Paul Mitchell, Capitol Weekly collaborate on new feature

Voluminous data displayed on a computer monitor. (Photo: Dimitri Nikolaev)

Data wizard Paul Mitchell and Capitol Weekly are joining forces to regularly explore contemporary issues of importance to our readers in a new feature blending data and text. Gun control, the environment, education, state budgeting and, of course, California elections. On occasion, we hope to offer useful insight. And at other times, we’ll use the data just to have fun.

The feature column, which we call “CA120,” will begin Jan. 18. It will appear in Capitol Weekly, with links to social media and other sites.

The heavy lifting here will be done by Mitchell, one of the state’s top data experts. He is vice president of Political Data Inc, and owner of Redistricting Partners, research and strategy firms that provide information to Democratic, Republican and independent candidates. Mitchell has been an early contributor to Capitol Weekly, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news and information web site that specializes in state government and politics.

Mitchell often serves as a source for media organizations around the country on voter engagement, redistricting and elections. Paul has served as an expert witness before the courts on complex issues, including racially polarized voting and state and federal voting rights laws. A competitive cyclist, he also did a project in 2015 tracking social media traffic during the Tour d’ France looking at daily trends for athletes, companies and cycling-related publications.

Capitol Weekly Editor John Howard will provide editing and oversight, with the goal of using the data to describe the themes and context necessary to connect people to the intriguing world of databases and number crunching.

We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we will pose questions, provide a perspective on the data and inform the conversation.

We look forward to your engagement and feedback.

–Paul and John

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