Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Susan Page on Nancy Pelosi's "Lessons of Power" (2021-04-22)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Dave Cortese (2021-01-22)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): GOP political consultant Matt Rexroad on redistricting and the recall. (2021-01-18)
  • If I Could Change One Thing (SDSU School of Public Health): Dr. Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital / UCSF on when/if mask mandates will go away. (2021-04-07)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): California Prepares for Wildfire; Disparity in Covid Deaths Highlight Need for Vaccine Equity (2021-04-16)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Police Shootings: A Dilemma Forever? (2021-04-16)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Monica Davalos and Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto of the California Budget and Policy Center (2021-04-16)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)
  • Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy
  • New Sacramento-based thriller
  • Golden State Opportunity: Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator
  • Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building
  • Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • AG: added attorney Nathan Hochman (R)
  • AD50 (West Los Angeles): added physician Sion Roy (D) - open seat (Bloom running for LA County supe)

RECALL WATCH: The final signature reports from counties have been submitted to the Secretary of State's Office, which has ten days from 04/19 to report to counties on the total, triggering the 30-day signature withdrawal period. As of the last report on March 11, 1,188,073 signatures had been validated. Proponents need 1,495,709 to qualify the recall, a total that they are fully expected to meet.

The Nooner for Friday, April 23, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Friday! You made it, wherever "it" may be. For Sacramento, we are looking at a cooler weekend and that unusual phenomenon of water falling from above on Sunday. The good news is that the storm is expected to bring 6-10 inches of late-season snow to the higher levels, a key factor in the drought situation.

For Nooner Premium subscribers, I'm sorry about the delay on an updated AD54 analysis. I've been following it every day and my thoughts keep changing! Currently, I think Bryan and Hutt proceed from the May 18 special primary to a special general on July 20.

THE BEST! For the AP, the AP's Brian Melley looks at how California went from being an epicenter of COVID-19 to become the state with the fewest new infections of the virus.

Just a few months ago, California was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Hospitals in Los Angeles were drowning in patients, and ambulances were idling outside with people struggling to breathe, waiting for beds to open.

The death count was staggering — so many that morgues filled and refrigerated trucks were brought in to handle the overflow.

Now as cases spike in other parts of the country, California has gone from worst to first with the lowest infection rate in the U.S. even as it has moved quickly to reopen more businesses with greater customer counts and allow larger gatherings.

A scramble to get COVID-19 vaccinations has given way to an open invite in many places. Where people lined up hours and counties struggled to get doses, there now appears to be a glut of the shots in many locations.

“It has been a success story for California to have gone from our, if you will, viral tsunami that happened after the back-to-back holiday season to where we are now,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley of the University of California, Los Angeles’ public health school.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • This morning, Caitlyn Jenner officially announced her bid for Governor in the very likely recall election this fall. Lara Korte reports for The Bee:

    Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian turned reality TV star, officially launched her bid for California governor Friday morning after weeks of speculation that she would run to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election.

    In a statement, Jenner, 71, said she’s running because “California is worth fighting for.”

    “California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” said Jenner, a Republican. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”

    Jenner first came into the public eye in the 1970s when she won a gold medal in the decathlon during the 1976 Olympic Games.

    Later, she would marry Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner and was a co-star with her family on the reality TV show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” In 2015, Jenner publicly came out as a transgender woman.

Her website has two options -- shop and donate. There is nothing about issues.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: As expected, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) was confirmed by both houses yesterday to be California's new Attorney General. As I wrote on Wednesday, Governor Newsom has 14 calendar days to call a special general election, which will likely be September 7, 14, or 21 with a special primary in July.

"CANCEL CULTURE": In The Bee, Kim Bojórquez writes up the failure of two bills this week that would have made political beliefs and affiliation a protected class.

California Democrats this week shot down a Republican’s effort to make political beliefs a protected class under the state’s anti-discrimination laws, a bid that the GOP lawmaker described as an attempt to take on “cancel culture.”

Two bills, authored by Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, would have extended discrimination protections of a person’s political affiliation and political beliefs in the state’s workplace, businesses and public schools.

The bills failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee on party-line votes on Tuesday.

SCHOOL DAZE: For EdSource, D'Souza, Fensterwald, and Willis report on declining enrollment in California's public schools, which began before the pandemic but has intensified.

The pandemic has intensified a multiyear trend of dwindling public school student enrollment statewide, causing a steep drop this year with more than a third of the decline stemming from 61,000 no-show kindergarteners.

Statewide, net enrollment in K-12 publicly funded schools in California fell by almost 3%, or 160,000 students in 2020-21, the largest drop in 20 years, according to annual data released Thursday by the California Department of Education. The drop takes into account an increase of 22,542 students attending charter schools, which enroll about one in nine students in California.

