Rough & Tumble ®
A Snapshot of California Public Policy and Politics


California Policy and Politics Thursday

California Supreme Court agrees to consider pulling tax measure from 2024 ballot -- In a rare action, the state Supreme Court granted a hearing Wednesday on a request by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislators to remove an initiative from the November 2024 state ballot that would require voter approval for any increase in state or local taxes or fees. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

L.A. will switch to independent redistricting if voters approve in 2024 election -- The new independent redistricting panel would have 16 commissioners and four alternates, serving 10-year terms. The goal is to curtail council members’ influence over the process. Julia Wick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23

S.F. Mayor Breed could face another opponent in 2024: her predecessor -- A handful of San Francisco residents who are dissatisfied with Mayor London Breed are trying to persuade her predecessor, fellow moderate Mark Farrell, to run against her in the November 2024 election. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

Oakland council comments on Gaza cease-fire have gone viral. But are they ‘cherry-picked’? -- A clip of Monday’s Oakland City Council meeting is drawing national backlash, but it may not represent most of the public comments made. Shira Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

S.F. supervisor to introduce resolution calling for cease-fire in Gaza, release of all hostages -- Supervisor Dean Preston’s office is currently working on language with other supervisors before Tuesday’s meeting. Aldo Toledo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

Credit unions charged millions in overdraft fees -- Credit unions often frame themselves as community-oriented financial institutions, in contrast to big commercial banks. But credit unions chartered in California last year collected over $250 million in overdraft fees. Scott Rodd KPBS -- 11/30/23

Their neighbors lost everything in a massive landslide. Now they fear for their homes -- Rolling Hills Estates aims to shore up the slope that failed in July and destroyed eight homes. But as winter approaches, residents fear heavy rain and renewed disaster. Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23

New law allows more involuntary mental health holds. Should San Diego County delay its implementation? -- Senate Bill 43 would expand number considered “gravely disabled” and county worries that doing so could swamp ERs Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/30/23

Irvine proposed banning single-use plastics. After industry lobbying, city leaders backed off -- The ordinance would have barred restaurants and food retailers from using single-use plastic utensils, foodware and bags, putting it at the forefront of Orange County attempts to combat plastic pollution. Karen Garcia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23


Flaring reported Wednesday night at Martinez refinery -- The incident happened on the same day two Martinez residents filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it has become a public nuisance that is causing severe harm to residents. Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/30/23

Martinez residents sue refinery after a year of accidents shakes community -- The Martinez Refining Company, already facing a series of investigations after a string of industrial accidents, is now being sued by two Martinez residents in a proposed class action lawsuit that demands the company cease operating until it proves it can do so safely. Will McCarthy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/30/23


Broadcom to lay off over 1,200 Bay Area tech workers following $69B VMware deal -- Reports indicate that over 2,000 employees overall are slated for job losses, with a focus on downsizing more than 1,200 roles considered redundant at VMware’s offices in Silicon Valley, according to a WARN notice submitted to the California Employment Development Department. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

Adjunct film professors at USC move to unionize: ‘Enough is enough’ -- In a news release, the AFA-UAW accused the film school of preventing its adjunct professors from teaching more than one class “to avoid providing health and other benefits.” The alleged class cuts have resulted in a “severe” loss of pay, the alliance said. Christi Carras in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23

‘This is a game changer’: Eli Lilly is building coworking labs dedicated to San Diego biotech startups -- The pharmaceutical giant expects the San Diego Lilly Gateway Labs to support 10 companies and more than 120 workers. Natallie Rocha in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/30/23


Tahoe is at a ‘breaking point,’ says new lawsuit that seeks to block development plan -- A new lawsuit aims to halt local government plans to streamline construction of new workforce housing units, hotels and commercial buildings on Tahoe's West Shore. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23


L.A. County says hate crimes surged in 2022, with nearly 75% of them violent -- More than 900 people across L.A. County were victims of hate crimes in 2022, with Black and Jewish people disproportionately targeted, report finds. Rebecca Ellis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23

‘Devastating loss’: Hollywood figure killed inside home in random attack, LAPD says -- Michael Latt, a marketing consultant and social justice advocate with deep ties to Hollywood, was killed Monday at his Los Angeles home. He was 33. Jeremy Childs, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/30/23


Nancy Pelosi served as witness when Dianne Feinstein signed over legal powers -- Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi served as one of two legal witnesses when Sen. Dianne Feinstein gave her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, limited power of attorney over her affairs in July, legal filings show. Shira Stein, Sara Libby in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

Court reinstates UC Berkeley soccer player’s sexual harassment suit against coach -- The 1st District Court of Appeal said abusive conduct that targets a woman, or a group based on their gender, can be considered sexual harassment. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/30/23

Elon Musk Uses ‘F’ Word for Advertisers Boycotting Platform -- Elon Musk said advertisers pulling their ads from his social-media platform X can “go f—yourself.” Alexa Corse in the Wall Street Journal$ Gerrit De Vynck in the Washington Post$ Kate Conger, Remy Tumin in the New York Times$ -- 11/30/23


Wednesday Updates

California vs. Florida: Why are people moving from one state to the other? -- Cross-country moves between progressive California and conservative Florida have taken an outsize role in the rivalry between Govs. Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, who are set to debate Thursday night. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23

