In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Can progressives trust Xavier Becerra to police the police?

By Laurel Rosenhall

California’s attorney general has crafted an image as a progressive warrior. But there’s one exception: police accountability.

Charter schools are a flashpoint in California’s teacher strikes—here’s where and how they’ve grown

By Ricardo Cano

As teachers strike this week in Oakland, the conflict over charter schools in California is being portrayed in sweeping terms. But a CALmatters analysis of statewide charter enrollment data paints a far more nuanced picture, in which charter growth is more a collection of densely concentrated hotspots than a statewide phenomenon.

Critical choice for California GOP: Which door—if any—leads to revival?

By Ben Christopher

As California Republican delegates descend on Sacramento this weekend to elect a new party chair, rally what’s left of the troops and talk Election 2020, many will be pondering—and likely fiercely debating—a much bigger question: What now?

If California pursues a cap on rent increases, how many tenants will it actually help?

By Matt Levin

Legislators who have backed rent control expansions in the past say they’re working on proposals to help tenants stay in their homes. One possible compromise: a bill to ban “rent gouging,” similar to one poised to take effect in Oregon.

Preparing to draw lines for Election 2022

By Dan Morain

California is beginning the process of establishing a new Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization seats for the 2022 election and beyond.

Does “upzoning”—allowing taller, denser housing to be built—actually work?

By Matt Levin

A new, highly publicized study from a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology casts doubt on whether “upzoning” actually results in more construction and lower housing prices. But here’s what the study’s author says about how it might apply, or not, to California’s debate.


Delta interests should seize the opportunity to cease water fights

By Ellen Hanak and Jeffrey Mount

By proposing to build one cross-Delta tunnel instead of two, Gov. Newsom has opened the door for a grand compromise on water in California. The Delta’s many interests should seize this opportunity.

It’s time to derail the train to nowhere

By Dan Walters

While Gov. Newsom downgraded the state’s troubled bullet train project, he couldn’t bring himself to do what’s necessary: pull the plug.

Housing is a right. Lawmakers should work to provide it

By Tyrone Buckley

When it comes to basic needs and rights, we cannot trust the market to work for everyone. That’s why government intervenes in the market to provide public education, affordable health care, food and water. Affordable housing should be no different.

Has Newsom become Governor Gaslight?

By Dan Walters

President Donald Trump often excoriates journalists when the point out his errors and falsehoods, and now California’s new governor is becoming a gaslighter.

My turn: To fulfill clean water law, state must focus on L.A.’s small systems

By Nathaniel Logar

Small water systems with the smallest number of customers face the greatest challenges in providing cheap, drinkable tap water. Most small water systems in L.A. County—and statewide—provide safe and affordable drinking water. The problem is that some do not. If we take the human right to water seriously, the place to start is with small water systems.

My turn: How to lead California on water

By Juliet Christian-Smith and Andrew Fahlund

Felicia Marcus genuinely listened, didn’t shy away from tough decisions, and maintained a fierce dedication to public safety, economic security and environmental health priorities of the state she loves. Her leadership will help her successors, E. Joaquin Esquivel and Laurel Firestone, who bring experience in community-based work to the board.

Felony murder law repealed? Maybe not

By Dan Walters

Last year, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown virtually repealed California’s “felony murder” law, but a judge has ruled that the repeal is unconstitutional.

My turn: Protecting clean car standards is a moral, health and economic imperative

By John Coleman and Allis Druffel

Automakers must understand that if state and federal clean car standards are weakened as a result of their lobbying, public health, climate emissions, the economy and job creation will suffer in California. We are calling on all automakers to view these standards from a moral perspective and halt any and all efforts to roll them back.

Newsom’s activist agenda fits historic trend

By Dan Walters

Gavin Newsom has a very ambitious agenda as governor, but ambitious governors haven’t fared very well in the past.

My turn: How much time do we need to overcome racism?

By Gregory Favre

What have we learned from the decades of lynchings in this country? What have we learned from the roll call of the dead in the civil rights battles? What have we learned from the brutal slayings of nine people in an historic black Charleston, S.C.?

My turn: California votes will be wasted in 2020 presidential primary. Here’s why

By Larry Levine

By moving the presidential primary election date to March 3, 2020, the Legislature sought to hit the moving target of relevance based on circumstances that can neither be controlled nor known. If the past is any guide, hundreds of thousands of voters will waste their ballots on candidates who no longer will be running by primary election day.

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