities and the climate, why is it so hard to find an affordable home in the San Francisco Bay Area? Kim-Mai Cutler, a partner at Initialized Capital, contributor to TechCrunch, and one of the leading voices in urban policy, sits down with Alex to take a deep, historical dive into how we got into this mess in the first place. She touches on everything from tech jobs to population growth, wildfires to tax codes, systemic racial inequalities to the inheritance of home ownership. Is it possible for housing to be both affordable and a generator of wealth? Why is housing one of the few instances in which we celebrate rising prices? And what do vomiting anarchists and burrowing owls have to do with all this, anyway?

Kim-Mai herself grew up in South Bay Area, in a house built the same year that Steve Jobs graduated high school. A lot has changed since then – Apple moved from a garage to a $5-billion headquarters, for example – but the neighborhood remains static. Out of curiosity and bafflement, Kim-Mai asked a simple question – “Why couldn’t we just add more housing?” – and found a Pandora’s box in response. Tune in to hear what she found in the box.

Here's a full transcript of the interview.


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