Around The Capitol

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  • CAP·impact (McGeorge School of Law): Lobbyist and law professor Chris Micheli with key reminders on legislative drafting in California (2021-05-09)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): former Assemblymember Mike Gatto (2021-05-07)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Lobbyist Bob Naylor (2021-05-07)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Mary Nichols on California's Climate Leadership and Biden's 'Inflection Point' (2021-05-06)i
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democrat Caucus): Connecting Californians: Expanding High Speed Internet with Speaker Anthony Rendon (2021-05-06)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Is The Republican Party Imploding? (2021-05-06)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Susan Talamentes Eggman (D-Stockton) (2021-05-05)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): USA Today Waszhinton Bureau chief Susan Page on her new book on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (2021-05-02)  
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) (2021-05-02)


  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui seeks a Field Representative experienced in infrastructure policy to join her Sacramento team.
  • The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)
  • Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!
  • 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
  • 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


  • CON: added Monterey Park councilmember Yvonne Yiu (D) 

The Nooner for Sunday, May 9, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Feliz nueve de mayo y tacos domingo para mi!

Happy Mother's Day amidst the great flower famine of 2021! Of course, most of the news stories about the lack of flower production started appearing Wednesday, when I had it on my calendar to order as usual. The local florists around Portland that I usually use as well as the national brands had nothing until tomorrow. Mom wouldn't have minded, although I'm sure she won't mind some delivered local baked treats. Then, continuing our holiday trend that began with last Thanksgiving, the family is gathering via Zoom this evening.

Reports are that the shortage is multi-faceted, but mostly because suppliers didn't cultivate as much because of safety concerns and uncertain demand because of the pandemic. Also, some California growers have sold out to cannabis growers.

Meanwhile, we didn't have any Chinese space debris rain down on us last night as the remnants of the rocket fell into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives, reports Chinese state media.

Now, the next drama will be the emerging cicadas in DC, and the Atlantic and some Midwest states. In other words, avoid a trip to the other Capitol for the next month. After a few weeks of the annoying buzz-filled mating calls of the males, the females will return underground to lay their eggs and the generation dies with the next generation emerging in 17 years. There are lots of readers of The Nooner at the other Capitol, here are some cooking tips for the next month.


  • Newsom job approval: On Friday, I was on the DeMaio Report on KOGO (San Diego) with guest host Lou Penrose. In preparing for that, I looked at Gavin Newsom's job approval among likely voters in the Public Policy Institute of California's Statewide Survey. Here is the data source, and you here's the chart in full size. I'll continue to update the chart throughout the year. I am not providing any commentary or predictions. I've seen three bear ads during the Sunday shows and I'm sure we'll see a lot more. Then again, the economy will be reopened long before a likely November recall election and the expectations are that those already supporting Newsom will be quite happy with the 2021-22 State Budget, which must be passed by June 15, the same day the tier restrictions are expected to be removed for all counties. 

    In short, it's going to be a long year. I'll create a similar tracking chart of support for the recall when we have more data points.

Newsom approval rating trends

  • Caitlyn: In the Hannity interview, Caitlyn Jenner said that she would freeze all tax increases in California and has tweeted the except out. Of course, if Democrats maintain supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, they can pass a tax increase and override any veto. Also, veto override authority extends to the override of line-item vetoes in budget bills. (Art. IV, Sec. 10(a),(e)

POLICING: The Chron's Michael Cabanatuan reports that newly appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta is promising increased transparency in police misconduct records -- after a court order.

New state Attorney General Rob Bonta vowed Friday to release more police misconduct records and launch a new era of transparency in the state’s top law enforcement agency, hours after a San Francisco Superior Court ordered his office to provide a speedier and more orderly release of documents.

Bonta’s prompt response to the order left freedom of information advocates cautiously hopeful.

Two weeks after being confirmed as attorney general, Bonta committed to accelerate the release of police officer use-of-force and misconduct records. When he took office, he pledged to bring more progressive policies on criminal, racial and environmental justice.

“By shining a light on misconduct where it occurs, we’re also working to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Bonta said in a statement, crediting the 2019 passage of Senate Bill 1421. The law makes police records relating to officer use-of-force, sexual assault, and filing false reports available under the California Public Records Act.

HOUSING: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes that while the pandemic is easing in California, the housing crisis is worsening.

California’s COVID-19 crisis appears to be diminishing, with declining infection rates and rising vaccination rates.

If those trends continue, Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged, the state’s economy will be fully opened next month. However, some effects of the pandemic will linger indefinitely and one is a worsening of California’s already severe shortage of housing, particularly for low- and moderate-income families.

Many of those families lost their incomes during the public health crisis and fell behind on their rent and mortgage payments. Whether to extend a state moratorium on evictions beyond its current June 30 expiration date is one of the knottiest issues facing Newsom and legislators.

“It remains to be seen if there’s appetite in Sacramento to extend the protections past June 30,” David Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat who wrote the original eviction moratorium legislation, told CalMatters. “But I don’t think any of my colleagues have an interest in seeing a wave of mass evictions.”

The moratorium may be extended for another brief period, but it can’t go on forever because landlords large and small have their own financial obligations and can’t survive indefinitely without rental revenue.

Underlying that thorny issue is another: even if their jobs had not been erased during the pandemic, many working families would be struggling to keep roofs over their heads because an overall shortage of housing had driven housing prices and rents to atmospheric levels.

EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE: While the winds were certainly vigorous in Northern California yesterday and several brush fires popped up, there is only one on the CalFire incidents page. It's around the Southern California city of Castaic and was last reported to be at 552 acres and 97% contained. The biggest one yesterday in Northern California was the Gunnison Fire northwest of Chico and reached 549 acres before being 100% contained. In both fires, CalFire reports 0 fatalities and no structural damage.

REYNOSO: For the LAT, Gustavo Arellano has a great column about the legacy left by Cruz Reynoso, who passed Friday and I wrote about yesterday.

He came out the better every time someone tried to knock him down. He continued his battles to open doors for those who followed in his wake, and inspired Latinos on the sidelines. During his lifetime, the powers-that-be in California turned from conservatives and liberals alike who favored the gentry to true-blue progressives devoted to uplifting the same underserved communities for whom Reynoso alway advocated.

Reynoso quietly became one of the most influential-yet-unknown Latinos this state has produced. That’s why the outpouring of universal respect in the wake of his death is unlike any I think we’ll ever see with another state Latino leader.

“He was always my example of holding strong to your values,” tweeted Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D–San Diego), a former Reynoso student when she attended UCLA, adding that he was a “hero.”

“Those who knew him recall how this towering figure of Latino civil rights was unfailingly humble and gracious, even towards his opponents,” wrote the United Farm Workers in a press release.

Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, a UC Davis student of Reynoso, remembered how his generation saw Reynoso as “mythical.”

Something Lorena, Luis, and I have in common -- we were all students of Reynoso.

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

COVID-19: California reported 55 deaths yesterday for a total of 61,934 since the pandemic began.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.2%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30 and tied for the lowest 7 days of the pandemic.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 32,139,224 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 40,942,280 
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 13,990,410 (44.0%)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 5,614,969 (17.6%)

-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 48,770 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of May 5, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   4,971
B.1.351    67
P.1  524
B.1.427   6,275
B.1.429  11,844

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 Tuesday's changes, which are bolded and italicized.

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

Statewide tiers map

-school daze: In the Times, Paloma Esquivel and Howard Blume write that in many districts high school students are largely choosing to continue with distance learning when given the option.

L.A. Unified is hardly alone in struggling to persuade high school students to return — or in offering a lean reopening experience.

A few large districts, including Santa Ana Unified and San Bernardino Unified, have not broadly reopened campuses, including for high school students. But most of California’s largest districts are providing a patchwork of reopening approaches based on how local school boards weighed risks and benefits and how they met demands from teacher unions over back-to-campus working conditions. One big district, Corona-Norco Unified, has more than 75% of its students back. In others, it’s closer to 20% with more limited schedules.

Despite detailed planning, the majority of secondary school students in California’s largest districts will end their year much like it began — fully online, according to state data. For many, it will mean 17 or 18 months away from classrooms.

Statewide, about 84% of secondary school students have the option to return to their middle and high schools in some form, according to state data, which do not separate out high schools. An estimated 48% of all secondary students at schools that are open have returned to campus.

However, don't blame slacker high school students staying home to play video games. The NYT's Dana Goldstein reports that many families are making the choice to keep kids of all ages at home.

Only a small slice of American schools remain fully closed: 12 percent of elementary and middle schools, according to a federal survey, as well as a minority of high schools. But the percentage of students learning fully remotely is much greater: more than a third of fourth and eighth graders, and an even larger group of high school students. A majority of Black, Hispanic and Asian-American students remain out of school.

These disparities have put district leaders and policymakers in a tough position as they end this school year and plan for the next one. Even though the pandemic appears to be coming under control in the United States as vaccinations continue, many superintendents say fear of the coronavirus itself is no longer the primary reason their students are opting out. Nor are many families expressing a strong preference for remote learning.

Rather, for every child and parent who has leaped at the opportunity to return to the classroom, others changed their lives over the past year in ways that make going back to school difficult. The consequences are likely to reverberate through the education system for years, especially if states and districts continue to give students the choice to attend school remotely.

Teenagers from low-income families have taken on heavy loads of paid work, especially because so many parents lost jobs. Parents made new child care arrangements to get through the long months of school closures and part-time hours, and are now loath to disrupt established routines. Some families do not know that local public schools have reopened, because of language barriers or lack of effective communication from districts.

Experts have coined the term “school hesitancy” to describe the remarkably durable resistance to a return to traditional learning. Some wonder whether the pandemic has simply upended people’s choices about how to live, with the location of schooling — like the location of office work — now up for grabs. But others see the phenomenon as a social and educational crisis for children that must be combated — a challenge akin to vaccine hesitancy.

This largely explains the sluggish job growth report that came out on Friday and the difficulty of restaurants and other service industries to hire back employees. Additionally, lots of large employers are allowing parents to continue working from home.

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Patrick Donahoe, Joshua Englander, Ruy Laredo, and Kyra Emanuels Ross!



Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, 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]

Congresswoman Doris Matsui seeks a Field Representative experienced in infrastructure policy to join her Sacramento team.

General duties include, but are not limited to, the following: Representing the Congresswoman at public events in the community, creating and organizing events that advance her legislative agenda, advocating before federal agencies on behalf of constituents who have sought assistance, collaborating with local organizations seeking federal grants, and meeting with constituent groups and organizations.

The ideal candidate will be a motivated, hardworking, highly dependable, and an organized professional who possesses strong communication skills and the ability to work well under pressure.

The position requires a driver’s license, a bachelor’s degree, and the ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends.

The candidate would be joining a motivated and cohesive team that is 100% committed to improving the lives of people living in Sacramento and West Sacramento.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Glenda Corcoran:


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:

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!

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!


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 Available in hardback, ebook & audiobook.

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:

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,, or contact us at

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: