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RECENT PODS:

  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula speaks with health experts Tania Pacheco-Werner, PhD, and Joe Prado about COVID-19 vaccine distribution efficiency and equity (2021-03-23)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Senator Steve Bradford (D-Gardena) (2021-03-22)
  • 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:

  • Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building
  • 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

ATCpro UPDATES:

MONEY MATTERS:

  • AD79 (East San Diego): State Affiliated Cops Independent Expenditure Committee (aka SAC PAC IEC) reports spending $25,781 for mail in support of Leticia Munguia (D) - Cumulative total: $46,781
  • AD79 (East San Diego): State Affiliated Cops Independent Expenditure Committee (aka SAC PAC IEC) reports receiving
    • $40,000 from the Los Angeles Police Protective League PAC
    • $10,000 from the San Francisco Police Officers Association PAC

RECALL WATCH:

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports:
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The Nooner for Wednesday, March 24, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy humpday! It's a busy week as policy committees get to work with condensed bill hearings because of the limited meeting space and need to clean the rooms (including the chambers in between). This also means that I'm multi-tasking as I am writing and currently have Assembly Higher Education in a window next to The Nooner writing window.

Yesterday, the two bail reform measures following the successful referendum blocking Senator Hertzberg's SB 10 (2018) in the November 2020 election. The two bills this year, which are identical are SB 262 (Hertzberg) and AB 329 (Bonta). Both bills were approved by their respective first-house Public Safety committees yesterday.

The bills narrow which alleged offenses are required to be set at $0 and require the Judicial Council to revise the bail schedule from those exempted from $0 bail.

On to the plentiful news of the day.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Poll position: Yesterday, I joined Adam Probolsky for a webinar to present Probolsky Research's results on a poll testing Governor Newsom's approval rating and support for the recall. The poll results presentation and video of the 30-minute Zoominar are available here. Probolsky Research does not have a client on the recall and included the questions in its regular polling and shares the results for the public interest. Here are some key points:
    • Approval rating:
      • All voters: 41.8% approve; 39.2% disapprove
      • Likely voters: 46.9% approve,;37.3% disapprove
    • Shall Gavin Newsom be removed from office of Governor?
      • All voters: 40% yes, remove; 45.7% no, he should not be removed
      • Likely voters: 34.6% yes, remove; 52.5% no, he should not be removed
    • Key points from the crosstabs:
      • 44% of men and 36.5% of women would vote for the recall
      • 80.6% of Republicans would vote for the recall, with 8.8% undecided
      • 66.2% of Democrats would vote against the recall, with 16.9% undecided
      • Among age groups, 50-64 year olds are the only group in which a plurality would vote for the recall, at 48%.
      • Latino/Hispanic is the only group in which a plurality would vote for the recall, at 44.5%
      • The Central Valley is the only region in which a majority (and only plurality) would vote for the recall at 52.1%
    • Methodology: March 16-19; 900 (200 landline and cell and 700 online email/text with single response only); English and Spanish; MOE +/-3.3%
  • In the Politico California Playbook, Carla Marinucci and Jeremy B. White write:

    BOTTOM LINE: California Democrats enjoy a 22 percent advantage in voter registration this year, and “there are at least 10 Democratic majority counties,’’ including Los Angeles (5.8 million voters) and Alameda (962,000), Probolsky and Lay noted. By contrast, there are just two GOP-majority counties in the state: Lassen (15,500 voters) and Modoc (5,000).

    That means the recall backers — having just done all that hard work of collecting signatures — have a lot of really, really hard work ahead of them.

  • Steyer: For Politico, Cadelago, Stein, and Marinucci write that billionaire former hedge fund manager, environmental activist, and 2020 presidential candidate Tom Steyer has polled candidates that might be on question #2 of the recall, including himself.

    A Steyer entity commissioned the wide-ranging poll on a number of issues impacting the state’s political landscape. Among them was the Covid pandemic, the environment, and other topics close to him. But his group also notably asked Californians whether they were prepared to oust Newsom from office a year before his first term is set to expire. And, the survey included a handful of fallback options for Democrats should Newsom lose enough support to get booted out of office, including Steyer himself.

