This Is How We Saved the Middle Class in the 1980s

We Faced Inequality and Unemployment 35 Years Ago. What We Did Then Could Work Again Now.

It’s easy to think that, in the world of employment and anti-poverty programs, nothing ever changes, that the same joblessness continues even as the government spends billions of dollars each year.

I know this isn’t true. For the past two years, I have been working with archivists Michael Dolgushkin and Shelby Kendrick, sifting through old files and records on employment from the 1970s and 1980s. The work is part of a California State Library research effort to catalogue employment-training strategies in California. I have worked in and with local job-training …

More In: inequality

Last Year There Were 800 Fewer Homicides in L.A. Than in 1992

The Recent Crime Surge Doesn’t Compare to the Tsunami of Violence 20 Years Ago

The recent surge in the violent crime rate in Los Angeles after more than a decade of decline, the hostility in inner cities against law enforcement, the high-profile incidents of …

Every Asthma Attack Is Its Own Perfect Storm

The More We Study the Disease, the More Complex We Understand It to Be

About a month ago, I received a call from a journalist wanting my perspective on recent data showing an increase in asthma ER visits in certain parts of California, particularly …

There Isn’t One Answer to Ending Poverty

Mid-Sized Cities Like Fresno Should Better Capitalize on Resources and Improve Existing Opportunities to Help the Poor

In 1984, Dan Whitehurst, then-mayor of Fresno, California, appeared on Late Night With David Letterman to discuss a depressing distinction: his city had been ranked the least livable in America …

Why California Should Position Itself as a Mecca for the Poor

For One, It's a Strategy That Worked for the United States of America

Fresno regularly ranks as one of the poorest metro areas in the United States. So why do people keep moving there?

The short, if incomplete, answer: Fresno is in California. And …

The Muddy Ethics of Detroit’s Water

The City’s Future Looks Grim as Access to Clean Water Becomes a Rich Person’s Commodity

One early morning last week, I was groggily brushing my teeth when I realized the water pouring out of my faucet was yellow. Like urine.

I dry heaved. Spit the toothpaste …