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LA UNIFIED STRIKE: Day 2
APPOINTMENTS: Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced these top-level appointments:
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Happy Tuesday! Today, The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 90.
Last night, there was a great kickoff to Meatless Monday at the Golden 1 Center. There was a great pre-game tasting of the fare available at all events at the existing Burger Patch Cart outside Section 123 and introductions to new items for events on Mondays through 2019 at The Flavor Lab cart outside Section 109 and availabe to order in premium suites.
I sat in Section 109 last night and the cart was selling the tofu tacos. According to the vendors at the cart that I checked in with during the third quarter, they were nearly sold out of the 80 servings they had been prepared for. Of course, when Meatless Monday was announced at the tacos were shown on the big screen, there were audible boos throughout the arena, but that didn't matter to the folks enjoying the increased options.
The event was organized by Jennifer Fearing, who had to move on to bigger and better things without a corgi in the horseshoe. Fearing worked with Kings Senior VP of Sales and Service Phil Horn to make it happen in coordination with arena executive chef Brien Kuznicki.
I had to get a hall pass from Whole 30 to eat a few bites of tortilla for the tofu al pastor tacos, so I'll stretch for Whole 31. My favorite were the Brussels sprouts "nachos." OMG...good thing they weren't available during the game or I would have found that trough and stayed there the entire game. For those who follow my posts on Facebook or Instagram, you likely have noticed that a 2 pound bag of Brussels sprouts is a weekly Sunday farmers market purchase when in season.
Attending were Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, and Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, Ash Kalra, Adrin Nazarian, and birthday boy Reggie Jones-Sawyer! Although I went upstairs to explore, Fearing shares a pic with RJS and Bloom in this Instagram stream, along with more yummy meat-free food porn.
Fearing also announced last night that Statehouse at the Capitol, which operates the restaurant in the basement and the cafe 6th floor will have meatless entree options each Monday. They posted a picture of Rendon chowing down yesterday on the Statehouse fare. When speaking last night, Rendon noted that his wife Annie Lam has been a vegetarian for fifteen years. Lam is a consultant and executive director of the League of California Cities API Caucus.
I know, many of you reject Meatless Monday because you are a devout carnivore or a full-time veggie that hate a one-day-a-week focus. That said, it was great to see a bipartisan gathering to recognize the efforts of the Golden 1 Center and Kings. It was very different atmosphere than the White House scene of serving Clemson cold fast food burgers to celebrate their National Championship win. As a friend said, maybe 'Bama lost on purpose.
Kings beat the Trailblazers 115-107 last night and now head on the road for two weeks. This is only the second game I've gone to this year, even though I live down the street and used to be a season ticket holder. However, I have to say that the crowd energy last night, particularly for a Monday, was reminiscent of the days of the Kings as a contender. The young team certainly has significant promise and the arena was #SacramentoProud.
Oh, and finally, the crowd went wild when they all won a free Jumbo Jack (with the more expensive beverage purpose) and a free Chick-fil-A sandwich for redemption using their phones today. It's raining outside meaning it's likely that it was a great, low-cost promotion for the two chains.
I guess it's easier than winning the National Championship and a ticked to The White House.
PG&E: People were asking me throughout the day why Governor Gavin Newsom wasn't making a statement about the PG&E bankruptcy announcement. Let's remember that it is a public company and statements must be judicious and well-timed. He was wise to wait until 4:30 after the market session and after-hours trading. For CNBC geeks, basically wait until Jim Cramer's Mad Money is over. Most of you have some financial interest in PG&E even if you don't own stock. Your retirement or other mutual fund may have PG&E stock or debt in it directly or indirectly.
I was chowing down on meatless cuisine when he made his statement. The AP's Kathleen Ronayne and Janie Har report:
“The Chapter 11 process allows us to work with these many constituents in one court-supervised forum to comprehensively address our potential liabilities and to implement appropriate changes.”
Regardless of the solution, the process is likely to be long: 18 years after the company’s last bankruptcy filing, PG&E customers still see a small fee on their monthly bills to pay for it, labeled the “energy cost recovery amount.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council warned that bankruptcy could threaten billions in funding for PG&E’s clean energy initiatives, which are key to California’s environmental goals. PG&E is the state’s largest investor in energy efficiency and electric vehicle infrastructure, said the NRDC’s Ralph Cavanagh.
The bankruptcy is different from PG&E’s bankruptcy in 2001, when California faced an energy crisis that caused power outages. Newsom said the state has an “abundance” of energy and power shutoffs are not imminent.
