Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Daniel Zingale on his career in California politics. (2021-02-14)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on His Family's Internment History and His Agenda for Military Veterans (2021-02-18)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): We  examine the media's continuing obsession with Donald Trump. And we dig into the current buzz around California politics. (2021-02-18)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe):  We examine the impact of the Trump impeachment trial on the country.   We wonder if die-hard Republican senators will turn against the president.  And we look at how Trump's behavior is impacting two California Republican members of Congress. (2021-02-12)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) on the details of the COVID 19 vaccine and equitable distribution of the vaccine and fighting the disinformation from vaccine deniers (2021-02-08)

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • Presidential results are now available for each congressional district on the district pages.

STUDENT SUBSCRIPTIONS: I do have additional sponsored student subscriptions (normally $10) that I am matching. Any current student can email me a pic of their student ID card and be set up with a Nooner/ATCpro subscription.

MONEY MATTERS: highlights from yesterday's filings with the Secretary of State

  • SD30 (Downtown LA, Culver City, South LA): Keep California Golden reports $89,232 for mail in support of Sydney Kamlager (D)
  • SD30 (Downtown LA, Culver City, South LA): Keep California Golden reports $101,000 from Uber Technologies
  • SD30 (Downtown LA, Culver City, South LA): Nurses and Educators for Sydney Kamlager for Senate 2021 sponsored by labor organizations reports $39,900 in TV buys

The Nooner for Saturday, February 20, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -tiers for fears
    -vaccines
    -skilled nursing facilities
    -LA vaccines
    -LA demographic discrepancies
    -school daze
    -youth sports
  • Do you recall?
  • SB 29
  • CA and TX electricity woes
  • On second thought
  • Cakeday, Dept of corrections, and classifieds 

¡Buenos dias! It's a beautiful Saturday morning here at Nooner Global HQ. Thanks to those of you who messaged me with supportive comments about my shoulder. It's holding up better. While still sore, I'm working on my ergonomics and adding walks as the weather allows. Without walks several times each week to the Capitol and surrounding area over the last 11 months, my body started to reject sixteen hours a day at my desk with both sleeping issues and major body aches. 

COVID-19: California added 476 deaths yesterday for a total of 48,833 since the pandemic began.  The 14-day average deaths per day has fallen to 380, the lowest point since January 9. The leading and current indicators all continue to drop, possibly because 3.4 million (8.5%) California's have already had the virus, perhaps more of a cause of the reduction than vaccines. For the Times, Soumya Karlamangla and Rong-Gong Lin II write:

The arrival of spring will likely aid the ongoing precipitous drop in coronavirus cases, as warmer weather allows people to spend more time outdoors and creates a less hospitable environment for the virus, experts say.

But the biggest factor, paradoxically, is something the nation spent the last year trying to prevent.

While 12% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, far more people — approximately 35% of the nation’s population — have already been infected with the coronavirus, Offit estimated. Studies have found that people who survive COVID-19 have immunity for several months, though it likely lasts even longer.

UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said one of the reasons why cases are dropping so fast in California “is because of naturally acquired immunity, mostly in Southern California.” He estimated that 50% of Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the virus at some point.

“We’re really talking something starting to sound and look like herd immunity — although that true herd immunity is a ways off in the future,” Rutherford said recently.

Herd immunity is reached when so many people have immunity that a virus cannot find new hosts and stops spreading, resulting in community-wide protection. Scientists believe that in the case of the coronavirus, the threshold could be as high as 90%. The United States has not met this threshold but each step toward it slows transmission, experts say.

We haven't looked at the charts for awhile, but the progress is significant.

Tests and positivity

Hospitalizations

Cases and death

-tiers for fears: Here are the statuses of California's 58 counties. You can see what the restrictions mean here, although local health orders may be stricter than the state's orders. The one move this week was a move from purple to red for Plumas County.

  • purple (widespread): 52 counties
  • red (substantial): 3 counties (Del Norte, Mariposa and Plumas)
  • orange (moderate): 3 counties (Alpine, Sierra, Trinity)

-vaccines:

  • teachers: In the LAT, John Myers and Taryn Luna report that the state will withhold 10% of vaccines for teachers to accelerate return to in-person instruction and schools.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that state officials will set aside 10% of California’s weekly allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses for educators starting next month, in an effort to jump-start the process of reopening more public school campuses as pandemic conditions improve in communities across the state.

