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Moving California. Insight on pay scale etc?

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by Nurse4lifeNC Nurse4lifeNC (New Member) New Member

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Be prepared for higher taxes. I moved to California four years ago and just now figured out how to take enough deductions from my paycheck.  

If you plan to buy or rent, be prepared for high prices and competitive renter for the best places.  I have been a nurse for 20 years and thankfully I am in a position that the rent and taxes don’t cripple me. 

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It is odd, I hear quite a few people wanting to move from Cali to NC. 

There is mass exodus of people from Cali moving to Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Texas for a reason. 

Here in Washington state (aka northern California) we have a ton of people moving to the above mentioned states for the same reason reason as those leaving from California. 

I would heed all the gentle warnings others have given you. 

It's not fun needing to wait 30min in traffic to go to the grocery store 7min away from you. And taxes are the death of many.  

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aabbccdd has 1 years experience.

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If you get a decent offer, go for it. Los Angeles is an exciting place to live. Don't believe all the nay Sayers here and see for yourself. This forum, like pretty much any forum or social platform is a magnet for the angry, sad and worried, who look for a place to validate their anger, sadness and worries...an echo-chamber...like so many places, creating a skewed view.

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I am originally from California and moved to the east coast in 1996 after high school. I grew up in northern CA near Roseville/Sacramento. I became an RN in 2011 and moved back to CA in 2016. I secured a job in Stockton prior to moving back here. Life in CA is VERY different now than it was as a high school student. I can attest that the areas from Stockton to Modesto are FULL of homeless people, everywhere!! There is also a huge Meth problem and crime here as well. Illegal drug use, homelessness, and mental illness... it’s very sad and not what CA once was. There are no real resources for people right now or a solution to the problem here. The areas of Roseville, Rancho Cordova, Lincoln, and Rocklin are nice...not as large of a homeless population. Kaiser would be good to get into or Sutter Gould. There is also Dignity Health or Mercy. I used to work in hospice and made $43-$47/hr in Stockton/Modesto area. My 1 bd apt was $1300/month plus all utilities. You could find a decent place and affordable in Roseville or Sacramento and make more working for a unionized hospital system. The traffic is absolutely horrible...everywhere here in CA, so you really would need to find your housing as close to your job as possible because even if your place of employment was 10 miles from your house/apt, it could take you 30-60 minutes to get there because of traffic.

As far as the fires, they are pretty much north west of San Francisco and north of Roseville/Sacramento. The air quality is horrible in this area all year round, but especially during fires. During the camp fires in Paradise last year, the smoke was visible in the air along with a burnt smell and red sky for weeks...horrible devastation!  There are beautiful areas here in CA, but cost of living is very high. Make sure you find a job that pays you AT LEAST $45/hr with your hospital experience and what you will be paying for housing. 

If I didn’t have family here, I probably would have moved somewhere else by now. If you have the option, I would agree with some posters and tell you to take a travel assignment here in CA before moving here permanently. You could earn a great salary and get free housing while taking a different assignment every 13 weeks and moving around CA until you find “home”. 

 

Good luck to you!! 

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HomeBound has 20 years experience and specializes in ED, ICU, Prehospital.

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12 hours ago, aabbccdd said:

If you get a decent offer, go for it. Los Angeles is an exciting place to live. Don't believe all the nay Sayers here and see for yourself. This forum, like pretty much any forum or social platform is a magnet for the angry, sad and worried, who look for a place to validate their anger, sadness and worries...an echo-chamber...like so many places, creating a skewed view.

And you are here....why?

Please feel free to rebut with evidence ANY of the facts presented. Factual evidence...not opinions that come from one experience when you were 12 and had such a great time at the beach.

It's amazing to me that this is a forum full of highly educated nurses and the only factual evidence being presented, which is what OP is asking for....is negative.

All of the positives are experiential based on....living there for 40 years or "generational" therefore the experience of OP will simply not even be relevant. Some of the posters DO understand this, right?

Do some of you posters take into consideration this person may be single...no added income? How about single with kids?

Here is what I am hearing, with the typical following but......I live the weather nonsense...

