I grew up in Northern California...Redding, and it was a good place to live back then. Spent some time in the Bay Area while working for HP and it wasn't bad ...yet. Left in '77 and didn't go back until the '90's on business. The Bay area/Silicon Valley had changed drastically. Too many people, crazy commutes, crazy taxes and rules.
I have friends that still live in California and they to a person are leaving ASAP. Some are waiting for their retirement, others just waiting until their homes sell, but all of them say it's gotten bad with illegals, homeless people, taxes on everything, and that the politicians there don't listen too or really care about what the people want and/or expect them to do. Folks are fed up with the so-called leadership in Sacramento which is why the whole Newsom recall got started. Newsom and company are trying to convince people it's those evil Republicans who are behind it....when it's just ordinary people who are fed up. I suspect even if he is recalled not much will really change since it's the career politicians in Sacramento who really control everything.
I had considered retiring back to my hometown but real estate costs, regulations, homelessness all combined to make that a none starter. I would have had some good fishing and a relative short drive ( 2hours) to fish the Delta if I wanted to.
I am with you , Cali was great , but today it's not even close . There is a great podcast regarding the driving forces behind the Newsom recall . Its soccer moms , families and DEMs that are behind this --NOT republicans . They just confirmed 1.6M votes --- so it goes to the ballot . Here's the crazy thing , the DEMS tried to pass a Senate bill to expose every single person that voted to recall Newsom . They tried to say it for the purpose of sending them letters to convince them NOT to vote to recall ----RIGHT . Sounds like " big brother " [censored] . Same thing the Biden administration is doing ---look at how they are now going after anyone that supported Trump --- Gaetz , Desantis , Nunez and now Guiliani .