Santa Clara County Explainer Articles

Image caption: Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, “Democracy” means “people power.” How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

Image caption: How does social media affect the minds and well-being of children? According to California and other states, not well.
California Sues Meta For Damaging Kids’ Mental Health

California and 32 other states are suing Instagram’s parent company, Meta, saying that their apps are damaging to children. Is there evidence for those claims? Here’s why social media is under attack.

Image caption: Californians continue to set clocks back every fall, and ahead each spring.
Daylight Saving Time, Explained

After a 2018 vote authorizing the state legislature to make daylight saving time year-round, Californians are still changing their clocks twice per year. How did we get here?

Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.

Image caption: Warehouse storage is just one aspect of the highly complex logistics industry that keeps supply chains running.
Logistics: the Crucial Industry You’ve Never Heard Of

Logistics is one of the largest industries in California and keeps the state economy running. But it also comes with a heavy cost to the environment. Here are the facts on the most important industry you don't know much about, …

Image caption: Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does

What is the California Coastal Commission? How one of the state’s most powerful agency protects public access to the state’s scenic coast from Mexico to Oregon.

Image caption: Disney’s planned community of Celebration in Florida is far from Walt Disney’s earlier vision of a utopian city.
Solano County Planned City Latest in a California Tradition

Silicon Valley billionaires want to create a new city in Solano County. How have planned cities fared in California? From Lakewood to Irvine to Disney’s new Cotino, there have been many.

Image caption: The Pajaro River levee broke during the 2023 atmospheric river storms, flooding the town of Pajaro.
Is California Ready for More Extreme Weather Driven by Climate Change?

This year, a series of extreme events in California and around the country have wreaked havoc, driven by climate change. How prepared are we for things to get worse?

Image caption: Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment

Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation projects have helped to build California, but they are also damaging the state’s environment for people, plants and animals by eliminating essential wetlands.

Image caption: How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: Kerry Wood, CEO of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, says the organization researches areas of need to help donors direct their contributions.
What Is a Community Foundation?

By channeling funds to a number of nonprofits working on various issues in a given region, community foundations help solve big problems throughout California.

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Working Together: TTCF and California Local

A conversation with Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation

Image caption: Feud between the “blue” and “red” governors has been broiling for over a year.
Newsom Vs. DeSantis: Feuding Govs Agree to ‘Red vs. Blue’ Debate

Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis finally agreed to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom after a feud hat has lasted for more than a year and included DeSantis dumping planeloads of immigrants in Sacramento.

Image caption: The surprising history of climate change denial can be traced back to fears over nuclear war.
It Started With ‘Star Wars’: Understanding Climate Denial

To understand climate change denial, we must go back to the Ronald Reagan presidency and his proposal for the “Star Wars” space-based missile defense system.

Image caption: Barbie is suddenly a movie star, but the toy has long played a big role in one of Southern California’s major industries.
Barbie, Mattel, and California’s Toy Empire

Here's how the iconic Barbie doll and its manufacturer, toy giant Mattel, built an industry in Southern California that pours billions into the state’s economy.

Image caption: Pres. Joe Biden decried the "hypocrisy" behind the Supreme Court's student loan forgiveness cancellation.
What Next For Student Loans After SCOTUS Ends Biden Debt Relief

The Supreme Court has terminated Pres. Biden's student debt relief program. Here's the reasoning the justices used to do it, how their decision affects Californians, and what's next for borrowers who must start paying again in October.

Image caption: The U.S. averages almost 170 heat-related deaths per year, many of them occurring on the job.
How California Protects Workers From Rising Heat

As climate change continues to drive temperatures to new extremes, employees in many jobs face increasing risk of injury and death. Here’s what California is doing to take the heat off workers.

Image caption: Zoning for single family homes is at the heart of numerous urban and social problems.
Should Zoning Laws Be Abolished?

Zoning laws that restrict new housing development cause environmental damage, racial and class segregation, and force people into cars creating traffic. Now, a new movement wants to abolish zoning in the United States.

Image caption: Zoning laws tell you what you can and can't build on the property you own. How does government get away with that?
How Zoning Laws Shape California and Society

Zoning laws determine what can be built and where. These laws have shaped California, but are they really just tools for social engineering? The history of zoning is closely tied to racial segregation, as well as the state's shortage of …

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