    The poll comes as 58 county registrars in California now work to verify whether the recall of Newsom has the 1.5 million valid voter signatures needed to qualify for a fall recall election. While Steyer opposes the recall, saying in a statement that it was “a clear attempt by the GOP to take back control of the state and squelch the progressive momentum,” he has been relatively quiet on the push. He has not tweeted about the recall and only once this year mentioned Newsom in a tweet: a thread tied to the governor’s State of the State address.

    A Steyer spokesperson told a POLITICO reporter seeking to speak with him last week that they should check back in “late April.” The Secretary of State’s office says the deadline for registrars to validate signatures for the recall is April 29.

    Steyer declined to comment. But a source close to him said late Tuesday that he would be “very, very surprised if he is looking at the recall ballot.”

AGstakes:

  • Carla Marinucci reports for Politico that Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg has been told that he will not be tapped by Governor Newsom for the Attorney General vacancy.
    Steinberg, a Democratic former Senate president pro tem, was viewed as a top contender for the post that is arguably the second most powerful position in California state government and a frequent springboard for higher office.

    Sacramento has been abuzz this week about speculation that Newsom would reveal his choice to fill the post vacated by Xavier Becerra, who has now assumed his new job as President Joe Biden's Health and Human Services secretary. Becerra replaced Kamala Harris, who moved on to become U.S. senator and now vice president.

    Steinberg, 61, is a close ally of Newsom and has worked alongside the governor on key issues such as homelessness. He also has been a strong advocate of funding for mental health programs, making it his signature issue as a legislator and founding a related institute.

    He successfully wrote a 2004 ballot initiative that imposed a 1 percentage point tax on earnings above $1 million in order to fund mental health programs.

    Steinberg, a white male, faced intense competition as ethnic organizations and interest groups jockeyed for rival AG hopefuls. 

    Xavier Beccera was confirmed last week as the U.S. health secretary and Gov. Gavin Newsom had a choice of a new attorney general. Steinberg was in the running, was one of the prime candidates. But Tuesday he received the, sorry-it’s-not-you call.

    Newsom had strung him and the other candidates along for almost four days. That seems a bit excessive, but that is the call Newsom made. Steinberg deserved better.

  • This morning, Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) presented a bill authored by Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) in Assembly Higher Ed. That raises speculation that Bonta, on the short list, could be announced as the AG appointment today. Even though he was on a press release for an event in Elk Grove with Rep. Ami Bera and Assemblymember Jim Cooper to talk about state and federal efforts against violence targeting the AAPI community, the presser was at 11am (Higher Ed started at 9am) and as of 11:15 Bonta was a no show.

    In response to the phone call to Steinberg to tell him that he didn't get the rose, Bee editorial chief Gil Duran tweeted:
     
    This AG rollout reminds me of Jerry Springer with the paternity tests:
    "You are NOT the AG!"

    ...to which Mike Madrid responded:
    Such a terrible way to announce Rob Bonta is the next AG. Humiliating for those that have offered to serve.
    leading to Duran typing:
    Wait, do you mean to tell me that it's been Bonta the whole time? The scales hath fallen from mine eyes

Tick-tock...

BLURRED LINES: For Capitol Weekly, James Arungaren writes on the impact of the pandemic-delayed release of the Census data.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced its data – the foundation of political map-making — will be released to all states this year by Sept. 30, a full six months later than the original release date. That means the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, or CRC – an independent body established by voters — will have less time to craft maps for the 2022 elections. 

“It already has hampered the process,” says Rob Stutzman, a veteran political consultant familiar with the redistricting process. “Essentially, the commission won’t receive data from the Census Bureau until after the districts are supposed to be drawn.”

During the last cycle in 2010, the commission released initial maps for the Golden State’s political districts in mid-March. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made a similarly timed release this year impossible.

The district boundaries are critical in an election. They reflect the shifts in populations, ethnic and racial diversity and other factors that have changed in the past decade.

Realistically, maps for California’s Congressional, state Assembly, state Senate, and Board of Equalization districts could be released next February. This could mean candidates wanting to run in the June primary wouldn’t even know what district they are running in until a few weeks before the filing deadline. The data also is used to redraw local districts, such as Los Angeles County’s supervisorial districts.

