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  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): The progression of the Transgender community with Human Rights Activist Ebony Ava Harper and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) (2020-11-13)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assembly member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-11-13)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast: A Post-Mortem on the 2020 Election (5 subject area panel discussions) (2020-11-12)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Biden In Charge. California In the Spotlight. Trump In Trouble? (2020-11-12)
  • If I Could Change One Thing (Gary Rotto @ SDSU): Dr. Andrea Dooley, SDSU VP of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity on what the campus is doing to support students during COVID-19 (2020-11-12)

The Nooner for Tuesday, November 17, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
    • the numbers
    • tiers for fears
    • testing
    • masks
    • curfew
    • school daze
    • theme parks
    • LA
  • Senate vacancy
  • Junket life
  • High-speed rail
  • State office space glut?
  • SpaceX
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Well, hello there. In NorCal, the rain is moving in this afternoon to last through tomorrow morning and it looks like real rain and not those teaser showers we had on Friday. Fortunately, I got those leaves off my balcony and some winter seeds planted on Sunday!

As reflected below, we're almost done with results in congressional and state legislative races. That is supposed to signify "quiet time" for The Nooner when we start discussing the legislative session that has passed and looking to the one approaching. Of course, I'm not expecting any quiet time in the forthcoming news cycles.

ELECTION 2020:  Yesterday, 11 counties added results from 145,752 ballots bringing the statewide total to 17,291,853 voters.

-Tallied turnout: 78% 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 Friday, estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 292,922
  • Provisional: 52,517
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 150,026
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 33,016
  • Total: 528,481

-Topline notes: 

  • There were no lead changes yesterday.
  • AD13 (Stockton): It is almost certain that former San Joaquin County supe Carlos Villapudua (D) has won the vacant Central Valley seat over San Joaquine supe Kathy Miller. Villapudua was the mod squad Dem in the race, supported by law enforcement and the California Teachers Association and who benefited from a huge independent expenditure by oil and gas companies, while Miller was supported by the California Democratic Party and most labor unions. Sorry to ATCpro subscribers. As we've seen often over the last two weeks, San Joaquin County is fond of uploading results in the 9pm hour, and I try to cut off the spreadsheet updates at 8pm!
  • Sandy Eggo: I screwed up yesterday and included a 38-vote lead that should have been a 238-vote lead for former state senator Joel Anderson. It was just a stupid early morning typo but the way I displayed it (unlike the races below), the error wasn't obvious. Former state senator Joel Anderson has a 259-vote lead over Poway mayor Steve Vaus out of 289,341 ballots cast.

-Closely watched races: The races in bolded red are consisted still in play. CA21 is unique as Kings County has suspended counting until November 21 because of a COVID exposure. In the other races, the victor is in bold.

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 81,157; *TJ Cox (D): 79,092 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 166,617, Christy Smith (D): 166,513 (Diff: 0.03%)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 172,538, *Gil Cisneros (D): 168,366 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 201,471, *Harley Rouda (D): 193,094 (Diff: 2.0%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 194,087, Kipp Mueller (D): 187,955 (Diff: 1.6%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 212,930 Abigail Medina (D): 192,790 (Diff: 5.0% ⬆️ 0.4%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 213,105, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 202,416 (Diff: 2.6%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 270,193, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 258,096 (Diff: 2.3% ⬇️ 0.1%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Carlos Villapudua (D): 76,814, Kathy Miller (D): 73,109 (Diff: 2.4% ⬆️ 2.2%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 133,435, Diane Dixon (R): 130,860 (Diff: 1.0%) 


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) 48.0%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action ban repeal) 42.9%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.6%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.0%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.1%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 38.2%
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) 43.7%

 Yesterday, 41 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,304 since the beginning of the pandemic and 13,412 cases were added for a total of 1,044,001.

-Tiers for Fears: As I wrote yesterday in The Nooner addendum, lots of changes happened yesterday. Look up a county here, and learn about the restrictions on each industry here.

  As of 11/10 As of 11/16
Purple (widespread) 13 counties 41 counties
Orange (substantial 22 counties 11 counties
Orange (moderate) 17 counties 4 counties
Yellow (minimal) 6 counties 2 counties

The counties added to a more restrictive tier in the most recent update are bolded and italicized. A county moved to a less restrictive tier in the most recent update are bolded and underlined. (There were none downgraded to a less restrictive tier yesterday.)

 AlamedaButteContra CostaEl DoradoFresnoGlenn, Imperial, KernKings, Los Angeles, Madera, MendocinoMerced, Monterey, NapaNevadaOrangePlacer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San JoaquinSanta BarbaraSan Luis ObispoSanta ClaraSanta Cruz, Shasta, SiskiyouSolano, Sonoma, StanislausSutter, Tehama, TuolumneTrinity, Tulare, VenturaYoloYuba Amador, ColusaDel NorteHumboldt, Lake, MarinModocMonoPlumasSan FranciscoSan Mateo  Calaveras, Inyo, Lassen, Sierra  Alpine, Mariposa 
Look up a county | Restrictions by industry | School restrictions

-Testing: I'm hearing it more and more as Thanksgiving approaches and I'm sure the same will be true around Hanukkah and Christmas this year. People are saying that they are ignoring public health travel advisories but "everyone is getting tested" before the gathering. That's completely wrong, and the LA County Director of Public Health is yelling that out. Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money report for the Times:

Desperately seeking to find a seemingly responsible way to hold dinner parties, some people have started to get tests for the coronavirus as a way to clear themselves to attend dinner parties without needing to wear masks or keep their distance.

That’s absolutely the wrong thing to do, according to Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s director of public health.

Ferrer said on Monday that she has heard of groups of young adults going to get tested for the coronavirus on a Thursday in hopes of getting the negative results by Saturday morning, and then having a dinner party on Saturday night.

But such tests provide a false sense of security — and engaging in this practice can still result in the dinner party becoming a super-spreading event that can transmit the highly contagious virus widely.

“That’s actually a false sense of security. It’s a false narrative,” Ferrer said.

“Your test result that you got Saturday morning was from Thursday when you got tested, and it said, ‘On Thursday, you were negative,’” Ferrer said. “It says nothing about whether you’re still negative on Saturday.

“I do want people to understand that testing on Thursday so you can party on Saturday: That doesn’t work. It’s not a good idea. It’s not effective and you really are in some ways wasting a valuable resource,” Ferrer said.

I know lots of people who are doing this next week. "We're going ahead with Thanksgiving, but everyone is getting tested." I'm guessing that they don't have a 15-minute test on site, and we know how well that's worked for The White House.

-Masks: Under a new state public health order, masks are required outside of the home with some exceptions, reports Kaytlyn Leslie for The Bee.

On my mid-Nooner morning walk this AM, everybody except a few joggers was masked. That's better than last night. I had to pick up a couple of ingredients for dinner and some flavored waters at Market 5-ONE-5. Everybody around Southside Park was masked until I walked by the CHP substation on 9th Street, where administrators were leaving unmasked. The same thing was true on Sunday, when city park workers were repainting the fence outside the playground area on 6th street, unmasked.

I know people want to hate on Governor Gavin for his 11/6 attendance at The French Laundry for Kinney's birthday. Yes, it was stupid. He didn't use that word yesterday, but it essentially came across that he was saying that. However, the daily work of state and local government employees is a far bigger model than a social media meme or the topic of one 24-hour news cycle. Oh, and read the junket story below about state legislators going to Maui...

Meanwhile in the other Capitol, senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein was captured this morning walking the halls of the Senate Dirksen Office Building without a mask. Not suggesting that she is in the high-risk category at 87 years old or anything...

-Curfew: I wrote yesterday that Los Angeles County is considering a curfew, possibly along the lines of the one in New York of 10pm for restaurants and bars. In yesterday's NewsomAtNoon, Governor Newsom suggested that one may be forthcoming as early as Friday. The application to restaurants is to cover the bars that are treated as restaurants by serving meals. After all, nobody is making a 10:30 reservation after a night at the opera these days and bars have gotten around the health orders in creative ways.

-School daze: The LAT's Howard Blume and Laura Newberry look at what the surge in California cases means for the state's schools.

An alarming rise in new coronavirus cases has prompted major reopening rollbacks that also will stall efforts to reopen campuses throughout Southern California and most of the state — and affect the education of millions of students.

What happens at individual school districts and even schools will vary from county to county as officials grapple with complicated rules, evolving and expensive safety procedures, and infection rates in the communities they serve.

On Monday the number of counties in the strictest tier, purple, more than tripled to 41, including all counties in Southern California.

They proceed to look at what's happening in SoCal counties.

-Theme parks: In the Register, Brady MacDonald reports that all large theme parks are now in the purple tier and further from reopening with a huge economic impact on employees and nearby local governments.

Gov. Gavin’s Newsom’s decision to move nearly all of California into the most restrictive tier of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy puts Disneyland, Knott’s and other major California theme parks one step further away from reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom announced that Orange County — home to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Knott’s Berry Farm — will be moving into the state’s most-restrictive purple/widespread tier 1 during a news conference on Monday, Nov. 16.

Large California theme parks remain closed and are unlikely to return to full operation until early 2021 or next summer under COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the state.

-LA: A team at the Times reports that leaders in Los Angeles are urging residents to stay at home as much as possible.

There are growing calls for Los Angeles County residents to stay at home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks as the coronavirus surges and the Thanksgiving holiday season brings new dangers.

Officials have been sounding the alarm in recent days about the rapid spread of the virus in the region and have warned that more restrictions could be coming, including a possible curfew. Mayor Eric Garcetti went a step further Monday by saying remaining at home when possible is essential in slowing the outbreak.

The call falls far short of the strict safer-at-home order issued in March. But it illustrates the dire situation L.A. and the rest of California face in the coming weeks if the surging numbers in cases don’t start decreasing.

“This is a different kind of moment, a new level of danger,” Garcetti said. “If we don’t make these decisions now, there really is only one outcome: We will almost certainly have to shut things down again. And more people will get sick and die.

SENATE VACANCY: Assembly member Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville) tweets that he has requested an opinion from the nonpartisan Legislative Counsel about Governor Newsom's authority to make an appointment to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate following Kamala Harris's election to veep.

According to the CDPH, “A face covering is required at all times when outside of the home, with some exceptions.”

“The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection remains and will continue to be in our midst for the foreseeable next several months,” read a news release from the department. “The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, sneezing, singing, exercising, shouting or other forms of increased respiration, and they can also reinforce physical distancing by signaling the need to remain apart.”

“In addition, increasing evidence also demonstrates a cloth face covering or mask also offers some protection to the wearer, too,” the release said.

There are several exemptions outlined in the order.

Of course, Kiley is just throwing out red meat to his conservative base. He's a smart guy even though he went to Yale for law school. He knows that Elections Code §10720 provides that authority. Newsom has three options, which I outlined yesterday, each with upsides and downsides.

It's not in the state constitution because state legislatures used to send two United States Senators to Washington. That changed with the Seventeeth Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified in 1913. The era of "the wise men of state legislatures" sending representatives to Washington as a check on the populist House of Representatives ended as part of the progressive era, which also led to the initiative, referendum, and recall processes added to the California constitution.

Kiley knows that, as he did a gut-amend of his AB 2194 in May to require an election for a vacant United States Senate seat from California.

JUNKET LIFE: While people were losing their ish over Governor Gavin Newsom's 12-person outdoor dinner on November 6 at The French Laundry, lawmakers from California and three other states are in Maui for the annual "conference" held by the Independent Voter Project, reports Katy Murphy for Politico.

The pandemic may have "canceled" 2020, but it did not derail an annual gathering of lobbyists and lawmakers on the shores of Maui that brought people from across the country to a luxury resort this week.

Roughly 100 people from four states converged at the Fairmont Kea Lani for a four-day legislative conference organized by the Independent Voter Project, said the group's chair and executive director, Dan Howle.

The 18th annual event was a third of its regular size, Howle said, but it still drew nearly 20 lawmakers from California, Texas and Washington state. The theme? How to reopen states' economies amid the public health crisis.

Howle said he was not concerned about the public health implications of bringing people from around the country together because of the stringent requirements in Hawaii's mandatory Safe Travels program. To avoid a lengthy quarantine, visitors must provide proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

"It really doesn’t matter where you’re coming from as long as you have a negative Covid test before you arrive here," he said.

We'll see if they self-quarantine for 14 days after they return as per the state travel advisory.

A list of which California legislators are attending is not provided, so if you see any indications on social media, let me know.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL: The LAT's Ralph Vartabedian writes that just because "Amtrak Joe" is our next President, it doesn't mean that California's beleaguered high-speed rail project will be bailed out by the feds.

For months, some supporters of California’s troubled high-speed rail project have pined for a Biden presidency, hoping his administration would throw its support behind the planned system between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, with trains running at 220 mph.

But while state officials anticipate more peaceful dealings with the new administration, nobody expects an imminent bailout. Some doubt that the president-elect will make investment in high-speed rail a priority.

“Biden is a fan of the typical Amtrak route, which is akin to our Metrolink or the Amtrak service in the Central Valley,” said Ara Najarian, a board member of Metro and Metrolink. “High-speed rail is a question mark. I don’t know he would go that far.”

STATE OFFICE SPACE GLUT: In the Sac Business Journal, Ben van der Meer looks at what could be a glut of office space (subscriber article) as state government consolidates with perhaps a majority of employees working from home permanently.

In a post-Covid-19 world, telework becoming more common has the potential to dramatically change the Sacramento region's office environment.

And no entity may end up effecting more change than the single biggest lessor of space: the state of California, which leases more than 9 million square feet in Sacramento County alone.

Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, said the likely shift is a challenge, but also represents an opportunity.

"It's down to quality," he said. "If they dump three, four, five million square feet in the market, they're going to crush the market."

But done strategically, he said, the state could leave good space that companies would gladly snap up. In an area like Downtown Sacramento, that could help create a more dynamic business environment, he said.

I've written about it in this space before, but there are three single-level properties near me that are vacant after the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Water Resources left. They've been on the market for awhile with no takers. Perhaps the most troubling are the state leases in buildings on Capital Mall, where several agencies are located.

Of course, I'm most concerned about the small businesses that are most impacted in downtown Sac and many cities around California with a shift to mostly work from home. The changes to society in how we work, eat, and otherwise live made in 2020 will last far longer than the SARS-CoV2-19 virus and a major realignment is forthcoming.

SPACEX: Let's end today on a postive note. In rare good 2020 news, late yesterday, the Hawthorne-based SpaceX craft carrying four American astronauts reached the International Space Station, reports the AP.

The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact. The linkup occurred 262 miles above Idaho.

“We can’t wait to have you on board,” she added after the two spacecraft were latched together.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: No birthdays that I know of today!


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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:

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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