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- Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): Lobbyist and legislative process law professor Chris Micheli (2021-03-19) - recorded February 23, first technical and then shoulder problems; hope to add the intro once Quicktime is fixed (Big Sur update broke it) - Simplecast | Apple Podcasts | Amazon Podcasts | YouTube
- Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) on building Los Angeles's labor movement (2021-03-18)
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): With political analyst Bill Schneider, the filibuster and the recall (2021-03-18)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Esther Aquilera of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (2021-03-15)
- Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) on two statewide water/equity advocates, talking about 'water debt' (2021-03-15)
- Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
- Capitol Seminars Zoom workshop - April 1
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law
- SD34 (Anaheim-Garden Grove-Westminster): added entrepreneur/mother Amy Phan West (R) - challenge to Umberg (D)
MONEY MATTERS: interesting filings from yesterday's reports
- AD79 (East San Diego): Frontline Healthcare and Essential Workers Supporting Dr. Akilah Weber for Assembly 2021, sponsored by healthcare, business and domestic worker organizations reports spending $28,879 for television (cumulative total: $483,245)
- AD79 (East San Diego): San Diegans for Economic Recovery & Job Creation to support Leticia Munguia for Assembly 2021 sponsored by Laborers' International Union of Northern America Local 89 reports spending $60,000 for digital advertising production and placement (cumulative total: $146,426)
- Plastics! Committee to Innovate for California's Future, Evan Low Ballot Measure Committee reports $5,000 from Dart Container Corp.
The Nooner for Saturday, March 20, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
¡Feliz sabado y primer día de primavera! It's spring on the calendar and when thinking about the pandemic. Hopefully it stays that way.
It's a beautiful morning in Sacramento and the forecast has us entering the 70s beginning Tuesday. Break out those shorts!
Of course, the 10-day forecast does not portend well for the water/snowpack situation. On March 2, the Department of Water Resources reported:
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today conducted the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. The manual survey recorded 56 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 21 inches, which is 86 percent of average for this location. The SWE measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a key component of DWR’s water supply forecast.
“As California closes out the fifth consecutive dry month of our water year, absent a series of strong storms in March or April we are going to end with a critically dry year on the heels of last year’s dry conditions,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “With back-to-back dry years, water efficiency and drought preparedness are more important than ever for communities, agriculture and the environment.”
With below-average precipitation across the state, California’s reservoirs are showing the impacts of a second consecutive dry year. Lake Oroville is currently at 55 percent of average and Lake Shasta, California’s largest surface reservoir, is currently at 68 percent of average for this date.
Statewide snow survey measurements continue to reflect the overall dry conditions. Measurements from DWR’s electronic snow survey stations indicate that statewide the snowpack’s SWE is 15 inches, or 61 percent of the March 2 average, and 54 percent of the April 1 average. April 1 is typically when California’s snowpack is the deepest and has the highest SWE.
Meanwhile, here's another GoFundMe for an elderly Asian attacked in San Francisco this week.
Ngoc Pham, an 83 year old Vietnamese man, was shopping for groceries at the United Nations Farmers' Market when he was attacked on 7th and Market Street. Ngoc was one of two elderly Asians attacked by the same perpetrator at the same location. As a result of the attack, Ngoc sustained injuries with cuts and bruises on his head from the fall. Ngoc's nose was also fracture and doctor's are also ordering an MRI scan for fractures in his neck bones. It has yet to be determined how serious Ngoc's neck injuries are as doctor's are still evaluating them. Ngoc is still in the hospital and is in good spirits. Ngoc has always had a positive outlook on life as a result of him surviving 17 years in a Vietnamese concentration camp.
At the UN Plaza farmers market? We're not talking about night or early morning attacks.
And I thought the stories about the drugstores being wantonly cleared out in the middle of the day with clerks ordered to stand idly by was bad...
