Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • 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
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Political consultant Garry South on the recall effot (2021-03-19)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): California Considers World’s First Guidelines on Microplastics in Drinking Water (2021-03-19)
  • This Week in California Politics (KQED): Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) (2021-03-19)
  • 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)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • 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

The Nooner for Sunday, March 21, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

SEEN ON SUNDAY TEEVEE:

  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress. [ABC This Week]
  • "Bad ass women of Washington": Reps. Young Kim (R-Fullerton) and Michelle Steel (R-Huntington Beach), the first two Korean-American women in Congress, to discuss the Atlanta shootings and other violence against Asian Americans. [CNN State of the Union

    Kim: "We are tiger moms. Don't mess with us."

    Both talked about the process of going from being housewives to politicians and the barriers they faced as first-generation immigrants, including the "accent barrier."

Hello there. It's a depressing Sunday morning as the Sacramento Central Farmers Market reopens at Arden Fair Mall, far from my normal three-block walk. It will be interesting to hear what attendance is like, but at least the weather is pleasant. I can't complain too much, as there will still be street tacos at Our Lady of Guadalupe for lunch and I may pick up menudo as well for dinner. And it's a beautiful spring day outside.

Yesterday, in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe, my beloved UC Davis Aggies posted school records in both points and yardage in a 74-23 win over Cal Poly SLO. Of course, no students were in the stands to witness the performance. The play of the game was when third-string quarterback and redshirt freshman Trent Tompkins of Fresno carried the ball for 84 yards for an Aggie touchdown. In a very strange 6-game schedule of spring football, Davis faces Cal Poly again on April 10 in San Luis Obispo.

Nooner - Probolsky webinar

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.

Register

 

#METOO: In The Bee, Hannah Wiley reports on a lawsuit by a former State Senator district office staffer alleging that she was retaliated against for not yielding to her boss' advances and that the Legislature's new Workplace Conduct Unit failed to adequately investigate her case.

A former legislative employee for California Sen. Bob Archuleta is suing him and the state Senate, alleging she experienced workplace discrimination and retaliation after she refused the lawmaker’s romantic gestures while working in his district office.

The complaint, filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, outlines incidents in which she alleges Archuleta made inappropriate comments about her breasts, detailed affairs he had and publicly reprimanded and embarrassed her. She is referred to as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the former legislative employee experienced retaliation and ultimately had “no choice but to resign because of her intolerable working environment” after she raised complaints of sexual harassment to a superior.

“What she experienced instead was that she was excluded and kind of shunned thereafter in the assignments she was given,” Doe’s Los Angeles-based attorney Carney Shegerian said. “Her voice was muted.”

In an emailed statement, Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, said the claims were “categorically false,” and that he looked forward to “disproving those allegations in court.”

“My entire career, I have supported the right of every Californian to feel safe, valued and protected in the workplace,” he said. “While I would never knowingly mistreat or disrespect a female employee, I believe in their absolute right to come forward and be heard if and when they believe that standard has been violated. Every voice has value.”

...

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said in a statement that the Senate Rules Committee had been made aware of “some — but not all — of the allegations in this case,” which were referred to the Workplace Conduct Unit for review. Atkins said because the lawsuit was filed before the investigation was completed, the probe is now on hold.

COVID-19: California reported an additional 100 deaths yesterday for a total of 56,921 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend reporting delays caveat applies.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.9%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

-variants: On Thursday, I had an item on the state tracking of variants. These data were updated Friday and the change in numbers is striking. The first chart includes the data from last week and the second chart was posted Friday.

The sample size only increased by 10.9%, but the "UK variant" B.1.1.7 has increased 77.7%. The "California variants" B.1.427 and B.1.429 have been moved from variants of interest to variants of concern.

The CDC categorizes each variant based on studies and defines variants of concern:

A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.

From the CDPH variants page:

As of March 11, 2021, 23,954 samples have been sequenced in California. This is the number of sequences submitted to the data repository GISAID and is not a complete list of sequences completed to date.

Known Variants of Concern in California 
As of March 11, 2021 

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7    265
B.1.351    3
P.1    0

As of March 19, 2021, 26,574 samples have been sequenced in California. This is the number of sequences submitted to the data repository GISAID and is not a complete list of sequences completed to date.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of March 19, 2021  

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7  471
B.1.351  4
P.1  4
​B.1.427 ​2,474
​B.1.429 ​5,503

For the two California strains, B.1.427 and B.1.429, the CDC reports that the following characteristics:

  • ~20% increased transmissibility 21
  • Significant impact on neutralization by some, but not all, EUA therapeutics
  • Moderate reduction in neutralization using convalescent and post-vaccination sera 21

For comparison purposes, while the California variants are 20% more transmissible, the UK variant B.1.1.7 is 50% more transmissible as is B.1.351, the South Africa variant.

