Around The Capitol

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  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) (2020-11-24)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Doug Moore, Executive Director of UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 (2020-11-30)
  • Political Breakdown (KQED's Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Dr. Boch Wachter (2020-11-19)
  • Passing Judgment (Chapman Law prof Jessica Levinson): former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (2020-11-18)
  • 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)

The Nooner for Thursday, December 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    -The numbers
    -Tiers for Fears/restrictions
  • No juice for you!
  • December fires (not of the yule log variety)
  • Senate Vacancy
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Thank you to those who have renewed subscriptions and made additional contributions. You are literally paying my rent, health insurance, server costs, and $150+ per month for newspaper subscriptions during this time of depressed display and classified advertising revenue. With the subjects discussed by the Legislature last year limited given the administrative session and with few events and little hiring going on, it is easily explained.

While I often share personal stories here, I don't believe I shared one of the biggest stresses I had this already-awful year. I live with a too-large collection of books in an apartment among three units exactly one mile from the Capitol. On August 6, we received notices from the property manager that the property owner, a Central Valley family, was putting it on the property and included a termination of tenancy. 

After writing frequently about state and local rent legislation, both ongoing in AB 1482 (Chiu/2019) and the pandemic legislation AB 3088 (Chiu/2020), I jumped into a legislative language and history morass. Essentially, a change in ownership does not in itself allow an eviction because of the "just cause" provisions in AB 1482, unless the new owner plans to occupy the unit.

Long story short, we got to stay (including me and my books). The new owner doesn't allow me to grow my veggies on the large balcony anymore and effective this month, my rent is $105 higher. I have not taken advantage of any of the rent forbearance provisions during the pandemic offered either by the feds or the state and the agent for the new owner said that they had been told that I and the daughter/mother duo in the other occupied unit had been "perfect tenants."

I am frequently asked about the application of legislation to facts on the ground.

In this miserable year, those questions have been much more frequent, including from myself.

Thank you to all who offered condolences to me and my family for the loss of my grandmother. She was an amazing woman who lived a wonderful life. My sister in Simi Valley was posting photos of her on Facebook last night even though she was without power because of the SCE power shutoff to avoid wildfires. The current estimated restoration time is Saturday at noon. I don't know how many power bricks she has built up after many of these instances, but it's admirable.

Last night, I watched "The Trial of the Chicago 7" on Netflix, which was fantastic. Of course, it was brilliantly written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, who as usual, had a fantastic cast. I mean, who couldn't love Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat) as Abbie Hoffman? As someone who wasn't born until after the trial and had only a rough familiarity with the circumstances of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, there was a lot to unpack.

I arrived at the Capitol as a student advocate primarily in 1994 and then as an advocate community college districts in 1995, while a student at UC Davis. At that time, there was a member of the State Senate from Santa Monica named Tom Hayden. Let's just say that the Chicago 7 + Bobby Seale were not exactly part of the educational curriculum in north Orange County. (Hayden was brilliantly played by Eddie Redmayne.)

Hayden had authored a student representation fee at community colleges to provide for advocacy by students in Sacramento, and was a strong member of the Senate Education Committee. It was subject to a local student vote and was easily opted out from, although the requirement of a local student vote was removed last year in AB 1504 (Medina).

Yes, even while I'm watching a two-hour Aaron Sorkin flick about an event from 1968-1969 to get away from the computer for awhile, my crazy brain is still on the California Legislature.

After watching a movie about the Chicago 7, I then went to bed and slept for seven hours, which Is 4-5 hours more than I've been sleeping lately. I'll just take it as a coincidence.

On to all the news that is unfit to print...

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business professor and former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen was formally announced by President-elect Joe Biden yesterday to be the first female Secretary of the Treasury. That created fodder for the humor I needed to start the day on an isle amidst an ocean of shark-infested news. Here is the cold open from "A Late Show with Stephen Colbert" last night. Yes, Yellen gets the "Hamilton" treatment.

COVID-19: Yesterday, 116 deaths were reported in the state, (yes, same number as yesterday) bringing the total to 19,446. From the LAT:

Undoubtedly, by The Nooner distro today, you have read that yesterday the largest number of deaths in the United States. From the Guardian:

The US recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, as the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid exceeded 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, 3,157 new deaths were recorded on Wednesday, more than the number of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The previous high was the 2,607 deaths recorded on 15 April, at the beginning of the pandemic.

Given the hospitalizations and ICU utilization data, this will likely continue for awhile.

-Tiers for Fears: There were no changes to the assignment of counties to tiers yesterday, so we're still at 52 purple/widespread, 5 red/substantial, and 1 orange/moderate.

There also wasn't a NewsomAtNoon to announce new restrictions, but it is likely coming today.

For the lede of the day, Adam Beam writes for AP:

California’s quarantined governor is considering placing nearly all of the state’s 40 million residents under a tough stay-at-home order amid fears that a staggering coronavirus surge could swamp the hospital system within weeks.

Governor Newsom, Jennifer, and their four kids have been in quarantine since November 23 after three of the four kids were exposed to a CHP officer who later tested positive, although there are no reports that anybody in California's First Family has tested positive.