Completely unrelated to California politics and policy but still an interesting listen was yesterday's episode of the New York Times's The Daily podcast. On it, host Michael Barbaro talks with national political reporter Shane Goldmacher about the rise and fall of Governor Andrew Cuomo. I listened to it on my afternoon walk and it is fantastic. For the newbies to the Sacramento scene, Shane made his way to the national scene for the NYT after working for Capitol Weekly, the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, and Politico.
New California Statewide Poll Results Webinar - Newsom Recall - Presented by The Nooner
Tuesday, March 23 - 12pm (30 minutes incl. Q&A)
Join Scott Lay and Adam Probolsky as we release new Probolsky Research statewide poll results on the Newsom Recall.
If you like The Nooner and don't already, consider a subscription
, or otherwise support the work using Square
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(address listed there). Only 9.0% of the 8,320 readers
(adjusted for work/home dupes) are currently paid subscribers. Even a $5 or $10 quick "tip" via Square
to "Scott-Lay" helps during this continued low-advertising 2021. (For Venmo, the last four of my phone is 5801 if asked.)Sorry for the nags and I know it's irritating, but I also know you're seeing them across media properties and in your email inbox. At least I do every day including all the ones that take money from my bank account monthly...
Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled again soon!
DO YOU RECALL?
- Signatures: For Politico, Jeremy B. White writes that with the signature update late yesterday, a recall election is all but certain.
The first post-deadline tally from the California Secretary of State’s Office fleshed out that reality Friday. Proponents had submitted 1.2 million valid signatures through March 11. The state had not yet processed a block of another roughly 400,000 raw signatures, which are likely to yield enough valid signatures to qualify given organizers’ 82 percent validity rate.
Thus far, 1,188,073 signatures have been validated, which is a 81.67% validity rate of those submitted.
- Antonio? Eyebrows were raised yesterday when former Los Angeles mayor and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa tweeted:
“When we look back at the coronavirus pandemic decades from now, we may see the gravest catastrophe as a generation of schoolchildren whose formative years were irrevocably stunted.” 1/2
We need to open up our schools now. @California schools, the children can no longer wait.
The quoted part is from a New York Magazine column by Jonathan Chait.
Villaraigosa, who is now a partner at public affairs powerhouse Mercury, rarely weighs in publicly on state politics so doing so the week in which signatures were submitted to likely qualify the recall election has people wondering. Newsom campaign strategist Sean Clegg responded with a tweet:
My old friend Antonio will embarrass himself and forever poison his legacy if he runs.
- The team: For Politico, David Siders looks at the team behind the recall effort.
Not long ago, no one involved in California politics had ever heard of [retired Yolo County sheriff's deputy Orrin] Heatlie, or of Mike Netter, a co-founder of the recall effort. Randy Economy – the campaign’s self-described “superhero pirate,” owing to the eyepatch he wears as a result of blindness in his right eye – is the only one of the three men with any political experience. And he only joined the campaign in the fall.
Early last year, Heatlie, a retired sheriff’s sergeant who runs the signature-gathering effort out of an aluminum Airstream trailer in his driveway in Folsom, Calif., was having difficulty even persuading his bank to add the names of other committee members to his campaign account. It was just a paperwork problem, but they hadn’t done anything like it before. Six of them loaded into Heatlie’s truck and one other vehicle and caravanned from branch to branch in the Sacramento suburbs pleading their case. They held an impromptu meeting in a bank’s lobby, scribbling out minutes in an effort to prove they were a legitimate group. Eventually, Netter said, did they find a banker who relented.
Yet by the time California’s deadline for submitting recall petitions struck on Wednesday, Heatlie, Netter and Economy had announced that the campaign had amassed more than 2 million signatures, likely enough to qualify it for the ballot in the fall.
The recall wasn’t purely the work of Heatlie, Netter and the superhero pirate; if not for a professional signature-gathering operation funded by more traditional Republican donors, it’s possible the recall would not have qualified. But Heatlie’s volunteer corps was still responsible for the large majority of signatures collected. And the origin of the entire enterprise was, essentially, a series of flukes.
