Opinion

More work needed on state’s drinking water crisis

A sign urging protections for drinking water in Yosemite National Park. (Photo: Earl D. Walker, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California has a drinking water crisis. More than 1 million people in California lack access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. 400 schools in our state have lead contamination in their drinking water. About 300 public water systems in our state are not in compliance with drinking water standards. This is a public health and environmental crisis.

Opinion

Where are the promised fixes to the new privacy law?

An illustration of online data sharing. (Image: Lightspring, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: One year ago, the California Legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law. Even at passage, the legislative leadership recognized its flaws – what some observers called an “unmitigated disaster in the making” – and committed to addressing its flaws in the year before it took effect in January of 2020.

Opinion

New wildfire safety bill hurts, rather than helps

A California forest fire seen at night. (Photo: vladseagull, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Until 2019, if a California utility violated fire safety rules and thereby caused a catastrophic wildfire, the utility could not make its customers pay for its uninsured wildfire costs.In 2017, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was found by two administrative law judges to have violated numerous fire safety rules when its operations caused San Diego’s catastrophic wildfires in 2007.

Opinion

‘Stranger Things,’ the ACA and a federal appeals court

A photo illustration of the Affordable Care Act. (Image: Jon Schulte, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Anyone binge watching “Stranger Things,” will be struck by the similarities with the real-world drama playing out before the federal appeals court in New Orleans. The question before the three-judge panel is whether the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in its entirety. In Stranger Things, the deadly threat comes from an upside-down parallel universe in which things aren’t what they seem, the rules of logic don’t apply, and nothing makes sense.

Opinion

Harassment in the workplace — it matters

Employees in an open work space. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: I recently signed a letter with state Sen. Connie Leyva, chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and six other prominent women in California calling on J.J.Jelincic Jr. to drop out of the race for the CalPERS board after his history of harassing women was revealed by the Sacramento Bee. It matters that three women at CalPERS felt so uncomfortable working with Jelincic that they filed harassment charges against him, and that their allegations were upheld by the California State Personnel Board.

Opinion

Execution not the only form of prison death

The watchtower at a California state prison (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Fifteen years into a 41 years-to-life sentence, I arrived at San Quentin — the home of Death Row. I immediately noticed the difference between the treatment of condemned people and of general population people, like myself. Anytime condemned people left their cell they were shackled at the waist and feet. As they moved through the corridors and walkways, all general population people were told to face the wall.

Opinion

Let’s get plastic out of our food — now

Plastic garbage on the beach, tossed there or brought in by the tide. (Photo: Larina Marina, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You are what you eat” a thousand times. It’s a motto usually used to encourage skipping the fries or chips for the recommended servings of veggies and fruits. But lately this phrase has a taken on an alarming new meaning. We are eating plastic.

Opinion

A key move to address California’s wildfire crisis

A resident watches smoke billowing from the Woolsey Fire, November, 2018, in Southern California. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is facing a wildfire crisis of epic proportions, and with the 2019 fire season already upon us, the immediate threat of yet another highly destructive and costly wildfire looms over communities all across the state. Everyone agrees that something must be done to address this crisis, and yet legislators still have not taken definitive action.

Opinion

Privacy Act hinders foster care placements

A solitary child sits ona park bench. (Photo: Alex Tor, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: There are more than 55,000 children in foster care in California and about 34 percent of them will be placed with relatives according to AdoptUSKids — that is, if social workers can find their family. When a child is removed from the home and placed in out-of-home care, relatives are the preferred resource because this type of placement maintains the child’s connections with their family.

Opinion

Flexibility, security for independent contractors

A man delivers pizza to a customer. (Photo: Nikolay Sirota, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: I started DoorDash for people like my mom, who worked in a Chinese restaurant after immigrating to the United States. Working alongside her instilled in me a passion to help hard-working families and small businesses struggling to get ahead. Today, hundreds of thousands of Californians deliver with DoorDash to earn extra income while retaining the freedom to dictate when, where, and how much they work.

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