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The Nooner for Friday, November 13, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • SD30 (Downtown LA-Culver City-South LA)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities)
  • Prop 22
  • Senate vacancy
  • The OC
  • Unemployed
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Food deserts
  • Cakeday and classifieds

This morning, I woke up to Twitter telling me that it was my 13th Twitterversary, which happens to fall on Friday the 13th in the year 2020. Now, that's an omen. Yes, I joined Twitter in 2007, the year after it launched when a post was like screaming about the junior United States Senator from Illinois being the dark horse in the 2008 presidential from a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Today is the second Friday the 13th of 2020. The first was March 13, which was the last day of in-person instruction for most schools. On Monday of the following week, the Legislature recessed initially until April 13, although of course that was extended. By Thursday, March 19, we had the statewide stay-at-home order.

While it sounds like a freaky Friday, I'd like to think of it as bookend of the worst of the last 8 months, although I know that's overly optimistic.

ELECTION 2020: Yesterday, results were reported by 15 counties with a total of 253,627 ballots bringing the statewide total to 16,606,539.

-Tallied turnout: 75% of registered voters

-Possible turnout: Around 79% of registered voters, depending on validity of provisionals and conditional voter registration provisionals and any ballots postmarked by Election Day and received after the last report.

-What's left? From the unprocessed ballots report, updated at 5:00pm Tuesday (not updated yesterday due to the holiday), estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 720,433
  • Provisional: 59,158
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 210,282
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 64958
  • Total: 1,054,820

-Topline notes: 

  • There were no lead changes yesterday.
  • Stockton: Mayor Michael Tubbs trails businessman/pastor Kevin Lincoln 54.36 to 45.64%.
  • Sandy Eggo: Former state senator Joel Anderson currently has 144,156 (50.02%) votes to Poway mayor Steve Vaus's 144,021 (49.98%) for the 2nd District seat on the Board of Supervisors.

-Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 77,345; *TJ Cox (D): 74,977 (Diff: 1.6% ⬇️ 1.3%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 165,435, Christy Smith (D): 165,216 (Diff: 0.7%)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 170,593, *Gil Cisneros (D): 166,535 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 200,428, *Harley Rouda (D): 192,416 (Diff: 2.0%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 187,872, Kipp Mueller (D): 182,567 (Diff: 1.4% ⬆️ 0.1%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 189,766, Abigail Medina (D): 173,201 (Diff: 4.6% ⬆️ 0.7%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 211,001, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 200,278 (Diff: 2.6%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 268,620, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 256,381 (Diff: 2.3%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Kathy Miller (D): 59,567, Carlos Villapudua (D): 58,393 (Diff: 1.0% ⬇️ 1.1%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 132,776, Diane Dixon (R): 130,072 (Diff: 1.0% ⬇️ 0.1%) 

As it currently stands (this changes with lead changes):

  • California congressional delegation: 42 Democrats, 11 Republicans (R+4 from 2018 -- CA21, CA25CA39, and CA48, while retaining the CA50 vacancy).
  • The State Senate: 31 Democrats, 9 Republicans (D+2 -- SD29, SD37).
  • The State Assembly: 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans (R+1 -- AD38), and one NPP (AD42).

Here are the current ballot measure results, which will likely reflect the final results. All ballot measures have been called by the Associated Press.

Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) 51.0%
Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) 48.2%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action ban repeal) 43.1%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.7%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.2%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.1%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 38.1%
Proposition 21 (rent control) 40.2%
Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) 58.6%
Proposition 23 (dialysis) 36.4%
Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) 56.1%
Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) 43.8%

COVID-19: Yesterday, 31 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,137 since the beginning of the pandemic. With 10,156 new cases yesterday, the state passed 1 million cases for a total of 1,005,832. In the Times, Soumya Karlamangla looks at how The Golden State went from one case in San Jose February 6 and diagnosed posthumously to over 1 million.

Today, COVID-19 is everywhere. As of Thursday — 10 months after Dowd fell ill — more than 1 million Californians have been confirmed to be infected.

Among those who became sick, more than 18,100 have died, and even more who survived are suffering long-term consequences of the illness. Trying to stave off additional infections has also resulted in millions losing their jobs, with unemployment reaching record highs in the state. Even for those spared the worst, the pandemic has upended their lives.

California hit this latest milestone as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are both on the rise in California, echoing increases nationwide. Many dispirited Californians are rethinking plans to gather with loved ones on Thanksgiving, making yet another sacrifice in an already tough year. A “dark winter,” in the words of President-elect Joe Biden.

But much like the promise of two-week stay-at-home orders and warm summer weather vanquishing the virus, the days of a clean narrative about California’s experience with the pandemic are far behind us. The inescapability of the virus is clear, but so are California’s persistent efforts to trudge through.

The record number of cases speaks to several early lapses in testing and pandemic preparation. It reveals both the lack of a national, coordinated response to the pandemic and the state’s efforts to compensate with stricter measures and millions of dollars of resources.

But it also highlights recent improvements in medical treatments and precautions to protect the most vulnerable. It shows how Californians have sacrificed and suffered.

-Travel advisory: This morning, 13 days before Thanksgiving, the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued common travel advisories [joint release | CA advisory] to slow the spread. From the California advisory:

  1. Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.

  2. Californians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to California.

“Non-essential travel” includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

“Essential travel” includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

The first response to this after I posted it to Facebook was "F that. Im not living in fear of the virus... I fear our Gov and their control more. Soon it will be you can't laugh or walk..."

And, the partisan polarization over minimizing the spread continues even though President Trump states his biggest achievement during the pandemic to be the ban on travel from China as travel is a known spreader, and why New York was hit so hard with travel from Europe.

As an aside, if you like me have an Alaska Airlines credit from canceled travel during the pandemic that expires 12/31/20, they have been automatically extended to a July 5, 2021 book by date, according to a Twitter response to my inquiry.

-Super-spreader: In the LAT, Karen Kaplan writes about a small wedding reception in Maine during the pandemic that went very wrong and why it's a caution for the holidays.

Only 55 people attended the Aug. 7 reception at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket. But one of those guests arrived with a coronavirus infection. Over the next 38 days, the virus spread to 176 other people. Seven of them died.

None of the victims who lost their lives had attended the party.

In a new report, investigators from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention explain how a well-meaning celebration with family and friends wound up causing so much suffering and death throughout the state in such a short period of time.

Although the pandemic was 5 months old at the time of the wedding, few of those who found themselves in the virus’ path were taking the kinds of precautions that could have reduced their risk of infection. That indifference to public health guidelines appears to have played a key role in making the reception a super-spreading event, according to the report.

It’s something to keep in mind when you hear health officials urge members of the public to put their holiday traditions on hold this year. As you take in the details of the outbreak, imagine swapping “Thanksgiving dinner” or “Christmas party” for “wedding reception” and see whether it changes your thinking about your own holiday plans.

Kaplan, the Times's Science and Medicine editor, proceeds in the article with a timeline of what happened and it's quite disturbing.

-School daze: In the Times, Howard Blume writes that health officials in Los Angeles County are warning residents that public and private schools may be forced to close again if the current case spike continues. In the most restrictive purple tier, TK-6 schools have been allowed to reopen for in-person instruction with a waiver from the county health department.

Officials in the county’s 80 public school districts, which serve more than 1.43 million students, had hoped to open campuses for general instruction by January, if not sooner. Even in the best-case scenario, it would be extremely unlikely that campuses could reopen to all students for at least six weeks, based on state health guidelines, said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

...

School leaders are being asked to prepare for the worst, even while they ready reopening plans.

“I need to ask that every school be prepared for virtual learning, distance learning, in January,” Ferrer said in a call. “I hope we never get to the point where our healthcare system is so compromised and so threatened that we have to look backwards in time to severe restrictions and additional closures, but I don’t want to rule it out.”

Public and private school campuses are not allowed to fully reopen until a county is in the red tier for two consecutive weeks. Los Angeles County's tier-adjusted case rate this week was 7.6 per 100k. Under the current guidance structure, the county needs to be below 7 for two weeks before a move to the red tier.

-Restaurants: With both a return to the purple tier forbidding indoor dining at restaurants and cold, wet weather, The Bee's Benjy Egel looks at the troubles facing Sacramento's restaurants.

While January and February’s murky weather keeps people from dining out in normal years, office parties and holiday get-togethers in November and December typically help restaurants accumulate the money to make it through those skim months, said Emily Baime Michaels, Midtown Association executive director.

The pandemic eliminated those celebrations and that source of income, but restaurants such as Hawks Public House, Zocalo and Good Vibes Vegan Cafe & Herbs have tried to adapt with family-sized Thanksgiving meal kits. Most of the bundles have enough food for two, four or six people as to not promote large gatherings.

According to Sacramento County data, COVID-19 has mostly spread through inter-household gatherings between families and friends, as well as Halloween parties and nursing homes.

Restaurants essentially functioning as bars, too, have been a problem, according to county health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control requires the purchase of a meal with the first drink but not for subsequent rounds.

-Housekeepers: In The Bee, Kim Bojórquez writes about the plight of residential housekeepers during the pandemic. They are essential workers, but the work has dried up as clients stay home and fear bringing others indoors.

By late March, more than 90% of domestic workers in the U.S. had lost jobs due to the pandemic, according to a study by the organization. It found that less than a third of domestic workers received the stimulus check worth $1,200 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

In California, 86% of housekeepers are Hispanic, according to a 2019 Economic Policy Institute report. About 61.5% of them are foreign-born noncitizens. The median hourly wage of a house cleaner is $10.78 in California.

Unemployment among immigrants and women in California has dropped since March but still remains “extremely high,” according to a report by the California Budget & Policy Center. At its peak this year, the unemployment rate among immigrants reached 25%, higher than the 21% rate for non-immigrants.

-Veterans' Posts and Halls: The California State Commandeers Veterans Council has sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom asking for the reopening of veterans posts and halls across the state to reopen to provide "critical services and support networks. The letter states:

The continued closure of our brick and mortar veterans’ posts and halls due to COVID-19 is causing significant hardship on countless veterans, as well as threatening the long-term existence of these important places. We respectfully request that you allow these posts and halls to reopen safely now as further delay jeopardizes the well-being of California’s veterans.

The CSCVC is recognized in state law as the collective voice for California’s major veterans’ service organizations. We thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented health crisis. We recognize the difficult choices you have had to make and appreciate your leadership and commitment to keeping Californians safe.

However, as California has begun to reopen, our veterans are being left behind due to the fact veterans’ posts have been classified as “bars” under the reopening guidelines. Our posts are membership-only buildings, but many have a restrictive membership-only veterans’ liquor license. It is our view that our posts are not “bars” as intended in your executive order. Posts provide many essential services for veterans and their dependents and should be allowed to open.

As you may know, veterans’ posts have trained veteran service officers who help veterans navigate and apply for benefits they are entitled to due to their service to our country. These service officers provide assistance to veterans and their dependents in preparing and submitting claims for benefits, such as health care and mental health services; education, job training and retirement benefits to name a few. The closure of our posts has a direct impact on our ability to help veterans process these claims and as a result, thousands of veterans are not able to access the benefits and services they need. Veteran disability and pension claims are down dramatically. We are failing our physically and emotionally disabled veterans and their families during a time when the need for help is so great.

-Placer County: For ABC10, Chelsea Shannon reports that Placer County, where political leaders are eschewing the state's guidance after a move to the red tier, may be joining Sacramento County in the most restrictive tier by Thanksgiving.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) decided Nov. 8 Placer County was to be moved to the state's "red tier" despite the county's appeal. This comes four weeks after the county moved to the less restrictive orange tier.

Placer County had seven-day average case rates per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks, with a seven-day lag, higher than the county had in August when the tier system started.

Should the county's case rate not lower or show signs of lowering, it could end up in the most restrictive purple tier before Thanksgiving.

"Yes, the case rate has been in the purple zone and risks further action by the state if trends do not reverse," Placer County spokesperson Katie Combs Prichard said.

Since Placer County was moved Nov. 4 to the red tier, this week the county has had one week of being on the red tier, according to CDPH's data table. This means, if the county's case rate stays above an average of seven new cases per 100,000 residents with a seven-day lag for the next two weeks, the county could be moved to the purple tier by Thanksgiving according to CDPH's guidelines.

-Sacto County: While Placer thumbs its nose at state guidance, Sacramento County health officials are looking to the Board of Supervisors to adopt an ordinance to allow the county to fine businesses that don't comply with the new restrictions effective at noon today under the revised order for purple tier issued Tuesday. Tony Bizjak reports in The Bee:

The goal, health officials say, is to have more leverage over businesses that defy orders, such as illegally open bars, gyms or restaurants that insist on serving customers indoors. Officials said they would hope to use the threat of fines to persuade businesses to follow the rules.

The proposed ordinance is being reviewed by county attorneys. If approved by them, health officials say they plan to bring the ordinance to the county Board of Supervisors soon for discussion and vote as early as next week.

Officials said they have not yet determined what the fine amounts would be, but said the ordinance is patterned after a similar program in Yolo County that set $500 as a base fine for recalcitrant businesses.

“Most businesses are working well,” said county health chief Dr. Peter Beilenson. “But there are some bad actors.”

-Sandy Eggo: Meanwhile, in San Diego, which moved to the most restrictive purple tier on Tuesday along with Sacramento, a spontaneous mostly unmasked celebration broke out in the streets after it was announced that Padres players Manny Machado finished 3rd and Fernando Tatis Jr finished 4th in the MVP voting.

