THE BUZZ GET READY: Come gather round readers, wherever you roam because the state Legislature, it is a-changin.
A once-in-a-decade confluence of developments is set to launch a sweeping Sacramento shift. Three factors are likely to fuel an extraordinary level of turnover: redistricting, term limits and Democrats grim prospects for maintaining their congressional majorities. We have already seen some dominoes begin to topple, and the looming release of new district maps will likely accelerate the process. Lets walk through the landscape a bit:
TERMED OUT:The state Assembly class elected in 2012 constituted the largest bloc of new lawmakers in decades. That also means an enormous number of state lawmakers will be forced out of office in 2024, and a slightly smaller but still substantial number of state Assembly members will need to leave by 2026. Those classes cumulatively add up to a majority of the state Assembly, and theyre predominantly Democrats. Most current state Senate seats could turn over by 2026. And oh, yeah both state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins will be out by 2024.
DRAWN IN: California will get new House, state Assembly and state Senate districts by the end of December. State lawmakers are already furiously parsing the draft maps to see who will have to run against a fellow incumbent or call in the moving trucks, since dozens of members are in overlapping areas. Remember: Members of the Legislature, unlike their congressional counterparts, have to live in the area they represent or risk legal consequences.
GIVEN UP: A sense of foreboding has enshrouded Democrats as they look ahead to the 2022 midterms. Signs point to Republicans flipping the House, and you can bet that incumbent Democrats would have little interest in serving under a Speaker Kevin McCarthy, particularly those who have been serving for a while. The combined prospects of needing to learn new districts and serving in the minority could nudge some veterans toward the exits. And that could mean still more Sacramento vacancies, as members look to make the jump to Congress.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington. | AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Were already starting to see this play out. Rep. Jackie Speier may have offered a preview of whats to come last week when the Bay Area Democrat announced she will not run for another term. State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, a former Speier aide who represents the same area and happens to be termed out in 2024, has telegraphed a run. (He could vie with Gina Papan. Shes the daughter of Lou Papan a Speier antagonist during their time in Sacramento, in part because Speier declined to endorse Gina to succeed Lou and instead backed Gene Mullin, Kevin Mullins father.) San Mateo Supervisor David Canepa is also in, underscoring that theres no shortage of ambitious folks who would be interested in one of the coveted Bay Area House seats that Democratic incumbents have occupied for decades.
Soon-to-be-exiled state legislators had been gravitating toward new horizons even before Speiers announcement. Among the 2024 termouts: State Assemblymember Marc Levine is challenging state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara; state Assemblymember Richard Bloom is running for L.A. supervisor; state Assemblymember Rudy Salas is running for Congress; and some union officials have been trying to draft state Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez to take over the California Labor Federation.
Such changes have profound implications for power and policymaking in Sacramento. For instance: Gonzalez, Salas and Mullin are all loyal lieutenants of Rendon, who could be managing an influx of fresh faces and losing some close allies while needing to find a gig in the not-too-distant future. Folks took notice last week when Rendon demoted state Assemblymember Evan Low often mentioned as someone who might organize a challenge to Rendon by replacing him as chair of the influential Business and Professions Committee.
This is supposedly the offseason, with the Legislature out of session and no elections on the calendar. But the upheaval is just getting started. Were starting to see the clouds form. That could become a deluge once those new maps drop.
BUENOS DÍAS, good Monday morning. Were back! Were off again Thursday and Friday to overeat and feel thankful, but rest assured well bring you all the California politics news in the meantime.
Got a tip or story idea for California Playbook? Hit [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @jeremybwhite.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Personally, I didnt think I could go this long. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during a record-breaking eight-and-a-half-hour floor speech.
TWEET OF THE DAY: California Sen. @AlexPadilla4CA, as the Senate prepares to take on Democrats big spending bill: Name one thing that is not in the Constitution and is being used to strangle democracy. I’ll go first: THE FILIBUSTER.
WHERES GAVIN? Nothing official announced.
REDISTRICTING TRACKER We just launched our 2021-22 redistricting tracker, a comprehensive, data-driven feature profiling how the next decade of Americas political geography is being rewritten state by state.
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LOOTING AND VANDALISM Unacceptable: Mayor Breed says changes will be coming to SF after brazen Union Square robbery, by ABC7s Cornell Barnard: San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Police Chief William Scott addressed the looting and vandalism that took place at San Francisco’s Union Square Friday night. What happens when people vandalize and commit those level of crimes in San Francisco. We not only lose those businesses, we lose those jobs. We lose that tax revenue that helps to support our economy that helps to support many of the social service programs that we have in the city in the first place. We can’t allow that to happen, [Mayor Breed] said.
Walnut Creek police warn of more looting tonight; stores urged to close early after Nordstrom was ransacked, by the Mercury News Gabriel Greschler: On Saturday night, two men and one woman were arrested after dozens of looters ransacked the Nordstrom store during what police called an organized and planned robbery. Approximately 80 people were involved in the incident, which occurred shortly before 9 p.m. when Nordstrom and other stores at the center were still open.
QUARANTINED Bacteria Bear statue is relocated to make way for Capitol Annex Project, by The Sac Bees Andrew Sheeler: The bronze bear statue lovingly nicknamed Bacteria Bear has moved. The statue, which has stood outside the California governors office since it was purchased by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009, was moved Friday to make way for the State Capitol Annex Project construction. (Video via the governors office.)
BALLPARK BROKERING As make offer on potential ballpark site in Las Vegas area, by the SF Chronicles Matt Kawahara: The As have put in an offer to buy a piece of land in the Las Vegas area that could potentially hold a new ballpark if the team were to relocate there, The Chronicle confirmed.
CALIFORNIA AND THE CAPITOL CORRIDOR
TOP CHOICE Newsom energy aide seen as top contender for CPUC president, by POLITICOs Colby Bermel: Gov. Gavin Newsom is seriously considering top energy aide Alice Reynolds to lead the Public Utilities Commission, one of California’s most powerful agencies. … Reynolds would likely accelerate action on the state’s climate goals, as the governor and his staff have contemplated, and work to avoid rolling blackouts like the ones experienced in 2020.
GIVE HIM CREDIT “SEIU Local 1000 president used union credit card for laundry, weight loss clinic,” by The Sac Bee’s Wes Venteicher: “While the laundry and medical spending dont make up a large sum of money, they raise questions about whether Brown is spending dues in the best interest of members.”
DOWN TO ONE Its the last California jail used by ICE. And hes the only immigrant detainee inside it, by the SF Chronicles Deepa Fernandes: Clanging metal gates punctured the silence as a guard came to check on Ricardo Vasquez Cruz. Despite having an entire cellblock to himself, Cruz sat alone in his yellow-walled cell fretting that a fourth holiday season would pass behind bars.
NOW HIRING EVERYONE Im dying right now: San Diego labor shortages continue as jobless rate dips, by The San Diego Union-Tribunes Phillip Molnar: San Diego Countys jobless rate hit its lowest point of the pandemic in October, but labor force participation remains low. San Diegos rate is still higher than the national average of 4.3 percent but lower than the California average of 6.1 percent.
ICYMI Stressed school leaders urge California lawmakers to keep student vaccine exemptions, by POLITICOs Mackenzie Mays: The issue over whether K-12 students should be allowed a personal belief exemption for the coronavirus shot is shaping up to be the biggest battle in the Capitol next year, one that could divide state Democrats.
Hes Remaking Criminal Justice in L.A. But How Far Is Too Far? by The NYT Magazines Emily Bazelon and Jennifer Medina: To keep people out of prison, George Gascón is risking everything: rising violent crime, a staff rebellion and the votes that made him district attorney.
HARM REDUCTION As S.F. pursues drug use sites, people battling addiction weigh in: You think we like being out here like this? by the SF Chronicles Trisha Thadani and Kevin Fagan: To help provide some respite to … the thousands of others grappling with addiction on San Franciscos streets, city officials are working on opening a space where people can use drugs inside and around medical professionals.
Californians Flee the Coast to Inland Cities in a Mass Pandemic-Era Exodus, by WSJs Christine Mai-Duc and Paul Overberg: Increasingly, the states middle class is moving to inland desert and mountain communities. Its coastal cities such as L.A. and San Francisco are housing more of its affluent residents and low-income people who cant afford to move.
NAME CHANGE? Should the community of Squaw Valley change its name? by CalMatters Melissa Montalvo: Residents and activists are urging Fresno County change the name of Squaw Valley community. They say its derogatory to Native American women.
OP-ED Republicans are coming for Californias public schools. And they could actually win, opines EdSources Louis Freedberg for the SF Chronicle: [Two] initiatives would divert billions that would normally go to public schools into private education savings accounts for parents.
PAIN AT THE PUMP Think Gas Prices Are Too High? In This California County, a Gallon Costs $6, by WSJs Alicia A. Caldwell.
BIDEN, HARRIS AND THE HILL
PELOSIS LEGACY As Bidens big bill advances, so does Pelosis big legacy, by the APs Lisa Mascaro: Deep into the grueling negotiations over President Joe Bidens big domestic policy package, when it seemed that bickering among Democrats would never stop, Speaker Nancy Pelosi let everyone in on a little secret. This, she confided quite publicly to reporters some time ago, is the fun part.
Judge says Devin Nunes family payment agreement in Iowa lawsuit is not suspicious, by The Sac Bees Gillian Brassil: The way that Congressman Devin Nunes family is financing its defamation lawsuit against a journalist and magazine company over a story about their Iowa farm does not raise concerns, a federal judge wrote this week.
As Kamala Harris takes criticism, Democrats in a bind as they look to 2024 and 2028, by the LA Times Noah Bierman and Melanie Mason: Ten months into the new administration, the perception that Biden was anointing Harris has become a source of tension among Democrats, as growing worries over Harris political stature collide with concerns that any move to sideline her would alienate the voters needed to win elections and undercut the partys promise of equity.
Inside a California health care union’s obsession with kidney dialysis initiatives, by POLITICOs Victoria Colliver: California voters are beginning to feel trapped in the electoral version of Groundhog Day. For the third straight election cycle, they are being asked to make complex decisions about kidney dialysis. The last two dialysis initiatives failed resoundingly. But for the union behind the bids, victory at the ballot box may not be the point.
How do you solve a problem like Tracy? Redistricting commission grapples with what makes a community, by the SF Chronicles Tal Kopan: The small but growing city of 93,000 in southern San Joaquin County, along with its neighbors like Mountain House, Lathrop and Manteca, has emerged as a conundrum for the citizen commission as it works to draw political boundaries that will dictate Californians representation at the state and federal levels for the next decade.
Latino, Asian American, LGBTQ activists: They want to shape Californias congressional maps, by the LA Times Seema Mehta: Activists are urging the creation of a congressional district that links LGBTQ populations in Long Beach and coastal northern Orange County. Civil-rights groups say a plan to split up a Los Angeles-area district the most heavily Latino in the nation violates the Voting Rights Act. Asian Americans warn that a proposal to carve the San Gabriel Valley into pieces would dilute their voice at a time of terrifying violence against their community.
An LA Councilman Tried to Help the Homeless. Now He May Lose His Job, by the Nations Piper French: In a city where homelessness has become the defining political issue, one that may well decide the 2022 mayoral race, [Mike] Bonin is one of very few local politicians determined to eschew police enforcement of anti-homeless laws in favor of conducting sustained outreach and building new housing.
HOT TAKE California should return to good old-fashioned gerrymandering for democracys sake, opines Josh Gohlke in the Fresno Bee: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggers pro-democratic, anti-Democrat reform threatens to play a pivotal and ironic role in hastening the end of American democracy.
Facebook knew its algorithms were biased against people of color, by WaPos Elizabeth Dwoskin, Nitasha Tiku and Craig Timberg: Researchers urged executives to adopt an aggressive overhaul of its software system that would primarily remove only those hateful posts before any Facebook users could see them. But Facebooks leaders balked at the plan.
OOPS Tesla suffers worldwide app server outage, owners cant connect to their cars, by Elektreks Fred Lambert.
BUDTENDER TO GANJIER Can certified Ganjiers do for cannabis what sommeliers do for wine? New California program aims to find out, by the Orange County Registers Brooke Staggs: Indica vs. sativa is old news. New experts are ranking cannabis on 31 criteria, from the class of terpenes to the complexity of the flavors.
It was supposed to be their big break. Now two 24-year-olds are at the center of the Rust shooting investigation, by the LA Times Julia Wick, Meg James, Amy Kaufman and Anousha Sakoui: When Hannah Gutierrez Reed landed a job working on the Alec Baldwin western Rust, she couldnt believe her luck. It was unusual for a 24-year-old who had only been in charge of guns on one prior feature film to get a head armorer position let alone additional prop responsibility. She would work in New Mexico alongside Sarah Zachry, also 24, who had been hired as the movies property master.
PRESSURE TO PULL OUT Fiancee of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi urges Justin Bieber to cancel Saudi show, by the APs Aya Batrawy via the LA Times.
RAINING CASH Armored truck spills money on California freeway sparking cash-grab frenzy, by NBCs Minyvonne Burke.
FOUR COUNTS OF ARSON Former Professor Is Indicted in Arson Spree in California, by NYTs Christine Hauser.
REDIRECTING FUNDS UC Davis defunds its police department and replaces with ‘public safety policy analyst in student affairs, by Daily Mails Adam Manno.
WATCH How online shopping is polluting Californias Inland Empire, by the LA Times Jackeline Luna.
Police, firefighters and supporters rally at Balboa Park against San Diegos vaccine mandate, by The San Diego Union-Tribunes Alex Riggins.
PARDONED Gavin Newsom pardons two members of California tribes during Native American Heritage Month, by The Sac Bees Sophia Bollag.
An Orange County restaurant blasts anti-vaccination message at Venice Beach, by the LA Times James Rainey.
A fire ravaged this Fresno tortilla chip factory. Can the family-owned business recover? by the Fresno Bees Nadia Lopez.
ENGAGED Sofia Rose Gross,head of policy partnerships and social impact at Snap and a public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy Reserve, on Sunday got engaged to Michael Haft, co-founder of Compass Coffee. The couple met on Bumble she swiped right because his profile said he had served in the Marine Corps (and she thought he was very cute) and she was thinking about applying for the Navy Reserve. so wanted some advice but then the two ended up falling in love. He proposed Sunday morning on one of their regular Sunday jogs. Pics
TODAY: Sammy Jordan
SUNDAY: Jasmine Mora Goldie Hawn … Judge Beth Freeman … Jonathan Wornick
SATURDAY: Robert Edmonson of Speaker Nancy Pelosis office Heidi Monkarsh … Jesse Bronner Yahoos Julie Hyman Nikki Buffa Marutsos of Latham & Watkins
Jay Last, One of the Rebels Who Founded Silicon Valley, Dies at 92, by The NYTs Cade Metz: He and seven others left the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to create their own silicon company, Fairchild Semiconductor, which is now seen as ground zero for the West Coast tech industry.
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