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 when Sacramento lobbies complain about the proposed cuts.

California’s ballooning budget deficits, and the cuts to services they cause, are not a crisis. They are not really news. They are, sadly, normal and predictable.

And they are grounded not in budgeting mistakes—lapses of discipline in collecting revenue or controlling spending—but in our state constitution and in a reality so paradoxical it would …

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In L.A., Driving the Road to Black Empowerment

For Families Like Mine, Cars Were an Engine of Social and Economic Mobility

This essay publishes alongside next week’s Zócalo and Destination Crenshaw event, “Is Car Culture the Ultimate Act of Community in Crenshaw?” Register here to …

What Does ‘Neutral’ Mean in the Chemistry Lab?

Words Are the Major Currency in Scientific Communication—We Should Get Them Right

Can we, and should we, ever really be neutral? In a new series, Zócalo explores the idea of neutrality—in politics, sports, gender, journalism, international …

Bono for Mayor | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Bono for Mayor

It Could Be a ‘Beautiful Day’ for Local Democracy in Dublin and Around the World

“Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” —James Joyce, “The Dead,” Dubliners

Dear …

What Do Indian Women Want from This Election?

They’re Voting in Historic Numbers. But It Might Not Make Them Happier or More Prosperous

Since April 19, the day general elections began in India, voters have queued up outside polling booths, braving a muggy, scorching heatwave. The mood appears mostly upbeat. Voters talk to …

Two people, Governor Gavin Newsom and Republican challenger state senator Brian Dahle sit at the desk to the left. The desk has the California state symbol in front. On the desk on the right is Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos. Their desk has the letters "KQED" on the front. The background large digital screen reads "California Gubernatorial Debate."

For Political Journalists, Neutrality Isn’t the Goal

It’s Objectivity, and Being on the Side of the Truth in an Intellectually Dishonest Era

Can we, and should we, ever really be neutral? In a new series, Zócalo explores the idea of neutrality—in politics, sports, gender, journalism, international …