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By Eric Johnson
Published Dec 04, 2023

Image credit: Eric Johnson

Building Democracy in California

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.

The Red vs. Blue Debate

California Gov. Gavin Newsom confronted a hostile "moderator" and a slew of Fox News "facts" in a melee that generated more heat than light. 

Newsom, DeSantis Finally Square Off in Wild Fox News Debate

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (L) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis faced each other in person at last in an acrimonious Fox News debate Nov. 30.
Governors Gavin Newsom (D-CA) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) faced each other on a debate stage and traded blows, barbs, and zingers over the relative merits of their states in a Fox News debate that was nothing if not entertaining.

Impact Report Image for decorative use

California Local logo

Yolo County's Homepage

Our overview page for Yolo 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 to catch up on the latest news in California and Yolo County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Big Brothers Big Sisters logo Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The chapter serves Sacramento and Yolo counties, as well as southern Placer County.

→ Learn more

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Recent Local News

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• Consulting Services Approved to Begin Prop. 218 Efforts

Voter approval would provide funding for Winters Fire Department staff and equipment.

(12/04/2023) → Winters Express

• 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

• 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.
But the program by itself won’t pay cities and counties to remove the vast tent communities that line streets and sidewalks across California.

(11/29/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• EV Charger Ribbon Cutting Celebration

In collaboration with the city of Winters, Valley Clean Energy will host a celebration of the EV charger installations at the Winters Hotel on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.

(11/29/2023) → Winters Express
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Recent Statewide News

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• 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
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/30/2023)

Putah Creek Path from South Davis to UCD Closed During Winter Break Starting Dec. 18

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/30/2023)

Old Lincoln Hwy Multi-Use Path Tree Trimming Starts Dec. 6

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/29/2023)

Mace Redesign Final Message 11.30.23

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/28/2023)

Holiday Events in Woodland

Festivities highlighted by Tree Lighting and Holiday Parade
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/27/2023)

Candy Land at the Public Library Returns on Dec. 16

The library children's area will transform into a life-sized board game
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/27/2023)

Freeze Warning - November 27, 2023

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/21/2023)

Sycamore Park Phase 2 Paving Starts Nov. 27

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/20/2023)

Scene Newsletter

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/17/2023)

Caltrans Seeks Comment on Draft EIR Interstate 80 Toll Express Lanes Project

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/16/2023)

Shop Small, Eat Local This Holiday Season

Support your favorite Woodland businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 25