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  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, the new Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, talks about public policy, health, and social justice priorities for our Latinx communities in 2021. (2020-12-09)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Vaccines are coming with Dr. Dean Blumberg, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine and Acting Chief, Pediatric Infectious Disease Section, UC Davis Medical Center. (2020-12-07)
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Introduction to new Assembly Democrats (2020-12-07)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Dr. Anthony Fauci on California's New COVID Restrictions and Lessons from the HIV/AIDS Epidemic (2020-12-04)
  • Cap•Impact (Chris Micheli @ McGeorge School of Law): Convening the New Legislative Session (2020-12-04)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The Myth of the Latino Monolith with journalist Pilar Marrero (2020-12-03)
  • 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)

The Nooner for Thursday, December 10, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • School daze
  • Poll position
  • COVID-19
    -The numbers
    -Tiers for Fears
    -Stay at Home
    -Foster Farms
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

Happy March 266th! Like back on March 19, tonight at 11:59pm, the Greater Sacramento Region joins the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions plus the proactive Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Francsico under the state's stay-at-home order. On Sunday at 10pm, Monterey joins the party. At that point, 93% of Californians will be under the state order.

Meanwhile, as our Jewish brothers and sisters prepare to light that first candle tonight, it's time for our annual brush-up on the holiday.

School daze: Yesterday, I floated on social media an idea related to schools that led to lots of interest and discussion. Here were my original posts to Twitter and Facebook, and you can see the discussion threads there.:

If Governor Newsom were to propose in the State of the State that public schools be year-round through next summer (with funding) to make up for lost learning in 2020, what would those demanding schools reopen for in-person say? What would unions say if pay was concomitant?

Here is my thinking. While our tK-12 teachers have done an admirable job this year in pivoting to distance learning, all reports show that it has been wildly uneven based on available technology, teacher preparation, and the ability of parents to aid their students in learning. This has disproportionately impacted lower-income students, Black, and Latino families. While these disparities have plagued education for a long time, it is particularly troubling this year particularly among Latinos who are more likely to be essential workers and thus disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, Latinos are 57.6% of the cases and 47.9% of the deaths, while accounted for 39.4% of the state's population in 2018.

The disparities in distance learning have led to a lawsuit against the state while the true impact is not known because there is no standardized testing happening.

Meanwhile, while most people understandably have had plenty else on their minds and may have missed the news, the state has an unexpected current year tax windfall while also facing deficits in the long term. Pursuant to Proposition 98 (Specifically, Test 1 for the geeks in 2019-20, 20-21, and 21-22), about 40% of these revenues must be spent on K-12 and community colleges. This includes new "ongoing" revenues in the 2021-22 State Budget as well as one-time "settle-up" payments from higher than expected guarantees in the 2019-20 ("prior") and 2020-21 ("current") fiscal years.

Below is the Legislative Analyst's forecast for those one-time revenues. We will see the Department of Finance's projections by January 10, when Governor Newsom's proposed 2021-22 State Budget is due.

Proposition 98 settle-up 2020-21

Under the LAO forecast, $13.66 billion in one-time funds is due to K-12 and community colleges. Of these funds, around $12.2 billion will be due K-12 with the remainder going to community colleges. The Legislative Analyst's Office recommends setting some of these funds for budget resiliency for the deficit years that lie ahead.

However, under the concept I first floated in the above tweet, there is plenty of money to do something creative.

Through the discussion on social media and listening to people, a statewide "one size fits all" approach is likely not the best for teachers or students.

My current thinking is state-funded "summer academy" grants for a one-month review of material covered (in theory) through distance learning in 2020. Participation would be voluntary by students and families alike. It could be done the second month of the conventional summer recess leading up to the return of in-person instruction, giving students a break and giving teachers preparation time with compensation therefore. Teachers would receive compensation for both months on a pro-rata basis of their current compensation.

Think about what this would mean for some of our hardest hit California families. Students would have an opportunity for additional in-person instruction. Families, many of which are low-income and many who have lost relatives that may have provided child care, would get financial relief of private care for a month. Schoolchildren would get hot meals (and the classified staff involved would receive compensation).

"Can't be done. The system is the system."

Doctors and nurses are providing health care in parking garages. RNs are learning the basics of critical care in a two-day crash course. Restaurants unaccustomed to delivery and social media are posting daily specials available for delivery or pick-up. Our parents are learning how to Zoom so we can spend the holidays together.

The fact is that it can be done. Do I suggest the perfect model above? Likely not. I'm not a parent and my education experience is not in K-12. However, after floating the idea yesterday, I heard from teachers and parents alike with interest in the concept.

While I don't suggest summer academies only for low-income and Black and Latino students, let's be honest that the communities have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, from a health, economic, and, yes, learning perspective.