Of course, it also wouldn't have qualified had it not been for a legally flawed Sac Superior judge's ruling extending the deadline by and the failure of the Secretary of State's Office to appeal it. I'll take a moment to note the irony that James R. Arguelles was appointed to the bench by Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2010 shortly before Jerry Brown was elected. Of course, Schwarzenegger was the first Republican elected in California since Pete Wilson's reelection in 1994. Arguelles was appointed to the Eastern District of California by President Trump on June 18, 2020, but the nomination was returned on January 3 without action pursuant to Senate Rules.
VOTER REG: The Secretary of State's Office posted new voter registration data yesterday and while February odd-year report is usually not all that important, 2021 is not all that usual given a likely fall recall election. Let's look at the last time there was a statewide recall election, which would be October 2003 when Gray Davis was successfully recalled.
|Two Recall Years: Voter Registration 2003 & 2021
Now, let's look at the Emerson College polling results on whether Governor Newsom should be recalled broken down by party.
|There is currently an effort to recall Governor Newsom. Would you vote to recall, or to keep Governor Newsom?
||Vote to recall
||Vote to keep Governor Newsom
||Would not vote
While this isn't a "likely voter" poll per se, let's look at the above table adjusted by removing the "would not vote" respondents.
|There is currently an effort to recall Governor Newsom. Would you vote to recall, or to keep Governor Newsom?
||Vote to recall
||Vote to keep Governor Newsom
If you take these results and if undecideds break in the manner they responded in March 2021, 51.23% of respondents would vote to keep Governor Newsom. As I've written before, an October-November recall election is a long ways away, akin to a four-year term in pandemic months. Beyond that 51.23% number, many of the respondents who answered they would vote to recall could move to voting to keep Newsom should there be universal vaccination for those who want it and schools and businesses are reopen. Newsom just can't afford any unforced errors.
Meanwhile, as noted above, I'll be joining Adam Probolsky Tuesday for a webinar to present his latest results (I haven't seen). I'm also waiting for the next PPIC poll, which I assume will have the recall question and Newsom approval rating. The March 2019 PPIC poll was released March 27, so we'll likely see something in the next week or so. As with all polling during the pandemic, timing in the field matters. A respondent in Los Angeles County who answered the phone last Sunday might answer differently if surveyed Tuesday after restaurants had opened at 25% capacity. In Sacramento, it would be Tuesday vs. Thursday. I would advise to ignore all polls until, say, July, but that wouldn't be fun, would it?
Each of these polls are data points and I'll start charting out the results as a longitudinal tracker that will be interesting to overlay with other metrics such as vaccination rates, unemployment rates, and reopening.
COVID-19, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...
COVID-19: California reported an additional 194 deaths yesterday for a total of 56,832 since the pandemic began.
-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 2.0%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.
-vaccines: Remember that in many cases, vaccines are being reserved for second doses (of Moderna and Pfizer). The following data may be delayed by reporting.
- vaccine doses administered in California: 13,769,061 (7-day change: +2,350,554)
- vaccine doses delivered to administering entities in California: 17,661,490 (7-day change: +1,959,170)
- availability: Yesterday, Governor Newsom said that he anticipates that a vaccine will be available for any California adult who wants one by early May. Luke Money reports for the Times:
While California’s supply of COVID-19 vaccine remains strained for now, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday he believes the state could make the shots available to everyone by early May.
“We’re anticipating within 5½ weeks where we can eliminate all of the tiering, so to speak, and make available vaccines to everybody across the spectrum because supply will exponentially increase,” Newsom said during a briefing in the Bay Area.
The last six days have seen the six highest single-day totals in terms of shots given out statewide, according to data compiled by The Times. During just that stretch, roughly 2.35 million doses were administered in California — including 344,489 on Thursday and 387,015 on Friday.
To date, 23.5% of Californians have received at least one vaccine dose — a proportion that ranks 33rd out of all states and U.S. territories, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In The Bee, Wilner, Cornack, and Wiley write that vaccine supply is expected to remain flat through March followed by a surge.
State and local officials throughout the country who are anxious for more doses of COVID-19 vaccines were told this week that supply will remain stagnant for most of this month, but should surge in the last days of March through the beginning of April.
A White House official told McClatchy that flat supply over the course of March is due to widely anticipated shortfalls from Johnson & Johnson, one of three authorized vaccine manufacturers. The supply of the one-shot J&J vaccines will increase in roughly two weeks.
Public health officials are able to see their projected vaccine supply up to three weeks in advance through a federal vaccine tracking system called Tiberius, and what they are seeing is a flat line through the end of March.
“Through March, the vaccine supplies have been almost flat as the ability to administer supplies grew,” Yolanda Richardson, secretary of the Government Operations Agency in California, said Thursday. “Unfortunately, like every state in the nation, we have been getting less vaccine than we need.”
California expects to receive 1.8 million doses a week over the next two weeks.
“In April, we expect that to change,” Richardson said. “We are expecting a sharp increase in vaccines starting just in the first week of April.”
-tiers for fears: As a reminder, any county must remain at a tier for three weeks before progressing to a less-restrictive tier, even if the metrics continue to improve. After the changes yesterday, here's where the counties stand.
- 11 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier (10.3% of population): Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Nevada, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Yuba
- 42 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (87.7% of population): Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo
- 4 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (2.0% of population): Mariposa, Plumas, San Mateo, Sierra
- 1 county in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.0% of population): Alpine
- Watch list for changes: Orange, San Francisco likely to move to orange on Tuesday
- from a distance: Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control issued a guidance that schools can safely reopen with a distance between desks of 3 feet with universal masking. Aidin Vaziri and Emma Talley write for the Chron:
John Fensterwald reports for EdSource that the California Department of Public Health will immediately halve the state's spacing requirement from 6 to 3 feet.
The revised recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on a recent study in Massachusetts that looked at infections of students and staff members in schools that set desks 3 feet apart and those that set them 6 feet apart, which was the previous guidance. It found no significant difference in infection rates.
But Bay Area school districts said they did not necessarily expect to immediately implement the changes. The California Department of Public Health said updated state guidance would be available in the coming days. California currently recommends that desks be kept 6 feet apart “except where 6 feet of distance is not possible after a good-faith effort has been made.”
- law and disorder: In the SDUT, Kristen Taketa reports on a San Diego judge's ruling that the state's restrictions on school reopenings are too strict.
A San Diego County judge’s ruling this week allows all California schools, not just elementary schools, the chance to reopen during the purple tier if a county’s case rate is at 25 or less per 100,000 residents.
San Diego school districts also may offer more days a week of in-person instruction after the San Diego judge and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued statements this week that schools can have less spacing between students than the state currently requires in classrooms.
The judge’s ruling was hailed by parents who want schools to reopen as a step toward full-time in-person instruction, rather than just part-time hybrid instruction. Parents have argued that the state’s 4-foot distance rule has prevented school districts from offering more days of in-person instruction to students, particularly in middle and high schools.
Last month, parents who are involved with the Parent Association sued Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state leaders, saying the state’s framework of rules governing school reopening is arbitrary and unfairly denies families their right to in-person instruction, causing their children academic and psychological harm.
Earlier this week San Diego County Judge Cynthia Freeland agreed with them, granting parents a temporary restraining order that blocks the state’s reopening framework. However, there was uncertainty about whether Freeland’s restraining order nullified school reopening rules for all schools statewide or just San Diego County schools.
On Wednesday Freeland issued a revised ruling clarifying that her restraining order applies to all schools statewide.
