When presidential candidates spent time in Iowa (and they spend a lot of time in Iowa), they are expected to ingratiate themselves to the state’s 2.1 million registered voters by chowing down on deep fried foods and spending plenty of time talking about grain growing, trade policy and corn ethanol.
With California Democrats now scheduled to pick their preferred party’s nominee on March 3rd (at the latest; those who vote from home can cast their ballot as early as the Iowa Caucus) there was hope that the Golden State might finally earn itself some presidential pandering too.
So what is the political equivalent of corn ethanol in California?
“I don’t know,” said presidential candidate and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan. “I’m going to find out,”Read More
The lack of affordable housing is a drag on the economy and the reason California has America’s worst poverty rate. It’s driving some workers out of state and some into homelessness. For young professionals, it’s just depressing. In this live version of our Gimme Shelter podcast co-hosts Matt Levin of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times get answers from leaders in government, industry and philanthropy. This is part of the CalMatters PolicyMatters event series. Register for the event here.
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 201911:30 a.m. - Box Lunch Available12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Live Broadcast
Libby Schaaf is the Mayor of Oakland and a former Oakland City Council member. She developed Oakland’s “17K/17K Plan” to protect 17,000 low-income households from displacement while producing 17,000 new housing units by 2024.
Margot Kushel is director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. She is a clinician and professor of medicine at the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of homelessness and housing instability.Read More
California Democrats have spent the last decade busily removing barriers between would-be voters and the ballot box — in fact, they've been so successful, they may be running out of strategies to drive up turnout.
So now the state's top election official is taking the California model national. The goals: Get other states to adopt vote-boosting policies, and boot Republican secretaries of state out of office.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced a new campaign this morning to unseat his Republican counterparts in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Missouri and West Virginia in 2020. He also wants to protect two Democratic Secretaries of State, in North Carolina and Vermont.
Padilla's isn't leading the charge in his official capacity of California's election regulator, but as chair of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State.
In a campaign video, Padilla said the association will take on Republican Secretaries of State who are "helping Trump wage a Jim Crow-style assault on our voting rights, targeting students, seniors and people of color."Read More
California will soon have a tougher new legal standard for the use of deadly force by police, under legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed today that was inspired by last year's fatal shooting of a young, unarmed man in Sacramento.
Newsom signed the legislation amid unusual fanfare, convening numerous legislators, family members of people who have died in police shootings and advocates including civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta in a courtyard at the Secretary of State's building used in the past for inaugurations and other formal events.
The governor contends that with Assembly Bill 392 in place, police will turn increasingly to de-escalation techniques including verbal persuasion, weapons other than guns and other crisis-intervention methods.
“It is remarkable to get to this moment on a bill that is this controversial. But it means nothing unless we make this moment meaningful,” Newsom said after signing the legislation.
He made a point of praising law enforcement, saying the “overwhelming majority are extraordinary and honorable people.” He is planning to attend the funeral Tuesday of California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye Jr., who was killed by an ex-felon last week.Read More
How many times have you heard someone say, "I don't know who I like in this election, but I sure know who I don't like"?
Negative emotions are a powerful driving force in politics. That is why so many ads, from campaigns as well as special interest groups, try to tear down the perception of opposing candidates.
When campaign season rolls around, you can count on your favorite TV show being saturated with ads featuring grainy black and white photos, ominous music and gravelly voiced announcers intoning:
"Why did [fill in the blank] betray the voters and make sure his/her cronies got rich? Phone his/her office now and demand an answer."
Of course, they don't want you to call the office, they just don't want you to vote for the candidate named.Read More
The state’s top education officials are hitting the pause button on a plan for teaching ethnic studies to California high schoolers after the draft faced a flood of criticism.
The draft has faced backlash and been called biased, too “politically correct,” and anti-Semitic. It includes jargon such as “cisheteropatriarchy” and “hxrstory,” and refers to capitalism as a form of power and oppression alongside white supremacy and racism. The draft’s glossary includes xenophobia and islamophobia, but not anti-Semitism.