Not all is doom and gloom for the redistricting process, however.

“You can think of the release of the data as kind of an inflection point in the process,” says Paul Mitchell, Vice President of Political Data, Inc, which markets campaign data. “That inflection point was March 31st in 2011. [The commission] had barely gotten up and running when people had already started drawing maps.”

Back in 2011, after the Census data had been released, organizations besides the CRC began to draw draft maps for consideration.

“There’s a possibility that there is a silver lining to late data,” Mitchell continues, “we can have more conversations about the things we ought to be discussing during this process: communities of interest.”

THE OTHER CAPITOL: In the Times, Sarah D. Wire looks at whether the United States Senate's newest Latino member can help break the immigration reform logjam.

Twenty-seven years after Alex Padilla hit the streets with hundreds of thousands of California Latinos to protest the anti-immigrant Proposition 187, he finds himself in a position to help deliver the change he has long sought.

All he has to do is persuade Washington to do something it has been unable to achieve since the Reagan administration: pass a major immigration reform bill.

The first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate has optimism that legislation is possible under President Biden, who has said that comprehensive immigration reform is a priority, and with Democratic control of the Senate and House.

“No state has more at stake in it than California, and that’s who I represent, so it is a top priority. I come with urgency,” Padilla told the Los Angeles Times in an interview.

COVID-19, several policy topics, cakeday, and new classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

COVID-19: California reported an additional 200 deaths yesterday for a total of 57,417 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend reporting delays caveat applies.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.7%, the lowest point of the pandemic and 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, from the daily CDPH press release, may be delayed by reporting.

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 15,152,845 (7-day change: +2,646,807)
  • vaccine doses delivered to administering entities in California: 19,292,060 (7-day change: +2,515,648)
  • The LAT's Hayley Smith and Luke Money look at why California is lagging some other states in vaccine eligibility and whether that will improve.

    California is lagging behind some other states in expanding vaccine eligibility.

    Alaska, West Virginia and Mississippi are vaccinating everyone ages 16 and older. Georgia, Arizona and Texas are following suit this month. Everyone 50 and above is eligible in Florida and New York, and Indiana and Ohio are vaccinating residents in their 40s.

    Nearly half of all Californians are already eligible for the vaccine. That includes adults 65 and older, healthcare workers, educators, people who are incarcerated or living in homeless shelters, essential workers such as those in the food industry or emergency services, public transit workers and janitors, and residents 16 and older who have disabilities or underlying health conditions. This list is not exhaustive, though, as the state continues to refine specifications for who qualifies under the various categories.

    So when will that change?

    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.

  • For the Times, Smith, Nelson, and Shalby write that the availability of a vaccine in California depends on where you live.

    As COVID-19 vaccine supplies increase, a growing number of California’s 61 health departments have broken with state health guidelines and made the shots available to potentially millions of additional people, sparking joy among locals, and frustration and envy from residents in counties that are sticking with stricter rules.

    At least four counties — including Contra Costa, San Luis Obispo, Butte and Solano — have recently lowered their age requirement for vaccination to 50. In Tuolumne, it’s 45. Several others, including San Diego and San Francisco, are now vaccinating people who are considered overweight or have chronic health conditions like asthma.

    Some counties that expanded access have seen dwindling interest in vaccines, while others have received additional doses through the state or pharmacies. Other counties, including Los Angeles, are still struggling to secure enough doses to meet demand.

    Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of L.A. County’s public health department, said Tuesday that she hopes the county will open vaccinations to everyone before May 1, the date targeted by Gov. Gavin Newsom, but much depends on supply. In the early days of open eligibility, the county should focus on vaccinating residents in neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19, she said.

    The expanding but still patchy vaccine access has led to some confusion. People who are overweight — those with a body mass index between 25 and 29.9 — can be vaccinated in San Diego County, but not in neighboring Orange County, for instance. Residents of Contra Costa County in their 50s are now eligible, but residents in Alameda County are not.

    It is up to each county whether to limit vaccines to those who live or work locally, state officials say. But some federal and retail pharmacy sites don’t have such limitations, and the temptation to cross county lines is strong.

