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The Nooner for Saturday, April 11, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
If you're a newbie to this world, Kristin Olsen is a former Assembly Republican Leader and is now a Stanislaus County supe. She has been keeping us all cheerful with music and singing through these lonely times.
She is an amazing person who I have known since she was a Senate "Associate." For those who don't understand the quotes, the "Fellows" program was changed in name during the time of Bill Lockyer as Pro Tem to "Associate." It quickly changed back, recognizing that "fellow" is actually not gender-specific. That year's class was actually amazing and I've been wanting to do a podcast for a long time as to where the ended up -- electeds, major Capitol figures, and otherwise outstanding folks throughout state leadership. Yes, I'm biased as my amazing ex-wife was part of the class.
Anyways, here we are. My calendar thingy tells me we've been sitting here and talking through our computers for something like three weeks. It is surreal out there. Last night, I grabbed my crossbow and road my motorbike to Market 5-ONE-5 for essentials (not really, but The Walking Dead fans will get it). Anyway, my sister is sending me a mask but for now I'm using a scarf. Here is white boy Scott with a wool Ralph Lauren scarf over his face with a KAMALA hat showing up to buy a New York strip steak on a Friday night. The dude with a gun at the front door suggested a hand wipe and I said I washed my hands outside. Indeed, white privilege.
Give me an S! Give me a U! Give me an R! Give me another R! Give me an E! Give me an A! Give me an L!
What's that spell? SURREAL!
Thank you for all of the potential Nooner Conversations guests and topics that were suggested after my video yesterday. I'm already talking to several folks about booking times next week.
From the numbers above, the "curve" in California appears to be flat, largely because y'all have been staying home an exercising physical distancing.
I'm going to be a bit quick this morning and not just since I slept until 6 this morning. We'll see how today plays out and I might be back in your inbox this evening.
BUDGET: I wrote last night that I would try to today have a sense of yesterday's Department of Finance letter to the Legislature and the state budget discussions ahead, but I am awaiting for some feedback from others to fill my spreadsheet cells. I will try to have something tomorrow or Monday, understanding that we're all working on very odd schedules with unreliable access to documents and spreadsheets. It's bad, and we're all trying to figure out just how bad.
In short, the DOF letter informs the Legislature that we've spend $6 billion ABOVE the $1 billion approved in SB 89. Nobody knows the revenue side of the equation. It's sort of like those retirement account statements most of us are receiving right now. Wake us up when September ends.
FAREWELL: I usually note the passing of Capitol figures adjacent "cakeday" below. However, I can't just make a passing note of the passing of longtime staffer Saeed Ali. I heard about it from a post by former state senator Richard Polanco, who Saeed once worked for. I have no details beyond that.
Saeed is one of those staffers who you was never certain who he worked for. Was it for a member, a committee, or the Latino Caucus? It didn't matter. All that an advocate knew was the common refrain heard from members or staff, "You need to talk to Saeed."
That was a common refrain that I heard over the years. He championed community colleges. He criticized those that needed it and appropriately called us on the carpet.
He fought for my beloved community colleges and appropriately fought us when we defended institutions needing change, including the Los Angeles Community College District.
He championed the California Voters Rights Act in 2001, which has changed the landscape of local elections to move from at-large elections to those by district. That has literally changed not only local government but also the bench for state and federal elections to more appropriately reflect demography. (I am not unaware of the downsides.)
LACCD has now changed to by-district elections rather than the at-large elections. Hundreds of local governments now elect representatives by district.
Saeed renewed his Nooner/ATCpro subscription on March 18. I'm handing out 5 free subscriptions to students, ideally (but not necessarily) the Latino/a ones he fought for, from his support of my work over the years. Please spread the word.
I'm working on charts using the letter from the governor's California Department of Finance as to how the state budget is affected. I hope to have them by this evening. I'm just working hard to make sure they are as accurate as possible, knowing that many electeds look to The Nooner as a reliable source. I wanted to have it done by today's deadline, but I want a level of confidence before I distribute it broadly. Thanks for understanding!
AB 5 (Gonzalez): Late yesterday, the Secretary of State sent counties a notice that sufficient signatures have been submitted for a ballot measure to redefine "app-based" drives such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and DoorDash for a spot between "employee" and "independent contractor," with specified benefits. Obviously, organized labot hates the proposal. Meanwhile, enforcement of AB 5, which took effect January 1, has been lax, as it's really a tax matter or one that county DAs can prosecute. Let's just say that it is not a top priority.
The reported number of signatures is 773,265 with a preliminary validity of 86.61%. Of course, as usual, Alameda hasn't reported. Nor has ElDo, Kern, Modoc, Mono, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Let's assume that's another 50,000 signatures who locals haven't bothered to count or the campaigns didn't submit. That's 285k+ signatures for a measure that needs 623,212 to qualify for November. It is very likely to qualify setting up a ish (or is it 'an ish') show for November of popular services versus labor.
BIG LOSS FOR GOVERNOR NEWSOM: Lenny Mendoca, chief economic advisor to governor Gavin Newsom, has left the post without explanation. Mendonca has been a moderate cheerleader to Newsom and co-chair of the influential California Forward nonprofit. I've reached out to Lenny for a public statement. He is the owner of Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, which operates several hospitality businesses beyond the brewery.
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Liza Chu, Julie Griffiths, Joshua Hoover, Chris Reefe, Paula Treat, and Bob White!