Online community college crucial for skilled workforce

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.


Political center key to immigration reform

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.


Water storage needed — but keep faith with Prop. 1

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.


Unpacking the bottle cap bill

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.


Builders, contractors: Numbers tell the tale

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.


A critical need for well-trained construction workers

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.


DACA is the Dreamers’ lifeline

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.


Education: One student’s triumphant odyssey

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.


Wanted: A statewide database for higher education

Sather Tower at UC Berkeley, looking toward the bay. (Photo: Chao Kusollerschariya, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: How can the state of California make intelligent public policy on higher education when it does not have the data to do so? This simple question underscores every governor’s and legislator’s dilemma when they annually establish funding levels for California’s postsecondary education system. There is no integrated statewide database for higher education.


June ballot’s ACA1 a recipe for Capitol gridlock

Pollution over Long Beach on a clear day. (Photo: Katharine Moore)

OPINION: We’ve all heard the clichés and stories about the failings of the political system – the bill that was written on the back of a cocktail napkin; the enormous proposal that was jammed through before anyone could read it; trading votes in shady, backroom deals.

Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: