The Neighborhood Legislature Initiative Is Not Dead Yet

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 looks like I spoke too soon in calling John Cox’s Neighborhood Legislature initiative dead. And I could still be proven wrong in taking Cox to task for having the initiative fail just short of the number of signatures. Challenges to the full count that found the initiative coming up just short continue. And there […]

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Let California’s Kids Make Educational Budgets

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 education finances are an unholy mess—with incomprehensible budget formulas, a new equity funding program that doesn’t produce equity, and cuts to schools even during the current economic expansion. And our state’s so-called education leaders steadfastly refuse to fix the system. We should let the kids fix it instead. This isn’t a modest proposal or […]

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Running Against California in Nevada

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)

Is Nevada joining California as a reliably blue state? Could be. I’ve written previously that California and Nevada belong together. The Nevada governor’s race is a test of that premise. And the Republican nominee Adam Laxalt—a son of one of his state’s most important political families – is explicitly running against California.

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Jerry’s Premature Victory Lap

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 Brown governorship still has more than nine months to go. But the victory laps are already well underway. He’s giving valedictory interviews to national media – a New Yorker profile is the latest. There was a long interview for California Sunday magazine. And any number of conversations with the New York Times. Get ready […]

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Why Do They Keep Failing at the Initiative Finish Line?

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)

What do Travis Allen and John Cox have in common, besides the fact they are Republicans who have no chance of getting elected governor? Both tripped and fell in the initiative game. Allen had a partial excuse—his initiative to repeal the gas tax had legal problems, and he has joined up with another, similar effort. […]

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Who Cares About Homeless Jerry-Towns When We Have a Surplus?

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)

Who cares about about the homeless whose encampments – call them Jerry-towns – fill every state? Because don’t the homeless know that our state is back! We have a budget surplus! Who cares about the shortage of housing, or the middle-class crippling cost of what housing there is? California is back! We have a budget […]

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My California Lake Is Too Good For You

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)

Stay away from my lake, Californians. It’s too beautiful, and too important, for the likes of you. It’s true that, as a legal matter, I don’t own Lake Mathews. But I’ve always felt a special kinship with a Riverside County reservoir that spells our mutual name the correct way, with just one “t.” And what’s […]

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Feinstein’s Trump Party Trick May Be Hurting the 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)

Dianne Feinstein has been getting too much political praise for her Trump Party Trick. The trick works like this. She gets into a meeting with Trump and sits near him. Then she exploits his confusion about details, and obvious unwillingness to listen to anybody else, to get him to agree to a Democratic policy. Most […]

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Fort Sumter on the Sacramento, and the War Between Sessions and America

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)

 Jeff Sessions wasn’t just lying when he came to Sacramento last week. He was posing as Lincoln when he arrived as Jefferson Davis. Sessions framed California’s wise and righteous decision to keep its police from being sullied by Trump’s lawless and unconstitutional immigrations as a form of secession and nullification. To the contrary, California is […]

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Schaaf Deserves Our Thanks – and Emulation

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)

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, in warning her community about impending ICE raids, didn’t just do the right thing. She set an example for the rest of California to follow. Schaaf has spent a great deal of time looking at ICE raids, meeting with ICE, and understanding what’s going on. And she has come to the […]

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