1.  the taxes are lethal

2. The air quality sucks everywhere

3. The homeless problem is out of control

4. The math problem is out of control

5. The rent is out of control

6. The traffic is beyond out of control

7. The fires, earthquakes, mudslides and other environmental disasters make it impossible to get insurance, renter or owner

8. You will never own

9. Crime is so bad that unless you get murdered or raped the police really couldn't care less

My question to OP...

Is this BETTER than where you are coming from?

An example of your paycheck in California. Anywhere but the bay area or sacramento....you will make ~45/hr.

Progressive tax. 10-13.5% state income tax. 28-31% federal tax. Add on FICA and Medicare. Add in various municipality or city tax like sfb has.

So now you're down what....45-50% even before you get paid.

That $45-54/hr turns into $25-30 hr.. he. Yes, that's take home. Ok.

NC paycheck. I made $32/hr without shift diff. Weekend diff was $10 days and $15 nights. If I worked weekdays eves or nights I made $6/hr.

Since you WILL most likely be working nights....we go with that.

NC state income tax is 5%. No locality taxes. Federal is 25-28% because your "before tax income" isnt above a certain level.  add in fica and Medicare.

I can add. Please do some basic math and you will see that working and living in nc....with your eye on HAVING SOMETHING at the end of the month or EVER....is realistic in NC.

Hoppy said...where else in the country can you play a round of golf, go to the beach and then hike mountains every day?

What she didn't mention is that to go from the beach to the mountains is an all day drive. When you arrive at either of those destinations in california....be prepared to pay $300-600/night for a place to stay...because everybody else has the same idea.

NC, sc, and va have some of the most beautiful FREE coastline in the country. Golfing in sc and NC is amazing. And CHEAP to do. The mountains aren't a full day to get to...and when you do get to these destinations...I rent a beach HOUSE for $800 A WEEK at the Outer Banks. Fishing is the best of of hatters  and ocracoke.

We have the Smithsonian. NYC museum of natural history and the met for art. The train system gets you everywhere up and down the east coast for pennies and no traffic.

We don't have mudslides. Or wildfires that keep us indoors for 3-4 MONTHS  out of the year. At least in the winter...I can go outside safely and BREATHE.

no one will address CALPERS. Because a huge portion of your California paycheck is REQUIRED to go I to that black hole....and you will NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.

Why doesn't anybody address the fact of the water issue? Ok...it's "wet" for you in California this year. Please quantify that.

Know what "wet" means to a person living in Sacramento? It rains lightly for a week....and then doesn't rain again until next year. I know. I lived there.

What some of these posters aren't telling you is that they live in the sierras.

Jobs? Pleas tell OP how many high paying hospital jobs are available in those extreme inland areas?

Please tell OP how much your property taxes are and if you inherited. And if you have more then one income.

Post your paycheck so everyone can see the tax burden as a fact.

Echo chamber? Negative?  please rebut with FACTS before opening your mouth.

Just because you like not having to put a &$^$%@%#&#& jacket on ...your going to give the government and your landlord your payckeck?

When you want to give advice on a subject that can literally cripple someone financially or personally, have facts not opinion.

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298 Posts; 5,615 Profile Views

For what it’s worth, I make $50 (southern ca) an hour day shift. Night dif is $7 and weekend dif is $4. I am a fairly new nurse.

I used to work in the Midwest and people here are forgetting about he nurse to patient ratio. I will never work med-surge anywhere else but Ca because I know working in tele I will never have more than 4 patients. I saw nurses in the Midwest get 6-7 patients and having primaries. 

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On 5/16/2019 at 12:17 AM, HomeBound said:

Before you do anything, have a job before you go. It's the most saturated market in the US besides the PNW and Boston/NYC areas.

The reason is that the shops are unionized and the pay is high.

California is very expensive. The high paying jobs are the mid valley--Sacramento, Roseville, SFB, Napa.  They are all on the same union contract and it's very good. The RNs make ~55-75/hr. depending on where you snag a job.

Remember union dues. Each facility in that area takes $120/mo for them.

