Can California Lead a New Reproductive Rights Movement? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Can California Lead a New Reproductive Rights Movement?

In the weeks preceding the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on California to continue to serve as a “beacon of hope” for those seeking abortions. But even within the state, geography often determines individuals’ reproductive rights—access to abortion, but also access to prenatal and pregnancy care, contraception, sex education, and institutions that support parents. …

What Is Our Responsibility for Our Government’s Wars? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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What Is Our Responsibility for Our Government’s Wars?

It’s easy to pin responsibility for war on political leaders or soldiers who commit the worst atrocities, from rape and torture to bombings of civilians and ethnic cleansing. But experts note that, because of technology and other factors, modern conflicts in particular “[blur] the lines among soldiers and civilians, winners and losers.” And the injuries that accompany war—moral as well …

Will Americans Ever Be In This Together? with Heather McGhee | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Will Americans Ever Be In This Together? with Heather McGhee

From tax cuts and voting rights to healthcare and labor coalitions, middle- and working-class Americans frequently vote for politicians and support policies that go against their interests. The reason, argues economic and social policy scholar Heather McGhee, is racism. Prosperity and success, as the majority sees it, is a zero-sum game: Whatever benefits Black Americans, as well as immigrants and …

What Do We Want From the Next L.A. Mayor? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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What Do We Want From the Next L.A. Mayor?

Mayoral candidates in Los Angeles love to offer plans and make promises. But in L.A., City Hall is more likely to follow than to lead. Change here has always come from Angelenos themselves, and the ways we interact with each other and cope with the accidents, disasters, and ongoing challenges that define life in L.A. Before June’s first-round mayoral election, …

Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like? With Shirley Weber | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like? With Shirley Weber

Direct democracy is supposed to be a people’s process, allowing everyday citizens to enact their own ideas for laws or constitutional amendments. But does California’s system live up to that promise? Qualifying a measure for the ballot costs so many millions of dollars that only the richest people and interests can bring their proposals forward. Elected and appointed officials have …

Can We All Live in the Best Version of Los Angeles? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Can We All Live in the Best Version of Los Angeles?

Food, art, culture, weather, beaches, mountains—and people, from all over the world and with a broad range of talents and dreams—make Los Angeles an amazing place to live. A homelessness and housing crisis, drought, traffic, inequality, and political dysfunction can make Los Angeles an impossible place to live. The county is home to areas with the lowest and highest rates …