KEEP TABS ON THE LATEST CALIFORNIA POLICY AND POLITICS NEWS
Good morning, California. It’s Tuesday, July 21.
Top California lawmakers push back
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf lambasted President Donald Trump Monday for suggesting he might send federal agents into Oakland to quell civil unrest, ratcheting up tensions between California and the federal government.
Trump on Monday threatened to send federal law enforcement to respond to unrest and crime in cities “run by liberal Democrats” such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland, which he called “a mess.” Homeland Security officials subsequently announced plans to deploy federal agents to Chicago, where 12 people were fatally shot last weekend. Federal agents have been deployed in Portland since early July.
Newsom said Trump hadn’t shared any plans to send police to Oakland, adding forcefully, “We would reject it.”
- Schaaf: “(Trump) should stop slandering diverse, progressive cities like Oakland in his racist dog whistles and divisive campaign tactics. … While we are not experiencing any civil unrest right now, I can think of nothing more likely to incite it than the presence of Trump-ordered military troops into Oakland.”
Protest attendance has swelled in Portland following the arrival of Homeland Security agents, who were sent to protect federal property and statues but soon began breaking up crowds, firing tear gas and pepper balls and detaining protesters in unmarked vehicles.
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat: “Trump and his stormtroopers must be stopped. First Amendment speech should never be met with one-sided violence from federal agents acting as Trump’s secret police, especially when unidentified.”
Two federal officers were shot — one fatally — by a man allegedly linked to a far-right extremist group during an Oakland protest in May. The city’s protests have largely been peaceful.
The coronavirus bottom line: As of 9 p.m. Monday night, California had 391,538 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,694 deaths from the virus, according to a CalMatters tracker.
Also: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline tracking the state’s daily actions. And we’re tracking the state’s coronavirus hospitalizations by county.
Other stories you should know
1. Hair salons, barbershops can now operate outdoors
Hair salons and barbershops can now reopen for outdoor service after Newsom on Monday waived a statewide law requiring personal care services to be performed in a licensed establishment. Under the new guidelines, hairdressers can work under an outdoor tent or canopy as long as everyone is wearing masks and chairs are spaced six feet apart. The governor’s announcement came a week after he ordered salons and barbershops in a majority of counties to shutter indoor operations — in some cases just a day after they reopened for the first time in months — prompting outcry from lawmakers and industry groups. But the new guidance wasn’t met with universal approval.
- Fred Jones of the Professional Beauty Federation of California: “Our salons, at great personal cost, have instituted stepped-up safety protocols within their establishments that are much safer than doing these services in the more uncontrolled outside environment.”
2. California sues Trump administration three times in one day
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed three lawsuits against the Trump administration Monday, bringing his total to 85 so far. July has been litigious for Becerra, who already sued the federal government three times this month, according to a CalMatters tracker.
Monday’s actions include:
- A challenge to the Trump administration’s rollback of a provision of the Affordable Care Act that prohibited health care systems that receive federal funding from discriminating against transgender and gender non-conforming patients, as well as those who have had abortions or are seeking reproductive health care.
- A challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to resume leasing federal land for coal mining, arguing it didn’t conduct a satisfactory environmental review.
- A challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule that devalues the regulation of mercury emissions for coal- and oil-fired power plants, arguing it puts people’s health at risk.
3. Inside the mental health crisis stemming from California wildfires
Nine of the 10 most destructive wildfires in recorded California history have happened in the 21st century — six of them in the past four years. And as they continue to crop up in quick succession, they’re compounding the trauma sustained by survivors of previous California wildfires, the Atlantic reports. When a legal firm representing survivors of Sonoma County’s 2017 Wine Country Fires asked prospective clients to fill out a mental-health survey, 49 of 50 respondents received a score indicating they needed mental-health support. Experts say 10 to 30% of wildfire survivors develop mental-health conditions, including depression and PTSD.
- Ronit Rubinoff, executive director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County: “People have that experience of revictimization because there’s an adrenaline after the fire of, like, ‘OK, we’re going to get through this.’ Then that adrenaline fades and people realize … ‘I am no closer to even just putting a stick in the ground.'”
TODAY at 10 a.m.: The crisis in California mental health. How is the state government, now facing massive budget cuts, responding to the mental health impacts of the pandemic? Register here for a conversation with Dr. Rhea Boyd, a pediatrician and public health advocate; John Connolly, deputy secretary for behavioral health at the California Health and Human Services Agency; CW Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco; and Dr. Jonathan Sherin, director of the LA County Department of Mental Health. Submit your questions here.
TODAY at 1 p.m.: What happens to California cities as jobs go remote? How many jobs permanently migrate away from in-person offices has massive implications for California’s decades-long push for higher density, housing affordability and downtown development. Join CalMatters and the Milken Institute for a conversation with state Sen. Anna Cabellero, a Salinas Democrat; Kome Ajise, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments; and Lili Gangas, chief technology community officer at the Kapor Center. Register here and submit your questions here.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: California is conducting a vast experiment into whether online education works for K-12 students — and since it’s an experiment, we should collect all possible data to evaluate the outcome.
Newsom should have stayed the course: We had about 100 miles left on the road to reopening when Newsom told us it was safe to take a shortcut, argues Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor.
Suicide is preventable: Here are four priorities for California’s new strategic plan for suicide prevention, write Assemblymember James Ramos, a San Bernardino Democrat, and Lynn Ashbeck, chair of the state Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.
Other things worth your time
Military teams sent to five California hospitals amid coronavirus staffing shortages. // Los Angeles Times
Calbright College selects new president. // EdSource
California weighs steep new fines to combat illegal cannabis sellers. // Los Angeles Times
Car thefts in Los Angeles up 58% from the same period last year. // Crosstown LA
What will the Bay Area look like in 2050? New planning documents offer some insight. // San Francisco Chronicle
See you tomorrow.
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