Caitlyn Jenner’s Campaign Can’t Get A Foothold

When Caitlyn Jenner launched her bid for governor in late April, the Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete and reality television star’s website had just two options: “Shop” and “Donate.”

The gubernatorial candidate wouldn’t stake out her first policy position until a week later, when a camera-wielding paparazzo in the parking lot of an upscale Malibu strip mall asked Jenner for her opinion on legislation in various states that would ban transgender girls from playing girls’ sports in school.

The most prominent transgender candidate in American political history paused to shepherd her dog Baxter into her Cadillac Escalade, turned back to the camera and said she opposed “biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school.” Jenner’s position put her in diametric opposition to LGBTQ advocacy groups around the country, who have been battling a record number of anti-trans bills pushed by conservatives in more than 30 states. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

The Hourly Pay You Need To Afford Rent on a S.F. Apartment

When Buddy Hall led his last tour to Muir Woods in March 2020, he didn’t know how hard the pandemic was about to hit San Francisco’s tourism industry. Sixteen months later, Hall, 62, is staring down overdue credit cards and $11,000 in back rent on the two-bedroom apartment his family of four has called home since 1993.

Aside from a few language translation gigs, work remains scarce. He applied for the state’s rent relief program in April, but hasn’t heard back.

“How do I get out of this?” Hall said. “I had enough trouble making enough income for San Francisco before COVID.”

A new report shows that Hall’s story reflects a widening gap between Bay Area renters. The new analysis by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that it takes a household income of $68.33 an hour — more than four times the local $16.32 minimum wage — to comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment in the San Francisco area. …

Click here to read the full article from the SF Chronicle.

California Lawmakers Will Vote On Guaranteed Income Grants

Removed from her mother’s custody at age 17, Naihla De Jesus bounced between living with an aunt, a godmother and a boyfriend until landing in a transitional housing program for former foster kids.

She became ineligible for that program when she turned 24 last year, which normally would have ended her government assistance as a foster child. Instead, the taxpayers of Santa Clara County have been paying her $1,000 per month with no restrictions on how she can spend it, part of a unique “guaranteed income” program targeting former foster care children.

Now, the California Legislature is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would help pay for guaranteed income programs like this across the state. It would be the first state-funded program of its kind in the country, a major step for supporters whose goal is to take guaranteed income nationally. …

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press.

50 Percent of Those Released From S.F. Jail Before Trial Were Accused of a New Crime While Free

Roughly half of people charged with crimes and released from jail before their trials in San Francisco in recent years failed to show up for court, and a similar share were accused of committing a new crime while free, a new study found.

More than 1 in 6 defendants allegedly committed a new violent offense, according to the findings from May 2016 to December 2019 published by the California Policy Lab, based at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

The factors behind the statistics are complex, experts and advocates said, and present challenges for the city’s effort to reduce the number of low-risk people in jail before they’re convicted of a crime and get them the support they may need to better their lives.

The data doesn’t include many of the lowest risk defendants who get a citation reminding them to show up at court and are released immediately. Numbers could also be driven in part by homelessness and addiction that can fuel crimes and hinder people from showing up for court. One in three people in San Francisco jails were unhoused and nearly 3 out of 4 had a history of substance use in recent counts. …

Click here to read the full article from the SF Chronicle.

Lawsuits Challenge California’s Corporate Board Diversity Quotas

California faces a federal court challenge to state laws that require public companies to diversify their boards, including a first-in-the-nation mandate requiring companies to include minorities.

The “quota regime” imposed by laws that call for gender and racial balance violate the U.S. Constitution and hurt others seeking corporate director positions, the Austin, Texas-based Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment said in a complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles. A separate group had earlier filed two suits against the laws in state court.

The Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment is led by Edward Blum, the longtime conservative activist and affirmative-action foe. Blum spearheaded an unsuccessful legal fight by Students for Fair Admissions Inc. to stop Harvard University from using race as a factor in admissions.

An appeal is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also was involved in a successful challenge to limits imposed by the Voting Rights Act, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shelby County, Ala., in 2013. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Gavin Newsom Loses Court Fight To Be Listed As A Democrat On Recall Ballot

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will not have his party affiliation next to his name when voters receive their recall ballots in a few weeks, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled on Monday.

Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles said in his ruling that the secretary of state’s office does not have a responsibility to repair a mistake made by Newsom’s attorneys.

Arguelles further wrote that a 2019 state law regarding elections does not compel candidates to identify party affiliation.

“It is clear from both the text and the legislative history that SB 151 does not consider information about an elected officer’s party affiliation so vital voters that it must be included on the ballot,” Arguelles wrote. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee.

Newsom Administration Denies Fracking Permits

California state regulators have denied a string of applications to drill for oil using the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, a move Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office described Friday as the beginning of the end for fracking in the state.

The 21 fracking applications, which sought new operations in the oil-rich fields of Kern County, were turned down Thursday because of what the California Department of Conservation cited as a need to protect public health and address climate change.

Supporters of the move called it the first time the state has significantly limited fracking for health and climate purposes. Many have been pushing for such action for years. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

California Wildfire Advances as Heat Wave Blankets US West

Firefighters struggled to contain an exploding Northern California wildfire under blazing temperatures as another heat wave blanketed the West, prompting an excessive heat warning for inland and desert areas.

Death Valley in southeastern California’s Mojave Desert reached 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 Celsius) on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service’s reading at Furnace Creek. The shockingly high temperature was actually lower than the previous day, when the location reached 130 F (54 C).

If confirmed as accurate, the 130-degree reading would be the hottest high recorded there since July 1913, when Furnace Creek desert hit 1,34 F (57 C), considered the highest measured temperature on Earth.

About 300 miles (483 kilometers) northwest of the sizzling desert, the largest wildfire of the year in California was raging along the border with Nevada. The Beckwourth Complex Fire — a combination of two lightning-caused fires burning 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Lake Tahoe — showed no sign of slowing its rush northeast from the Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday. …

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press.

Gov. Newsom Asks Residents To Cut Water Usage By 15%

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday asked residents to curb household water consumption by 15% as the U.S. West grapples with a prolonged drought and record-breaking temperatures.

During a press conference in San Luis Obispo County, the governor added nine more counties to the state’s drought emergency declaration. Newsom’s request for people to curb water usage is not mandatory.

The emergency proclamation now covers 50 out of 58 counties as the state experiences depleted water reservoirs amid an ongoing drought. The counties added to the list are San Luis Obispo, Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara. …

Click here to read the full article from CNBC

California Coronavirus Cases Rise For First Time In Months

After months of steady declines, coronavirus infections are once again on the rise in California as the state struggles with slowing daily vaccination rates and the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

While it’s too soon to say whether the upticks are a trend or a blip, health experts and state officials expressed confidence that California’s reopening and the return of something resembling normality were not in jeopardy.

“This is the call to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated: Get vaccinated,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a briefing Wednesday. “What more evidence do you need?”

There is widespread scientific consensus that fully vaccinated people have an excellent chance of being protected from severe illness or death from any coronavirus strain, including Delta. In both Los Angeles and San Diego counties over the past half-year, 99.8% of people who died from COVID-19 had not been inoculated. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.