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By Eric Johnson
Published May 08, 2023

State Sen. Scott Wiener reminds us that for generations, California has welcomed people to be who and what they are. State Sen. Scott Wiener reminds us that for generations, California has welcomed people to be who and what they are.

Scott Wiener; Weird Comix; Water Rights: Member Newsletter May 8, 2023

How the SF state senator was changed by California; how our great state spawned a cultural phenomenon; how many Californians are being denied life's most basic necessity.

How California Culture Determines Politics

Ezra Klein of the New York Times is widely and rightly regarded as a preeminent Washington insider, but he is also very much a California boy. Born and raised in Irvine, schooled at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, he has called San Francisco home for a number of years. As he gets ready to move to New York City, he is taking a last long look at his home state.

Below I preview and briefly excerpt a wide-ranging conversation between Klein and California state Sen. Scott Wiener, the firebrand who recently announced a possible run for US Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s seat. While their talk centers on the limits of classical liberal politics, the two Californians touch briefly and smartly on our state’s cultural legacy.

Wiener, a native of New Jersey, moved as a young man to San Francisco’s Castro District having grown up closeted in a hostile environment. “Something inside told me to go to San Francisco, like generations of queer people have gone to San Francisco,” he recalls.

Wiener was not surprised when the tech boom that transformed his adopted city economically did not change much politically. He says of the armies of workers that bus in and out of SF every day: They could work in tech in a lot of places, and they chose San Francisco because of what it represents.”

Why Democrats Should Pay Attention to California

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) delivers the keynote address at the  Brookings Institute's Future of the Middle Class Initiative in May, 2019.
Ezra Klein talks to state Sen. Scott Wiener about why progressive policies have failed in a state with no Republicans in power.

California’s Contributions to the Art of Comics

“People come to California for freedom, and one of those freedoms is the freedom to draw. Our state’s central place in the wave of adult, autobiographical and underground comics can’t be overstated—especially in the unrestrained exuberance of cartooning’s heyday, roughly 1967 to 1993.”

Graphic Content

Rip Off Press, once located in San Francisco's Sunset District and now headquartered in Auburn, was part of a movement that blossomed in California.
Comics may have been born in New York, but they came of age in California. And there’s more to the story than San Francisco comix.

Should Clean Water be a Human Right?

According to a California law passed in 2012, “it is the established policy of the state that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” For almost a million Californians, that right is being violated.

Dirty Water: California Faces a Water Contamination Crisis

From nitrates to arsenic to “forever chemicals,” California’s water supply faces a serious pollution threat.
Almost one million California residents are forced to drink from contaminated water supplies, or pay for bottled water. Economic inequality makes the crisis worse. What is the state doing to fix it?

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Recent News

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• Boeger to Run in District 3

El Dorado County Planning Commissioner Lexi Boeger has announced she plans to run to El Dorado County’s District 3 supervisorial seat. The Placerville resident is a volunteer and advocate representing agriculture, small business and arts and culture development.

(05/08/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• El Dorado Hills Gets a Starring Role

A movie filmed in El Dorado Hills is finally available to audiences. Filmed in 2017, “Not Your Year” waited some time for its own year to come; it can be found now on Amazon, with Google Play, Tubi and Apple availability to come this summer.

(05/05/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• El Dorado Supervisors Table Discussion on Homelessness Plan

El Dorado County leaders have decided to take a “wait and see” approach regarding a newly proposed plan to solve the state’s homeless crisis drafted by the California State Association of Counties. District 1 Supervisor John Hidahl, who sits on the CSAC board, brought the plan to his fellow supervisors for discussion and possible adoption.

(05/05/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• Bryce Lovell Named New Head of Library Services

As a teenager Bryce Lovell worked as a shelver for El Dorado County libraries before going away to college. Two decades later the Pollock Pines native fulfilled his dream of becoming the county's director of library services.

(05/05/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• New Resolution Approved for Road, Trail Closures, Including Rubicon

When El Dorado County closed the Rubicon Trail due to the atmospheric river storms, some users asked why. Resulting discussion led to a resolution that any closure should be for limited reasons and at the direction of the county’s transportation director.

(05/04/2023) → Tahoe Daily Tribune

• Forest Service Anticipates Delayed Openings at Lake Tahoe

Spring conditions in the Lake Tahoe Basin have finally arrived but the effects of a tough winter will likely delay the official opening of many National Forest recreation sites, including beaches, campgrounds, forest roads and trailheads.

(05/04/2023) → Tahoe Daily Tribune

• Council Explores Revenue Streams for Affordable Housing

The South Lake Tahoe City Council spent several hours discussing potential revenue streams to fund affordable housing, including a transient occupancy tax rate increase and a vacancy tax.

(05/03/2023) → Tahoe Daily Tribune
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Upcoming Government Meetings

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Event sponsor logo City of South Lake Tahoe / Arts, Culture and Tourism Commission
Tuesday May 9 2023   3:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / Placerville City Council Meeting
Tuesday May 9 2023   5:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of South Lake Tahoe / Police Advisory Commission
Wednesday May 10 2023   3:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / SPECIAL MEETING: Placerville City Council Meeting
Wednesday May 10 2023   5:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of South Lake Tahoe / Planning Commission Meeting
Thursday May 11 2023   3:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / Placerville Economic Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday May 12 2023   12:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / Cannabis Community Benefits Committee Meeting
Tuesday May 16 2023   3:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / Planning Commission Meeting
Tuesday May 16 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Placerville / Recreation and Parks Commission
Wednesday May 17 2023   6:00 PM