Losing All Patience With Feinstein

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)

Dear Senator Feinstein, You just don’t get it. You told a San Francisco audience to have patience with President Trump, that he might become a good president yet. And your attempts to walk back the comment – noting your many criticisms of Trump on specific issues – don’t really address the problem. How is it […]

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Could 2018 Spell the End of 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)

Perhaps the best California political news of the summer got drowned out by the Trump Circus and gubernatorial campaign speculation: The top two’s days may be numbered. A Rancho Cucamonga-based organization with backing from multiple political parties has field an initiative to repeal the 2010 legislative constitutional amendment that eliminated primaries (in all but name) […]

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A California residency program for the undocumented

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)

MEMO To: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and Attorney General Jeff Sessions From: The Golden (and Still Sovereign!) State Re: An alternative to your mass deportation of Californians This is a legal proposal, so let’s start with a stipulation. You are monsters. You are engaged in deportation of undocumented Californians, who are […]

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Put the Local Races on the Top of the Ballot

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)

Anthony Portantino, the state senator from the western San Gabriel Valley, is advancing a smart idea that deserves immediate attention: putting local races at the top of the ballot. Portantino, in a news release, attributed the idea to Glendale’s city clerk, Ardy Kassakhian, who clearly has good sense. California has undertaken significant changes to local […]

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More Reasons to Let Prisoners 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)

A ballot initiative has been filed to give California’s prisoners the right to vote. The arguments for it are about the prisoners. Such as: They shouldn’t be banished from our democracy because they’re incarcerated. And voting will keep them in touch with society and make it easier to integrate them into community life when they […]

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In California, Pro Football Is for Losers

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 can know for sure whether any of California’s four National Football League teams—the 49ers, Raiders, Rams, and Chargers—will emerge as big winners in the new season. But we already know who the losers will be: California cities foolish enough to host NFL teams. In the rest of America, major cities try to attract […]

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A Huge Political Victory for Housing Advocates, A Long Wait for More 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)

Any fair analysis of the package of housing bills emerging in Sacramento should start by acknowledging the victory in getting this far. Specifically, it qualifies as big news that the package would produce new dollars for housing programs. Getting new dollars for anything is next to impossible in the legislature, where the thicket of California’s […]

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What Kind of Party Chastises Chad Mayes While Advancing Travis Allen?

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 you want to know why California has turned its back on the Republican Party, consider how the California GOP is treating Chad Mayes and Travis Allen. Let’s start with Mayes is the Assembly’s Republican leader. He just came off a big deal to renew the state’s cap-and-trade program. Mayes turned limit leverage to get […]

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Harris v. Garcetti

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 politics have a new top rivalry? Sure, all the hype right now is about Gavin Newsom v. Antonio Villaraigosa, and the already-well-underway contest for the governorship. Less remarked upon has been a rivalry with a longer horizon (2020) but with higher stakes: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris vs. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. They are […]

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Connect the World? The Bay Area Can’t Even Connect Its Trains

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 northern terminus of SMART, the new passenger-rail system officially opening this weekend in the North Bay, is the Sonoma County Airport Station in Santa Rosa. But after my 8-year-old son and I disembarked from an Alaska Airlines flight, we learned that the airport is more than a mile away from the train. We didn’t […]

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