At a press conference today, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the ethnic studies model curriculum draft needs work and the Education Department will extend the curriculum’s deadline if necessary to get the draft right. Members of the State Board of Education earlier this week wrote the current draft “falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned.” The draft was created by an advisory committee comprised of K-12 teachers and college professors who met a total of six times.
Standing by Thurmond’s side were members of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, who skewered the draft in a letter to the department last month. Thurmond said “there was no intentional omission of the experiences of Jewish Americans,” but added that the draft should be more inclusive, better balanced and better reflect the state’s diversity.
He said the department will be making many recommendations to the Instructional Quality Commission, which will make final decisions on the curriculum. The commission includes state Senator Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat and the chair of the Jewish caucus, who thanked Thurmond and the department for calling for changes to the curriculum.Read More
Updated August 24, 2019
What was once an obscure, weedsy legal battle over labor classification in California is now well on its way to becoming a capital-I Issue on the presidential campaign trail.
Weeks after Sen. Elizabeth Warren took a public stand on one of the most controversial bills being considered by California lawmakers, Sen. Kamala Harris now says she supports a bill to would make it harder for “gig economy” companies to classify their workers as independent contractors.
As California's junior senator, Harris has been hounded by reporters for her position on the high-profile bill for over a week. That’s in part because the proposal is coming from her home state. But critics have also attributed the radio silence on the issue from the Harris campaign to a potential conflict of interest. Tony West, who is married to Maya Harris, the senator’s sister and campaign manager, is general counsel for Uber, which vociferously opposes the law.
Earlier this month, Warren wrote an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee supporting a California bill that would make it harder for companies to classify workers as "independent contractors." In the process, she not only waded into what has largely been a California-specific debate, but provided yet another way to distinguish herself from the many other Democrats in what remains a very crowded field hoping to unseat President Donald Trump.Read More
Updated on August 16, 2019.
As President Donald Trump published controversial new rules on Monday making it harder for legal immigrants to get green cards if they use — or are likely to use — Medicaid, food stamps and other social safety net programs, California has reacted with anticipated outrage—and a new lawsuit.
“This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities of color,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference earlier this week.
He followed that up with a starker assessment of President Trump's motivates as he announced a lawsuit this morning: "He has a particular problem with brown people."
The expansion of the so-called “public charge” rule was long-anticipated — as was the response in California, home to a disproportionate number of the nation’s immigrants and headquarters of the anti-Trump resistance.Read More
More than any other presidential candidate, Kamala Harris’ biography is singularly Californian.
Born and bussed to school in Berkeley, tested by San Francisco’s cut-throat municipal politics and propelled onto the national stage as the state’s top law enforcement officer and then its first female senator of color, Harris’ approach to politics and policymaking were honed here.
What most Americans are still just beginning to learn about California’s junior senator—the particulars of her political pedigree, her record on criminal justice, her reputation as (depending on your point of view) a pragmatic or an over-cautious political figure—we’ve seen it here for decades.
Here are eight ways that California shaped Kamala Harris and that Harris has shaped California.
In a state full of transplants, Harris is a lifelong Californian.Read More
For more than 20 years, political observers have pointed to California’s Proposition 187 campaign as the seminal moment in Latino political consciousness--a year in history when Latinos across generational, educational, economic and national divides united in a singular voice against a threat to the community.
Latinos have experienced a similar event nationally—The El Paso Moment—when a deranged racist, whose rhetoric at times matched the President of the United States, gunned down 22 people and injured dozens more.
Resentment and racism toward Latinos has been simmering in the underbelly of American society for a long time. But in the past few years, this dark force has risen to the surface, even as many denied it was happening.
The El Paso Moment will mark the day in our history when people could no longer pretend there wasn’t an explosion of violent actions and attitudes towards the fastest growing segment of our nation’s population.
Latinos were targeted for slaughter and the President’s words and deeds fomented the event and--as more and more Republican officials are acknowledging--the GOP has been complicit by its silence.Read More