California Bills: Ethnic Studies and Police Reform in Newsom

Hello, California. It’s Thursday September 9th.

Big decisions to come

Win or lose the recall, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s political challenges will not end after September 14.

State lawmakers sent a stack of controversial bills to the governor’s office on Wednesday, adding to a stack that already contains controversial proposals such as eliminating statewide single-family zoning and imposing sections of non-sexist toys in department stores. Newsom has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto bills that lawmakers will finish sending to it on Friday, at the end of the legislative session. Here’s a look at some key proposals that were adopted on Wednesday:

An idea that will not progress, however: a proposal that would have established legal protections for employers that require workers to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 tests. “We unfortunately ran out of time” said the author of the bill, Democratic Assembly Member Evan Low from Silicon Valley, who noted that the proposal would also have extended paid sick leave for workers infected with COVID-19.

California expanded paid sick leave policy – which required many employers to offer 80 hours of paid time off for a COVID-related illness – is set to expire on September 30, the same day as the state’s moratorium on evictions.


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The net result of the coronavirus: Tuesday California had 4,315,234 confirmed cases (+ 0.2% compared to the day before) and 66,056 deaths (+ 0.04% compared to the day before), according to state data.

California administered 47 514 264 vaccine doses, and 67.4% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated.

More: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline by tracking the state’s daily actions. We’re also tracking state-by-county coronavirus hospitalizations and lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.


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1. National Democrats rally behind Newsom

Vice President Kamala Harris replaces Governor Gavin Newsom at the IBEW-NECA training center in San Leandro on September 8, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Barack Obama: the current and the former Democratic presidential administration of the country support Newsom with full force. Vice President Harris joined Newsom in the Bay Area on Wednesday to rally against the September 14 recall – the latest date in a long and tumultuous relationship between political enemies, reports Ben Christopher of CalMatters. Also on Wednesday, the Newsom campaign launched an ad with former president obama urging Californians to vote against the recall. And next week – presumably before Election Day, which is Tuesday – President Biden is expected to travel to California to replace Newsom.

The push by the National Democrats comes in the middle a storm of new polls released on Wednesday which reinforces the conclusion that Newsom is well positioned to survive the recall. But while the Newsom campaign is cautiously optimistic, his allies say they don’t take anything for granted. Critics of the governor, meanwhile, say they doubt the polls are representative.

  • Becky Olsen, who attended a recent rally for frontrunner Larry Elder, told the Washington Post: “You can see all the people here going to vote for Larry. I think people don’t want to say how they vote. They are afraid to say it, maybe.

Speaking of Elder, the conservative talk show host was apparently accosted by homeless Californians and activists – as good as a woman throwing eggs wearing a gorilla mask – during a campaign stopover in Venice on Wednesday.

And now a scooplet from Ben Christopher of CalMatters: California Campaign Fundraising Watchdog has opened an investigation into recall candidate Kevin Paffrath after the YouTube Democrat personality filed financial disclosure documents 45 days after the legal deadline. Paffrath filed his declaration of economic interests after being informed of the investigation. At the end of last month, the state launched a similar investigation in Elder.

2. Separate reality from fiction

Image via iStock

Last month, a judge gave Newsom the go-ahead to characterize the recall in the state’s official voter guide as “an attempt by national Republicans … to take power in California,” noting that although the statement can be exaggerated, “it is also the exaggeration which is common to the political debate and which is therefore admissible. As the recall candidates and Newsom launch into the election campaign, they launch claims left and right about each other’s beliefs, COVID-19 vaccines, climate change and crime – but how many are they really based on facts? Sameea Kamal from CalMatters takes a look.

Meanwhile, some prominent Republicans, including former president donald trump and Fox News host Tomi Lahren – dispense with the unsubstantiated claim that if Newsom survives the recall, it must mean that the election was rigged or that mass electoral fraud occurred. “I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot,” Trump said on Newsmax. “When that happens, no one is going to win except these Democrats.” (Sameea debunks this rumor, and many others, in this must-read article.) Meanwhile, after a protracted battle last year over what constitutes a “ballot crop,” the Democratic parties and Republican of California downplay their use of the tool. in the middle of the reminder, Los Angeles Times reports.

3. Dry heat could cause fires caused by lightning strikes

Illustration via iStock

It’s hot and dry there, so hot that the state power grid operator issued a flex alert ask Californians to save energy on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and so dry that the snowpack on top of Mount Shasta disappeared earlier than usual and is causing mudslides in the communities below. During this time, dry thunderstorms are expected to strike North Bay this afternoon and evening, bringing with them the possibility of lightning-induced wildfires.

Despite California’s devastating drought – and sobering reports like this one from the Mercury News, which has found that residents of Santa Clara County are well below water conservation targets – the state agriculture chief told the “California State of Mind podcast” that the state no does not need to uproot its thirstiest cultures. But it could potentially come at the expense of California’s climate goals: A report published this morning by the Pacific Institute and Next 10 found that unless the state takes urgent water efficiency measures, its carbon emissions from water use will likely increase as it struggles to meet the demands of a growing population and the agricultural industry.


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CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: If Newsom survives the recall, which seems likely, he needs to grow up and think about what got him in trouble.

The recall election is an assault on black voters: The same forces behind voter suppression efforts in Georgia, Texas and other states are funding the recall in California, argues Ginger Rutland, a former member of the Sacramento Bee editorial board.

Access to threatened abortion: Decisions restricting abortion elsewhere could set back 50 years of progress – even in California – unless we act now, writes Janet Jacobson of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties.


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Other things are worth your time

Election boosts California lawmakers at an all time high. // Associated press

California unions donate money in the election of CalPERS. // Sacramento Bee

Gavin Newsom and the Golden State’s fever reminder. // New Yorker

Meet the unsung candidates in Newsom’s recall elections. // Los Angeles Times

How the $ 15 Minimum Wage Affects California workers and jobs? // Sacramento Bee

Silicon Valley Finds Remote Work Easier to Start that the end. // Mercury News

Will federal unemployment benefits end to encourage Californians to return to work? // Forbes

Research finds ethnic studies in San Francisco had a lasting impact. // EdSource

Alameda County Jail Should Improve Care by virtue of a court decision. // Mercury News

With the California wildfires come avocados, but survivors of the past warn: buyers beware. // KPBS

How does a California climate program let companies pollute. // Los Angeles Times

California settles climate change lawsuit with the fossil fuel giant SoCalGas. // Los Angeles Times

East Bay parcel of land slated to become a 3,100-acre state park instead of space for off-road vehicles. // Chronicle of San Francisco

How Southern California Cities Could Thwart California’s New Affordable Housing Mandate. // Capital and principal

San Diego County on Track build more houses this year. // San Diego Union-Tribune


See you tomorrow.

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Bernard P. Love