Californians Must Make Up Missed School days

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)

Not one day. Our kids should not lose one day of school, not a single day of instruction, to the coronavirus. Or to anything else. Let me be clear: I’m not arguing against closing schools in the midst of the pandemic. Flattening the curve of infections comes first.   But the coronavirus must not be an […]

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AB 5 Needs to Be Suspended

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)

Transitioning to the new AB regime was already proving to be extremely difficult before the COVID19 pandemic hit. Now, the transition is impossible. Workers are having their lives upended. People are being told not to go to offices, to work remotely. And many people, facing the prospect of furloughs and layoffs, are going to be […]

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Stop Obsessing About Lottery Funds and Education

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)

Can we stop pretending that lottery funds mean much of anything to schools? In recent weeks, we have seen the recycling of a very old faux-scandal—that the state lottery is not producing enough money for California schools. The occasion for this latest news was a state auditor’s report finding that the lottery is not producing […]

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Quarantine Me at Asilomar

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)

Quarantine me as long as you like. Just make sure you quarantine me at Asilomar. For this peculiar time, there may be no more desirable California place than that small strip of coastal Monterey County known as Asilomar. It’s more than just an unusual state park, with a state beach, hotel, and conference grounds.  It’s […]

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Another Peculiar Victory for Top Two

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)

Top two has scored another victory for its supporters, which is to say there’s been yet another defeat for California democracy. This dubious victory was in the Santa Clarita Valley, where a March election advanced two Republicans to November’s run-off elections. This happened in a district currently represented by a Democrat. What happened? Top two.

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Stop Demonizing Dean

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)

Dean Logan finally got Angelenos to care enough about elections to actually vote in them. For this, media and politicians are demanding he be investigated and terminated. It really is Chinatown, Dean. Let me start by saying that I’m a fan of Dean, who is L.A. County’s registrar-recorder, a job that makes him the elections […]

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The Rainy Day Fund Speaks

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’m ready for my close-up, Ms. Gerwig! OK, as a budget fund without acting credits, I shouldn’t expect Greta Gerwig to put me in her next film—even if both she and I are Sacramento natives. But the time is coming—quite quickly—when I, California’s humble Rainy Day Fund, will stand at the center of our state’s […]

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2020 Election Shows One Reason Why Newsom Will Never Be 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)

Gavin Newsom is actually trying to govern California—with balance, with thoroughness, with a mix of idealism and practicality. And that is why he will never be president.  In this election season, Democrats may have offered some political surprises. But the party and its voters have been consistent on one point: they hate actual governance. Being […]

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From Bakersfield, You Can See Forever

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)

From Yosemite Valley to the Golden Gate, California boasts extraordinary vistas. But if you’re looking for the state’s most thought-provoking view, skip the beaches and mountains, and head for Bakersfield’s Panorama Park. When you walk through this narrow neighborhood park atop the Panorama Bluffs on Bakersfield’s northern edge, you don’t actually see everything. It only […]

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Gavin Gives Sacramento What It Wants

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)

In his state of the state speech, Gov. Newsom gave Sacramento exactly what it wants: focus.  And still, the capital elites criticize him. Newsom, after being widely criticized for a lack of focus, focused his speech on homelessness. Of course, homelessness connects to other problems, like housing and jobs and healthcare, so he got into […]

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