Recent Articles

San Francisco gives kindergartners free money for college. Could it work statewide?

By Felicia Mello

San Francisco automatically sets up college savings accounts for every kindergartner in its public schools. If Gov. Gavin Newsom gets his way, the model could soon roll out to other cities across California.

PG&E just escaped blame for one huge disaster—but it’s still the utility California loves to hate

By Judy Lin

Mention Pacific Gas & Electric to Victor Porter, and the response is nothing like the bland non-opinion most Americans have of the companies that provide their electricity.

LA teachers strike may be over, but in Sacramento, the debate has just begun

By Ricardo Cano

As Los Angeles teachers celebrate the end of their six-day strike against the state’s largest school district, the Legislature has been left to settle some of the most vexing aspects of their dispute.

Newsom’s move: Not yet health care for all, but health care for more

By Elizabeth Aguilera

It was way easier for candidate Gavin Newsom to endorse single-payer health care coverage for everyone than it is now for Gov. Newsom to deliver it. Yet hardcore advocates say they’re pleased with the moves he’s made thus far—even if it may take years to come to fruition.

Still more evidence of the GOP collapse in California: A legislator switches parties

By Laurel Rosenhall

GOP Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego is the latest prominent California Republican to switch parties, giving Democrats a majority of epic proportions in the Legislature.

What keeps families in one of the most polluted places in California?

By Elizabeth Aguilera

California’s Imperial County is emblematic of life for millions of people around the state who live under an umbrella of bad air quality or who have contaminated soil or lack access to clean water.  The majority of these environmental hot spots are concentrated in low-income communities of color.

Jerry Brown gets $120,000 in retirement

By Judy Lin

Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed to rein in public employee pension costs, has started drawing on his $120,000-a-year pension after decades of public service.

Can Newsom build housing’s “missing middle”?

By Matt Levin

Newsom’s housing budget tries to do a lot—including building way more housing for California’s middle class.

Emergency Pod: Newsom’s audacious housing budget

By Matt Levin

There was so much housing news in Newsom’s first budget proposal that Matt and Liam couldn’t wait a week to talk about it. We don’t get to everything Newsom wants to do, but we analyze some of the bigger developments.

CALQuiz: A Republican defects, Brown’s first retirement check, and a famous name rallies against PG&E

By Trevor Eischen

On this week’s edition of the CALQuiz: Jerry Brown cashes his first retirement check and a Republican in the Assembly says farewell to his party.

Commentary

 

My turn: The missing ingredient to solve California’s housing affordability crisis

By Scott Littlehale

While the industry’s choices may well have been informed by the cost of decades of new regulatory burdens, an agenda focused exclusively on regulatory reform will only serve to compound the residential construction sector’s current labor shortage. The first step to building more housing is attracting and sustaining a labor force that knows how.

California’s version of Les Misérables

By Dan Walters

California has its own version of Les Misérables in the quarter-century-long effort by California’s income tax system to collect millions in taxes from high-tech inventor Gilbert Hyatt. And it looks like Hyatt will finally prevail.

My turn: A California solution to immigration policy

By Pete Weber

Imagine if California’s undocumented workers were to stop working. Unharvested crops would rot in the fields. The hospitality industry would shut down. Residential construction would plummet. It would be an economic catastrophe.

Kamala Harris grabs for the brass ring

By Dan Walters

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is wasting no time grabbing for the brass ring of American politics, the presidency. She’s joined a large and growing field of Democrats.

My turn: We must shelter the people the ‘free market’ leaves behind

By Roberto Jimenez

It’s great that the free market works well for builders and buyers who want to make a lot of money or have a lot of it to spend. Supply and demand, however, only go so far. Housing is a basic human need that is crucial to giving children and families the ability to grow and thrive and the elderly a safe place to retire in peace.

My turn: The Legislature must make hard choices to avert PG&E bankruptcy

By Tom Dalzell

Gov. Gavin Newsom needs legislators to begin the uncomfortable work of making changes to our infrastructure, our policies, and yes, our liability laws, so that we can build a state meets the current challenges of climate change while reducing its impact in the future.

The high price we pay for low-rent housing

By Dan Walters

California has a severe housing crisis but it’s compounded by the high price of building or even rehabbing low-cost housing.

My turn: What I learned from the last time PG&E went bankrupt

By Fred Keeley

PG&E’s bankruptcy in 2001 and the one to come are at once similar and very different. But we did learn lessons the hard way in 2000 and 2001. Having lived through the last bankruptcy, my suggestion to policymakers is to slow down and conduct a thorough analysis to fully understand the nature of the problem.

Two crises point to a larger societal ill

By Dan Walters

A strike by Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and Pacific Gas and Electric’s announced intention to declare bankruptcy are symptoms of a larger malady of arrogance and irresponsibility by large institutions.

My turn: What Trump could have said from the Oval Office

By Gregory Favre

What if Donald Trump had used those nine minutes, or even a portion of them, to convey a different message, one that reminded us of what binds us rather than what separates us, reminded us to help those, as the song says, who are walking on the boulevard of broken dreams? What if?