Gavin Newsom has defended California’s homelessness crisis. Now he’s embracing controversial policy changes -- Gov. Gavin Newsom is trying to finish the job Ronald Reagan started more than half a century ago as he seeks to transform California’s mental health system — even if it means forcing some people into treatment. Rachel Bluth Politico -- 11/29/23

Newsom vs. DeSantis is also California vs. Florida. Who’s got the better place to live? -- Florida’s got lower taxes. California is more aggressive about protecting the environment. Florida is considered more business-friendly. California is a bit more diverse and, by some measures, residents are more involved with their communities and neighbors. David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/29/23

Walters: Newsom vs. DeSantis: A real debate on the issues or just more mudslinging? -- After months of long-distance exchanges, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will have a face-to-face debate on Thursday. Will it be a mature conversation or just more mudslinging? Dan Walters CalMatters -- 11/29/23

Abcarian: Trump’s plan to subvert American democracy is on the record. Will Republican voters care? Believe Donald Trump when he tells us what he'd do with another White House term: eliminate civil service job protections, jail his political enemies and spit on the Constitution. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23

Blue power: Will ocean waves be California’s new source of clean energy? -- Only a few small demonstration projects off the West Coast have harnessed the power of waves and tides. Costs are high and hurdles are challenging. Julie Cart CalMatters -- 11/29/23

Newsom announces plan to crack down on deadly street drug known as ‘tranq’ -- Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to target dealers trafficking in xylazine, a sedative only authorized for veterinary use, but frequently mixed with fentanyl and detected in overdose deaths. Anabel Sosa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23

From decarbonization to electric cars, California hopes to showcase climate leadership at COP28 -- World leaders are gearing up for COP28, an annual U.N. climate conference that will begin this week in Dubai, and California is expected to play a sizable role in the proceedings. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23

‘Deep disappointment’: Global climate envoy Newsom is alienating environmentalists at home -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has been positioning himself as a global climate leader this year, evangelizing California environmentalism in China and at the United Nations. But at home, he is increasingly at loggerheads with leading environmentalists. Ari Plachta in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/29/23

GM to ‘substantially’ reduce Cruise investment after S.F. crash, CEO says --General Motors plans to “substantially” scale back investments into the company’s Cruise autonomous vehicle division next year. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/29/23

Over objections from both sides of DA Pamela Price recall effort, Alameda County supervisors approve rule changes -- Both sides of the battle contend recall-rule rewrite is unfair. Will McCarthy in the East Bay Times$ -- 11/29/23


What day laborers are hired to do: the dangerous, the gross, the sometimes illegal -- After four day laborers were hired to dump bags of body parts, others recount stories of strange, and sometimes illegal, jobs they were hired to do. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23

Disney has ‘enough room to build another Disneyland’ in Anaheim, chairman says -- ‘We’ve got so much space to play with,’ Disney theme park chairman Josh D’Amaro said during at an employee town hall in New York City. Brady MacDonald in the Orange County Register -- 11/29/23

Talking to Chatbots Is Now a $200K Job. So I Applied -- Welcome to the world of prompt engineering, where you’re paid to get the best answers from AI. Joanna Stern in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 11/29/23


Santa Clara County moves forward with 100% affordable downtown San Jose development -- The 213-unit proposed project includes senior affordable housing and affordable for-sale townhomes. Grace Hase in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/29/23

Cutting-edge affordable homes could sprout in San Jose on vacant lot -- An estimated 174 affordable units would be built in an apartment building on the empty lot, according to documents posted on the San Jose Planning Department website. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/29/23

San Diego home prices rising 2nd fastest in the nation -- The S&P Case-Shiller Indices said San Diego moved up to its highest spot in the 20-city ranking since August 202. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/29/23


Reno Is Beating the Odds in Solving Homelessness -- Number of unsheltered dropped by more than half in this Nevada city after large tent to house its homeless was built. Jim Carlton in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 11/29/23


A California dry farmer’s juicy apples show how agriculture can be done with less water -- Some California growers specialize in dry farming, working with nature to grow apples and melons without irrigation. They tout the approach as a water solution. Ian James in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/29/23


Allegations of sexual violence at Fresno State resurface at nearby City College -- Fresno City College Academic Senate President Tom Boroujeni at center of allegations. Thomas Peele, Lasherica Thornton EdSource -- 11/29/23

Aliso Canyon   Santa Susana

UCLA study looks at cancer, births, ER visits after 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak -- The massive SoCalGas blowout drove nearly 10,000 people from their homes. Health worries remain. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/29/23

Cleanup of toxic ‘burn pit’ at Santa Susana Field Lab will start in the spring -- The 6-acre site bordering San Fernando Valley was a dumping spot for radioactive pollutants. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/29/23


A mysterious pneumonia outbreak is sweeping China. Here’s how it compares to COVID -- China is confronting a wave of respiratory illness among children whose cause is uncertain. But unlike with COVID, health officials assert they have not detected any “unusual or novel diseases.” Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/29/23

Sacramento turns to unexpected solution for downtown crows: A man with an even bigger bird -- For a man with nearly 40,000 Instagram followers, a talent for drawing media attention and a pocket full of raw squirrel meat, Adam Baz is surprisingly soft-spoken. Ariane Lange in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/29/23