Does Blink-182 Know Something California Governor Jerry Brown Doesn’t?

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 is California doing these days? The answer may depend on whom you believe: Governor Brown or Blink-182? This summer has exposed a divide in perception of California, between the political triumphalism of our elected officials and the decidedly more anxious state of affairs depicted in the broader culture. Our state’s political and media elites […]

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The New Budget Formula People Are Talking About on the Streets

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)

I spent much of my work time over the past six months running around South Los Angeles, for a Zocalo series on the region. To my surprise, I heard quite a bit from people in South L.A. about a new budget formula in California. It relates to the savings of Prop 47. Awareness of the details […]

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The Coming Conflict Over a Free CSU

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)

“I think we should be working toward free tuition. That may sound pretty radical, but that was in the original intention of the CSU system, so lower-income students could afford education without having to break the bank with their family, or not even being able to go because they can’t afford it.” ” Cal Poly […]

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Why It’s So Hard to Speak Silicon Valley

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)

You can’t talk to people in Silicon Valley anymore. They don’t even speak our language. By that, I’m not referencing Mark Zuckerberg’s mediocre Mandarin or the software code underlying so many Valley’s endeavors. I’m talking, literally, about the words Valley denizens use when they speak, in sentences like: “Yeah, that startup has some cool gamification, […]

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More Voter Discouragement for California’s Top Two Scheme

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 Field Poll shows another price of the California’s top two scheme: voter discouragement. Field reports that 15 percent of likely voters in their survey intend to sit out this November’s U.S. Senate contest between two Democrats, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  This number includes 31 percent of state republicans and 35 […]

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Voters Should Focus on 3 Ballot Measures and Ignore the Rest

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)

There are people who will tell you it’s your civic duty to educate yourself on all 17 measures on the November ballot, plus any other measures the legislature might add to the ballot, plus local measures, local races, state races, the U.S. Senate race and the presidential race. Those people are nuts. You have a […]

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South L.A. Doesn’t Need Saving

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 we save South Los Angeles?” is a tired question. It’s an artifact of previous decades when the region formerly called South Central was known for crime, gangs, poverty, racial conflict, and the 1992 riots, the deadliest American urban uprising since the Civil War. So let’s retire the old query, and turn it upside […]

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Campaign Finance Reformers Would Help Trump

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)

If Donald Trump can’t kill the discredited cause of campaign finance reform, nothing will. Because the view of reformers – including those pushing reforms and an advisory ballot measure in California – adds up to this: they think a candidate like Donald Trump should be receiving tax dollars to fund his campaign. Trump fits the […]

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Sending Aides to Switzerland

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)

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi deserved to be fired. I was among the legions who urged that step be taken, right here in this space. She made more mistakes than I could list here. And UC had enough problems in Sacramento without the public relations disaster Katehi created. But one recent attack on Katehi went […]

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Newsom Is Running Harder Than Sanchez

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)

Has Loretta Sanchez given up? Given how much ground the U.S. Senate candidate has to make up on Attorney General Kamala Harris, what on earth was Rep. Sanchez doing visiting Spain on a recent trade mission? There will be plenty of time to visit that fascinating (and even more stalemated than the U.S.) country after […]

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