Southern CA is not high paying, but some are unionized. COL is atrocious, and I mean beyond belief in SoCal. You can get something decent in Inland Empire like Bakersfield---as long as you want to live in the desert with oil derricks and fracking going on all around you. It's the most toxic atmosphere I've seen since going through the Gulf states.

SoCal has the worst traffic, air quality and quality of life in general that I've seen. Everywhere you want to go---it takes an hour. And that's local. If you want to go to SF---people fly. It's cheaper, less time consuming and easier all around. The cost of housing in SoCal ---$2800-$3500 for a 2br that you could get for $1100 in Raleigh. The pay is NOT commensurate with the cost of living.

Mid valley--Sac and SFB is as bad on housing. SFB you have to have a roommate or 5 to live in a decent place. It's easy to drop $4000/mo on a 1 br in a decent neighborhood. SF has a tax for working in the city--and they rely on outsiders not knowing about that---and you get stuck financially because you think you're making a bundle---but you're taxed out the ying yang.

No parking in any of the bigger cities on the coastline. Don't bring a car.

Inland--Sac/Redding/Roseville---are all pretty much on fire every year. It's getting worse and worse. Last year people were walking around with masks on because the air quality was so poor from the fires.

NorCal has a different contract than Sac/SFB and SoCal. The pay is crap. The housing is just as expensive as Sacramento.

Sac/Redding housing--$1700-2000 for a 2br in a "safe" neighborhood. It's so hit and miss in that area...you just don't know what you're getting.

Don't even think about Modesto, Fresno, Stockton. Go watch the documentary on Fresno by a guy named Thoreaux. It's the most accurate depiction of what is really going on in that area with the meth problem.

Homeless and meth. Pretty much a staple in the entire state. It's a real problem and they're everywhere.

NorCal---like I said---read up on the fires. You'll understand why there is a mass exodus OUT of California.

The pay in SoCal is pretty much like NC. $28-35/hr. Same with NorCal. Sac and SFB are the players. If you can get in. The nurses there have it pretty much locked down---they all have 3 jobs so that there is no excess to be had.

It's hot. I mean---HOT. Unless you are on the coast, inland it gets to the 105-107 degree mark for a month or two at a time. Going outside is a prospect similar like jumping into a volcano. You have to spend all of the money you make at your high paying job to get OUT of the area and towards something resembling normal.  Most of my friends spent their money and their time driving to Tahoe or to Oregon. It was the only relief that they had from the hot, dry, stifling, horrible air quality and crime.

It does NOT rain. You'd think that's impossible, but it's not. Everything is dead or you are paying out the arse for your water bill.

A friend's water bill at her humble 2br rancher with her and her husband was $400/mo. And she had no grass.

The state income tax is the highest in the country I think--asides from NYC. Your "high pay" is knocked down by 45% after all of the state, local and federal taxes you pay. The gas tax is the highest--you pay double what you pay in NC.

Fees for nursing licensure just tripled.

Everything is monetized. Everything. And it's always twice or three times what you'd pay elsewhere.

Property taxes are the high---very similar to NY and NJ. Gun laws are so prohibitive--don't even bother bringing a personal weapon. They'll confiscate it.

NC---the pay is low, but you are leaving because of that---what I'd advise you to do is leave for a year---go traveling to CA just to get that "high pay" delusion out of your system---and then go back to NC.

Leaving and going back gets you a $5-8/hr bump in any of the hospitals in NC. Especially if you started at one of those hospitals as a new grad---and you're struggling to break the national median salary of $32/hr.

Just my advice. Because I did exactly what you are thinking of doing.

If you do it---have a place to go back to--don't burn your bridges. You just might need it.

Good luck to you.

All of this. Also gas prices are ridiculous and don’t forget there is literally a “poop patrol” in San Francisco paid to spend the day picking up human feces off the city streets. 

If it didn’t mean giving up my husband’s pension we’d be gone yesterday. And that’s coming from someone who was born and raised here and my whole family is here. Even still, we entertain the idea of leaving constantly.

One of the state’s biggest (if not the biggest) power companies declared bankruptcy and is going to have to pay $$$ for causing the most deadly wildfire in history last year which will certainly drive costs up. They also plan to just shut off people’s power for days at a time to prevent wildfire on high risk days. Which is every day essentially from June-November. 115 degrees in August is a totally normal and expected temperature where I live. Imagine no power, no air conditioning becoming normal for days at a time. (That fire by the way, caused the air quality over 100 miles away to be the worst in the world for the better part of November) 

It’s cooler in SF, but the COL, needles, and poop on the streets. SoCal isn’t as hot but the traffic, pollution, droughts, and fires are just as bad.

It’s true the the climate is perfect in the most expensive places. But it’s so crowded, and so so expensive. Have you seen what million dollar homes look like in Silicon Valley?

It’s my home and there is a beauty that is not comparable to anywhere else. But it’s NOT like it is in the movies.

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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5 hours ago, HomeBound said:

And you are here....why?

Please feel free to rebut with evidence ANY of the facts presented. Factual evidence...not opinions that come from one experience when you were 12 and had such a great time at the beach.

It's amazing to me that this is a forum full of highly educated nurses and the only factual evidence being presented, which is what OP is asking for....is negative.

All of the positives are experiential based on....living there for 40 years or "generational" therefore the experience of OP will simply not even be relevant. Some of the posters DO understand this, right?

Do some of you posters take into consideration this person may be single...no added income? How about single with kids?

Here is what I am hearing, with the typical following but......I live the weather nonsense...

1.  the taxes are lethal

2. The air quality sucks everywhere

3. The homeless problem is out of control

4. The math problem is out of control

5. The rent is out of control

6. The traffic is beyond out of control

7. The fires, earthquakes, mudslides and other environmental disasters make it impossible to get insurance, renter or owner

8. You will never own

9. Crime is so bad that unless you get murdered or raped the police really couldn't care less

My question to OP...

Is this BETTER than where you are coming from?

An example of your paycheck in California. Anywhere but the bay area or sacramento....you will make ~45/hr.

Progressive tax. 10-13.5% state income tax. 28-31% federal tax. Add on FICA and Medicare. Add in various municipality or city tax like sfb has.

So now you're down what....45-50% even before you get paid.

That $45-54/hr turns into $25-30 hr.. he. Yes, that's take home. Ok.

NC paycheck. I made $32/hr without shift diff. Weekend diff was $10 days and $15 nights. If I worked weekdays eves or nights I made $6/hr.

Since you WILL most likely be working nights....we go with that.

NC state income tax is 5%. No locality taxes. Federal is 25-28% because your "before tax income" isnt above a certain level.  add in fica and Medicare.

I can add. Please do some basic math and you will see that working and living in nc....with your eye on HAVING SOMETHING at the end of the month or EVER....is realistic in NC.

Hoppy said...where else in the country can you play a round of golf, go to the beach and then hike mountains every day?

What she didn't mention is that to go from the beach to the mountains is an all day drive. When you arrive at either of those destinations in california....be prepared to pay $300-600/night for a place to stay...because everybody else has the same idea.

NC, sc, and va have some of the most beautiful FREE coastline in the country. Golfing in sc and NC is amazing. And CHEAP to do. The mountains aren't a full day to get to...and when you do get to these destinations...I rent a beach HOUSE for $800 A WEEK at the Outer Banks. Fishing is the best of of hatters  and ocracoke.

We have the Smithsonian. NYC museum of natural history and the met for art. The train system gets you everywhere up and down the east coast for pennies and no traffic.

We don't have mudslides. Or wildfires that keep us indoors for 3-4 MONTHS  out of the year. At least in the winter...I can go outside safely and BREATHE.

no one will address CALPERS. Because a huge portion of your California paycheck is REQUIRED to go I to that black hole....and you will NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.

Why doesn't anybody address the fact of the water issue? Ok...it's "wet" for you in California this year. Please quantify that.

Know what "wet" means to a person living in Sacramento? It rains lightly for a week....and then doesn't rain again until next year. I know. I lived there.

What some of these posters aren't telling you is that they live in the sierras.

Jobs? Pleas tell OP how many high paying hospital jobs are available in those extreme inland areas?

Please tell OP how much your property taxes are and if you inherited. And if you have more then one income.

Post your paycheck so everyone can see the tax burden as a fact.

Echo chamber? Negative?  please rebut with FACTS before opening your mouth.

Just because you like not having to put a &$^$%@%#&#& jacket on ...your going to give the government and your landlord your payckeck?

When you want to give advice on a subject that can literally cripple someone financially or personally, have facts not opinion.

We get it you hate California! It's a big state third largest in the nation So all parts are not alike. There are some very nice affordable places to live. Big earthquakes are rare. Wild fires,  are rare, Air quality and water issues are not the same everywhere. All Californians don't pay into Calpers (only certain state employees) . Taxes are horrendous. Where I live I can be at the beach and in the mountains in  approximately an hour but I know my way around without freeways. I can walk or ride my bike to work. We are a two income family and that is a must for us but it's ok we still save a substantial portion of our pay and can live for two years without working if something happens to either one of us. I'll take the chance of an earthquake and I live on a Faultline over a hurricane any day. I do like #4 on you list because while I agree common core math is a problem. It's not out of control I've seen much worse in other states. Having lived in three different states and two other countries I would caution anyone  to do research and know what you are getting into. I have contemplated a move to Wyoming have even been head hunted there as I am very highly valued in my specialty but there are only two free standing psych hospital's in the entire state and when the snow falls you can be stuck in your home or at work for days until the roads are passable. 

Some people come here and love it and never want to leave. Other's hate it and can't wait to get out. I actually wish people would quit coming here as it's the imports that are the problem. 

You seem to have severe resentment for anyone who is happy in California - If your happy where you are I am happy for you why can't you just agree to disagree. 

I'm done because some people just want to be miserable so I'll have to let that be. 

Hppy

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Having lived in California for essentially my whole life, I would advise visiting and diving in deep into the culture here, just to embrace the lifestyle and consider it for yourself. I would not choose to live here had I been given the choice. I hail from San Diego, and have experienced much of what the city has to offer-- a bustling downtown area of the Gaslamp Quarter, shopping in Little Italy and gorgeous day trips to Coronado Island. All of these experiences have left me wondering "did I overdo it today?" but every time. The weather is something to write home about, it is more often than not beautiful and sunny, with some doom and gloom days sprinkled in for short bursts for us equally doom and gloom sort of people. To agree with many of the previous members, the weather really is divine. 

Less divine is the cost of living, and more importantly the cost of your sanity to make ends meet. I can completely understand how shacking up with a significant other to contribute together to the taxes, inflation and general living costs, might make circumstances a million times better-- but in actuality that often isn't enough. Since beginning my life as a single working adult, it was near impossible to account for rent, loan repayment and basic necessities before acquiring 3 other (lovely but terribly outlandish) roommates, without feeling that panic of meeting due dates. For a short term visit, like a travel contract or even working those per diem shifts, life is pretty sweet. You're outside the restrictions of everyone else in a sense, and I would encourage you to take the upmost advantage of such an opportunity.

I wince every time I see the price of gas encroach on that $4 mark, and wish that the commute to my hospital is one that was bike worthy... In those times I compare the price of gas and even groceries to those I saw living in Austin for undergrad, and dream of what could have been, lol! (Texans, you've got it made)

Culture wise, it feels more times than not that I am susceptible to the "patient is always right" mentality. I could write a separate rant about that, since at the three hospitals I have worked at have cultivated a culture of patient fits that result in their demands being satiated, even when protocol dictates otherwise. This happens on a near weekly basis working at my currently employment, and not to name names, but it could be considered that one system that is notoriously difficult to get into. Unfortunately, it is an attitude that permeates into different aspects of living here. 

I hate to sound so jaded about growing up in a vacation destination, but at the end of the day that is precisely what it is. Make California part of your journey, but not your final destination. 

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HomeBound has 20 years experience and specializes in ED, ICU, Prehospital.