While the spread of the number of cases by variants of concern is troubling, there are currently no strains in the United States identified as a "Variant of High Consequence." Those would be variants that show the ability to evade diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments.

Meanwhile, if you've watched any news the last 48 hours, you have likely have seen the throngs celebrating Spring Break in Miami. Last night, police used pepper "bombs" to disperse streets still packed after the 8pm curfew. Here is the current CDC map of the prevalence of the UK variant by state. Of course, this is identified cases through test sampling, like in California, and is not adjusted by population.

COVID variants by state

The CDC currently has maps for B.1.1.7 (UK), P.1 (Brazil), and B.1.351 (South Africa).

-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: 14,180,095 (7-day change: +2,761,588)
  • vaccine doses delivered to administering entities in California: 18,234,500 (7-day change: +1,959,170)
  • hesitancy: For the LAT, columnist Doyle McManus writes that the 49% of Republican men who say they won't get a vaccine and the politicians egging them on are "moochers."

    Herd immunity against the coronavirus will require between 70% and 85% of the population to be vaccinated, Fauci estimates. It’s a new disease, so nobody knows the precise level, and new variants of the virus could push the number higher.

    “If a significant number of people do not get vaccinated, that would delay where we would get to that endpoint,” Fauci warned recently.

    And the longer it takes, the more people will get sick.

    ...

    In fact, they’re acting as epidemiological moochers. They’re free riders, relying on the rest of us to protect them by helping the country reach herd immunity.

  • disparities: In the Press Democrat, Phil Barber reports on the disparities in vaccinations among income groups and ZIP codes in Sonoma County.

    Despite a sustained and vocal effort to distribute the coronavirus vaccine equitably among Sonoma County residents without regard to their wealth or race, there are significant gaps in immunization rates among local neighborhoods, forcing the county to make up ground from the start of its campaign to improve health equity during the pandemic.

    A Press Democrat analysis of vaccination numbers in 32 ZIP codes that either wholly or partially fall within the county reveal an unmistakable disparity between some of Sonoma County’s wealthier neighborhoods and its more socioeconomically disadvantaged.

    It’s a story as old as civilization: Life is healthier for those with resources.

  • Sandy Eggo: For the SDUT, Jonathan Wosen writes that San Diego County has opted to go along with the state's program with Blue Shield of California for vaccination distribution. 

    Long after San Diego was supposed to join a statewide coronavirus vaccine effort led by Blue Shield, the county has at last struck a deal with the health insurance company.

    The county signed a memorandum of understanding with the state acknowledging that it is joining a network of vaccine providers overseen by Blue Shield, according to documents obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

    The move comes after discussions between the county and the private company dragged on for weeks. During that time, local officials mostly kept quiet, never openly opposing Blue Shield’s involvement in the way that officials in Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties did.

    “There were discussions around just helping them understand the unique circumstances the county has faced, our need to be flexible,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher on Thursday, during the county’s weekly coronavirus briefing.

-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

-school daze:

  • distancing: Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health updated its guidance on spacing of student desks consistent with changes to CDC guidelines as well as other changes:

    From the daily release:
    The state's updated guidance strongly recommends distancing of at least three feet for students in classrooms. The updated guidance also renders all schools eligible to open if case rates are below 25 per 100,000 population. In all tiers, schools that have not yet opened must post their COVID Safety Plan online five days before reopening. In the purple tier, all schools must also submit their COVID Safety Plan to their local health officer and the State Safe Schools team concurrent with the online posting. 
    Here is the updated guidance.
    Updated March 20, 2021 to reflect reopening guidance changes under "Criteria to Reopen for In-Person Instruction" and COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) Posting and Submission Requirements for In-person Instruction" and to reflect physical distancing guidance under "Classroom Space."
  • SacTown: For CapRadio, Chris Hagan and Kacey Sycamore report on the deal to reopen in-person instruction in the Sacramento City Unified School District.

    After months of negotiations, the Sacramento City Unified School District and the Sacramento City Teachers Association have reached an agreement on the district’s reopening plan and will begin in-person classes starting April 8.

    The agreement includes changes to the district’s initial proposed plan, such as bringing older students back earlier than previously outlined. 

