Four Sacramento Sequels to Lady Bird

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)

Here’s the good news in Sacramento: Lady Bird, a coming-of-age film set in Sacramento—and written and directed by the California capital’s own Greta Gerwig—has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture. Here’s the better news for Sacramento: Gerwig, having achieved such success with her directorial debut, says she will make three more films […]

Read more

Top Two Now Threatens the Future of Humanity

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)

Does California’s broken top two system now threaten the future of humanity? I’m not joking. For those of us who see Trump as a threaten to the existence of the species, the answer is actually yes. Before Trump, top two was merely a thoughtless and irresponsible political reform. It eliminated primaries, suppressed turnout, and encouraged […]

Read more

Why Not a Youth Government?

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 government – and American government for that matter – is now a government of the old, by the old, and for the old. So why not form a second government – a youth government? The thought is occasioned not just by older California leaders like Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Nancy Pelosi. Or by […]

Read more

Give Coachella to the Canadians

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)

Let’s give the Coachella Valley to Canada. After all, Canadians already run the place in winter. Over the past 40 years, snowbirds from the True North have grown into a winter fixture in greater Palm Springs. They get a lot more than an escape from cold winter weather. The California desert is a much shorter […]

Read more

Is Newsom Running for President?

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)

When the subject of the governor’s race comes up in conversation with political and government types, there are two things I often hear. First, that someone new and exciting is going to enter the governor’s race late and scramble the contest. The second is that Gavin Newsom is running for president in 2020. I don’t […]

Read more

You Should Be Able to Change Your 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)

Call it the James Franco problem. Late in the balloting for the Oscar nominations, news broke of inappropriate behavior by Franco towards young women who studied acting with him or appeared in his films. Some Oscar voters who had already sent in their ballots for Franco’s work in “The Disaster Artist,” wanted to change their […]

Read more

Despite What You Read Feinstein Has No Primary Challenger

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, the Washington Post, Politico and much of the media is lying to you about Dianne Feinstein. She does not have, as these publications keep reporting, a “primary challenger.” She is not running in a Democratic primary. Neither is the Democrat running against her, Kevin De Leon. There is no Democratic primary […]

Read more

L.A. Is Not Latin America, But It Could Be

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)

Los Angeles is a great many things, but it is not Latin America. Such a statement should be as uncontroversial as a map of the Western hemisphere. But today, elite conventional wisdom runs the other way. Lewis D’Vorkin, the editor of the Los Angeles Times, recently promoted L.A. as “the northern capital of Latin America” […]

Read more

DiFi’s Age Should Be an Issue, And Not Just In Senate Race

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)

Enough with the mau-mauing from elderly Democrats that questions about Dianne Feinstein’s age are ageist or even anti-woman. The hypocrisy of those crying ageism is outrageous. If you want to hear real ageism, just listen to how Boomers and Silent Generationers talk about us Gen-Xers, now in middle age, as if we were children. The […]

Read more

Local Elected Officials Should Devote Extra-Long Terms to Housing

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)

Election law has created an opportunity to reckon with California’s housing crisis more forcefully. That’s because election law has created extra-long terms for many local public officials around the state. In the name of increasing local voter turnout, state law now requires local governments that held elections in odd-numbered years to move those elections to […]

Read more