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By Eric Johnson
Published May 28, 2024

If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. Image credit: Michael Carni, Shutterstock

We Have Some Real Good News

You probably haven't spent much of every workday for the past 27 years paying attention to local culture and politics in some part of California. I have. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying, that is what I do, and it is a pretty satisfying endeavor. It surprises many people when I share my opinion that for the most part, this state is in much better shape than it was when I started working here.

In our new book, How California Works: Building Democracy in the Golden State, we have collected 47 Explainers that author Jonathan Vankin wrote for California Local over the past three years (updated for the book) that entertainingly detail the nuts-and-bolts story of how our state functions. Together, they tell a tale that might surprise you in a good way.


Our Brand New Book Tells Some Good, True Stories

After many months of preparation, our new book, by the award-winning journalist and author Jonathan Vankin, is finally available. Get your copy today and discover how, just as California leads the world in technology via Silicon Valley, and in popular culture via Hollywood, etc., the Golden State leads the world in public policy. Way less sexy for sure, but possibly way more important.

Buy it on Amazon today!


How California Works: an Editors' Note


True stories about how, at its best, California has resisted and pushed back against anti-democratic forces. The histories and policies, deeply human characters, and controversies that have led us to where we are today.

If You're Not in Awe, You're Not Paying Attention

In his first blog post for this project, Chris Neklason, our CEO and product dude, described how building California Local's underlying technology and database turned him into a local-politics optimimist. “The genius of democracy is that it's a political system well suited for people to collectively make things better. Yeah, it's messy, it's imperfect, it's clunky. But it works.” 

This week,  having spent a couple months paying close attention to news from around the state, Chris returns to the subject.


Things Are Getting Better

New garbage and recycling receptacles! A new raised path through the rainy-season swamp!
All across California, municipalities and nonprofits are making their communities better.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.


Double up on cherries in these tender muffins

Cherry season is worth celebrating with these tender, not-too-sweet muffins.
New! Ricotta the secret ingredient to these baked treats


Impact Report Image for decorative use


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Sacramento County's Homepage

Our overview page for Sacramento County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to https://sacramento.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Sacramento County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Get to Know a Group

Wind Youth Services logo Wind Youth Services

The Wind Youth Center is a safe space for homeless and runaway youth. The group provides education, services, and opportunities to help young people achieve stability and independence.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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KSQD logo Student Protestor Voices on Israel-Gaza-Palestine

In this field-produced, bonus episode, the Moment of Truth team interviews pro-Palestinian, student protestors and campers at university and college encampments.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Calforests Applauds Funding for Wildfire Prevention, Preparedness in Governor Newsom’s May Revision

On May 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the May Revision includes a proposed budget allocation to assist the State in achieving its fire prevention and fire suppression goals.

Folsom Times logo Cordova High School Celebrates Its 60th graduating Class

The grandstands of Cordova High School Stadium were filled up to capacity Friday evening as the community of Rancho Cordova came together to celebrate the class of 2024.

Sacramento News and Review logo CLTRE Secures Land on Del Paso Boulevard for Housing Development

CLTRE, a nonprofit creating pathways for economic development and homeownership in underserved communities, has secured a new site for affordable housing and retail development on Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento.

Folsom Telegraph logo Folsom Central Business District Committee Shares Vision

The city approved American Recovery Plan Act funds to develop a master plan to revitalize the Central Business District, the original commercial core when Folsom began expanding rapidly from a small town in the 1980s.

Folsom Telegraph logo 'Loud and Clear': Folsom City Officials Hear Community Feedback on Homelessness

Folsom city officials say they want to make it "inconvenient" to be homeless in their community.

American River Messenger logo Big Day of Service 2024 Triumphs in the Rain

1,000 Volunteers Rally Together for Big Day of Service in Fair Oaks

San Jose Inside logo California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

American River Messenger logo Big Day of Giving Big Deal

Local Nonprofit Organizations Were Big Winners in the May 7 Big Day of Giving

Carmichael Times logo Alice Astafan Shares Her Story

Retired Major General Highlights Achievements (and Challenges) in New Memoir.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Rosemont Community Park Sport Courts Complete!

Cordova Recreation & Park District Celebrates Completion with the Community.

Carmichael Times logo American River Trail Guide Released

Ashley Shult Langdon Writes Book About Trails on Sacramento's Lower American River.

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

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• UC Davis Workers Join Strike

On May 28, UC Davis academic workers joined the strike protesting the University of California response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

(05/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Elk Grove Considers Permanent Homeless Shelter

In the May 22 Elk Grove City Council meeting, councilmembers discussed the success of the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary program and the possibility of making it permanent.

(05/28/2024) → Elk Grove News Net

• City of Sacramento Considers Budget Options

The City of Sacramento is facing a $66 million deficit in a proposed budget of $1.6 billion and weighing the options to cover it.

(05/27/2024) → The Sacramento Observer

• Feral Cat Numbers Increase in Citrus Heights

The Citrus Heights City Council heard concerns expressed at a recent meeting about the increase in feral cats locally, many sick and starving, and some possibly carrying a deadly virus.

(05/25/2024) → Citrus Heights Sentinel

• Elk Grove Councilmember Advocates for Universal Basic Income

In the May 22 meeting, Elk Grove City Councilmember Sergio Robles advocated the study of a Basic Universal Income program for residents participating in city workforce development programs.

(05/24/2024) → Elk Grove News Net

• Elk Grove City Budget Released

In the May 22 City Council meeting, the city manager presented the 2025 budget of $373 million.

(05/23/2024) → Elk Grove News Net

• Sacramento Library Tax Measure on November Ballot

In its May 21 meeting, the Sacramento City Council voted to put a measure on the November ballot to combine two existing library parcel taxes and extend them indefinitely.