    The plan includes a phased return to in-person classes: 

    • Students in PreK through grade 3, and K-6 Special Day Classes will return on April 8 
    • Students in grades 46 will return on April 15
    • Students in grades 7-12 will return on April 22, two weeks sooner than the district had previously announced

    Students will have the choice to return to a hybrid instruction model or remain in distance learning for the rest of the school year, according to a press release. 

    Under the previously announced plan, campuses would have no more than 50% of students at a time. Students would attend in-person class two days a week, and do virtual learning for the other three days.

    ...

    The plan includes improved ventilation, a key concern for the union, requiring filtration with a minimum of MERV-13 value or portable HEPA air filters. There will also be technology stipends for teachers who have been teaching remotely, medical assistants to monitor health screenings and COVID-19 tests. Teachers who have health risks or who care for a family member with a health condition will be allowed to continue teaching remotely, and union members with childcare issues can bring their school-aged children to work.

    ...

    Under the agreement, the district will return to distance learning if Sacramento County's COVID-19 cases rate reaches 25 per 100,000 residents. The rate is currently 8 per 100,000 residents.

  • disparities: In the SDUT, Kristen Taketa looks at the disparities in instructiom modality among San Diego students during the pandemic, which I'm sure will come as a shock to you.

    The amount of time students spent in front of a teacher instead of a computer varied dramatically this school year depending on their district and correlated with their socioeconomic status, data from San Diego County’s 42 districts shows.

    Generally districts that serve few low-income students provided the most in-person instruction time, while districts that had a majority of low-income students spent the most time in distance learning, according to school reopening data.

    “I do think that you see a pretty clear split, even in San Diego County, between the districts that are opening and the districts that are not opening,” San Diego Unified Board President Richard Barrera said last year. “And a big factor there is how widespread is the virus in particular communities.”

    From the start of the school year until Feb. 13, students in 11 San Diego County school districts spent the entire school year online, including three of the county’s biggest districts: San Diego Unified, Sweetwater and Chula Vista. All but one of those 11 districts enroll mostly low-income students.

    By contrast, students in two smaller districts — Encinitas and Ramona — got to spend their entire school year in-person.

homeless, AAPI violence, a great read, cakeday, corrections, and classifieds after the jump...

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HOMELESS: Columnist Michael Smolens writes in the SDUT that San Diego's approach to handling the crisis among those experiencing homelessness is inconsistent and it sounds an awful lot like Sacramento.

Much has been done. More permanent housing has come on line — such as recently converted hotels — and more is planned. Homeless outreach efforts have been bolstered and mental health services have been expanded.

Yet, the approach has been fragmented and inconsistent over the years, often shifting with whoever is in charge at City Hall or the County Administration Center. 

There has been a constant push-pull of prioritizing permanent housing over temporary tent shelters and vice versa. Winter shelters have come and gone, as have overnight inclement weather shelters.

In reality, all may be needed in some form — at the same time. Yes, that’s an expensive proposition.

Government policies helped create the situation, but they since haven’t done enough to resolve it.

While it might not be the original sin that exacerbated homelessness, the loss of inexpensive, single-occupancy hotel rooms over decades of redevelopment stands out. Nearly 10,000 SROs were demolished, converted or otherwise removed from the housing stock from 2010 to 2016, according to a 2018 investigation by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Like the displaced Sunday farmers market, dozens of Sacramentans experiencing homelessness are being displaced by Caltrans construction from the various numbered streets that pass under the W-X portion of Business 80/Highway 50 in Sacramento and thus provide shelter from the rain. There's been a lot of outreach to them although, to my knowledge, still no definitive guidance where they should go.

AAPI VIOLENCE: In the Times, Shannon Lin and Howard Blume report on rallies across California to decry the shootings in Atlanta and other recent violence against Asian Americans.

Asian Americans and their supporters gathered Saturday across California and the nation in response to this week’s shooting rampage in the Atlanta area, which claimed eight lives, including six women of Asian descent.

A demonstration was held Saturday night in Alhambra. Hundreds of people gathered at a “Stop Asian Hate” vigil at Almansor Park to honor the shooting victims.

“We will not be silent against the gun violence,” Betty Hang, organizer of the vigil, wrote on Facebook. “We want to remember the importance of uniting — for love, understanding and compassion of our community.”

A rally San Francisco event was large, colorful, almost festive — but marked by testimonials of anguish and recollections of racist encounters. It came as the nation has seen a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the pandemic began. The coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China.

In the Chron, Michael Cabanatuan reports on the rallies in San Francisco and Oakland:

In San Francisco, several hundred people filled the upper level of Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square at noon for a community art event and rally designed to give Asian Americans and supporters a safe place to express their grief and anger. Many in the crowd displayed handmade signs: “Respect everyone’s grandma,” “Hate is a virus” and “Asians belong.”

Others grabbed pots of bright watercolor paint and brushes and painted butterflies and messages of peace, concern and resistance on the plaza to counteract the ugly violence that has surged across the nation and the Bay Area. The crowd tiptoed around the freshly painted messages.

...

In Oakland’s Chinatown, about 80 people rolled into Madison Square Park later Saturday afternoon for a solidarity skate against anti-Asian violence. A candlelight vigil was also planned for Pak Ho, 75, of Hong Kong, who died last week after being robbed and assaulted in Adams Point, north of Lake Merritt.

In San Jose's Japantown, community leaders are recruiting volunteers for citizen patrols, reports Robert Salonga in the MercNews.

The LAT's Gustavo Arellano looks at the similarities between Tuesday's shootings and a 1989 massacre in Stockton.

The similarities between the 1989 Stockton massacre and the 2021 Atlanta-area rampage are chilling. Then and now, a deranged white man aimed his bullets at Asians. Then and now, law enforcement quickly discounted the possibility that race may have played a role in the killings despite the dead before them.

Then and now, initial media accounts reported the ethnicity of victims as incidental instead of intentional. Activists in each case — worried about an increase in anti-Asian attacks — immediately pushed back and demanded that skeptical government officials investigate. Community members united in the face of hate and vowed, “Never again.”

GREAT READ: The ‘No-Nos’ of Tule Lake [Phi Do, Jennifer Lu and Aida Ylanan @ LAT]
Singled out for failing a ‘loyalty’ test, Japanese Americans incarcerated in a high-security U.S. prison camp during WWII are shedding the stigma and reclaiming their stories

For years, whenever Japanese Americans would get together after World War II, one question would come up: “Which camp were you in?”

Like where you went to school, what you did for work, and whether you rooted for the Dodgers or the Giants, it was a form of small talk but probed at something deeper. The question referred to 10 wartime prisons where the government locked up more than 120,000 men, women and children, a majority of them U.S. citizens, because of their ethnicity.

Those who answered “Tule Lake” say they were often met with silence, then scorn: “Oh, you were one of those.”

Some even turned away in disgust.

Many of those who were sent to the Northern California camp had answered no to two questions on a loyalty test. One asked whether they would serve in the U.S. military, and the other whether they would swear absolute allegiance to the United States in its war against Japan. They came to be called the “No-Nos,” and they bore the label of being disloyal to America in the government’s eyes.

The stain was so strong that even after President Reagan apologized in 1988 for the “grave wrong” of mass incarceration, some people who had been at Tule Lake felt the need to hide their personal histories, even from their children, to avoid being shunned within the Japanese American community.

Wonderful article, including lots of photos.

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

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Greg Lucas!

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: Under yesterday's Money Matters item, the two IEs I included were both for AD79 (East San Diego). And, of course, Jerry Brown followed Schwarzenegger as governor. Blame it on my fingers and not on my brain. Both were caught quickly by a subscriber and corrected online, although all the emails had already gone out.

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]


Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco

CleanSweep Campaigns is a full-service consulting firm that provides top-notch service, years of campaign expertise, cutting-edge creative, advanced data and analytics and much more. Our team specializes in general consulting, persuasion direct mail, land use outreach campaigns, digital media and successful fundraising direct mail programs.

The Associate is responsible for client service and support to the client services team. Associates assist in keeping projects on track, meeting deadlines and preparing materials. Associates work with the graphic design team to create client deliverables, craft initial messaging documents, collaborate with the production department to ensure deadlines are met, manage timelines to meet project deadlines and perform other tasks as needed.

Applicants must be able to work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment that can demand long hours, possess a sense of initiative and personal accountability, have strong writing skills and problem-solving abilities and have a minimum of one year of prior work experience or comparable work history.

CleanSweep Campaigns is an equal-opportunity employer.

For more information and to apply: https://tbwbh.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=10

CAPITOL SEMINARS’ INVALUABLE LOBBYING 101 COURSE NOW AVAILABLE VIA ZOOM

Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov. Provides comprehensive coverage of California’s Legislative process, along with touch points and best practices you need to know for effective Legislative advocacy. Send your new lobbyists, support staff, legislative committee members, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Capitol Seminars is the No.1 training resource for nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations, state and local government entities. Next Zoom session is Thursday, April 1st, 8:30am-1:30pm.$295 and seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208.

Further information: www.capitolseminars.net

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:
go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy

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: