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Emily Hoeven, center, questions Anne Marie Schubert, candidate for state attorney general, at the CalMatters offices in Sacramento in June 2022. Photo by Martin do Nascimento, CalMatters
By EMILY HOEVEN
Looking back on my first CalMatters newsletter, published on March 9, 2020, it’s astonishing to reflect on how much the state has changed over these past three years — and how so many of its fundamental challenges and debates remain the same. Three years ago, California was grappling with how to respond to the first reported cases of COVID-19 — a virus that has since infected nearly 11 million Californians and killed more than 98,000, with a current test positivity rate of 12.6%, according to state figures updated Thursday.
Three years ago, a group of state lawmakers and mayors proposed allocating $2 billion annually to address homelessness — an issue that plagues California more than ever before, with the state accounting for 30% of the nation’s homeless population in 2022, new federal data shows. Three years ago, University of California graduate students went on strike, demanding the system pay them a living wage — and two weeks ago, tens of thousands of UC academic workers approved contracts with higher wages and benefits, ending a six-week strike thought to be the country’s largest-ever labor action of university employees.
It has been an immense honor to chronicle these changes, big and small, in this newsletter for the past three years, and I am so thankful to each and every one of you for making it a part of your morning routine, sharing your thoughts and feedback, and welcoming me into the California politics community.
Today’s newsletter is my last—I start as a columnist and editorial writer at the San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 23, where I will keep covering California politics and policy. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter for updates.
Please also add email@example.com to your address book to ensure you keep receiving the newsletter. (If you’ve signed up for WhatMatters, you’ll automatically receive it from this new email address.) As CalMatters continues to recruit for the next newsletter writer—apply here!—my wonderful colleagues Ben Christopher and Sameea Kamal will lead newsletter coverage. Make sure to follow Ben and Sameea on Twitter as well.