Why Monterey’s 250th Birthday Bodes Well for California’s Future

The Peninsula City Has Long Embodied the Golden State’s Ability to Be a Hideaway That Welcomes Both Immigrants and Ideas

Monterey turns 250 years old next month. And the rest of the state should claim the date as its birthday too.

California is an orphan of a state, and Monterey’s beginnings are the closest thing we have to a birth story. Admission Day—September 9, 1850, when California became an American state—doesn’t really amount to a birthday, since California was a province of two other countries, Spain and Mexico, long before that. Other birthday options are problematic, too. We can’t know the exact day, thousands of years ago, when …

More In: Connecting California

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband

Gonzales’ Victory Is a Lesson on Power, and How Communities Can Beat the Odds

If California is really the global tech capital it claims to be, why is it so hard for the state’s small towns to get the top-notch internet broadband service they …

I Deserve an ‘A’ For Flunking My Kids’ Distance Learning | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Deserve an ‘A’ for Flunking My Kids’ Distance Learning

Yes, I’m Doing a Poor Job—But Parents Have Become the Scapegoats for a Failing System

I’m proudly doing my duty as a California parent. I’m flunking distance learning.

Distance learning is the term for our new COVID 19-era educational regime, which forces teachers and students to …

Why California’s Weakest Local Governments Should Not Survive COVID-19 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why California’s Weakest Local Governments Should Not Survive COVID-19

Instead of Mourning Their Collapse, We Should Consolidate Local Governments to Make Them More Powerful

California is finally getting the local government apocalypse it has long needed.

And, thankfully, it’s going to be even worse than I had hoped.

For the record, I love and revere local …

How San Diego’s Worst Politician Ended Up in the White House | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How San Diego’s Worst Politician Ended Up in the White House

Peter Navarro’s Sudden Influence Shows What Happens When Anger and Accusation Dominate the Nation’s Conversation

In the 20th century, we learned the Peter Principle: if you seek to rise in a hierarchy, you’ll get promoted until you reach your level of incompetence.

In the 21st century, …

Now Is the Time for California to Think Big, Again | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Now Is the Time for California to Think Big, Again

Will the State Use This Moment to Be Ambitious—Or Shrink Back Into Its Old Habit of Budget Cuts?

Coronavirus is forcing Californians to isolate themselves. But it has brought us together in one big way: by fusing all of our biggest problems into one colossal crisis.

That crisis could …