News

Stakes are high in the Byzantine world of redistricting

A portion of the California map under the magnifying glass. (Photo: Sharaf Maksumov, via Shutterstock)

For most Californians, redistricting is a dark and mysterious process that has little to do with their daily lives. For politicians, it could be a matter of career life or death. The creation of new district lines is underway right now in California, with the 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission working to redraw 52 congressional districts, 80 Assembly and 40 state Senate districts, along with four state Board of Equalization districts.

News

Karen Bass brings star power to crowded L.A. mayoral race

Rep. Karen Bass at a Culver City political rally in September. (Photo: Max Elram, via Shutterstock)

Former California Assembly Speaker and current U.S. Rep. Karen Bass wasn’t the first person to get into the L.A. mayoral race, nor the last. But with approximately seven months still to go before the June 7 primary, her candidacy has put a charge into the crowded competition to lead the nation’s second largest city.  

News

Real change proves elusive in mental health care system

An illustration of the brain and potential links to instability -- including mental illness. Some elements provided by NASA.(Image: GrAI, via Shutterstock)

Important legislation to improve California’s broken mental health system was passed this year, plus billions in new funding in the state budget — all aimed at stemming the tide of a growing crisis on California streets, in hospital ER’s, jails and prisons. But will it mean real change?

News

Outside auditor takes critical look at stem cell agency

A researcher examines meat cultured in laboratory conditions from stem cells. (Photo: Alex_Traksel, via Shutterstock)

California’s $12 billion stem cell agency needs to do better in several critical areas, ranging from planning for the replacement of its current chair to handling information that is key to its operations as well as the tracking of potential sources of royalties. That’s according to that latest performance audit of the 17-year-old agency.

News

Recall elections increasingly define political landscape

A newspaper's election gives readers information about the Sept. 14, 2021, recall election. (Photo: Matt Gush, via Shutterstock)

California’s attention was focused recently on the failed attempt to recall Gov. Newsom as a rare event of historical magnitude. In fact, recall elections happen all the time, and all but a relative handful of these obscure contests disappear into the limbo of history.

News

UC’s grad student researchers seek union link with auto workers

Students at the campus of the University of California in San Diego. (Photo: Kapi Ng, via Shutterstock)

About 17,000 graduate student researchers calling themselves Student Researchers United (SRU) at 10 University of California campuses are seeking to form a union with the United Auto Workers, a campaign that began in early 2020. UC management is not wholly on board with this move of unrepresented employees.

Podcast

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Bob Stern on behested payments

We are joined today by Bob Stern, one of the authors of the The Political Reform Act of 1974, and a former counsel for California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. We asked him about Behested Payments – the practice isn’t illegal, but strict reporting rules do apply.

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