Helping mentally ill people: The debate over ‘involuntary treatment’

A woman in a medical ward ponders her situation. (Photo: Boyloso, via Shutterstock)

Lee Davis says flatly that without involuntary treatment for her raging psychosis, she would be dead. “It saved my life.” A mental health activist who chairs the Alameda County Mental Health Advisory Board, which advises the board of supervisors and county officials on mental health policy, Davis acknowledges hers is not a popular view among disability rights advocates,

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Opinion

Community clean energy greatly helps those left behind

Solar panels clustered in an urban environment to provide energy to surrounding buildings, homes. (Photo: Gengwit Wattakawigran. via Shutterstock)

OPINION: All Californians have the right to access affordable clean energy. However, the majority of Californians are unable to take advantage of solar energy generated at their home because they are renters or homeowners without a suitable roof. These significant barriers are not adequately addressed through California’s existing clean energy programs.

Opinion

Local health care delivery key to Kaiser Medi-Cal contract

OPINION: Currently, Kaiser Permanente subcontracts across parts of the state to provide Medi-Cal coverage. We are required to pay upwards of $200 million in administrative fees. This state contract allows us to put that money instead into more and better care for Medi-Cal members and the into communities that we serve.

News

California’s drought, relentless and inexorable, takes its toll

A drought-stricken tree at sunset. (Photo: PG_Traveler, via Shutterstock)

With the rainy season come and gone, drought’s withered hand remained firmly fixed on California this month, as it has been, with few exceptions, for the last decade. Woes pile up. Rain didn’t save us, the snowpack is all but gone, the Coastal Commission says no desalinating sea water, and urban-interface fires have already begun.

Analysis

CA120: Reading the tea leaves as early votes come in

A voter casts his ballot in the vote center at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: Ringo Chiu, Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: Ballots have been mailed to all 22 million California voters and many have already been returned. As has been the pattern for the last several election cycles, this begins a month-long stretch where most voters will cast their ballots by mail or at in-person voting centers. Some will wait until Election Day and vote at the polls, but that is a declining portion of the electorate.

Podcast

Introducing the California Legislative Black Staff Association

Alchemy Graham and Cassidy Denny of the California Legislative Black Staff Association

CAPITOL WEEKLY PODCAST: Our guests this episode are newly-elected California Legislative Black Staff Association Board Chair Alchemy Graham and Vice Chair Cassidy Denny. Graham is a lobbyist with Shaw Yoder Antwih Schmelzer & Lange; Denny works in the office of Senator Nancy Skinner. We asked them about their goals for the Association, why a Black Staff Association is needed, and about their own paths to working in the capitol.

News

Discussion over CSU policing practices intensifies

Students scurrying to classes on the campus of San Diego State University. (Photo: Pictor Picture Company, via Shutterstock)

The forced removal of a university professor from an LA mayoral debate has intensified discussion in the wake of earlier legislation that seeks greater public involvement in CSU’s policing policies. Police officers physically ejected Cal State LA Professor Melina Abdullah from an LA mayoral debate in the University Student Union Theater recently. The Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs and League of Women Voters of Greater LA sponsored the private event at a public university.

Analysis

Redistricting, elections: Surprises await, and no perfect roadmap

Image of the California state flag, showing the cracks and fissures representing political differences. (Illustration: helloRuby, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: For the past two years, redistricting experts and politicos, myself included, have been building toward the 2022 election cycle. A big part of this included building tools for analyzing potential new districts for their partisan breakdown and likely voting behavior. Getting these kinds of metrics was critical to the drawing of lines by legislatures that still have the control, and performing advocacy before commissions in states, like California, that have transitioned to a public and open redistricting process.

Opinion

Fixes needed now in California’s housing, climate-change policies

Masked youths walk down a street in Pacific Palisades, as a brush fire burns beyond the houses. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is laying the groundwork to transition millions of homes and buildings from fossil fuel heat to clean energy in coming decades, but the policies guiding our state’s investment in affordable housing are pushing California in the exact opposite direction — by penalizing developers who want to build sustainably.

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