CALMatters | PleasantonWeekly.com |

CALmatters is a Sacramento-based nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California's state Capitol works and why it matters. It works with more than 130 media partners throughout the state that have long, deep relationships with their local audiences, including Embarcadero Media (publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, Mountain View Voice, Pleasanton Weekly and The Almanac in Menlo Park and their websites.)

Here are the most recent stories reported by CALmatters' team of journalists:


Housing is a right. Lawmakers should work to provide it

When it comes to basic needs and rights, we cannot trust the market to work for everyone. That’s why government intervenes in the market to provide public education, affordable health care, food and water.  Affordable housing should be no different.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019 8:30 am
Trump, Newsom head for high-speed fight

Trump wants that high speed rail money back. Lawmakers want the bullet train to go to San Jose. Charter transparency gets a vote. And the soda tax is back.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019 4:30 am
Has Newsom become Governor Gaslight?

President Donald Trump often excoriates journalists when the point out his errors and falsehoods, and now California's new governor, Gavin Newsom, is becoming a gaslighter.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019 12:01 am
My turn: To fulfill clean water law, state must focus on L.A.’s small systems

Small water systems with the smallest number of customers face the greatest challenges in providing cheap, drinkable tap water. Most small water systems in L.A. County—and statewide—provide safe and affordable drinking water. The problem is that some do not. If we take the human right to water seriously, the place to start is with small water systems.

Tue, Feb 19, 2019 8:30 am
My turn: How to lead California on water

Felicia Marcus genuinely listened, didn’t shy away from tough decisions, and maintained a fierce dedication to public safety, economic security, and environmental health priorities of the state she loves. Her leadership will help her successors, E. Joaquin Esquivel and Laurel Firestone who bring experience in community-based work to the board.

Mon, Feb 18, 2019 8:30 am
Felony murder law repealed? Maybe not

Last year, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown virtually repealed California's "felony murder" law, but a judge has ruled that the repeal is unconstitutional.

Mon, Feb 18, 2019 12:01 am
My turn: Protecting clean car standards is a moral, health and economic imperative

Automakers must understand that if state and federal clean car standards are weakened, as a result of their lobbying, public health, climate emissions, the economy and job creation will suffer in California. We are calling on all automakers to view these standards from a moral perspective and halt any and all efforts to roll them back.

Sun, Feb 17, 2019 8:30 am
My turn: How much time do we need to overcome racism?

What have we learned from the decades of lynchings in this country? What have we learned from the roll call of the dead in the civil rights battles? What have we learned from the brutal slayings of nine people in an historic black Charleston, S.C.

Sat, Feb 16, 2019 8:30 am
My turn: California votes will be wasted in 2020 presidential primary. Here’s why

By moving the presidential primary election date to March 3, 2020, the Legislature sought to hit the moving target of relevance based on circumstances that can neither be controlled or known. If the past is any guide, hundreds of thousands of voters will waste their ballots on candidates who no longer will be running by primary election day.

Fri, Feb 15, 2019 4:29 am
Should California buy disaster insurance?

Hoping to save California taxpayers some money after spending nearly $1 billion to fight wildfires last year, Napa Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma say it’s time to look at purchasing disaster insurance for the state.

Thu, Feb 14, 2019 3:29 pm
Future disasters, future power, future Trump relations

Happy Valentine’s Day, California.  “I’m not going this time. I’ve got 35 chickens and a daughter who won’t leave them behind. So we’re staying.”—Lake Elsinore real estate Tim Suber, as Riverside County sheriff’s deputies sought to evacuate wildfire burn areas prone to mudslides during Wednesday’s epic rain. Suber told the Associated Press that between last […]

Thu, Feb 14, 2019 4:30 am
My turn: Here’s how rooftop solar can combat wildfires

We have a short period of time until the next fire season hits us. PG&E’s troubles have Californians demanding better solutions from their utilities, now. Sustainable business models and partnerships with solar leaders looking to protect fire-prone communities are a start.

Wed, Feb 13, 2019 8:30 am
Newsom stirs high speed rail furor

Newsom's State of the State throws the Central Valley a peace offering on the Delta tunnels, creates high speed rail confusion and offers a big social plan.

Wed, Feb 13, 2019 4:30 am
The border, the next wildfire, oil and water

Newsom pulls border troops, an 'un-American' transgender ban, the next big fire, a possible oil tax, Felicia Marcus may be out, and the State of the State.

Tue, Feb 12, 2019 4:30 am
Live analysis of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address

Can Gov. Gavin Newsom really do everything he’s setting out to do? Our team of state reporters break down his first State of the State address today—in a live YouTube panel discussion and our in-house Slack chat. You’ll find them both below. You can also read his speech, with our annotations, here. CALmatters Analysis of […]

Mon, Feb 11, 2019 4:45 pm
What happens when the next big wildfire hits?

As political pressure mounts with every disaster, California is scrambling to prepare for the coming fire season, from firefighting to utilities to the law.

Mon, Feb 11, 2019 10:57 am
Newsom wants more accountability for schools

Jerry Brown's unwillingness to monitor how local school districts are educating their students is giving way to successor Gavin Newsom's pledge to increase accountability.

Mon, Feb 11, 2019 12:01 am
Huntington Beach legislator: Newsom housing lawsuit “seemed like selective prosecution”

A conservative Huntington Beach legislator called a state lawsuit aimed at compelling the Orange County city to build more housing a "literal cannonball" from Gov. Gavin Newsom and said it "seemed like selective prosecution" when dozens of other California cities could be blamed for not doing their fair share to alleviate California's housing shortage.

Fri, Feb 8, 2019 11:20 am
VIDEO: Why California is so strict on guns

Tragedy strikes, California responds. Tragedy strikes, California responds. But how did a state once the epitome of the gun-slinging wild, wild west wind up with more gun control laws than another state in the country? This video explains:

Thu, Feb 7, 2019 11:30 pm
California made it hard to avoid vaccinating kids. Medical waivers have tripled. Now what?

Three years after California stopped allowing families to easily opt out of childhood vaccines, the number of kids getting medical waivers has tripled—the result, critics say, of some doctors loosely issuing exemptions to help families get around the law. Legislators and health experts are debating what to do next. One proposal would be modeled on an existing state requirement that any veterinarian seeking to exempt a sick dog from rabies vaccination must obtain approval from a health official.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019 7:04 pm
My turn: Here’s how to avert California’s next health care crisis

California faces a serious gap in health care workers. Seven million Californians, the majority of them Latino, African American, and Native American, live in Health Professional Shortage Areas — a federal designation for counties experiencing shortfalls of primary care, dental care, or mental health care providers. The California Future Health Workforce Commission offers solutions.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019 3:12 pm
My turn: Self-driving cars must not leave the rest of us behind

Self-driving vehicle technology could exacerbate entrenched social and environmental problems, if we don’t make deliberate policy choices, especially for marginalized groups. We can easily imagine a dystopian scenario in which people with money purchase personal self-driving cars, while the rest of us are mired in congested streets, with reduced mobility as public transit gets short-changed due to ridership loss.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019 1:48 pm

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