Mother Jones features a look at how California is faring compared to other states on income, health, crime, education and other measures. And CalMatters takes a look at who is coming into California and to where people are leaving.



Racial Justice

Governor Newsom issued a formal apology to Native Americans for state-led genocide that devastated the Indigenous population, which fell from 150,000 to 30,000 between 1846 and 1870. His executive order also establishes a Truth and Healing Council to “clarify the historical record … in the spirit of truth and healing.” Newsom is only the third governor to issue a formal apology to Native Americans.


Environmental Justice

CDT partner California Environmental Justice Alliance conducted their annual California Environmental Justice Agency Assessment of state agencies and found that “a number of state agencies are not successfully integrating environmental justice into their decision-making and continually fail to prioritize long-standing health and quality of life needs of constituents.”


Contra Costa County

Per CDT partner Smart Justice California (SJCA), CDT- and SJCA-endorsed “District Attorney Diana Becton launched the office’s first conviction integrity unit to review wrongful conviction claims, cases where there is evidence of a significant integrity issue, and cases that require review in light of new changes in the law. She also established Contra Costa County’s first restorative justice program for youth, joining only three other counties in California with similar programs.”


Los Angeles

The New York Times contrasts the different criminal justice approaches led by District Attorneys in San Francisco (George Gascón) and Los Angeles (Jackie Lacey), “pushing to reform mass incarceration versus a more traditional get-tough-on crime tact,” respectively, and their effect on communities of color.


The Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority’s 2019 Homeless Count documented a staggering increase in homelessness in Los Angeles, and now Public Counsel and the UCLA School of Law are directly connecting the rise in homelessness to the equally staggering increase in renter evictions. In this new report, the authors argue that rent control is critical to stemming evictions and homelessness. Last November, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors implemented a temporary rent control ordinance that expires this December 31.



The state legislature passed a $215M 2019-2020 budget deal, which includes increases for public schools, health insurance for undocumented children and youth and affordable housing.


CalMatters features two articles on the legislative influence of corporations in the age of the Democratic supermajority: “If voters expected last year’s blue wave to upend policymaking-as-usual in Sacramento, it seems, at least for now, that the old rules still apply. Why? Moderating forces are still at work: swing-district Democrats remain tax-wary, lobbying and campaign money still wield a lot of influence, and virtually no one wants to burn through the state’s $21 billion budget surplus or its nearly $16 billion rainy day fund.”


The California Budget and Policy Center analyzes how Trump’s proposal to change federal poverty level would impact Californians: “…changing the method for updating the poverty line as proposed would threaten low-income Californians’ ability to meet their most basic needs.”