More Californians Should Retire Like Vin Scully

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 only more Californians could retire like Vin. Vin Scully, that is. The Hall of Fame announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers will call his last game this Sunday, October 2, a month shy of his 89th birthday. That retirement has touched off a national celebration of Scully’s announcing mastery, his storytelling methods, and his […]

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Go Ahead, Russia. Hack Away at California’s Elections.

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’s justifiable worry about whether Russian hackers might disrupt American elections, particularly in crucial swing states, and create questions of legitimacy, or even crisis, around the presidency. But in California, there’s no reason to worry. Russia can go ahead and hack our elections. It won’t make any difference. California has made our elections hack-proof—not because […]

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What Would Legislative Democrats Do With Two Thirds?

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)

Improbably, I find myself living in the midst of the most interesting State Senate race in California. The Pasadena contest between Democrat Anthony Portantino and Republican Mike Antonovich. It’s not an easy choice. I know, like and respect both men. Portantino has been a reform-minded legislator, a good local mayor, and a very friendly accessible […]

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Fighting Fire with Diversity

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)

Californians like to brag about our diversity, how our mix of people of all races, ethnicities and origins produces a vital culture and economy. But we rarely talk about the other less glamorous role diversity plays in our state—as protection against disasters, both natural and manmade. California is a disaster-prone state, and when calamity strikes, […]

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Labor Tries to Make Ballot Access Costlier

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 is disingenuous, there is deceptive and then there is the labor-backed legislation that purports to reform the ballot initiative process. That bill, SB 1094, would impose a requirement that 5 percent of all signatures submitted to qualify statewide initiatives and referenda be gathered by volunteers. In a Sacramento Bee oped that was almost Trumpian […]

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Why Would Parents Want to Know Anything about LCAPs?

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 LA Times reported recently on a poll from USC and Stanford institutes showing that more than half of voters had never heard of read about the Local Control Funding Formula. This is treated as bad news, since LCFF is supposed to make parent engagement a priority. And the funding in LCFF is supposed to […]

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Prop 54 Hates Your Mom and Apple Pie

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 LA Times columnist George Skelton calls Prop 54 “a motherhood-and-apple-pie proposal if ever there was one” in that it supposedly limits the power of special interests. And Skelton adds: “This is the kind of measure that legendary reform Gov. Hiram Johnson and other California progressives had in mind when they established the state’s initiative […]

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California Education is a Game of Chance

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)

Californians may think we have a system of public education. But what we really have is a state system for rationing public education. I got a personal taste of this in the spring, when I took my five-year-old son to our local school district offices to determine his educational future. This being California, the determination […]

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Loretta Sanchez, Negotiator

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)

It’s rare that a political candidate shows herself to be not up to the job in a debate negotiation. But Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez demonstrated just that in the back-and-forth over debates in her race for U.S. Senate against Attorney General Kamala Harris. Sanchez badly trails Harris, so she needed as many debates as she could […]

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Could the Chargers Join the Ranks of the Homeless?

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)

No one wants the San Diego Chargers. A last-ditch ballot measure to support a new stadium for the NFL team (as part of a convention center next to Petco Park) is all but certain to fail on the November ballot. It would raise the hotel tax to help fund the project, and it would need […]

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