Why Is Gavin Newsom Invoking a Failed World War Two-Era Governor?

Culbert Olson Talked A Good Game About Democracy, But He Failed to Protect Californians’ Civil Liberties

If you’re ever inside the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale and hear laughter ringing through the hallways, it’s probably me visiting the tomb of Culbert Olson.

Olson is perhaps the most anomalous figure in California political history. During our long era of Republican dominance (1896-1958), he was the only Democrat to serve as governor. And he was an unapologetic atheist in our god-crazy country, refusing to say “So help me God” while taking the oath of office in 1939. After an ineffective four-year term …

More In: Connecting California

California Democrats Need Real Opposition

A Book By a Leading Republican Demonstrates the State’s Lack of a Counter-Narrative

In our era of one-party rule by complacent Democrats, California might benefit from a coherent and compelling political opposition.

Instead, we keep getting John Cox.

You probably don’t recognize Cox’s name. This …

Don’t Draw Conclusions From the Flags Mrs. Alito and I Choose to Fly | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Don’t Draw Conclusions From the Flags Mrs. Alito and I Choose to Fly

This Columnist Believes in the Right to Freely Choose What Flies in Front of One’s Home

Early last year my city councilmember, who likes to walk his dog through our neighborhood, stopped me as he strolled by.

“Are you Mexican?” he asked.

“Nope, I’m Scots Irish,” I replied. …

California’s Budget Deficit Is Not the Problem

Don’t Worry About Balancing the Books. It’s Our Kafkaesque State Constitution That Needs Fixing

You can tune out Gov. Newsom when he talks about the state’s big budget deficit. Ignore the pleas of Democrats who control the legislature, too. And turn the volume down …

Can the Real San Francisco Airport Please Stand Up?

SFO and OAK Both Want to Claim the Bay Area City, but Neither Is Actually Located There

I’ve never much cared for San Francisco International Airport—until SFO decided to take a courageous stand for truth and accuracy in airport names.

Last month, SFO’s leaders filed a lawsuit to …

Huell Howser Lives!

One Chronicler of Our State Offers His Take on Another

Zócalo is celebrating its 20th birthday! As part of the festivities, we’re publishing reflections and responses that revisit and reimagine some of our most …