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- KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, on Prop. 20 (repeal of criminal justice reforms) on the November ballot (2020-07-16)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): California Teachers Association president E. Toby Boyd (2020-07-16)
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): COVID-19 and the response of school district and political leaders (2020-07-16)
- SDSU Health Policy Podcast (Gary Rotto and Carolina López Rivera): Richard Barrera, VP of the Board of Education for the San Diego Unified School District on the district's response to COVID-19 (2020-07-16)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Paul Mitchell on the Redistricting Commission (2020-07-06)
- KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Los Angeles County supe Hilda Solis (2020-07-09)
- Gimme Shelter (LAT's Liam Dillon and CalMatters's Matt Levin): Why California’s housing market isn’t tanking (2020-07-06)
The Nooner for Monday, July 20, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
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- federal help
- high school sports
- Affirmative action
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- Latino Lives Matter
- Grammar usage quandaries
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- cakeday and classifieds
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Sunday, July 19
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Happy 07/20/20. At 20:20 tonight, it's party time! Actually, it seemed like that was party time last night. The kiddoes keep forgetting that July 4th was over two weeks ago and apparently hoarded their illegal arsenals.
The Legislature returns in one week for a frenetic spring before the end of session. If you missed the plans for how the houses are going to handle the workload of hundreds of bills that need to go to second-house policy and (most to) fiscal committees before a floor vote all before August 31, I wrote about it on Friday.
If you haven't watched the Chris Wallace interview with President Trump on Fox News Sunday, it's worth a watch regardless of your feelings on POTUS. From siting of an interview to preparation and backup, there are great lessons there for anyone who wants to work, or is working, for a candidate or elected official. Wallace was masterful, like his father was.
The numbers: Yesterday, 5,895 new cases and new 14 deaths were reported. While we wish that there was a precipitous drop in cases and deaths, we've grown accustomed to low county reporting over the weekends and spikes early in the week. That's why 7-day averages are often used. My friend and former community college colleague Marty Hittelman has a spreadsheet tracking deaths by day.
Federal help: Congress is back today for the legislative sprint to Labor Day. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy were at The White House today trying to work out a deal on what is likely the final COVID-19 relief package before the November election.
The sticking points appear to include state assistance for additional testing and contract tracing and funding for the CDC, which Senate Republicans want, while President Trump wants a payroll tax cut. Additionally at issue is the size and length of an extension of the supplemental unemployment benefit, which is currently $600 per week and expires July 31.
As I wrote yesterday, the rapid virus spread in red states particularly with vulnerable incumbent GOP senators has changed the positioning over the last several weeks. With 5-9 GOP Senate seats in play and only 2 Dem ones, McConnell is more concerned now about holding the chamber than the deficit and spending.
Bloomberg's Erik Wasson tweeted late this morning (after the White House meeting) that McCarthy has told reporters that the package will include both a payroll tax cut and direct financial assistance.
Inequality: For CalMatters, Jackie Botts looks at how COVID-19 is deepening inequality in California and how inequality also may further spread the virus.
The pandemic has driven a wedge into the fault lines dividing the state’s haves and have nots. The workers facing the highest rates of unemployment are those that already earned the lowest wages. Federal and state lawmakers have cobbled together an enhanced pandemic safety net, but many fall through the cracks. And it will soon shrink back towards its previous size when CARES Act funding for extra unemployment dollars expires July 31.
Like a feedback loop, California’s income inequality may also add fuel to the virus’ spread. The second wave of cases now overwhelming the state are increasingly among young Californians and Latinos — the same demographics that make up California’s essential workforce, and disproportionately live in crowded housing.
California’s economic divide is growing, posing weighty policy questions the state – and its residents – will need to grapple with in months and years ahead.
High school sports: As I wrote on Friday was expected, the CIF this morning shifted high school sports schedule, with hopeful winter reopenings. The Chron reports:
The California Interscholastic Federation — the governing body for high school athletics in the state — on Monday announced a modified schedule for its sports, all of which will be delayed one to four months by the coronavirus pandemic. Football will finish by April 17, basketball in mid-June and baseball, softball and track and field are set to conclude the high school sports season in the last week of June.
Churches: As expected, Rocklin-based Destiny Christian Church defied state guidelines and the county health order by holding an indoor service yesterday. Jason Anderson reports for the Bee:
[Pastor Greg] Fairrington, the lead pastor at Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin, told his south Placer County congregation they were engaged in a spiritual battle between good and evil. He said the church has been called to fight the government for the right to worship freely, free of persecution and without restriction, even in the clutches of a global pandemic.
“Here we are in this moment right now and I believe that God is giving this church in this moment a greater anointing than we have ever had before,” Fairrington said in his sermon, which was streamed live on the church’s website. “I believe that God is giving us an apostolic influence in this region. … I believe our call is to get the church ready for an outpouring, to get the church ready for an awakening, but God is giving us right now in this moment a rude awakening before he gives us the great awakening, and for some reason God is using Destiny as a hub.”
Hotels: The hotel industry have sued the City and County of San Francisco over a new ordinance requiring daily cleanings of all surfaces of occupied hotel rooms, reports Roland Li in the Chron. Hotel owners want the requirement to be upon guest check-out rather than daily. The issue is two-fold. Amidst a dearth of out-of-town visitors and need, hotel rooms have been rented by the city to accommodate homeless at high risk of COVID. Secondly, many hotel chains are now offering either reward points or food and beverage credits for guests who opt out of housekeeping. Obviously, labor doesn't like that.
The law also requires that common areas of hotels and large office buildings be cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day.
The lawsuit alleges that the law is an “unsafely misguided attempt to create work for hotel employees, namely housekeepers,” and boost the membership of the hotel labor union Unite Here Local 2, which supported the law.
Anand Singh, president of Unite Here Local 2, told The Chronicle this month that opposition from hotel owners was based on greed, rather than concerns over worker safety. He said coronavirus outbreaks in hotels in other cities such as Las Vegas demonstrated that stronger regulations were required. Hotel groups noted that major outbreaks have yet to be reported in California hotels.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: While most of the focus (particularly among the opposition) on ACA 5 -- which is Proposition 16 on the November ballot -- has been on race considerations in college admissions, of course it also affects hiring and contracting in state and local government. In the Bee, Matt Kristoffersen and Adam Ashton look at the hiring aspects of what a repeal of Proposition 209 would mean.
If voters approve Proposition 16, advocates say California government agencies and schools also will be able to create recruiting and promotion programs targeted for women and ethnic groups who are underrepresented in public agencies.
Those polices were banned in California in 1996, when voters approved Proposition 209. The initiative said the state couldn’t “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”
Gender outreach and consideration is not explicitly prohibited by Proposition 209 although was often grouped in with a move to full strictly "merit-based" hiring.
BLACKS AT BERKELEY: In the Times, Teresa Watanabe reports on how UC Berkeley is trying to address the perception that it is the least friendly UC campus for Black/African-American students.
That persistent feeling among many Black students at Berkeley [of not belonging] — and years of demands for remedies — has led to what campus officials call their most concerted effort ever to improve diversity and combat anti-Blackness and other racism.
The effort, which includes changes to admissions, increased financial aid, expanded student support and new communal spaces, has been given greater urgency by the nationwide movement for racial justice triggered by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in May.
LATINO LIVES MATTER: In the Times, Brittny Mejia writes that Latino organizers concerned with police violence against members of their community don't want the media attention moment of Black Lives Matter without also calling attention to their own plight.
Protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd — a 46-year-old Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck while he was begging for air — conjured up the centuries-old past of brutality against Black Americans, centered specifically on the issue of police brutality.
It has also helped energize efforts by Latinos, the largest minority group in the U.S., to use some of that momentum to draw attention to deaths of Latinos by police.
For Latino organizers, getting any kind of traction on these issues has been hard. They say the names of the dead don’t stick in the public’s memory. They rarely lead to large protests and national movements.
The reasons, advocates and experts say, are numerous: media coverage that focuses strongly around immigration, a national leadership vacuum among Latinos on this issue and the fact that in some parts of the American Southwest, including L.A., Latinos make up a sizable portion of law enforcement. In the Los Angeles Police Department, half of the officers are Latino, making it by far the largest group in the department.
GRAMMAR USAGE QUANDARIES: Recently, the Associated Press, which maintains the most widely used stylebook for journalists, changed guidance to capitalize Black amidst the prevalence of stories about Black Lives Matter and debate over whether to use black or African-American. At the time, the AP explained:
AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.
We also now capitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place.
Today, the AP explains why white will remain lower case.
There was clear desire and reason to capitalize Black. Most notably, people who are Black have strong historical and cultural commonalities, even if they are from different parts of the world and even if they now live in different parts of the world. That includes the shared experience of discrimination due solely to the color of one’s skin.
There is, at this time, less support for capitalizing white. White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color. In addition, we are a global news organization and in much of the world there is considerable disagreement, ambiguity and confusion about whom the term includes.
We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore those problems. But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.
Some have expressed the belief that if we don’t capitalize white, we are being inconsistent and discriminating against white people or, conversely, that we are implying that white is the default. We also recognize the argument that capitalizing the term could pull white people more fully into issues and discussions of race and equality. We will closely watch how usage and thought evolves, and will periodically review our decision.
Seriously, these are the kinds of issues I struggle with far more often than writing about a tough political issue. Now we can return to the debate of whether "data" is singular or plural.
NewsomAtNoon: Joe Mathews writes that, while he appreciates Gavin Newsom's grasp of the issues and data, the governor needs to elevate the public health experts such as Dr. Sonia Angell and Dr. Mark Ghaly to speak more as the public wants to hear more from experts rather than politicians. This certainly became the case at The White House briefings.
SD06 (Sacramento): For the Bee, Theresa Clift looks ahead to the open SD06, when Dr. Richard Pan (D) is term-limited in the safe Dem seat. Clift focuses on the one candidate certainly in the race -- Sacramento council member Angelique Ashby -- while Sac council member Eric Guerra and former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, neither of whom commented for the story. It'll be a wild one.
VEEPSTAKES: In the Chron, Joe Garofoli reports that Bernie Sanders delegates from California have written the Biden campaign stating that they want a progressive to be the former VP's running mate, and it doesn't include Sen. Kamala Harris. Rather, Garofoli reports, the progressives want Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles, Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), or Nina Turner, a former Illinois state senator.
Yesterday, Willie Brown wrote:
Word is, the Biden campaign has narrowed the vice presidential list down to five candidates: Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.
What a great group. Any one of them could wipe the floor with Vice President Mike Pence in a debate.
Only one has dated Willie and only one is on the list endorsed by the Berniecrats.
Bass committed on the Sac Press Club Zoomlunch last week that she'll do anything to help Biden win in November, from serving as his running mate to licking stamps. Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, has been garnering more national attention as her stock rises amidst Black Lives Matter and, this weekend, the death of colleague John Lewis (D-GA). As noted in yesterday's Seen on Sunday Teevee item, Bass was on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday along with Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), who reportedly has also been under veep consideration.
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