PROP. 22: A team at the times looks at how the tech companies persuaded California's voters to exempt them from AB 5/Dynamex, as well as how the votes broke out in Los Angeles County.

Facing an uphill battle, Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies set a spending record, pouring more than $200 million into the ballot initiative. They saturated TV and digital ad space. They bombarded gig workers and customers alike with in-app notifications and emails suggesting that drivers wanted to remain independent contractors and that a yes vote would be best for them.

The strategy seems to have worked, with the companies finding support across most of the state.

Yet the map of voter support is as decisive as it is confounding. Within Los Angeles, Proposition 22 was voted down in several liberal-leaning precincts but found widespread support in neighborhoods with large Black and Latino communities and majority white suburban areas alike. It breaks with oft-seen voting trends by uniting working-class South Los Angeles with the wealthy and conservative Beverly Hills.

SD30 (Downtown LA-Culver City-South LA): Assembly member Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) has announced that she will run for the State Senate seat left vacant with Holly Mitchell's election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Kamlager enters the springtime race with the support of Mitchell, Rep. Karen Bass, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Paul Koretz, State Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and state Controller Betty Yee.

SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): While State Senator John M.W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) has not conceded the seat to UC Irvine law professor Dave Min (D-Irvine), he emailed supporters stating that he intends to pursue his former supervisorial seat, which will be left vacant by Michelle Steel's defeat of Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Huntington Beach).

SENATE VACANCY: Following separate calls from LatinX and Asian Pacific Islander leaders calling for an appointment of their communities respectively, the California Legislative Black Caucus called this morning for the appointment of an African-American woman to the seat to be vacated by VP-elect Kamala Harris.

This morning, the LGBTQ Victory Fund urged that Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia be given special consideration for the appointment.

Meanwhile, Joel Fox writes that the refusal by voters to repeal the ban on the use of affirmative action in California state and local government programs with Proposition 16 should guide the governor to not listen to these calls and instead appoint a caretaker and let there be an open campaign for the seat in 2022.

Choosing a senator by certain characteristics not only goes against the Proposition 16 vote to cancel the effort to remove the affirmative action ban, it also provides a headache for the governor. By selecting a person from a specific group, emphasizing that the selection was guided by the person’s identity with the group, he will upset other interests who did not have a favorite son or daughter chosen. 

Once again, I offer a solution to the governor to avoid this dilemma. Appoint a grizzled California veteran pol to hold the Harris seat until the next election, then all the interests that want to see someone from their group get the job can run for the open seat. In that way, policy, not identity, would come to the fore as candidates seek votes from the mosaic of California voters.

THE OC: KQED's Marisa Lagos looks at the mixed messages sent from voters behind the Orange Curtain in last Tuesday's election.

This year, however, Orange County’s political breakdown is more complicated. Democrats in the county lost ground in Congress, but managed to flip two state Senate seats. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden is currently carrying the county by nine points, outpacing President Trump even in the congressional districts that GOP candidates won.

"Orange County had a long reputation for being a red county, the place where good Republicans came to die, John Wayne Airport, all that stuff," said Fred Smoller, an associate professor of political science at Chapman University. "We're moving to a purple county, not red, not blue like Berkeley, but purple in that there are competitive elections."

Republicans have their own reasons to celebrate this week: Democrat Harley Rouda conceded two days ago to Republican county Supervisor Michelle Steel in the race to represent Huntington Beach in Congress. Northeast of there, in District 39, Democratic Congressman Gil Cisneros looks unlikely to prevail against Republican former state Assemblywoman Young Kim, though that race has yet to be called.

California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Patterson said it does feel like a comeback for her party, but it's not one she’s taking for granted.

It was also a subject on last night's Political Breakdown Podcast with Lagos and Scott Shafer.

UNEMPLOYED: For CalMatters, Orlando Mayorquin reports on the impact on unemployed Californians of the federal supplement expiration and amidst administrative troubles at the state's Employment Development Department.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Oyez has posted the oral arguments from Tuesday in California v. Texas/Texas v. California over the future of the Affordable Care Act, with the audio synced with the written transcript.

FOOD DESERTS: LA Times video team member Jessica Q. Chen has an outstanding video covering how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the continued food desert affecting Black and Latino residents of South Los Angeles and what some community leaders are trying to do about it. This was a major topic after the 1992 riots, although many promises have not been fulfilled.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sarah Couch, Mark Murray, and Robin Swanson!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, 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]


California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between legislative, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of legislative advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. Learn more and apply here: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

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 admin@stoneadvocacy.com or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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