Kill the Fourth Grade Mission Report

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Joe Mathews: Instead of assigning each fourth grader a mission for his or her report, assign each a different public university campus. The university report would fill kids’ heads with history and facts worth remembering.

Key Juvenile Justice Legislation for California

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Brian Goldstein: Public safety issues are especially challenging given the state’s ongoing prison overcrowding crisis and the ever-evolving juvenile justice system. The state passed a number of successful reforms in 2013. Yet, 2014 already brings some exceptional juvenile justice legislation that is worthy of recognition and support.

Fracking Causes Earthquakes?

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John MacMurray: What concerns those of us who were sitting on or near the recent 5.1 quake of March 28, 2014, or any of the 47 bazillion (by my unofficial count) pre-and-after shocks, is how big a part fracking might be playing in beating up our dwellings and frazzling our nerves, and what we might expect in the future.

Why Does California Hate Marriage?

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Joe Mathews: In California, the trend runs even deeper: The state’s marriage rate has reached almost European lows. There are fewer than six marriages a year now for every 1,000 Californians, putting the state at or near the bottom of the nation.

Finally, a Scandal Worthy of This Great State

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Joe Mathews: Just when I’d given up all hope of seeing major league corruption in a California public official, along comes Leland Yee to save the day.

Where Will Progressive Democrats Stand?

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Tom Hayden: Let’s at least agree that “Happy Days Are Here Again” cannot be the Democratic theme song between now and 2016. We are beyond the brink, in the danger zone, in many ways.

Recession Recovery Lessons From Past Presidents

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Works Progress Administration: California should use its unexpected multi-billion dollar surplus to establish a California State Bank (CSB).

John Pérez Unqualified and Unfit for Statewide Office?

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John Perez Unqualified: One glaring reason for roundly rejecting Speaker Gifty: handing the state over to health insurers and providers.

Why Roy Choi Is California’s New Steve Jobs

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Joe Mathews: Choi probably comes closer than any living Californian to embodying the skills needed by our state today.

Latino and Local Pressure Prompts Shift by Senators De Leon and Lara on Statewide Bag Ban

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Ban the Bag Legislation — Last week’s about-face on SB 270 came in part because Latinos led local communities’ demand for the passage.

Governor Brown Promotes Twin Tunnels and Fracking During Record Drought

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Fracking During Record Drought — Poor water management of rivers and reservoirs has exacerbated the impact of the drought.

Could Latino Voters Pick Next San Diego Mayor?

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Matt Barreto: A new poll challenges previous polls, showing David Alvarez with a commanding lead over Kevin Faulconer among Latino voters who represent 1 in 5 San Diego voters.

Poor Mouthing As A Strategy: The May “Revise”

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Sheila Kuehl: Over the course of 2012-13 and 2013-14, the Governor, even with the low revenue projection, allocated $1046 more per K-12 student than before.

Opposition Grows to AT&T’s Attack on LifeLine Program

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Randy Shaw: AT&T’s proposed hijacking of the LifeLine program is particularly surprising in light of Democratic Party control of the California Legislature and the Governor Brown-appointed California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) strong opposition to AB 1407.

San Diego Prevailing Wage

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San Diego Prevailing Wage: San Diego City Council moved to boost the local economy and increase middle class jobs by expanding the number of local public works projects that pay prevailing wages.

Gov. Brown Can Release Prisoners Early Without Compromising Public Safety

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Lizzie Buchen: Keeping low-risk inmates behind bars does not enhance public safety; in fact, doing so may endanger the public, as excessive prison terms hamper reentry, damage families, and weaken communities.

California Democratic Party Disses Fracking, Still Loves Money

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Wendy Block: It’s heartbreakingly clear that the Democrats won’t act courageously. But a number of non-partisan outside groups will. The MOVI coalition and Common Cause are sponsoring Prop C on the Los Angeles ballot next month, to let voters tell electeds to fight Citizens United. They need you.

The State of the State (Song) of the Golden State

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Michael Sigman: My next-door neighbor flagged me down recently to enthuse that the California State Song brought back memories of childhood hikes in the Alps. I wondered what in the world she was talking about.

Union Leaders and Activists Descend on Sacramento to Support Labor’s Legislative Agenda

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Rebecca Brand: From corporate tax breaks to immigration reform to environmental protections and health care, we’re working with hundreds unions across the state to move one of our most aggressive legislative campaigns in California history.

Why Jerry Brown Bucks Prison Realignment

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Gov. Brown’s recent actions show that it is not just the most visible partisans of the “prison industrial complex,” who we must persuade or overcome, but unfortunately the political establishment of the State.

Fixing California’s Mass Incarceration Mess

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Dick Price: As California grapples with a prison system so broken that the U.S. Supreme Court has mandated reductions in the number of prisoners it holds, the three-part “Smart Justice: Rethinking Public Safety in California” discussion begun this past week is examining both consequences and possible solutions to the state’s mass incarceration mess.

LA City Council Redistricting: What Price Belligerence?

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Anthony Samad: Parks and Perry went straight at Wesson in the most belligerent manner they could. The outcome hasn’t been pretty. Did the constituents of the 8th and the 9th districts pay a price for their representatives’ belligerence?

California Tax Measure Compromise a Victory for Progressives

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Paul Hogarth: When it comes to crafting state budget policy, Sacramento’s leadership never bothers to consult the grass-roots – cutting deals with big business and a small handful of unions, and then expecting the rest of us to take our marching orders.

LA ‘s Mayor Race: Campaign in Search of a Front-Runner

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Stephen Box: Eight of the twelve registered candidates for Mayor of LA participated in a candidate forum at the Holman United Methodist Church, giving powerful testimony to the claim of some that politics is theatre.

Wendy Greuel Charms Audience, Eludes Questions

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Stephen Box: Greuel navigated the hot topics of land use and urban design without hitting any potholes or committing to any controversial positions on topics that ranged from Farmers Field to affordable housing to corruption within City Hall.

LA City Hall: The Great Pabulum and Placebo Dispenser

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Stephen Box: From medical marijuana to fast food to code harassment, LA is the Capital of Moratoriums, demonstrating that there is nothing as attractive as the opportunity to kick an issue down the road and to leave it for the next round of elected officials.

Homeless in Los Angeles

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Jerry Drucker: In all of Los Angeles County, except for Glendale, Pasadena and Long Beach, which conduct their own census counts, the 2011 census count of the homeless was 51,340, 3% less than 2009 at 52,931.

LA’s Secret Meeting Habit: Contempt and Arrogance or Just Bureaucratic Malpractice?

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Stephen Box: The open and transparent attempt to violate the Brown Act can only be attributed to contempt of the public, arrogant hubris, or complete and thorough ignorance of the law.

Dealing with City of LA: Get It in Writing

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Stephen Box: The City of LA is fast to find fault with its residents and slow to accept responsibility for its mistakes, a pattern that is demonstrated by its reluctance to put things in writing when it puts the City of LA in an unfavorable position.

After Redevelopment: Creating Real Investment in Our Cities

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Madeline Janis: While the death of California’s redevelopment agencies is a blow to cities, this could also be a moment of opportunity to create a more vibrant, equitable and sustainable future for all Californians and a model for the country.

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