The falling numbers were spread across the state, with the four largest districts accounting for about a sixth of the decline in enrollment. Los Angeles Unified enrollment fell by 20,841 (4.76%), Long Beach by 2,003 (2.8%), San Diego by 4,270 (4.2%) and Fresno by 909 (1.3%). In the Bay Area, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties both lost more than 3% and Marin fell by 4.7%.

There are some big variations among the state’s 2,291 districts and charter schools. Excluding county offices of education, 83% of traditional districts saw a decline in overall enrollment, compared with only 48% of charter schools.

For the Chron, Jill Tucker looks at the declining enrollment in public school districts and the financial consequences if not reversed.

California’s public schools lost more than 160,000 students amid the pandemic, a striking decline in enrollment that could have a long-term impact on the financial stability of districts across the state.

The decline was mostly among kindergarten through third grade, which lost 107,000 students this school year.

State officials said they were “drilling down” to identify where those families went — and if they would be back.

All told the state’s public schools enrolled 6,002,523 traditional and charter school students at the beginning of the school year, a 3% decline, officials said.

“It’s complex,” said Stephanie Gregson, chief deputy at the California Department of Education. “Every family has their own unique circumstances.”

It’s unclear how many students moved out of state, transferred to private schools, opted to homeschool this year or just stopped attending.

The data is from the one-day annual enrollment snapshot in October. It does not include any students who might have left the public system since, numbers that won’t be publicly available until the fall.

FRACKING: For Politico, Colby Bermel and Debra Kahn report on Governor Newsom's plans to phase out fracking in California.

Impact: The announcement would come the week after state lawmakers voted down a closely watched bill to ban fracking and other fossil fuel extraction techniques. Newsom had asked lawmakers for such a proposal last fall after arguing he didn't have the authority to ban fracking on his own. Now the governor, facing an all-but-certain recall election, is feeling simultaneous pressure from environmentalists, who slammed him for not doing more to advance the fracking bill, and deep-pocketed drillers, who could spend against him this fall.

Details: Environmental, legislative and industry sources said Newsom would ban new fracking projects by 2024. They said the governor's new plan could rely on his emergency powers, or just simply direct state regulators to use their existing authority.

REDISTRICTING: The California Citizens Redistricting Commission had an online webinar on "redistricting basics" yesterday. The video is available here.

COVID-19, more issues, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

COVID-19: California counties reported an additional 81 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,956 since the pandemic began. 

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.5%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 26,823,157 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 34,013,640
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 6,376,521, or around 16% of the state's population (through 04/21)
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 79,513, or around 0.2% of the state's population (through 04/21)
  • For Politico, Mackenzie Mays reports on the announcement yesterday that the University of California and California State University plan to require vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 for fall enrollment.
    California State University and University of California proposed the requirement for students, faculty and staff for the fall 2021 semester — contingent on full FDA approval. All told, the requirement could apply to more than 1 million people.

    Both UC and CSU are planning for mostly in-person instruction when the academic year begins in August.

    The timeline for full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval remains unclear. Vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been administered under emergency use authorization, and the J&J shot is on hold as federal officials study rare cases of blood clots. The process for some vaccines have taken years before, though some health officials have predicted that one of the vaccines could be approved by the fall.

    Students and staff would be able to seek a medical or religious exemption under the new policy, CSU officials said Thursday.

    "The state of California has been a leader in the administration of Covid-19 vaccines, and Californians receiving a vaccine has led to significantly reducing the transmission of Covid-19 in our state," CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro said in a statement. "Continued vigilance will further mitigate the spread of the disease that has radically altered our lives over the past year. We will continue to strongly encourage all members of our respective university communities to receive a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as it is available to them."

    Hmmm...religious exemption? Haven't we already dealt with that issue for K-12 students? While it seems like years ago, I remember lots of germy kids and (mostly) moms all around the Capitol over the previous two legislative sessions promoting the anti-vaxx cause. Why is CSU opening the barn door?

-variants: From the California Department of Public Health:

  • "UK strain": B.1.1.7 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission, and likely with increased disease severity and risk of death. Appears to have minimal impact on the effectiveness of treatments with antibodies.
  • "South Africa strain" B.1.351 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission. May have moderately decreased response to antibody treatments.
  • "Brazil strain": P.1 variants may have moderately decreased response to some antibody treatments.
  • "West Coast strain"": B.1.427 and B.1.429 are associated with approximately 20% increased transmission. There is significantly reduced efficacy of some antibody treatments.

Here are the variants of concern in California. Remember that this is just from 38,408 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of April 21, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   2,524
B.1.351    55
P.1    246
B.1.427   4,822
B.1.429   9,334

You can view a US map by strain prevalence on the CDC site. Note that, like the numbers above, this map is case numbers of a sample, and not a case rate. Obviously, California will have higher counts, but that doesn't translate into a higher case rate of the variant.

-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. The most recent changes are bolded and italicized.

Here's where the counties stand after today's changes bolded and italicized.

  • No county in the Purple (widespread) Tier.
  • 21 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier: Amador, Del Norte, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Lake, Madera, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.
  • 33 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier: Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Marin, Mono, Napa, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • 3 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier: Alpine, Lassen, and Sierra.

Statewide tiers map

more issues, cakedays, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

 

EMISSIONS: In the Chron, Kurtis Alexander writes that the Biden Administration has backed off of the Trump Administration's opposition to California's vehicle emissions regulations.

The feud over vehicle emissions between California and the federal government that started during the Trump administration appears to be coming to an end.

As President Biden seeks to make climate change a top priority, the federal Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it will drop its rule and subsequent legal effort to prevent California and other states from regulating heat-trapping gases spewed from cars and light trucks.

LA HOMELESS: In the Times, Zahniser, Alpert Reyes, and Oreskes report on the reverberations of the federal judge's ruling last week ordering the City of Los Angeles to find shelter for the unhoused on skid row.

A federal judge’s explosive order calling on Los Angeles to offer shelter or housing to every homeless person on skid row is setting off growing alarm that his decision could upend years of homeless policy in the city, stalling construction of dozens of housing projects.

Earlier this week, Judge David O. Carter threw a major wrench into L.A.'s plan for addressing homelessness, demanding that Mayor Eric Garcetti take roughly $1 billion he had been planning to spend on the crisis and put it into an escrow account. At the same time, he issued a blistering critique of the Proposition HHH program, the 2016 bond measure whose projects have been beset by delays and rising costs.

Some HHH developers, who already have projects under construction or are months away from breaking ground, said they fear Carter intends to raid HHH funding and direct the money elsewhere.

The order is also drawing fresh criticism from city leaders, who say it lacks a basic grasp of how municipal budgets work.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Gino Folchi, Assemblymember Chad MayesGeorge Raya, and Matt Ross!

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]


CAPITOL SEMINARS’ INVALUABLE LOBBYING 101 COURSE OFFERED 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 Tuesday, May 25th, 8:30am-1:30pm. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information: www.capitolseminars.net

Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!

Are you a legislative advocate? Know someone passionate about improving policies for manufacturers? Do they have 4+ years of government affairs experience with emphasis on legislative, regulatory and/or commercial environment? CMTA’s exciting and fast-paced State Government Relations team is searching for a Policy Director. Subject-matter expertise in energy, environment and/or workforce issues preferred. Apply here! cmta.net/job_post.php

The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)

Are you a savvy communications professional with ecomodernist ideals? Are you an effective communicator and strong writer with a passion for solving humanity’s biggest challenges? The Breakthrough Institute, a Berkeley-based research center, is looking for a new Press Secretary to expand our reach in the media and build connections with journalists, reporters, and newsroom editors. The Press Secretary will develop, implement, and assist in guiding media and digital strategies rooted in climate, energy, food, and agriculture with an ecomodernist emphasis. Please visit our website for a detailed job description and application instructions.

The position is in Berkeley, although remote until later in 2021.

Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy

Join us for an informative update on California’s Housing Crisis. For years, the Golden State has had the highest home prices in the US, one of the lowest rates of home-ownership, and the most people living on the streets – now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse. Three panels of experts, insiders and elected officials will discuss the status of the state’s Housing Crisis and the policy solutions being proposed to help solve it.

This event will be hosted on ZOOM from 9AM – 1:45PM, Wednesday, May 26. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Attend one panel, or the whole day!

NEW SACRAMENTO-BASED THRILLER!

SET IN SACRAMENTO, ALL THAT FALL is "a white-knuckled, character-driven thriller, at once twisty and full of heart." In this first in a new series from award-winning author KRIS CALVIN, Investigator Emma Lawson has just 48-hours to stop a killer whose plans for revenge include upending California's government. "The story reads as if it happened. Emma and the rest of the cast will hook you." ORDER NOW from Amazon or your favorite bookstore at www.kriscalvin.com. Available in hardback, ebook & audiobook.

Golden State Opportunity is looking for a Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator.

These are exciting opportunities for the right person who wants to build their own teams, establish a foundation for a rapidly growing organization with national political ambitions and wants to make a significant impact in ending poverty as we know it. Please review the job descriptions, with salary ranges, at Careers at GSO.

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

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: