Happy Monday. In this week's edition of The Newsletter, you will find the following:
• An introduction to "How California Works: Building Democracy in the Golden State," by our own Jon Vankin.
• Jon's coverage of the "debate" between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
• A local News Digest, curated by our own Sharan Street, from members of the California Local Media Alliance and other trusted sources. (Scroll down, but not yet.)
• A brief introduction to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, which has launched its annual Give Back Tahoe campaign.
• Even more!
The State that is Shaping America's Future
Think of this book as a fun Civics 101 primer for students, community leaders and curious Californians.
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.
• Former Lodi Councilmember Can Challenge Appointment of His Successor
Former Lodi City Councilman Shakir Khan has been given the green light from the California Attorney General’s office to challenge the appointment of his successor.
(12/01/2023) → San Joaquin Valley Sun
• Tracy Arts Commission Searching for Two New Members
The Tracy Arts Commission has opened a recruitment to fill two openings on the board. The application window will close on Dec. 14.
(12/01/2023) → Tracy Press
• California’s First Black-led Conservancy Acquires Land in Placer County
The 40 Acre Conservation League has recently acquired hundreds of acres of land in Placer County, 70 miles northeast of Sacramento—a significant step toward making outdoor experiences more inclusive.
(11/30/2023) → CapPublicRadio
• Local Candidates Line Up for a Run in March Primary
The nomination period to file candidacy papers for the March primary opened a little more than two weeks ago, and six San Joaquin County residents have already thrown their hat in the ring.
(11/30/2023) → LodiNews
• As Alzheimer’s Cases Grow, Sacramento Wants to Make Communities 'Dementia-Friendly’
In Sacramento County, a new initiative is underway to make the area “friendlier” for people who have dementia and attempt to lower rates of the disease in the first place. Officials want more businesses to be able to see the signs, and for families to have more clarity on local resources.
(11/29/2023) → CapPublicRadio
• Sacramento Region Eyes New Round of Homeless Encampment Funds
Officials say they’ll consider applying for some of the $300 million in homeless encampment funds made available this week by Governor Gavin Newsom.
(11/29/2023) → CapPublicRadio
But the program by itself won’t pay cities and counties to remove the vast tent communities that line streets and sidewalks across California.
• Why “DoMo” Has More Mojo
As part of a series about what other Central Valley towns manage to do and Stockton bafflingly does not, Stocktonia looks at Modesto’s pleasant downtown, a lively, commercially diverse district of restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops.
(11/29/2023) → Stocktonia
• DMV Shift Appears to Spur Drop in ‘No Party Preference’ Voter Sign-Ups
The California Department of Motor Vehicles changed its voter registration process in 2019 to put a party selection dropdown on the same page. Since then, the number of people registering as Republicans or Democrats has jumped close to 20 points.
(12/04/2023) → Sacramento Bee
• New Assembly Labor Committee Chair Faces Ongoing Worker Unrest, but Scores Some Wins
With nine months’ experience in the Assembly, Liz Ortega will lead the Labor committee after a strike-filled summer and several wins for low-wage workers.
(12/04/2023) → CalMatters
• Oakland Might Have to Pay Developers Millions Over Coal Terminal
An Alameda County judge ruled on Nov. 22 that the city of Oakland thwarted a proposed coal export terminal. The judge will rule if the developer who sued is entitled to $159 million in damages or moving forward with the project.
(12/04/2023) → KQED
• Stolen Blue Shield of California Data Could Hit Dark Web
Hackers stole data this week from Blue Shield of California. Historically, this type of data has sometimes wound up for sale on what’s known as the dark web, the part of the internet not typically included in search engine results.
(12/01/2023) → The Mercury News
• Retailers Boost Pay Ahead of California Minimum Wage Increase
California’s minimum hourly wage will rise from $15.50 to $16 on Jan. 1. Ahead of this, retailers like Costco and Target have raised their minimum pay in recent years.
(11/29/2023) → Sacramento Bee
• DOE Analysis Confirms Salton Sea Is a Rich Domestic Lithium Resource
An analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy found that with expected technology advances, the Salton Sea region’s total lithium resources could produce more than 3,400 kilotons of lithium, enough to support over 375 million batteries for electric vehicles—more than the total number currently on U.S. roads.
(11/28/2023) → YubaNet
• Naked Man at Disneyland Shuts Down ‘It’s a Small World’
A man stripped naked at the Disneyland ride “It’s a Small World,” causing it to be shut down for nearly an hour. He could face charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance and indecent exposure.
(11/27/2023) → SFGate
• Data Explores Whether California or Florida Handled COVID Better
California and Florida took starkly different approaches to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Data shows that more Floridians died per capita of COVID than did Californians.
(11/27/2023) → Los Angeles Times
• California Schools Need Funding for New Math Guidelines
State officials passed a 1,000-page document in July outlining new guidelines for teaching math in California. Funding has not been allocated, though the state superintendent intends to introduce legislation that could change this.
(11/27/2023) → EdSource
• More Migrants Getting Hurt Climbing Border Wall in California
Seven times as many patients have been admitted to the trauma unit at UC San Diego Health since the Trump administration raised the height of the border wall to 30 feet in California. The hospital also notes that 23 people have died in falls from the wall since 2019.
(11/27/2023) → New York Times