Will Granny Flats Replace Green Lawns in California’s Backyards?

Historic Deregulation Is Freeing Homeowners to Build in Hopes of Easing the Growing Housing Crisis

A snarky reader, annoyed at some praise of California’s governor in this space, recently asked: Where exactly do I keep my shrine to Gavin Newsom?

My answer: In the same place everyone should—the backyard.

My little shrine’s location honors one of contemporary California’s crazier contradictions. Even as state government regulates more and more of our lives and livelihoods—even the straws through which we drink—it has embraced a historic deregulation of the spaces behind our homes. And even as Newsom has intruded more deeply into daily realities than any previous governor, he has …

Deuel Vocational Institution

Out With Mass Incarceration and in With Mass Commerce

Can California Call It Progress When Rural Prisons Are Replaced With Retail Warehouses?

As California starts closing prisons, what might open in their place?

I glimpsed one answer to that question while driving to Deuel Vocational Institution, between the San Joaquin County cities of …

Aggressive State Meddling Could Fix California’s Housing Crisis

With Local Governments Crying "NIMBY," Sacramento Must Empower Developers and Home-Seekers

All the debate about how to address California’s massive housing shortage is obscuring the big picture: a state takeover of local housing policy has begun.

That’s the real import of the …

Welcome to the Affluent Central Coast, California’s Child Poverty Capital

How the Rising Cost of Living and, Paradoxically, the Availability of Jobs Are Tough on Families

Californians used to envy residents of our beautiful, wine-and-wealth-drenched Central Coast. Now we have reason to pity them.

And not just because Nicole Kidman has thrown her star power into producing …

What’s Behind California’s Sudden Urge to Help the Homeless?

It’s the Rich, Now Crowded Next to the Destitute in the Housing-Crunched State, Who Are Driving Politicians’ Newfound Attentiveness

How did homelessness suddenly become such a hot issue across California? There are many reasons, and few of them have anything to do with people who are homeless.

Those reasons—economic anxiety, …

Were California and Poland Separated at Birth?

The Golden State’s Long-Lost Twin Is Much Farther East Than Texas or New York

California, I’d like to introduce you to the sister you never knew you had.

Her name is Poland.

No joke.

I see by the look on your face, California, that you are …