    It's a clusterf...

-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. Lots of the changes yesterday, and here's where the counties stand. While there has been chatter all week, Orange did not move to the less restrictive orange tier.

  • 8 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier (6.3% of population): Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, and Yuba
  • 39 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (83.2% of population): Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Ventura
  • 9 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (10.5% of population): Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Plumas, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Trinity, and Yolo
  • 2 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.0% of population): Alpine and Sierra.

Tier table

-SacTown: For Sacramento folks jealous as Yolo and four Bay Area counties progress to the orange tier, don't hold for breath for a similar move soon. While the county's positivity rate of 2.9% is in the orange tier range, the adjusted new case rate of 7.4 per 100k population is well above the 1-3.9 per 100k required for the orange tier. In contrast, the data yesterday for Los Angeles County were a positivity rate of 1.8% and adjusted new case rate of 3.7, putting the state's largest county on the clock for the orange tier. Los Angeles needs another week in the red tier before a tier change to orange can be made.

For those in Placer County, the positivity rate of 3.0% puts it in the orange tier but, like Sacramento, has an adjusted tier rate that keeps it in the red tier -- 8.0%.

Of course, Placer County has been well-known to have lax enforcement of the rules.

(Data: Excel | state map)

-farmworkers: For CalMatters, Jackie Botts looks at the struggling efforts by the state to move farmworkers infected with or exposed to SARS-CoV-19 from crowded housing into hotel rooms.

Heeding the calls of advocates and lawmakers, Gov. Gavin Newsom is pumping up to $24 million into his oft-touted-but-little-used program to help farmworkers self-isolate during the pandemic, offering new financial assistance and flexibility. However, it’s unclear how much will actually get spent.

Newsom announced the innovative Housing for the Harvest program last summer to provide California farmworkers living in crowded homes with hotel rooms if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed. But even as the coronavirus ravaged farmworker communities in the following months, an investigation by CalMatters and The Salinas Californian found few checked into the rooms. The state has spent roughly $155,000 to provide just 137 hotel rooms for farmworkers in 13 counties, most of which will be reimbursed by the federal government.

“It has been wildly underutilized,” Newsom said of the program during a visit earlier this month to a vaccination site in Earlimart, a small agricultural community in Tulare County, which has lodged about two dozen farmworkers in the hotel rooms.

Now the state is modifying the program by dangling up to $1,000 in cash assistance, as well as allowing farmworkers to shelter at home, to boost participation. The expansion will launch in April for most counties. “We’re doing the awareness campaign and providing more support to make sure we can meet what we hope is a significantly increased demand,” Newsom said. 

-LGBTQ students: The LAT's Laura Newberry writes that many LGBTQ college students who have returned home over the last year are facing a particular challenge.

The forced homecoming of college students has been particularly painful for those whose families either do not know of or reject their LGBTQ identities, according to therapists, college staff and students themselves.

Many students went from experiencing the immense relief of independence and belonging to once again feeling trapped in an environment that threatens to unravel their hard-won self-confidence.

...

Since last March, Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline for transgender people, has recorded an 18% jump in calls in which people talk about being rejected by their families. The number of people contacting the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth, doubled at times in 2020.

CHILD CARE: For CalMatters, Elizabeth Aguilera looks at the child care centers that have closed during the pandemic and the crisis it creates in a network in which slots were already hard to come by, particularly as parents now look to return to work and schools are a patchwork of instruction modalities.

Across California 8,500 licensed child care sites have shut down since the pandemic began, taking with them tens of thousands of child care slots for kids who need care while their parents work or attend school.

The decimation of the child care industry has dire implications for the state going forward: 

  • Children unable to get into licensed child care could suffer educationally and miss the stability of a safe, familiar provider.
  • Unemployed or underemployed parents now have even fewer affordable options for child care, potentially delaying their re-entry into the workforce as California struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Thousands of women of color, who represent the majority of the child care workforce, are now out of work. 

Both the permanent and temporary closures hit an already precariously positioned child care industry suffering from chronic low pay, a lack of providers and high costs. 

“The pandemic shed this bright light on so many systems in our country that are clearly broken or poorly built before the pandemic — and child care is just one of them,” said Keisha Nzewi, director of public policy for the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, a nonprofit that helps connect families with child care providers. “In child care the problem is that although it is a public good, it’s not treated as such.

“Child care providers are paid poorly and at the same time parents cannot afford to pay more.”

HOUSING: In the SDUT, Michael Smolens writes on the latest efforts of Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and other members to spur more multi-family housing.

Once again, a package of bills is moving forward aimed at increasing housing density across California.

In recent years, major housing legislation was brought forth with great fanfare only to fail, often amid disputes over whether the proposed policies would make homes more affordable and how they would affect people currently living where they would be built.

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is the lead author of what already has become one of the more contentious measures in this year’s chapter of the California housing wars.

Her clout wasn’t enough to get a similar bill across the finish line last year, the result of a stunning procedural snafu.

After putting "stunning procedural snafu" through the Nooner Jargon 3000 translator, the result came back as "fight between houses." On the final night of session, SB 1120 was approved by the Assembly but was not transmitted immediately to the Senate for concurrence, something that happened with many other bills.

Having come so close, housing advocates are not letting up the pressure for action.

Atkins's bill this year is SB 9 and she is joined by Senators Anna Caballero, Susan Rubio, and Scott Wiener as joint authors. It is in Senate Housing, but a hearing date has not been set.

SIN AGUA: For the San Joaquin Valley Sun, Alex Tavlian writes that many Central Valley farmers were told yesterday to not expect much water from the federal Central Valley Project this year.

A slim, five-percent water allocation expected to be sent to agricultural water users on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley is currently on hold, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday.

The Bureau announced that delivery of its initial allocation to westside farmers, made in late February, would be suspended until further notice.

The reason? Poor rainfall and struggling flow of water from snowpack in the Sierras.

Federal officials announced that Northern California rainfall for 2021 is about 51 percent of its historic average, while snowpack is at 63 percent of average.

The announcement does not affect municipal and industrial users south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, nor allocations made to Friant Division water users.

...


There was reason to be more jovial amid the set of bad news: things were arguably more grim for State Water Project users.

Ahead of Reclamation’s announcement, California’s Department of Water Resources announced it was cutting its allocation of water to contractors – initially announced in December – from 10 percent to five.

“We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” said Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth.

GASSY MATTERS: For the Register, Jonathan Lasner reports that gasoline prices in California have hit the highest point since late 2019.

For California drivers seeking some good news at the pump, gasoline prices had their smallest gain in five weeks.

Still, the average price for a gallon of regular gas rose 3 cents to $3.76 in the past week — the highest in 68 weeks, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration as of March 22. Prices are up $1.12 since the pandemic low of $2.64 last May — a 42% increase. The last time it was higher? Nov. 18, 2019.

Pump prices statewide have risen for 14 consecutive weeks as the fuel’s key ingredient, crude oil, soared in price. West Texas Intermediate, a U.S. benchmark for crude oil, is up 18% this year to $62 a barrel last week. Perhaps drivers will get some relief soon as crude oil prices dipped to $58 early this week.

Gasoline’s 2021 surge contrasts sharply to prices that tumbled 21% in two months last spring as pandemic “stay at home” restrictions cut travel and fuel demand. Since then, a reopening economy, plus production cuts worldwide, boosted gasoline prices.

Don't expect relief soon with a container megaship blocking the Suez Canal causing ships to back up awaiting a reopening of the critical passageway.

AAPI VIOLENCE: The family of the elderly Asian woman attacked in San Francisco for whom a GoFundMe page with a $50,000 goal that had raised $934,653 as of this morning say that they intend to distribute the funds to community organizations fighting AAPI violence. Michael Williams reports for the Chron:

“She insists on making this decision saying this is bigger than Her,” John Chen said in an update posted to the GoFundMe for his grandmother, Xiao Zhen Xie.

Xie was one of two older Asian people attacked last Wednesday, in what police said was an unprovoked attack. The man accused of attacking the pair, Steven Jenkins, 39, was detained by a security guard and later arrested. Police said they were still working to find out whether race was a factor in the attacks.