The announcement, made during a visit to an Oakland vaccination clinic, marked a swift turn of events after school reopening negotiations between Newsom and state lawmakers stalled, in part over the governor’s reluctance to promise vaccinations to teachers and other school employees. Though a number of issues over how to resume in-person instruction remain unresolved, none has been more contentious than how to prioritize educators within the state’s queue for immunizations.

  • skilled nursing facilities: In the Chron, Catherine Ho writes that Bay Area nursing homes are already seeing results from vaccinations of residents and staff:

    [Bernadette] Yee and the roughly 700 other residents at Laguna Honda, which houses about a third of San Francisco’s skilled nursing resident population, may soon have reason for hope. In a trend that mirrors what’s happening at many other nursing homes in the state and nation, new cases among residents and staff have plummeted over the past several weeks, from 66 in December, to 53 in January and 4 in February.

    No Laguna Honda residents have tested positive for the virus since Jan. 18, and the last patient in the COVID unit was discharged last weekend — marking the first time since October that it was empty.

    “It was a party for us when that one patient left,” said Dr. Wilmie Hathaway, Laguna Honda’s chief medical officer. “The whole hospital felt this relief, this breath we all took when it was official.”

  • LA vaccines: LA County continues to struggle with vaccinations and the LAT's Luke Money and Alex Wigglesworth look into why:

    Los Angeles continued to struggle with COVID-19 vaccine distribution due to a variety of factors Friday as officials pushed forward with efforts to get underserved Black and Latino communities inoculated.

    The city postponed more vaccination appointments scheduled for Saturday as vaccine shipments remain stuck in transit by winter weather that has hammered much of the country.

    It was not immediately clear how many appointments were affected, but the delays will occur at the large-scale vaccination sites run by the city at Hansen Dam Recreation Area, San Fernando Park, Lincoln Park, Pierce College, Crenshaw Christian Center and Dodger Stadium.

    Officials already pushed back 12,500 appointments scheduled Friday because of supply disruptions. City-run mobile vaccination clinics will continue to operate as scheduled.

    Officials said Thursday afternoon that the weather delays had yet to interrupt operations at vaccine sites run by L.A. County, which include the Pomona Fairplex, the Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, the county Office of Education, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Balboa Sports Complex and El Sereno Recreation Center.

    ...

    A consistent challenge is that both available COVID-19 vaccines require two doses, administered three or four weeks apart.

    Lately, the need to provide second shots has spurred officials throughout the state to greatly limit access to first doses.

    Meanwhile, officials are ramping up efforts to get more vaccine to underserved communities.

    Alex Wigglesworth writes in the Times that Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that it hopes mobile vaccination units:

    The city will increase to 10 its number of so-called mobile equity sites: vehicles that go into high-density, low-income communities, staffed to provide vaccinations, Garcetti said. The goal is to have all 10 in the field by the end of March, the city said in a news release.

    “We’re seeing still disproportionately low vaccination rates among many of our Black and Latino populations and communities, a reflection not only of historic distrust and community trauma, but also the structural barriers that stand between too many Angelenos and their access to vaccines,” Garcetti said Thursday at a news briefing. “We need to tear those barriers down.”

  • LA demographic discrepancies: From yesterday's LA County Public Health daily release:

This week, the County received 262,925 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in L.A. County for a total of 1,831,075. To date, nearly 1,677,000 doses of vaccine have been administered across the county. Of those vaccinated, 471,162 people have received second doses.

The rate of vaccination among White and Asian residents in L.A. County continues to be significantly higher than that among Black/African American and Latino/Latinx residents. Black/African Americans have received 5.2% of vaccinations administered to date, while accounting for 9% of the 16 and older population. Latinx residents received 23% of vaccinations, while accounting 46% of the 16 and older population.