They also report that Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), who chairs the Assembly's Utilities and Energy Committee, has backed off his plan to close the SB 901 "donut hole" to allow securitization of wildfire liability incurred in 2018.
Further, the bankruptcy announcement provides more fodder for the ongoing criticism of PG&E by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). Ronyayne and Har write:
"Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill, meanwhile, said a PG&E bankruptcy may turn out to be a good thing. Hill represents San Bruno in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in 2010 and killed eight people.
“This company has been dishonest, it has prioritized profits way over safety and there has been no effort on their part to change that,” he said. “I don’t believe it will change unless there is some sort of restructure.”
For Politico, Carla Marinucci and Jeremy B. White report on the test the PG&E bankruptcy presents for Gavin Newsom after only one week in office.
CENSUS: A New York federal district court judge ruled this morning that the Census Bureau cannot include it's planned citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The finding was not on constitutional grounds, but the judge rather found that the Department of Commerce did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act in adding the question.
The issue is huge in California, where many see the question is as irrelevant since the Constitution requires an actual enumeration regardless of age or citizenship status for the purposes of the apportionment of congressional seats. They further point that, while federal law prohibits the sharing of Census responses with other agencies, a citizenship question could be a chilling factor should a household be a blend of citizens and noncitizens, legal or otherwise.
Our friends at PPIC have done extensive writing on this issue, including a new publication yesterday on obtaining an accurate count in Imperial County. For those unfamiliar with California's most southeastern county, it is the winter getaway for many California Salad Bowl (eastern Monterey, San Benito) crops and site of great geothermal resources. It's beautiful, hot country, and site of the 1905 flood that created the Salton Sea. Imperial also has relatively low voter registration and participation and perennially high unemployment.
As I've written before, the Census count isn't just used for apportionment of congressional seats to states and redistricting of congressional, state legislative, and local government seats. It is also used for many federal and state funding streams. Poorer areas are more likely to have undercounts leading to fewer resources in many circumstances, so you get the picture both for the state garnering federal funds and also regions within the state getting federal and state funds.
There is a whole other wrinkle to the 2020 Census, particularly in Butte County. Many residents that evacuated from the Camp Fire hope to return, particularly to the largely destroyed town of Paradise. Many are living in other counties with relatives, old friends, new friends, or hotels. Even if they hold title to land in the fire-affected areas, for Census purposes, only their current domicile counts. This will likely have a significant effect on the 2020 count that could last for a decade. Policy leaders from the areas are scrambling to minimize the effect, but there are no easy solutions.
This contrasts from Hurricane Katrina for two reasons. Katrina was mid-decade, five years before the 2010 Census. Further, far more New Orleans permanently relocated to other Southern cities, particularly Houston. The cities were generally received them well and there were ample job opportunities. Many of the relocated residents, while having great love for The Big Easy, grew to like there thought-to-be temporary relocation and stayed. In contrast, Paradise and other affected Butte County towns is home to many retirees who love it for the lifestyle and much lower cost of living than Northern California's more urban areas.
Meanwhile, NPR's Morning Edition had a segment this morning on the growing pains Chico is having while accommodating evacuees.
DISASTER RELIEF: The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services will hold a community meeting this Thursday in Sacramento to provide an overview of state and federal disaster recovery and assistance programs and services for those impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County. The meeting will be from 12-2pm at the North Natomas Library and here is an informational flyer.
FEDERAL SHUTDOWN RELIEF: The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues has a partial list of what member credit unions have available to member federal employees affected by the government shutdown.
LA-LA LAND AND #CAKEDAY after the jump...
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LA-LA LAND: In the LAT, Hannah Fry reports that only one-third of Los Angeles Unified students showed up to school yesterday amidst the teachers strike. Under current law, that means a $15 million hit for the district. Day 2 is unlikely to be any better and the Times has been asking parents whose kids did go to school to report back what they did on campus yesterday.
UTLA shares these numbers:
It does not appear that there are any negotiations occurring today.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Steven Choi and Wess Larsen!
#CONGRATULATIONS: Yesterday, Speaker Anthony Rendon welcomed Dave Low to the floor of the Assembly to give him thanks and best wishes on his impending retirement. Those around the Capitol know that Dave's work extended far beyond the California School Employees Association, including chairing many efforts over the years on issues affecting members across labor. Congratulations, Dave!
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