CAVE People (an acronym for Citizens Against Virtually Everything) is a pejorative term for citizens who regularly oppose any changes in their community, organization or workplace. The phenomenon is linked to the so-called NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) phenomenon in which residents oppose a development ostensibly on the grounds of it being inappropriate for the local area. While the NIMBY phenomenon is typically related to development issues, CAVE people, as the name implies, oppose virtually everything. This attitude is manifested in opposition to changes in public policy as varied as tax levies, sewer rates, public transportation routes, parking regulations and municipal mergers or annexations. CAVE People often express their views publicly by attending community meetings, writing letters to the local newspaper, or calling in to talk radio shows.
A reference to the term "CAVE dwellers" can be found in the September 30, 1990 edition of the Orlando Sentinel. The term was used by the author of the opinion piece, "Is latest criticism worthwhile talk or just worthless?", which references another, unnamed, Florida newspaper, indicating that the term existed even before the publication of this article.
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- Bo Poertner (September 30, 1990). "Is latest criticism worthwhile talk or just worthless?". Orlando Sentinel.
County Council Chairwoman Alice Cycler handed me a copy of an editorial from a North Florida newspaper last week. It talked about CAVE dwellers, CAVE meaning Citizens Against Virtually Everything. Volusia County has its fair share of CAVE dwellers, Mrs. Cycler said. I couldn't disagree.