In the LAT, John Myers and Rong-Gong Lin II write:

Newsom, who has scheduled a midday event to outline his administration’s response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, hinted Monday that a new statewide shutdown, reminiscent of the one ordered in March, could be on the horizon. State health officials said their latest projections of the virus’ spread showed intensive care units could be filled to capacity in as little as two weeks.

“If these trends continue,” Newsom said Monday, “we’re going to have to take much more dramatic, arguably drastic, action.”

Imposing a new round of far-reaching measures would mark a swift escalation of the state’s response to deteriorating public health conditions. On Nov. 19, the governor ordered an overnight curfew in counties with the highest identified risk levels — those in the most restrictive, or “purple,” level of the state’s four-tier coronavirus monitoring system — a list that now includes some 99% of California’s population.

It is likely that the governor's new mandates will be focused on either hospital bed or ICU bed capacity more than the color of the tier. These are the latest graphs scaring public health professionals. For the Nooner Newbies who may not be familiar with these, we want to see a declining curve on the first one (hospitalized COVID-19 patients). On the second one, we want to see an increasing curve (available ICU beds from all causes). A drop of 79 available ICU beds in one day is very distressing.

The increase of 337 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (3.5% in one day) is equally distressing, as it signals the increase in cases is not about an increase in testing. This ain't Motel 6 where they'll leave the light on for you. Hospitals aren't inviting in asymptomatic patients.

COVID hospitalizations by daySource: California Department of Public Health Care, State Dashboard

-Churches/SCOTUS: In the case filed against California by Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church seeking a Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) writ to require California to allow indoors religious services in light of the opinion in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo case issued last Wednesday, SCOTUS today sent it to the Ninth Circuit with direction to return it to the Central District of California for an evaluation of the facts in light of the New York case.

For those that don't geek out on appellate law, courts of appeal including SCOTUS are not fact-finders, but rather evaluators of the application of the law by lower courts. If Harvest Rock was in New York, the Supreme Court might have issued the writ, since the application of the facts by lower courts would be under the same law (public health order) as in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.

However, since Harvest Rock v. Newsom is a California case that came through the Central District and Ninth Circuit with application of the facts under the California state and local public heath orders before Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo was decided, the court kicked it back to the Central District for an application of the facts of Harvest Rock and if the California state and local public health orders were consistent with Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo. 

Or, the court just doesn't want the workload of thousands of aggrieved churches filing from across the country...

In the end, Harvest Rock v. Newsom likely returns to SCOTUS with the same 5-4 result as Diocese v. Cuomo, with CJ Roberts joining the three liberals in dissent.

I hope the above makes a semblance of sense. The SCOTUS order was just issued this morning and I'm particularly sleepy after that seven hours of sleep, even with several cups of almond vanilla black tea from The Allspicery. It's funny how the body does that.

-Prisons: For KQED, Holly McDede writes up the latest and largest prison outbreak in California:

A surge in COVID-19 cases at a Central Valley prison for men is now the largest active outbreak in the California prison system, according to state data.

Nearly 1,000 inmates at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran have active cases of the virus — nearly all reported within the last two weeks. Three inmates at the facility have also died from COVID-19 complications. Advocates for incarcerated people say the prison’s layout and overcrowding have made it easy for the virus to spread.

NO JUICE FOR YOU! Here is the data of the number of customers (households/businesses) without power because of PSPS shutoffs to prevent wildfires during the wind event as of 9:30am.

DECEMBER FIRES (NOT OF THE YULE LOG VARIETY): I've been watching several wildfires that have broken out since the SoCal wind event started yesterday. Of particular concern is the Bond Fire that began in the Silverado Canyon above Irvine in Orange County, which was started at 10:14pm last night and exploded to 3,643 acres and 0% contained as of 9:02am, growing into Modjeska Canyon (where a high school friend has been evacuated from her home). Here is an interactive evacuation map and the OC Fire Authority PIO is tweeting here.

In a press release from the county, evacuees are advised that because of the pandemic, there are no congregate sheltering sites. Evacuees are told to go to a Red Cross Temporary Evacuation Point at El Toro High School and stay in their cars before finding a place to stay with friends or family or in a hotel.

This is all so 2020.

SENATE VACANCY: Senator Dianne Feinstein yesterday endorsed Secretary of State Alex Padilla for appointment by Governor Newsom for the vacancy that will be created upon resignation of Veep-elect Kamala Harris.

This may be a two-Nooner day. We'll see how it goes.

GOV 2022: Joel Fox asks if it's too early to start talking about the 2022 governor's race, closing with "All this conjecture is interesting although the likelihood is that Gavin Newsom will be around for two terms—that is unless he appoints himself to the United States Senate!"

...cakeday and classifieds after the jump


Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Vanessa Cajina, Natalie Cardenas, Assembly member Laura FriedmanSarah Kate Levy, Michael Mendez, and Brian Micek!


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]

CCST Expert Briefing: Carbon Neutral California: Blue Carbon Sequestration along California’s Coast
Join the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in partnership with the Office of Assemblymember Mark Stone and the California Ocean Science Trust on Wednesday, December 9th from 1:30-2:30pm for our latest Virtual CCST Expert Briefing: Blue Carbon Sequestration along California’s Coast. A panel of experts from San Diego State University, USGS, Silvestrum Climate Associates, and LandSea Science will discuss strategic ways to increase blue carbon sequestration in California’s coastal ecosystems. RSVP
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.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: