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Explainers and guides from our team of journalists, a curated news digest from trusted local newsrooms, and local government announcements and upcoming meetings, delivered every Monday morning to your inbox.


Image caption: The sidewalk under this Capital City Freeway overpass in Midtown Sacramento often serves as a sad and squalid home for a dozen or more tent-dwellers. During the weeks that these two gentlemen lived there, they kept it relatively tidy.
July 17, 2023: A Simple Solution to Two Huge Problems

There is evidence that the tightly related scourges of housing affordability and homelessness could be alleviated with one bold move: Abolish restrictive zoning.

Image caption: On downtown San Jose’s Milligan Lot sits a home from the Civil War era that could be bulldozed to make way for a parking lot. Preservationists believe there are more creative options for this pretty creekside site.
July 10, 2023: The History of Us

Modern humans face a rate of societal change that far outstrips anything our ancestors encountered. It’s no wonder we struggle to preserve what we can of the past.

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July 3, 2023: California Independence

Here in California, we are not waiting for national politicians to recognize that we live in a land built on diversity—and that the world needs us to act boldly to make big changes.

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June 26, 2023: California Pride

A quick perusal of “Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement” proves that the Left Coast contributed more than its fair share to the cause.

Image caption: A homeless camp along Interstate 80 in Sacramento.
June 19, 2023: Is Housing a Human Right?

The California Legislature is considering a constitutional amendment declaring "that the state “recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California.”

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June 12, 2023: Juneteenth Reasons to Celebrate

2023 marks the first year Juneteenth is an official state holiday, but Californians have observed the holiday for decades. Find out where the parties are.

Image caption: Detail from The New York Times Magazine cover for June 4, 2023.
June 5, 2023: The California Effect and CalMatters

The New York Times Magazine spends an entire issue explaining why California matters, and CalMatters wins gold for giving the state the coverage it deserves.

Image caption: Service members stand in formation during a Memorial Day service.
May 29, 2023: Memorial Day & the Death Penalty

Let’s face some hard facts—and still be able to celebrate the beginning of the best season of the year.

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May 22, 2023: CALocal Wins Two Big Journo Awards

You probably know that The Newsletter goes out only to California Local members and subscribers. Today I am writing to bring the good news that we have just been given two big awards.

Image caption: A farmworker takes a break from picking raspberries inside a hoop-house in the Salinas Valley.
May 15, 2023: California Agriculture & Immigration

The state’s most important industry relies on workers who are not given a chance to obtain legal status.

Image caption: State Sen. Scott Wiener reminds us that for generations, California has welcomed people to be who and what they are.
May 8, 2023: Scott Wiener; Weird Comix; Water Rights

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.

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May 1, 2023: Happy May Day, Labour Day, and Law Day

Richard Nixon's hypocrisy; TV's favorite presidential historian's contempt; and Richard von Busack's weird job history.

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Apr 24, 2023: Taste Spring! + Alice Waters

In this episode of The Newsletter, we celebrate food. The star of this week’s show is none other than Alice Waters, the Queen of California Cuisine.

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Apr 17, 2023: Green Reading for Earth Day

Follow these people and publications to stay current with green news and information.

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Apr 10, 2023: Helping Hands

It's Global Volunteer Month, and National Volunteer week is right around the corner. Here’s some good news about people who are working to make their communities better, and how you can help them.

Image caption: As their fundamental journalistic service, legacy local news organizations, most of which are struggling, help stop the spread of disinformation.
Apr 3, 2023: Democracy & Journalism

In which we consider informed civic participation.

Image caption: The Elephant in the Room: Incivility, at both ends of the political spectrum, wreaks havoc on our democracy. We can do something about this.
Mar 27, 2023: Connection or Chaos?

Greetings from Midtown Sacramento, where this morning broke bright and cold for the second day in a row. Don’t know about you but I’m ready for the warmth of spring. And trying to feel good about the rain that’s still …

Image caption: Tiny Pajaro (center) sits across the river from Watsonville in the strawberry-rich Pajaro Valley.
Mar 20, 2023: Survival and Civic Engagement

Hello and welcome to the first “statewide” issue of The Newsletter from California Local.

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