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Bear Essentials: A More Californian University of California

August 11, 2023

Celebrating more diversity in the newest UC cohort and hearing from Speaker Rivas on the impact building California’s future, faster. Let’s get into what happened this week:

  • 2024, the year of bond measures
  • The richer the city, the more NIMBY
  • Why LA County with 1.7 million fewer residents is a bad thing


The University of California system’s incoming class is a lot more, er, Californian. UC admitted a record 88,285 Californian first-year applicants for Fall 2023, marking a 3.5% rise from the previous year. It’s a big win for Golden State families who have long bridled at the swelling ranks of out-of-state students within California’s top-tier university system.

UC Santa Cruz posted the most dramatic uptick with a 44.5% increase in in-state admissions. Marquee campuses UCLA and UC Berkeley, were far more selective, admitting 9.5% and 15.1% of their in-state applicants, respectively.

UC's focus on diversity is evident. Latinos formed the largest group at 38%, followed by Asians (34%), white students (19%), and Black students (5%). The inclusion of American Indians saw growth, accounting for 1% of admits, especially after last year's initiative offering free tuition to students from federally recognized tribes.

While the U.S. Supreme Court banned race as an admission factor, 44% of UC's admitted first-years and 37% of transfer students belonged to underrepresented groups. Nearly half of these admitted Californians are either first-generation college-goers or come from low-income backgrounds.

In addition, UC campuses saw a rise in admissions offers to transfer students, even amid a decline in community college enrollments. UC San Diego showcased a notable 11% increase, admitting 11,200 California transfer applicants.

For a fascinating glimpse into the stats posted by all nine UC campuses, hit the button below.


🤫 Everything you should know

- The NCC’s top priorities include bringing down the cost of housing and ending homelessness – and now voters may decide if the state should commit billions more to the issues in 2024 ballot bond measures. Both measures are scheduled to be on the ballot in March, so get ready for more TV commercials, online ads and texts. Amb. Buffy Wicks’ proposal asks voters to decide if CA should borrow $10 billion for affordable housing. Another measure, backed by the Governor, would allocate $4.68 billion to “build housing and expand psychiatric and substance abuse treatment for homeless Californians.” These are history-making amounts of money dedicated to housing and homelessness and the devil is in the details. How will proponents gain the confidence of voters when California already spends more on homelessness than any other state? And how will spending on affordable housing bring down the costs of rents and help more Californians become homeowners? Big price tags should come with clear, bold plans. CalMatters

- Who wants to read another infuriating account of a wealthy California city keeping housing out? This time, it’s Woodside, California where the average annual income is over $400K and median home values clock in over $2 million. An op-ed features some of the antics officials of Woodside have put the state through just to get around building more housing, like claiming the entire city is a mountain lion preserve (it’s actually not), and now they’re trying to claim ADUs as affordable housing (also not). In fact, the city plans to meet its affordable housing minimum by saying all ADUs are affordable even though there is no local mandate as such. Basically “these units are small so they must be affordable.” The San Mateo County grand jury is taking a critical look at Woodside’s general plan and calling out their piss poor job of zoning and planning to build more housing. Unfortunately, many of the stats required in general plans for housing include future units planned, which is basically asking a city to write a check it can’t cash if that city is unwilling to change zoning and encourage building of affordable units. So, Woodside may get by with just a slap on the wrist, resulting in little new affordable housing over the next decade. Fresno Bee Op-Ed

- Experts are projecting 1.7 million fewer people in LA County by 2060. And it’s not because everyone up moved and moved to Texas – but it’s related to California’s Exodus. Researchers have found that birth rates are not replacing death rates in LA County, with a 20% decline in births in the county. Turns out it’s hard to budget for children in a city where housing costs take up 30% or more of the household income. LA Times

🏠 Speaker Rivas in the house!

We are excited to host Speaker Rivas for our exclusive NCC partners call next week. He spoke with BizFed about the incredible grassroots push to pass five bills speeding up building on clean energy and transportation projects.

Speaker Rivas

💫 Stay up Late to See a Spectacular Meteor Shower

Mark your calendar because in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 13 you’ll be able to see the Perseids Meteor Shower. The shower, which has been ongoing since July 14 will be most visible to us earthlings this weekend. “This shower is the result of the Earth moving through a trail of dust left behind in the wake of a comet named 96p/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.” Great timing with the epic Taylor Swift Eras tour coming to an end in LA this week.

🐻 Bad News Bears

Looks like the California Exodus is trending among even our wildlife. A black bear in South Lake Tahoe that’s responsible for causing trouble and breaking into homes, is being shipped out of state to stop its reign of destruction. Lovingly nicknamed “Hank the Tank,” this female bear was ID’d as the cause of break-ins thanks to DNA. We hope Hank enjoys Colorado.  

Bad News Bears

🥵“It’s hot - let’s move to SF!”

July was the hottest month on record since people started tracking the temperature. Arizona is banning home building in parts of the state because of a lack of water. How are humans going to adapt to a warming climate? Moving to temperate climates like coastal cities is one way – except there’s not enough housing. A great tweet and response to Louis Mirante from the Bay Area Council sums up the conflict and the impact some so-called environmentalists have had on stopping home building in cities like San Francisco.  

Move to SF