A new list of vaccination rates by communities posted yesterday by LA County Public Health yesterday demonstrates the huge disparities. It's both because of access to vaccination sites and hesitation within many Black and Latino communities fueled by historical abhorrent treatment of minority communities by the medical system.  Additionally, the early focus on 75+, healthcare workers, and long-term care residents left out many essential workers who can't work from home, even as data show that Latinos a disproportionately high mortality rate.

Here's a sampling of the data of vaccination rates by community.

  • Beverly Hills: 29.2%
  • City of Industry: 70.1%
  • Inglewood: 9.2%
  • Compton: 6.2%
  • La Cañada-Flintridge: 26.5%
  • Pasadena: 20.3%
  • South Gate: 8.3%
  • City of LA proper:
    • Boyle Heights: 9.2%
    • Brentwood: 25.2%
    • Florence-Firestone: 5.5%
    • Pacific Palisades: 27.1%
    • Porter Ranch: 24.9%
    • Van Nuys: 9.2%
    • Watts: 6.1%
    • Wilmington: 8.0%
    • Woodland Hills: 20.9%

Even diverse Long Beach, hailed by many for its administration of the vaccine, is only at 14.5%.

I tried to show locations that you'd be familiar with, but the entire list is worth a browse.

-school daze:

  • Gov v. Legislature on reopening: Alexei Koseff reports for the Chron that tensions are increasing between the Legislature and Governor Newsom over how the state should encourage schools to return to in-person instruction is increasing.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested Friday that he would veto a schools reopening plan that Democratic legislators plan to advance next week because, he said, it sets a bar for resuming in-person instruction that is far higher than what scientists say is safe.

    “I made it crystal clear,” Newsom said during a visit to a mobile clinic providing vaccinations to educators in Alameda County. “I can’t support something that’s going to delay the safe reopening of schools for our kids.”

    ...

    Newsom had hoped to begin reopening schools by mid-February. In a plan introduced in late December, he proposed advancing school districts $2 billion, up to $750 per student, to start bringing the youngest students back into classrooms, with transitional kindergarten through sixth grade available by mid-March.

    But that plan fizzled, as teachers unions pushed back on resuming in-person instruction without first getting vaccinated and schools districts questioned whether they could meet the governor’s safety requirements.

    The proposal that [Assembly Budget chair Phil] Ting and other legislators put forth this week would require counties to make vaccines available to educators before schools can reopen — something Newsom’s plan does not include.

  • UTLA contemplates reopening: In the LADN, Linh Tat writes that UTLA -- the teachers union in LAUSD -- is contemplating what a refusal to return to teaching in-person would mean two years following a strike that had the support of many parents:

    Faced with mounting pressure by some elected officials, parents and others who want schools to reopen, the union representing Los Angeles Unified School District teachers announced Friday, Feb. 19, that its members will soon take a vote on whether they should refuse to return to campus if in-person instruction becomes mandatory.

    More than 900 chapter chairs voted on this question earlier this week, with 93% electing to “organize around a refusal to return for a full or hybrid physical reopening of schools” until certain safety conditions are met, union President Cecily Myart-Cruz said during her weekly update.

    The union next plans to ask its entire membership — made up of more than 35,000 teachers and other certificated employees — to vote the week of March 1 on whether to move forward with the refusal to report to work in person.

    “This is a vote we take for ourselves and for the communities we serve,” Myart-Cruz said. “Because we know that our parents’ voices are not being heard. We all want our schools to reopen, but it must be done safely.”

-youth sports: Even though youth sports were given a green light to return with precautions in some purple and red counties next Friday if the county has a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000 people, Joe Davidson writes in The Bee that logistics of the requirements may keep the reopening from happening:

High-contact sports such as football will require weekly COVID testing of players and coaches, similar to other states that had fall or will have spring football. Staff will be needed to monitor tests, track results, compile accordingly, but it can be done because kids and coaches will be driven to find a way to make it work.

“It’ll be a logistical nightmare, getting everything organized, all the testing — everything,” Grant athletic director and assistant football coach Carl Reed said. “It’s hard enough before this new testing with workouts and protocols, but kids have been waiting. Our kids are always resilient. They want to do something, be somewhere, and safety is everything. We’ll make sure of that.”

Spring football will be a blueprint example of how to approach fall football. Spring ball will not include a postseason, already scratched from calendars to avoid football spilling into May and beyond. Push fall seasons back a month? No chance and not even worth a debate. Find a way to make this work is the theme now.

-Governor Newsom visits mobile clinic location providing vaccinations to teachers and school site employees on 02/19.

-Governor Newsom visits vaccination center in the Coachella Valley on 02/18:

-Governor Newsom attends opening of vaccination center in Los Angeles on 02/16:

 

-Governor Newsom update/announcement of A's vaccine partnership on 02/03:

-HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly update on 02/02:

-HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly update on 01/26:

-Governor Newsom update on 01/25:

more stories after the jump...

DO YOU RECALL?

-signature progress: For Politico, Jeremy B. White looks at the latest recall signature report:

The campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom has had nearly 670,000 signatures validated with a month left to reach roughly 1.5 million, according to an official Friday update, but the total number of valid signatures submitted is likely larger.

It's shaping up to be a tight finish for the drive to qualify only the second gubernatorial recall in California history. Longtime ballot experts say the campaign continues to have an impressive validation rate of signatures submitted, but that it could still come down to the wire based on Friday's data release.

An update from the Secretary of State’s office shows 668,202 valid signatures to date, equal to a relatively high 84 percent validity rate of the 798,310 signatures reviewed by local elections offices through early February.

Officials still hadn't processed an additional roughly 300,000 ballots, which at the reported validity rate would put organizers at around 900,000 total signatures — about 60 percent of the total needed.

Anne Dunsmore, who manages one of two groups spearheading the recall, said the report lagged behind the campaign's actual rate of signature gathering. Dunsmore said proponents have submitted about 1.2 million signatures and collected around 1.7 million total.

“We’re doing great," Dunsmore said. "We’re right on track."

But campaign consultant Brandon Castillo, who is not affiliated with the recall, predicted the outcome could be tight. He said it will depend on how many signatures the campaign has banked beyond the 1.09 million that registrars have officially received, assuming their submission rate in the following month roughly matches the campaign's raw total from early January through early February.

"I think it’s very close. I think it’s seriously possible they qualify. But only if they have that additional 400,000 to 500,000 signatures in hand," Castillo said.

Here is the SOS report.

SB 29 (Umberg): Meanwhile, Governor Newsom signed SB 29 yesterday, which is the bill that provides that for any election in 2021, all registered will be mailed a ballot. This continues the practice used in the November 3, 2020 general election because of the pandemic and leaves to discussion of making it permanent like Oregon and several other states for a full legislative discussion.

It doesn't effect the special elections in March and April (SD30, OC BOS#2, and AD79) as they planned to do so anyway, but does affect other local elections and, of course, a possible recall election.

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli gives the tally of bill introductions, saving me time on this busy Saturday morning:

Yesterday was the last day for bill introductions for the 2021 Legislative Session.

  • There were 2,369 bills introduced between the two houses.
  • (Note that certain types of bills, such as committee bills, can be introduced past the deadline.) 
  • There were 1,560 Assembly Bills and 809 Senate Bills introduced by the deadline.
  • Of those, there were 396 intent bills (231 ABs and 165 SBs).
  • And there were 381 spot bills (254 ABs and 127 SBs).

(Note that the spot and intent bill figures may differ slightly from those determined by the respective Rules Committees’ bill referral consultants, who make those final determinations.)

  • By comparison, during the 2019 Session, there were a total of 2,576 bills introduced, 1,799 ABs and 777 SBs.
  • During the 2017 Session, there were a total of 2,495 bills introduced, 1,687 ABs and 808 SBs.

CA AND TX ELECTRICITY WOES: For KQED, Kevin Stark looks at the electricity woes in California and Texas, both apparently exacerbated by opposite impacts of climate change, and writes that both failed to plan.

A few weeks after California’s rolling power outages last summer, Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas pulled out his iPhone and tapped out a political dig at the Golden State.

“Alexa, show me what happens when you let Democrats control energy policy,” he tweeted, responding to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plea for residents to conserve energy by turning off major appliances, as another heat wave had Californians cranking up their air conditioners, driving up electricity demand.

Crenshaw blamed California’s ongoing energy supply problems on its aggressive adoption of solar, wind and other renewable resources.

It’s worth noting California and Texas have very different energy systems. Texans generate about two-thirds of its power from natural gas. The remaining third comes from nuclear, wind, solar and coal. Most of the state’s electricity is managed by a grid operator independent of the rest of the U.S.

This week, Crenshaw’s witticism, as it were, made the rounds again, a few hours after a frigid winter storm froze many of Texas' gas wells, forced some of its coal and nuclear plants offline, and iced a portion of its wind turbines, right when demand for heat skyrocketed.

The toll of a widespread power outage in Texas has far surpassed the impact of California’s rolling outages last August, when a heat wave baked the West and pushed California’s grid operators to issue the state’s first rolling blackouts in 19 years.

...

Energy planners in California and Texas both failed to anticipate power demand, so they were left short on supply. The outages exposed just how vulnerable the two states’ creaky power systems are to extreme weather driven by climate change; both networks are designed to handle spikes in demand but not wild and unpredictable weather.

Under the strain caused by severe weather events, the systems in both California and Texas gave way.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: While may have moved, it doesn't appear Elon Musk is moving Tesla to Texas. Russ Mitchell reports for the Times:

Late last year Elon Musk kissed California goodbye. The Tesla chief executive sold his Bel-Air mansions and said he’d moved to Texas. But while he also threatened to close the electric-car maker’s California factory in Fremont, those threats now look like bluster.

The company recently filed for permits with city officials to turn an assembly line that now runs through an outdoor tent into a permanent structure. That would expand the current plant by 64,000 square feet, though it’s not clear whether it would add to production capacity.

The permit application news was first reported by online news publication Teslarati. Although the permit application indicates commitment to the site, there is no guarantee that the project will be completed. It’s also not clear whether construction would cut into current production of the Model 3 and Model Y, which now runs through the tent. Tesla also builds Model X and Model S cars in Fremont. Tesla did not respond to requests for comment and does not have a media relations department.

Musk’s threats to leave California carried weight given Tesla’s massive push to increase production elsewhere. It already operates another plant in Shanghai, and major new factories are currently under construction in Austin, Texas, and near Berlin.

Musk first threatened to shut down Fremont in May, when the plant was ordered closed by Alameda County health officials as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread through the U.S. He defied the orders and reopened the plant, inviting officials to have him arrested.

Alameda County eventually backed down and allowed the Fremont factory to resume with precautions.

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

Probolsky Research

 

CAKEDAY: I don't know of any birthdays today!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Yesterday, I wrote that Oakley is in the San Ramon Valley. It's in east Contra Costa County, northwest of the San Ramon Valley.

 

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]


Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno

Reporting directly to the President, the Executive Director of Government Relations is responsible for all local, state and federal governmental and advocacy programs for Fresno State. The Executive Director is principally responsible for the development and management of strategies to inform and influence public policy at the local, state and federal levels on issues and in areas of interest to Fresno State and to advise Fresno State on legislative matters that may affect it. Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://apptrkr.com/2149578

California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)

Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. Salary based on experience. This is a remote position based in San Diego County. Please apply at: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

CAPITOL SEMINARS PRESENTS ITS FIRST LOBBYING 101 "ZOOMINAR."

Friday, February 26, 9am-130pm, $275. Seats are limited and space is already filling up. To reserve your space, please call (916) 837-0208 or email your name & phone number to judco12000@yahoo.com. Our Zoominar enables you take Lobbying 101 from anywhere without the travel and lodging expenses of a trip to Sacramento. Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, Lobbying 101 provides a comprehensive, real-world overview of California’s Legislative process, plus the people and best practices critical to effective Legislative advocacy. Capitol Seminars is the No.1 training resource for nonprofit and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, state and local government agencies, and trade associations. Send us your new lobbyists, support staff, legislative committee members, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Further information: www.capitolseminars.net.

McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website, Online.McGeorge.edu, or contact us at graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

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: