Around The Capitol

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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 Tuesday, July 21, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • General election data points
  • COVID-19
    • the numbers
    • hair
    • school daze
    • Don't You (Forget About Me)
    • masks
    • Ventura County bars and wineries
  • Legislature
  • Redistricting
  • Policing and mental health
  • Pensions
  • Veepstakes
  • cakeday, dept of corrections, and classifieds


ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES: [if you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]

  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): updated analysis (Leans Dem)
  • CA53 (SD Balboa Park-La Mesa-El Cajon): updated analysis (Safe Dem - Dem-Dem general)

¡Feliz taco martes! I have a Winterport Farm (Ione) flank steak from that I'll be turning in to a carne asada this afternoon and some great tomatillos from Riverdog Farm (Guinda, CA). The last couple of nights have been Instant Pot lamb shanks from PT Ranch (Ione), with a salad of beets (Riverdog), basil (balcony), goat cheese from Jollity Farm (Garden Valley), olive oil (PT Ranch), and aged balsamic from Bariani (Zamora).

I'm aiming for a 90% farmers market week (which includes my balcony garden) and, while I'm not much of a planner, I have it planned out. At a certain point, the delivery/take out options get expensive for my budget and the amount of waste generated is embarassing. While I care deeply about our locally owned restaurants, I consider that a treat and can't do it every night.

There is so much legislative/political focus on plastics/polystyrene waste reduction that I have covered over the last several years, but I feel like I have disposed of more non-recyclable (by the city) in the last four months than I had in the previous four years. Meanwhile, I love cooking to save money and waste and doing it from farms that I know. Additionally, PT Ranch last year partnered with Riverdog for a fundraiser for the victims of the Camp Fire and Winterport supplied the carpaccio, so that's an extra plus of patronizing them. Chef Kevin O'Connor of Cobram Estate (Woodland) did the cooking, using their great California olive oil.

Anyway, there was a policy end to this morning's 5am introductory comments. In addition to patronizing local restaurants, let's not forget about our local farms and farmworkers. Crops in the field don't understand stay at home orders.

This week's downtown farmers markets:

  • Thursday: Capitol Mall at 6th Street, 10am - 1:30pm (includes several food trucks)
  • Sunday: Under the W-X freeway at 6th Street, 8am-12:00pm (wear a mask and get there early if you want the popular seasonal crawfish as the socially distanced line has been quite long) 

¡Buen provecho!


The numbers: Yesterday, California reported 58 new deaths and 11,554 new cases, according to the LAT's tracker.

Must see TV: President Trump is scheduled to give a COVID-19 update at 5pm EDT/2pm PDT. As of this writing, Dr. Anthony Fauci is not invited, but at least we have this.

Hair: Yesterday, Governor Newsom announced that the state was issuing new guidance that allows hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, and massage shops to conduct limited operations outdoors. In are trims, out are shampoos and perms among other safety protocols. Alexei Koseff reports for the Chron:

New state guidelines issued Monday cover barbershops and hairstyling except for shampooing and chemical treatments such as straightening, coloring and perms, which cannot be done outdoors. Massages and beauty services, including facials, waxing and manicures, can move outside, while tattoos, piercings and electric hair removal are excluded because of hygiene requirements.

But the guidance gives discretion to counties, ultimately leaving it up to local public health officials where to resume haircuts and other personal care services outdoors.


After receiving the shutdown order last week, salon and barbershop industry groups objected to a state regulation requiring their services to be performed inside a licensed establishment. That prevented them from operating outdoors as some sectors, such as restaurants, have received permission to do. More than a dozen state legislators sent a letter to the governor asking him to temporarily waive that law.

School daze: For EdSource, John Fensterwald reports that while not mentioned in Friday's NewsomAtNoon announcing the school reopening limitations, public and private elementary schools can apply through their county health directors for a waiver to resume in-person instruction even while their counties remain on the state's monitoring list.

On Friday, hours after Newsom released his guidelines, Santa Clara County’s superintendent of public schools and the director of public health sent out a letter inviting public and private school officials to apply for the waiver.

“The County Public Health Department and Santa Clara County Office of Education strongly encourages elementary schools to follow this process so that they can safely resume in-person instruction this fall,” said the letter signed by county Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan and Dr. Sarah Cody, director of the county’s public health department.

The waiver is provided for in footnote two on page one of this document.

Don't You (Forget About Me): Also for EdSource, Larry Gordon looks at how colleges and universities are trying to keep in touch with admitted students over the summer in preparation for a distance education experience without campus activities this fall.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students at the California State University campus will first go through an online registration via Zoom. But then they will get a taste of real-world school spirit before classes begin with free swag bags of shirts, visors, caps, markers, pens and academic calendars all bearing the school name and logo. Plans call for possible drive-by distributions on campus, with timed reservations and loadings directly into car trunks, while cheerleaders perform from a safe distance.

The giveaway at the campus situated in Carson south of Los Angeles illustrates efforts underway by many California colleges to prevent a feared flood of students who initially said they would attend in the fall but ultimately do not enroll because of Covid-19 health fears and instruction changes. In May, the 23-campus CSU system announced that it would mostly offer instruction online this fall, the first large university system to make that decision.

Masks: The California Medical Association is out with a video entitled "There's a virus." They aren't talking about COVID-19, but the anti-masking/anti-vaxxing culture.

LA County: While the number of deaths was a comparatively very low 9 yesterday, LA County reported one of the larger number of positive tests and the highest number of hospitalizations. We hope the number of deaths is not just an artifact of weekend reporting although that is likely. The county reports "For the second straight day, Public Health confirms the highest number of new hospitalizations reported in a day with 2,232 people currently hospitalized, surpassing yesterday's count of 2,216 hospitalizations. Of the 2,232 confirmed COVID-19 cases currently hospitalized, 26% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU and 19% are confirmed cases on ventilators."

Ventura County bars and wineries: The LAT's Kailyn Brown reports that the Ventura County Health Officer has given the green light to licensed bars, pubs, and breweries to serve outdoors if it is done in conjunction with a meal. The order limits opening times from 5am-10pm, requires that only the same household sit at the same table, and the maximum time on premises allowed for an individual is 1.5 hours.

Okay, on the "same household" rule, raise your hand if you have violated that rule either indoors during the window allowed there or outdoors now. Based on social media and anecdotal evidence I see an ocean of hands. I put it in the same category as the exemption to the $10 gift limit to legislative staff and members by registered lobbyists. For those of us who were young lobbyists in college and shortly thereafter, well, bona fide was dinner and the movies. FPPC, you can't tell me that one night is not "bona fide"!

Meanwhile, the Ventura County order also okays wineries and wine tasting rooms, a key part of the region's tourism economy, to serve outdoors without food.

LEGISLATURE: The Assembly Daily File this morning includes the postponement dates for the single policy committee hearings next week. I started typing them out, but there are conflicts apparent, such as Housing and Community Development at 2pm and Transportation at 2:30pm both in Room 4202. As I understand it, there is going to be time in between each hearing for a full cleaning of whichever room is being used. Housing and Community Development has 10 bills up and there's no way that they'll be done in a half hour, let alone with time to clean.

Anyway, I don't want to put in Nooner ink information that's going to be quickly changed.

Expect the schedule to be updated throughout the week, but advocates and others interested in bills can at least get an idea of which day the committee is going to meet. The file also gives an indication of the winnowed agenda since these are supposedly the only policy committee hearing each will get.

The Senate Daily File does not list in policy committee hearings yet.

With the Legislature narrowing its focus in order to complete work by August 31 on the abbreviated schedule, Joel Fox likes the possibility from the business perspective of fewer bills reaching the governor's desk:

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom had to deal with 1,042 bills that reached his desk. He signed 870. The year before, Gov. Jerry Brown faced 1,217 bills and signed 1,016.

With legislators returning next week, there are 530 bills in the Senate that originated in the Assembly. The Assembly has 200 bills that came for the Senate.

If the legislators follow through removing bills to give policy committees more time on the measures they need to deal with, Gov. Newsom may face fewer bills than any governor has in decades. Lobbyist and legislative expert Chris Micheli made a guess that the number of bills reaching the governor’s desk might be limited to 400-500.

That would be different. And, perhaps, a new precedent to be followed. Unlikely, but one can hope.

REDISTRICTING: Now that the random draw members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission have been seated, Paul Mitchell looks at the process and what it means going forward. No Hispanic/Latinos were drawn, despite against the 90.2% likelihood based on mathematical odds. These commissioners will now select the final six that will join them to draw the lines.

The Schwarzenegger Institute at USC is also out with a report on the commission's initial membership and work ahead.

Last Friday upon petition of the Legislature, the California Supreme Court extended the July 1, 2021 deadline to November 1, 2021 for the commission to release its proposed maps for public comment because COVID-19 has delayed the United States Census. It further extended the deadline for the commission to approve and certify its final maps to the Secretary of State to December 15, 2021. It also directed that, if the federal government fails to transmit the census data to the state by July 31, it is considered an additional "federal delay" and correspondingly extends the above new deadlines by the length of the federal delay.

If you thought December filing deadlines for the 2020 primary election were tough, this delay in new districts throws a further wrench into the March 3 primary. Don't be shocked if it's moved back to June for the 2022 midterm.

POLICING AND MENTAL HEALTH: For Capitol Weekly, Sigrid Bethan looks at the problems that can occur when police respond to calls to someone in mental health distress.

According to a 2015 study, “Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encounters,” by the nationally recognized Treatment and Advocacy Center, “the risk of being killed during a police incident” is 16 times greater for people with untreated mental illness. “By all accounts – official and unofficial – a minimum of 1 in 4 fatal police encounters ends the life of an individual with severe mental illness.”


“We would never send a social worker to a bank robbery,” says Maggie Merritt, executive director of the nonprofit Steinberg Institute in Sacramento, which was founded by former state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, now Sacramento’s mayor, to advocate for improved mental-health policy and programs. “Why would we send a police officer to a mental-health emergency?”

But Merritt and other mental-health policy experts caution against removing police officers entirely from the equation.

“There is a need for somebody in the process of responding to a call to do a threat analysis and public-safety assessment,” says Randall Hagar, legislative advocate for the California Psychiatric Association. “There is no doubt that we need a lot more clinicians on the street responding to crises that are derived from a person’s mental illness, but sometimes a clinician needs backup” by law enforcement, especially in incidents where a weapon is involved. “There always has to be a determination of whether a public-safety issue is involved.”

RETIREMENT: In the Bee, Mackenzie Hawkins reports that the "California State Teachers’ Retirement System on Monday reported a 3.9% return on investments in the fiscal year that ended June 30, falling short of its 7% goal. The state’s largest pension fund for public employees, CalPERS, similarly came up short with 4.7% returns this year."

VEEPSTAKES: The California Young Democrats (CYD) are calling on Joe Biden to pick Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) for his running mate. After telling MSNBC's Joy Reid yesterday that there are four Black women on the short list, the speculation is that they are Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The wildcard is Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, who brings like Demings brings a geographic advantage, although her lack of federal experience and fear that something could pop up in the Atlanta police department could keep her off the list.

Barbara Lee, a favorite of the Berniecrats and CYD, will not be selected. I appreciate her strong voice on many issues over her twenty-two years in the House, but that's also why Biden won't tap her.

Nevertheless, who would have thought that two Californians would be in the mix?

cakeday, corrections, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nick Birtcil, Michael Nguyen, and Nick Romo!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: From yesterday's veepstakes item, former state senator Nina Turner is from Ohio, not Illinois.


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

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Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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