5 Questions Posed by the Gubernatorial Debate

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)

This week’s debate between six candidates for California governor was full of short and cut-off answers, given the small amounts of time for answers (60 seconds for a direct question, 30 seconds for rebuttals) and to the whole debate (only 60 minutes statewide, plus 30 minutes for Bay Area viewers). A debate like that is […]

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California Democracy Is Like a Wendy’s in Colton

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)

One recent Sunday night, I stopped by a Wendy’s in Colton, a gritty San Bernardino County logistics crossroads (pop. 52,000) best known as home to one of America’s oldest and busiest railroad crossings. I wasn’t there to catch a train or to grab a square hamburger and a Frosty, but rather to glimpse the struggles […]

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Be a Do-It-Yourself Lawmaker

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’ve reached another moment when I’m deluged by ideas for technology platforms to enhance democracy – particularly participatory democracy. That’s because we’re less than five months away from the next Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, which takes place in Rome this year, September 26-29, and many people want to come and show the tools […]

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Chiang and Villaraigosa Should Combine Forces

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)

For the record, I support good old-fashioned competition in democratic politics. If you think you can win, if you think you can do the job, you should run and go all the way to the election, never giving up. But California’s top-two system doesn’t allow that kind of competition. So in the governor’s race, it’s […]

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The Other Feinstein Deserves California’s Attention 

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 rooting for one political candidate more than anyone this June. I’m rooting for Feinstein. Not Dianne. Mike. He’s a former Santa Monica mayor and city councilman who is running the most community-oriented and idea-rich campaign in California. He’s running for Secretary of State, so many of his ideas are fundamentally about making the state […]

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5 Questions From Gubernatorial Campaign Ad Season

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 exactly is Gavin Newsom’s bear screaming? If you look at the frontrunner Newsom’s campaign logo, which appears prominently in his TV ads, the California bear is not just standing there. He’s looking up with his mouth open, appearing to yell something. The campaign has not provided a transcript so my best guess is: “How […]

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Los Angeles for 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)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being coy about whether he’s running for president. But he doesn’t fool me. I’ve already written the speech, or perhaps I should say sermon, that he should give when he announces his candidacy. America, I offer myself today to our country so that we might restore a sense of […]

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SB 827 Is Dead! Long Live SB 827!

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 not sure I would have voted for SB 827 if I were in the legislature. But I loved that the bill was proposed and out there. A number of legislators said the same thing. Which points to the best argument for advancing the bill: The fear it created in local governments.

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Gavin’s Lieutenant Governor Non-Attendance Is a Non-Story

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 appreciate the work that went into an LA Times story looking at Gavin Newsom’s attendance, or lack thereof, on the handful of boards and commissions upon which the lieutenant governor serves. But it’s a non-story. The lieutenant governor’s job should be eliminated (as Newsom has previously existed). The duties are minimal and non-essential. The […]

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One Good Thing About Being a Public School Parent: The Online Resources

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 state of California may have too short a school year and a school day, and doesn’t spend near enough on our kids. (More money is going to retiree benefits). But it isn’t all bad My favorite part of being a public school parent is the online resources. Some are available through school districts. In […]

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