The attacks left Xie with two serious black eyes, one of them bleeding uncontrollably, Chen said. By Monday, his grandmother’s “overall mental and physical health has improved” and she is now able to open her eye.

“She is now starting to feel optimistic again and is in better spirits,” Chen said. “She said we must not (submit) to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary.

Chen said his grandmother feels the money must be donated “back to the Asian American community to combat racism.”

SAN FRANCISCO: Tourism spending in San Francisco dropped by $8 billion in 2020 and won't return to pre-pandemic levels soon, writes Roland Li for the Chron.

Total tourist spending was $2.3 billion, a 77.7% drop from the record-high $10.3 billion in 2019, according to San Francisco Travel, the city’s tourism bureau. Total visitors were down 61% to 10.2 million.

More than 65,000 jobs supported by tourism were lost during the pandemic, a drop of 75.8% in one year for the city’s biggest industry.

...

Every 2020 metric was awful compared to 2019: SFO passenger traffic dropped 71.4%, to 16.4 million. Hotel occupancy was 27.2%, compared to pre-pandemic levels around 85%, as most buildings closed their doors. Tourism tax revenue, including hotel and property taxes, fell by two thirds to $273.4 million.

Even in 2009, during the last major recession, 15.4 million people visited and spent $7.8 billion, according to San Francisco Travel. For the next decade, those metrics grew every year until the pandemic struck.

...

A full revenue recovery isn’t expected until 2025.

I even question that timeline. I don't know if big conventions and conferences will be returning this decade, if ever. And I write that as someone who spent about a third of my time either attending, speaking at, or hosting such events during my days as CEO of the Community College League.

FEELING CRABBY: In the Chron, Tara Duggan writes up the dispute between environmentalists and crabbers over the implementation of a new technology to reduce the impact on migrating whales and sea turtles.

Dungeness crab is one of the Bay Area’s favorite local foods and a traditional mainstay on holiday tables. But the way it’s been caught for over a century is hurting too many whales, environmentalists say, as their migration patterns have shifted with warming ocean temperatures.

There is a tool being developed to prevent those injuries. It’s a system that uses “ropeless” gear to prevent endangered whales and sea turtles from getting entangled and injured or killed in fishing lines. And legislation before the state Assembly would require crabbers to begin using it by 2025.

Yet commercial fishers say the gear is ineffective and expensive, and the legislation would further hamper an industry already struggling with restricted fishing seasons for both crab and king salmon.

The bill is in response to an upswing in reported whale entanglements on the West Coast, which spiked from 2015 to 2018. They have since tapered off, after fishers improved their practices and the season was shortened several times to protect whales. Only a handful of whales died because of crab gear in that period, but scientists say many that are seen weighed down by fishing lines eventually die from infections, starvation or drowning.

Crab fishers traditionally use fixed gear, with traps connected to buoys on the ocean surface with ropes that can entrap whales and other animals, especially when the ropes hang loose. With ropeless or pop-up gear, crabbers attach a spool of rope to each trap, then leave them at the bottom to allow crabs to wander inside.

When they return, they send an acoustic signal to the device that instructs the spool to unwind and bob to the surface. Less-expensive versions use galvanic timed release, metal gadgets that dissolve in water after a set amount of time and then release a buoy that brings the line to the surface. Either way, the ropes are in the water for only a brief time, reducing the chance a whale will get caught up in one.

The bill is AB 534 (Bonta) and is scheduled to be heard by Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife on April 8.

Thank you to these Nooner supporters who have gone above and beyond (join them with support of $250+)!

Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Frank de Lima!

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]


Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building

Penthouse residence for rent in desirable Downtown Marriott building. Renter will enjoy private lobby, use of hotel amenities such as pool / spa, gym, and access to concierge services such as supervised Amazon package delivery, etc. This space would be perfect for a member or lobbyist or consultant with frequent business in the Capitol. Comes with one parking spot with option for another if needed. You can view full listing, photos and more here. Can be rented furnished or unfurnished.

Contact: Joe Fernandez, Eagle Property Management; (916) 430-9196, jfernandez@eimpropertries.com

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: