A photo illustration of opioid addiction. (Photo: Kimberly Boyles, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: A key focus of this year’s California legislative session is the nation’s opioid crisis, and rightly so. According to the California Healthcare Foundation, an estimated 2,000 Californians died of an opioid overdose in 2016. The opioid epidemic confronting California and the rest of America is a growing public health crisis from which no state is immune.
A high-rise construction site in San Jose. (Photo: PBK-PG, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: It is sadly ironic that portions of the construction industry have been fighting for years to reduce wages on these important but dangerous jobs are now claiming they face a skilled labor shortage. Just last year, California’s housing industry spent millions of dollars lobbying against minimum labor standards in any part of the residential construction sector.
Pasadena City College. (Photo: Ken Wolter)
The bad news: there are simply not enough skilled workers to meet the needs of California’s businesses. The good news: there are 2.5 million Californians who can be part of the solution with some college level training. They just need a more flexible educational opportunity. The “opportunity” for this population of working adults comes in the form of Gov. Brown’s proposed online community college.
Demonstrators protesting U.S. immigration policy at a Los Angeles rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
OPINION: Our nation has procrastinated far too long on fixing our broken immigration system. What is needed is a solution that has support from the large and diverse political middle of America, represented by most members of the congress.
The Kern River flows through Hart Park near Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton
OPINION: The California Water Commission is currently evaluating 11 proposals that are competing for $2.7 billion of the Prop. 1 funds set aside for storage projects. In December, the applicants made their cases directly to the commissioners in Sacramento, describing their purported “public benefits” to satisfy Proposition 1’s funding requirements.
An array of juices with plastic bottle caps on store shelves. (Photo: Philip Pilosian, Shutterstock)
OPINION: It is fascinating, in a very frustrating sort of way, to watch certain special interests come up with excuses for why legislation should not be passed when the facts clearly are not on their side. I witnessed it first hand as the author of California’s first state-wide plastic bag legislation 10 years ago. Then and now, it often takes serious mental gymnastics to follow the rhetorical and “illogical” leaps of their arguments. The current iteration is the beverage industry’s, massive and misleading lobbying campaign to defeat Assembly Bill 319.
Workers on a large construction project in Laguna Niguel. (Photo: Steve Bruckmann)
OPINION: Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California President Michele Daugherty’s misleading Jan. 3 op-ed article in the Capitol Weekly is drastically in need of an insertion of some true facts. Daugherty bitterly complained about a bill that expanded a successful, state-approved pre-apprenticeship program. She also stated in the article that she has “many reasons to be proud” of her organization’s 1,200 members, a number that gives her a market share of only 0.425 percent of the 282,063 licensed contractors in the state of California.
Workers at a large construction site in San Jose. (Photo: pbk-pg, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: It’s taken an army of firefighters to battle California’s historic infernos. It will take an even larger army to rebuild the Golden State from the devastation. Even with all of the current skilled construction workers, California will need to train more to achieve our goals of getting families back in their homes and communities.
Demonstrators protest the elimination of DACA at a September 2017 gathering at UC Berkeley.
(Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald)
OPINION: Adriana and her six-year old daughter are like two peas in a pod, taking walks on the beach together, baking brownies, cuddling at home with a book, and occasionally splurging on a trip to Orange County’s Disneyland Resort. Arriving from Guatemala when she was five years old, Adriana has always lived here in Orange County.
Then student bookstore on the campus of UCLA, October 2017. (Photo: Michael Gordon)
OPINION: My childhood dream was to be a teacher. But because of my dyslexia and difficulty with math, I thought the only jobs I’d ever be qualified for were jobs that don’t require a college degree. It wasn’t until the recession hit and I lost my job waiting tables that I decided try community college.