The Global Climate Action Summit Makes a Big Fat Political Target

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

For the record, California – and the United States – need more global gatherings where we compare knowledge and experience on solving difficult problems. But the highly touted Global Climate Action Summit, convened by Gov. Jerry Brown, may be the wrong event at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

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SB 311 Shows What’s Wrong With Transition to Marijuana Legalization

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Marijuana legalization isn’t working for a simple reason: the new legal system doesn’t come with enforcement. That’s the paradox of legalization—it requires a new drug war of sorts. When you’re transitioning from a black market to a legal market, you need to do two things. You need to develop a clear, coherent, easily regulated and […]

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Prop 10 Argues That the Disease Is the Cure

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

California’s local governments already have too many incentives not to create new housing, and too many tools to block it. The result is a massive housing shortage and rising housing prices and rents. And a new statewide ballot initiative to make it easier for local governments to control rents. The logic of Prop 10 amounts […]

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How 2 California Women Turned L.A. Pain Into National Influence

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

How can Californians rise from horrific local circumstances to national influence? Two recent books offer one answer: It may help to have grown up amid the racism and institutional failures of Los Angeles in the 1990s. The two books are both popular and compelling memoirs from African American women and Southern Californians now in their […]

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Wishing Arnold Were Governor Right Now

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Watching former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger take on President Trump, I find myself wishing he were governor again. That’s not a feeling that most Californians have. Polls show they like him, but didn’t like the job he did in office. But could California have any better figure to lead the fight against Trump? Schwarzenegger, using social […]

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The 2020 Census Could Be Garbage

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

President Trump’s next trick may be to make millions of Californians disappear, at least according to records. The Trump administration has begun an effort to sabotage the 2020 census, in ways that will result in an undercount in California, particularly in rural immigrant communities. The addition of a citizenship question – a controversy that has […]

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Nunes Attack on the Fresno Bee Shows His Weakness

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism, Samuel Johnson famously said. Another refuge is beating up on the local newspaper. Congressman Devin Nunes’. Attacks on the Fresno Bee – including TV ads – thus show both his character and his desperation. Nunes is distorting the Bee’s coverage of him and a winery with which […]

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California’s 3 Time Zones?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Do you know what time it is, California? It’s time for new thinking about time, and time zones. By putting Proposition 7 on this November’s ballot, the state legislature has granted us this opportunity to rethink our whole relationship to time. The measure has been described in the media as ending daylight saving time, but […]

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Why the KDL Endorsement Was the Right Move for Democrats

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The reaction to the endorsement of Kevin de Leon’s U.S. Senate candidacy has received almost universal criticism in the mainstream media and from older, supposedly wiser political observers. The endorsement is seen as politically disloyal ()since De Leon is running against a Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein), unrealistic (since De Leon trails ) and, most of […]

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There’s a National Security Argument for National Popular Vote

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The New York Times reports that Russians are less focused on targeting the mid-term elections than they were the presidential elections. The reason? In short, mid-term elections are better distributed. You elect an entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate across every corner of the country. Interference in such an election isn’t […]

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