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We couldn't fit all of our best 2022 explanatory pieces into one article. Here's more.
Explaining California is hard work! But at California Local, we were up for it throughout 2022.
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In addition to our top 10 explainers of 2022, California Local covered numerous other topics that needed explaining in the year just gone by. Here are links to five more stories that deserve at least an "honorable mention" on the list of the year's most important California Local explanatory journalism stories. We hope you’ll give them a second look.
Zero Traffic Fatalities: A Goal That Seems Increasingly Distant
At least 11 California cities, including Los Angeles—the state’s largest—have adopted a policy called “Vision Zero,” a set of specific measures designed to eliminate traffic deaths. The state also convened a “Zero Fatalities Task Force” which issued a 69-page report with recommendations for cutting deaths on the road to zero. But none of these efforts have had much effect. Thousands of people continue to die needlessly on California streets and highways every year. Why? California Local attempted to get at the answer in a pair of explainers, at the link above.
Animal Welfare in California: State Lags in Pet-Friendliness, New Laws Aim To Make it Better
California leads the way on a wide range of important issues, but unfortunately for our furry friends, animal welfare is not one of them. The state is not terrible, ranking 13th in a statistical analysis of pet-friendliness. But in 2022, Gov. Newsom signed a package of animal welfare laws designed to improve that ranking and more importantly, to make the state a better place for our animal companions, as we explained in the linked article.
Code Violations and ‘Excessive Fines’: Californians Battle Cities Over Minor Infractions
Homeowners throughout California have found themselves on the receiving end of the government power to impose fines and other penalties for violations of various city codes. In some cases, people have lost their homes thanks to local government, at a time when cities and the state are allegedly taking steps to reduce homelessness, not make it worse. We collected a series of “code violation” horror stories as well as possible solutions to this problem in our explainer on the topic.
California Defense Contracting: How the Military-Industrial Complex Shaped the State
One of our main topics to focus on with our explanatory pieces at California Local is how certain industries and economic forces have shaped the state and turned it into the place we live in today. The defense industry, certainly through the middle of the 20th century and even today, is one of the most important of those forces. We try to show why and how that happened in the explainer linked above.
Hooray For Hollywood: California’s Most Glamorous Industry, Where It Comes From, How it Shapes the World
Last but far from least, another of those industries that has shaped California—both economically and socially—is the movie and TV business, better known as “Hollywood.” But how did this global force take root in California, and how has it come to be more closely identified with California than any other industry? We explain it all for you, in the piece linked above.
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Long form articles which explain how something works, or provide context or background information about a current issue or topic.