(05/22/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• State Senate Advance Reparations Legislation

On May 21, the California State Senate advanced reparations legislation, which will now be taken up by the state Assembly.

(05/22/2024) → CapPublicRadio
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• Planets on Parade in June

An alignment known as a “planetary parade” will march across night skies starting June 3.

(05/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• As Key Deadlines Loom, Newsom and California Lawmakers Have Dozens of Deals to Make

It’s time for the folks in California’s Capitol to play let’s-make-a-deal – or actually, many deals.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• UC Student Workers Expand Strike to Two More Campuses as They Demand Amnesty for Protestors

After University of California students were arrested or suspended for protests, student workers are striking at three campuses. The Office of President says the strike violates the union contract.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘We Have to Do Less With Less’: Cal State Faces Extra $500 Million Budget Gap

Two major forces are at play: Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back his promise of increased financial support for Cal State, while university officials agreed to 5% salary increases earlier this year.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• California Wants to Be Carbon-Neutral by 2045. What Does That Mean for Its Big Economic Drivers?

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, flew more 6,000 miles to Rome this month to deliver a brief speech on climate change at a Vatican-sponsored conference.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• Apology for Slavery, Funding Frameworks for Reparations Advance

California lawmakers voted to offer an official apology for the state’s role in supporting slavery and moved several reparations bills but let others die.

(05/24/2024) → CalMatters

• Decadeslong Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

It’s been almost a half-century since I first heard the term “peripheral canal” uttered by William Gianelli, who was then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s top water official. The project, in one form or another, had already been kicking around for decades.

(05/23/2024) → CalMatters

• California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

(05/22/2024) → CalMatters
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

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Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/24/2024)

Stay safe on the water: Sacramento Fire Department distributes free life jackets

With hotter temperatures approaching, the Sacramento Fire Department is urging swimmers and boaters to be cautious and wear life jackets in waterways this summer. "Our rivers are not stagnant like a swimming pool," said Sacramento Fire Captain Justin Sylvia. "They are fast moving and can sweep you downriver within seconds. Do not turn your back [...] The post Stay safe …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/24/2024)

‘Thousand Strong’ program offers paid internships for Sacramento teens. Here’s how to apply

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg's "Thousand Strong" paid internship program for high schoolers is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 session. The Thousand Strong program, which Steinberg launched seven years ago, offers participants 300 hours of paid work experience over a year and an additional 40 hours of workplace basics training. Employers for the 2024-2025 cohort [...] The post ‘Thousand Strong' …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/24/2024)

Officials celebrate success of former downtown Sacramento motel turned supportive housing

Sacramento City, County, and State officials recently celebrated the opening of Central Sacramento Studios (1114 H St.), a former motel that has been converted into permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. The developer, Danco Communities, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 16 to mark the projects success. The downtown Sacramento development is a California [...] The post Officials …
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/23/2024)

Dairy Manufacturers Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall of Products Due to Non-Compliance with Requirements Under the 21 CFR 106.110 New Infant Formula Registration

Dairy Manufacturers Inc., of Prosper, TX - 5/24/24, is voluntarily recalling all lot codes for infant formulas available in the US: Crecelac Infant 0-12, Farmalac 0-12 and Farmalac 0-12 Low lactose to the retail and wholesale level. The products have been found in non-compliance with the requirement
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (05/23/2024)

Lori Wilson CA Assembly 11:
Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson's Bill to Protect Californians from Harmful Chemicals in

Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson's Bill to Protect Californians from Harmful Chemicals in guerraje Thu, 05/23/2024 - 09:51 Title Communications Director Email Edgar.Guerra@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2011 Wednesday, May 22, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilsons bill AB 2300 passed the Assembly floor with a bipartisan vote of 58 to 1. AB 2300 aims to safeguard Californians from the dangers posed by …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (05/23/2024)

Lori Wilson CA Assembly 11:
Watch: Assemblymember Wilson Discusses Impact of AB 2229 California Healthy Youth Act

Watch: Assemblymember Wilson Discusses Impact of AB 2229 California Healthy Youth Act robbee Thu, 05/23/2024 - 07:32 Monday, May 20, 2024
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/22/2024)

AMB Food Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Wheat in Product

AMB Food Inc. in Brooklyn NY is recalling 8 oz bags of Pop a Nosh Mix Munch Regular and Honey BBQ snacks because it contains pretzels, but does not list Wheat as an allergen. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if th
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/22/2024)

New Sacramento historic district recognizes mid-century homes by architect Joseph Eichler

Members of the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday designated as a historic district the portion of South Land Park Hills developed in the 1950s by modernist architect Joseph Eichler. Built between 1955 and 1956, the 48 residential buildings included in the district have maintained their historical significance and continue to thrive as a lively residential [...] The post New Sacramento …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/22/2024)

Data Report: How the City responded to homelessness May 13-19

The City of Sacramento has released its weekly progress report for the Citys Incident Management Team responding to homelessness. From May 13-19, the City of Sacramento received 831 calls to 311 customer service related to unsheltered individuals. Through the work of the IMT, 961 calls were closed, meaning that either the issue was remedied, compliance was achieved, [...] The post …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (05/22/2024)

Sacramento unveils pilot Budget Equity Resource Guide and Tool

In preparing the proposed budget for fiscal 2024-25, City staff is for the first time using a data tool that helps identify the effects of spending decisions on underserved groups and neighborhoods. The pilot Budget Equity Resource Guide and Tool (BERG/T), designed by the Racial Equity Committee (REC), has helped City staff and the City [...] The post Sacramento unveils …