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4 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

We get it you hate California! It's a big state third largest in the nation So all parts are not alike. There are some very nice affordable places to live. Big earthquakes are rare. Wild fires,  are rare, Air quality and water issues are not the same everywhere. All Californians don't pay into Calpers (only certain state employees) . Taxes are horrendous. Where I live I can be at the beach and in the mountains in  approximately an hour but I know my way around without freeways. I can walk or ride my bike to work. We are a two income family and that is a must for us but it's ok we still save a substantial portion of our pay and can live for two years without working if something happens to either one of us. I'll take the chance of an earthquake and I live on a Faultline over a hurricane any day. I do like #4 on you list because while I agree common core math is a problem. It's not out of control I've seen much worse in other states. Having lived in three different states and two other countries I would caution anyone  to do research and know what you are getting into. I have contemplated a move to Wyoming have even been head hunted there as I am very highly valued in my specialty but there are only two free standing psych hospital's in the entire state and when the snow falls you can be stuck in your home or at work for days until the roads are passable. 

Some people come here and love it and never want to leave. Other's hate it and can't wait to get out. I actually wish people would quit coming here as it's the imports that are the problem. 

You seem to have severe resentment for anyone who is happy in California - If your happy where you are I am happy for you why can't you just agree to disagree. 

I'm done because some people just want to be miserable so I'll have to let that be. 

Hppy

What do facts have to do with hatred?  

The only hatred I see is a few backhanded comments about "libruls" and "imports" (read: immigrants?)

I stated facts. You are being emotional.

Three whole states?

I lived in PA, OH, NY, MA, RI, VA, NC, HI, CA, OR and FL.  I traveled through 38 states, staying for periods of 3 months to 1 year.

I think I might have a leg to stand on with research and factual information. I have never stated my OPINION, therefore, hatred doesn't come into it.

I gave factual information.  If the facts are so onerous, making California look like a notsonice place to live---then the facts are to blame, not me.

I have absolutely no "resentment" towards people who are "happy in California". In fact...please stay within the boundaries---please stop the exodus to OTHER STATES.

If it's so darned perfect---first, why are more people leaving than staying---and two---why would you consider leaving if it's just paradise? You said yourself you are considering it. So why leave if it's just heaven and everything is unicorns and skittles?

Oh. I forgot. The libruls and "imports". 

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Just my experience but I did two state income tax returns for 2018- about half of the time in each state and paid far more rate-wise and $ wise in the OTHER state!!! That surprised me. I wasn't expecting it. Uniquely I get alimony and child support and Cali does not tax alimony at all.

I looked at my recent paycheck and only about $7 was deducted for state income tax. About $200 for social security. Mitigating factor is that I put the max legal allowable into 401K which is over 25% at my age so my annual income is in the 60K range without the alimony counted.

My rent is 2100 for a 2 bedroom. At $20 more per hour, the difference is covered.

Where I live, I have been pleasantly surprised by LACK of traffic during my commute, and I was not affected by the fires. As for rain, I was shocked by how much of it there was this winter (wasn't expecting it and other transplants and I were complaining about the sunshine tax for THIS?!?) and it is still too cold for me in June. It is 6am and 61 outside right now. I thought SD was warm and sunny all year round. LOL.

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience.

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I disagree with the comments about asking people to no longer move here. Certain parts of California are safety nets for people who can face discrimination in other places, such as LGBT people, people of color, and immigrants (there are many sanctuary cities in the Bay Area). Not saying we are a perfect and 100% accepting area; there are many extremely wealthy people here who do not seem to care about the rest of us and drive rents so high that nurses making close to $90/hr in SF still can't afford to live in the city.

But the politics here (in my opinion) allow people escaping extreme circumstances a chance to start a new life, although their lives in Cali are definitely not easy or the "American dream" come true. But I have met patients from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala who basically had to choose walking 1000s of miles to Cali or being killed by gangs who are more powerful than the governments of those countries. I have a liberal view on immigration but others who do not can choose to live in other parts of CA and other states that are not as welcoming to immigrants. Traffic and overcrowding are huge problems here but we can't dictate who can and cannot move here. I have heard many Bay Area natives saying they wish people from other states would "get out" or "stop coming here" which I feel goes against the supposed welcoming values of our area. All areas have issues so it just depends on if the pros outweigh the cons for each specific person. 

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