- Gavin's "Zoom school" experience: For Politico, Mackenzie Mays writes that Governor Newsom hasn't been exactly forthright with his experiences of Zoom school parenting.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's four children returned to in-person instruction in late fall and are in classrooms now, his office confirmed this week in response to questions about his recent statements implying they are in distance learning.
While the governor has used his months-ago experience with distance learning to convey his understanding of the challenges, he has not specified recently that his children have since returned to classrooms. That remains a hot-button issue for public school parents whose children have remained home more than a year into the pandemic — and one that conservative backers of the recall seized upon this week.
Newsom on Tuesday told CNN he's "been living through Zoom school" and said at his State of the State address last week that he's helping his children cope with the fatigue from distance learning. In response to questions, a spokesperson for first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom said Thursday that their status hasn't changed since POLITICO first reported in late October that they were going back to in-person school.
- cheer: Yesterday, after significant public outcry, the California Department of Public Health recategorized sideline cheer as the same as competitive cheer, allowing the "rah!" to turn to the sidelines.
SICK LEAVE: In The Bee, Jeong Park writes up the bill to expand sick leave for COVID-19 signed by Governor Newsom yesterday:
Millions of California workers will get up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to take time off to get vaccinated, isolate themselves from potential exposure to the coronavirus, or deal with the effects of COVID-19, under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday.
“Paid sick leave gives workers the time they need to care for themselves and loved ones while keeping their coworkers, families and communities safe,” Newsom said in a statement. ““Even as case rates and hospitalizations decline and vaccinations ramp up, we can’t let our guard down and must do all we can to stop this virus from spreading.”
The bill, however, exempts those working for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. The bill also doesn’t cover rideshare drivers, who were included in the original version.
California workers lost their two weeks of supplemental sick leave at the end of 2020, leaving them with as few as three days of paid time off a year. Labor advocates have called it inadequate, given the effects of the coronavirus often last for weeks. Such leave is crucial to prevent those who are sick from coming to workplaces and spreading COVID-19, advocates have said.
The bill is SB 95 (Skinner) and here is the release from the Office of the Governor.
TAXING MATTERS: The Chron's Alexei Koseff reports that state officials are worried that a provision in the American Rescue Plan prohibiting state direct aid to the extent it is used for tax cuts could curtain plans to provide state tax relief to small businesses.
California has paused its plan to provide additional tax relief to small businesses slammed by the coronavirus pandemic because of a last-minute provision in the newly passed federal stimulus package.
The bill signed last week by President Biden, which included $26 billion in direct aid for California, prohibited states from using the money to subsidize tax cuts for the next three years.
HOUSING: For the Chron, Heather Knight writes on a housing project for the chronically homeless in San Francisco that was actually affordable to build and, well, you can guess who's not happy about that.
The best part of the new housing? The project at 833 Bryant St. is being built faster and cheaper than the typical affordable housing development in San Francisco, the ones that notoriously drag on for six years or more and cost an average of $700,000 per unit. This project will take just three years and clock in at $383,000 per unit.
So, of course, there’s already a fight to ensure this kind of success never happens again — with several city supervisors saying they’re unlikely to support another project like it.
At issue is how the project was built so quickly: with modular units made in a Vallejo factory. Each unit was trucked across the Bay Bridge, strung from a crane and locked in place like a giant Lego creation. San Francisco unions don’t like the method because it leaves them out, but considering the city’s extreme homelessness crisis, City Hall can’t afford to toss the idea.
“The homeless crisis in San Francisco is so pressing, it demands a change from business as usual,” said Nathaniel Decker, a scholar at UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, who has a new report out praising 833 Bryant for saving time and money.
“Homelessness has been increasing, and COVID has only made that worse,” Decker said. “That, to me, is justification for changing the way things are done.”
cakeday and classifieds after supporter recognition...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Maria Aliferis-Gjerde, and Greg Hayes!
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CAPITOL SEMINARS’ INVALUABLE LOBBYING 101 COURSE NOW AVAILABLE VIA ZOOM
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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: