Opinion

Twitter is Sacramento’s ‘Fourth House’

A Twitter user logs on with her digital tablet. (Photo: Daniel Krason, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It is a colossal mistake for those who desire to influence state policy to ignore Twitter, brushing it off as a playground for pop stars, professional athletes and the President. As demonstrated in Randle Communications’ inaugural Digital Influencer Report, digital advocacy, and specifically Twitter, remains a growing and potent tool for those who seek to shape outcomes in California’s Capitol.

Opinion

Tackling California’s opioid crisis

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. 

Opinion

Prevailing wage crucial for construction workers

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. 

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

Opinion

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.

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