Ten years from now we can look at data and see the impact of a year of unequal education that follows the student through the remainder of their K-12 education and affects the prospects of college or we can take a portion of these available one-time funds and do the right thing over the summer to address a known problem.

...poll position and COVID-19 after the jump


Time for numbers...lots of numbers.

POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with a new statewide survey on Californians' perspective on jobs and the economy. Below are some key findings. The data come from the following documents: All adults crosstabs, likely voters crosstabs, low-income adults crosstabs, all adults time trends, and likely voters time trends.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Newsom is handling the issue of jobs and the economy?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Approve 59% 59 58
Disapprove 40 40 39
Don't know [vol] 1 1 3
1) Low-income adults are respondents earning less than $40,000 annually.
2) Fieldwork for the poll was November 4-23, 2020. During this time, many counties (including Sacramento) moved to the most restrictive Purple tier, although it was before the December 3 Stay at Home Order. The French Laundry story broke on November 13. 
3) Numbers may not total 100% due to rounding.

In May, Newsom's approval on jobs and the economy was 59-32% among all adults and 57-35% among likely voters. The governor has basically held steady, although as noted, the fieldwork for the latest poll was before the Stay At Home Orders, with the biggest difference being that outdoor dining was still open. The separate results of low-income adults were not presented in May.

Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Good times 31% 30 32
Bad times 68 69 67
Don't know [vol] 1 1 2
Notes: see first presented results above.

In January, the good time/bad times results were 49-43% among all adults and 50-42% among likely voters.

Looking ahead, in California will we have mostly good times during the next five years or will we have mostly periods of widespread unemployment or depression?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Good times 40% 58 35
Periods if widespread
unemployment or depression
59 48 64
Don't know [vol] 1 1 1
Notes: see first presented results above.

Take a moment to think about those numbers and the huge difference between a majority of optimistic likely voters and despair and fear among low-income Californians.

How much of a problem is the availability of wellpaying jobs in your part of California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Big problem 27% 28 31
Somewhat of a problem 61 61 59
Not a problem 12 11 8
Don't know [vol] 1 0 2
Notes: see first presented results above.

While we saw a significant gap between likely voters and low-income voters in the previous question, there's not statistically significant difference in this one.

Does the lack of well-paying jobs make you and your family seriously consider moving away from the part of California you live in now?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Yes, elsewhere in California 6% 5 8
Yes, outside of the state 26 26 27
Yes, other 0 0 0
No 68 69 64
Don't know [vol] 1 0 2
Notes: see first presented results above.

On the following question, we want to look at partisan breakdown given the political aspect of the issue.

Does the lack of well-paying jobs make you and your family seriously consider moving away from the part of California you live in now? 

(likely voters) Dem Rep Ind
Yes, elsewhere in California 7% 4 2
Yes, outside of the state 15 42 33
Yes, other 0 0 0
No 79 54 65
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0
Notes: see first presented results above.

Blue states become bluer and red states become redder. Of course, the primary destination states (NV, AZ, TX) are trending blue or purple because of demographics, although new arrivals from California slow the tide.

Now thinking about your own personal finances, would you say that you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as you were a year ago?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Better off 16% 17 12
Worse off 24 22 34
About the same 59 61 54
Don't know [vol] 0 0 1
Notes: see first presented results above.

Basically, as expected. In November 2019 it was 23%-22%-54%  among all adults and 22%-22%-57% among likely voters.

How would you describe your household’s financial situation? Would you say you live comfortably, meet your basic needs with a little left for extras, just meet your basic expenses, or don’t even have enough to meet basic expenses?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Live comfortably 34% 40 9
Meet your basic expenses with
a little left for extras
41 40 33
Just meet your basic expenses 24 17 47
Don't even have enough to meet basic expenses 4 3 10
Don't know [vol] 0 0 1
Notes: see first presented results above.

Now, please indicate whether you or anyone in your household has done or experienced any of the following in the last 12 months…Been laid off or lost their job?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Yes, happened to me 12% 13 18
Yes, happened to someone in my household 12 14 11
Yes, happened to me and someone in my household 3 2 6
Did not happen to anyone in my household 72 72 65
Notes: see first presented results above.

Okay, that's enough poll results for today (takes a lot of work and my clock has run out after 6.5 hours this morning!). In the poll, PPIC also dives into questions of race, which I'll cover tomorrow. 

COVID-19: Yesterday, 195 deaths were reported in the state, bringing the total to 20,468.

Yesterday's Los Angeles County Public Health release shows the progression of cases to hospitalizations to deaths:

L.A. County continues to experience more new cases reported each day for COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic. This past week and a half, cases increased from an average of about 4,900 new cases each day the last week in November, to an average of more than 9,000 daily cases.

Testing results are available for nearly 3,985,000 individuals with 11% of all people testing positive. The County's daily test positivity rate has increased significantly. From early November through November 29, the test positivity rate has increased 3-fold from around 3.5% to just over 9%. Today’s test positivity rate is 12.5%.

The surge in cases, which began around November 2 led to an increase in hospitalizations starting around November 9 and then, tragically, the start of an increase in deaths beginning around November 15.

There are 3,299 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. The number of daily hospitalizations has increased over 400% from November 1 when the daily number of people hospitalized was 791.

Since November 9, average daily deaths have increased 258%, from 12 average deaths per day to 43 this week. Since these deaths reflect L.A. County case counts from a month ago, as cases have continued to increase the past few weeks, we will bear witness to a significant rise in the number of people who are dying.

Similar experiences are happening in counties around the state.

Let's look at the metrics of progression from four weeks ago yesterday to the latest data, all from the state dashboard.

14-day positivity rate:

  • November 10: 3.8%
  • December 9: 8.8%

New daily positive cases:

  • November 10: 7,464
  • December 9: 31,789

Hospitalized COVID patients:

  • November 10: 3,987
  • December 8: 11,965

ICU hospitalized COVID patients:

  • November 10: 1,006
  • December 8: 2,627

Daily deaths:

  • November 10: 69
  • December 8: 196

Unfortunately, the next few weeks are going to be miserable in terms of morbidity and mortality. The hope is that right now we're at a peak of new infection and that the stay-at-home orders will shrink that daily number during the upcoming weeks. However, if you think of it like a bubble in a hose, that peak has to move through the known progression before it is gone.

-Tiers for fearsWhile it's moot as of 11:59pm tonight when the Greater Sacramento region falls under the state stay-at-home order, Amador has been moved to purple as was Marin, which has already voluntarily adopted stay-at-home. Here are the current county tier assignments. When a county emerges from the stay-at-home order, it will be placed back on the tiered scale based on current data.

  • Purple/Widespread=54 counties
  • Red/Substantial=3 (Alpine, Inyo, Mariposa -- total DOF est. population: 37,793)
  • Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra -- total DOF est. population: 3,201)

-Stay at home: I am not including all of the main points and restrictions of the new stay at home order. You can find them in The Nooner for December 5, or read the state order or state guidance.

--Monterey: The county will join the five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara) in proactively implementing the state Stay At Home Order. The county order takes effect Sunday night at 10pm and extends through 6am on Monday, January 11. Assuming no others follow suit the following counties will NOT be under stay-at-home at that point:

Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity

With the addition of Monterey on Sunday, 93% of California's 40 million residents in 42 counties will be under the state's Stay At Home Order.


--Update on 12/03 with Governor Newsom and HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly:

--Update on 12/07:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/08:

--Regions and numbers: Here is the latest ICU capacity by region, which is from this state page.

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    ICU capacity as of 12/09: 27.1%
  • Bay Area: Alameda*, Contra Costa*, Marin*, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco*, San Mateo, Santa Clara*, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    ICU capacity as of 12/09: 20.9%
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    ICU capacity as of 12/09: 14.3%
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    ICU capacity as of 12/09: 4.2%

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    ICU capacity as of 12/09: 9.0%

*County has voluntarily adopted the state's Stay At Home Order

Cite: COVID19.CA.GOV: About COVID-19 restrictions (Under "Regional Stay Home Order")

Here is a look at how each region got to where it is since the Stay At Home Order was issued Thursday, December 3.

ICU capacity by region

ICU Bed Capacity by Region*
Region 12/03 12/04 12/05 12/06 12/07 12/08 12/09
Northern California 18.6% 20.9% 24.1% 26.5% 28.2% 25.0% 27.1%
Bay Area 25.3% 21.2% 21.7% 24.1% 25.7% 24.5% 20.9%
Greater Sacramento 22.2% 21.4% 21.4% 18.2% 20.3% 18.8% 14.3%
San Joaquin Valley 19.7% 14.1% 8.6% 6.6% 6.3% 5.6% 4.2%
Southern California 20.6% 13.1% 12.5% 10.3% 10.9% 10.6% 9.0%
*Beginning December 4, PICU and NICU beds were removed and adult ICU beds were standardized.   
Source: California Dept of Public Health,   

 --SacTown: Here are the available ICU bed numbers for the Greater Sacramento region as of this morning:

Greater Sacramento Region
Available ICU Beds
  12/6 am 12/7 am 12/8 am 12/9 am 12/10 am
Alpine 0 0 0 0 0
Amador                  1 1 2 2 2
Butte 15 9 15 13 7
Colusa 0 0 0 0 0
El Dorado 6 6 6 5 4
Nevada 5 1 5 2 4
Placer 25 21 21 23 20
Plumas 0 0 0 0 0
Sacramento 73 65 76 78 67
Sierra 0 0 0 0 0
Sutter 0 0 0 0 0
Yolo 5 7 4 2 2
Yuba 5 3 9 7 3
Region total 135 113 138 132 109

-Playgrounds: Yesterday, the state's stay-at-home order guidance regarding playgrounds was quietly changed following significant pressure from legislators and the public. Here is the new question and answer added to the Regional Stay At Home Order guidance:

Are playgrounds open?

Playgrounds may remain open to facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise.  Playgrounds located on schools that remain open for in-person instruction, and not accessible by the general public, may remain open and must follow guidance for schools and school-based programs (PDF).

In talking to parents who are very big proponents of the stay-at-home order, this was a godsend.

-Tahoe: In the Chron, Gregory Thomas looks at the closure of Lake Tahoe under the Greater Sacramento stay-at-home order. 

Vacation travel to Lake Tahoe will be banned for at least three weeks starting Friday due to a regional rise in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state’s stay-at-home mechanism was triggered Wednesday afternoon for a vast region of 13 counties spanning from Sacramento east to the Nevada border.

Though not unexpected, the news that Christmas travel would be off-limits came as a blow to the state’s premier winter tourism destination, which first went into lockdown with the rest of the state in March.

Unfortunately, yet again, Tahoe is closed,” said Chris Fiore, communications manager for the city of South Lake Tahoe. “If we can get things under control in the next three weeks, we can reopen just in time for New Year’s.”


Discouraging tourists from visiting Lake Tahoe proved impossible during the statewide shelter-in-place mandate that started in March and expanded into summer. City dwellers hoping to escape the coronavirus in a less populated, natural setting fled to Tahoe en masse, stirring up tensions with locals that boiled over into public protests in August. Hoping to dissuade visitors, the city of South Lake Tahoe issued a small number of $1,000 fines to individual visitors breaking lockdown.

Knowing that some winter travelers will probably flout the rules again, Tahoe officials said there’s little they can do to keep visitors out besides pleading with people to obey the lockdown order.

“We're not putting up gates and checking IDs as you come over Echo Summit but please be respectful of people living here,” Fiore said.

FOSTER FARMS: Obviously, the situation in the San Joaquin Valley Region are dire and, at 4.2% ICU capacity, will likely send ICU patients to the Bay Area bringing the region under the Stay At Home Order (as well as Greater Sac, already falling under the order today). A major spreader has been three Foster Farms processing plants in the Central Valley. Alexandra Hall reported on Tuesday:

One of the facilities, a sprawling poultry processing complex in Livingston, was cleared from outbreak status in September after an earlier surge of the coronavirus infected nearly 400 people working at the plant. Nine people died.

Two of the company’s plants in Fresno are also now facing outbreaks. One of those plants, a facility on S. Cherry Avenue in south Fresno, is experiencing a major outbreak, according to Dr. Rais Vohra, interim health officer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health.


Dave Pomaville, director of Fresno County’s Department of Public Health, said in an interview Monday that the most recent cases at Foster Farms were detected during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The company then began testing more workers, and a “significant number” came back positive.

So far, health officials in Fresno said they have been notified of 193 employees who have tested positive at the S. Cherry Avenue plant. Pomaville said the positive cases at the company’s W. Belgravia Avenue facility were significantly lower.

“They just triggered their testing protocols and went in and got a whole bunch of people tested,” Pomaville said.

Yesterday, Hall tweeted a response she got to an email to the VP of Communications of Foster Farms in follow-up to an inquiry about the latest with the situation. Apparently, the veep doesn't understand reply all and into her email box came a response sent to other company execs "Continue to ignore."

Foster Farms email response

M' 'bout we go back to Crisis Communications 101.

...cakeday and classifieds after the jump 


Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Eric Bauman, Primo CastroDenise Penn, Reps. Harley Rouda and Mark Takano, and Stephanie Nied Tseu!


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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Statewide Coalition Manager – Preschool Development Grant

Are you a relationship builder? Do you love policy analysis? Do you have a background in public policy, public administration, child development, or a similar field? Do you want to work somewhere that makes a difference in the lives of children across the state? Then YOU’RE the person we’re looking for! Come join us at Child Care Resource Center as our new Statewide Coalition Manager!

You will work in partnership with regional Resource and Referral (R&R) hub agencies throughout the state of CA to nurture and build out the partnerships of Regional Hubs and their local R&R partners. This position will focus on expanding regional and local relationships and building regional strategies for the delivery of early childhood services, including Parent Café and Early Childhood Café programs, throughout California, and will also coordinate the development of other regional partners including California Quality Consortia, California County Offices of Education and Tribal partners appropriate to each region. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, this position utilizes a high level of collaboration and relationship building to create effective internal and external relationships, communicate the CCRC Mission, Values and Vision to external stakeholders, and work in collaboration with other CCRC Departments and organizational partners.

Full announcement

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