Where Bad Air Carries Peril and Promise

Can the Science and Resources That Polluted the San Joaquin Valley Be Poured Into Building a More Just, Livable Region?

California’s San Joaquin Valley is a place of contradictions: It is the most agriculturally productive region in the world, growing over 250 crops and grossing approximately $35 billion in annual sales of everything from fruit and nuts to livestock, wine, milk, and grains. Its 27,000 square miles reside in a geographical sweet spot, with a Mediterranean climate and land watered by once mighty rivers flowing from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The valley possesses incredible cultural diversity, too: People of more than 70 different ethnicities, speaking over 100 languages, call the …

The Marshall Project’s Keri Blakinger | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Marshall Project’s Keri Blakinger

The Title of My Book Sounds Like a Tattoo Memoir

Keri Blakinger is a staff writer at The Marshall Project, where she focuses on prisons and jails, and writes the “Inside Out” column. Before moderating a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation panel …

The Rural Price Tag of California’s Clean Energy Transition

The State Is Scrambling to Find Places to Store Energy—But Even Renewable Sources Make an Environmental Impact

In the spring of 2019, residents of eastern California’s Owens Valley were on the fight. As is usual in that part of the world—where a century of aggressive water extraction …

Why Conflict Should Look Like Streaming TV

To End Polarizing Community Battles, Embrace Complexity

The La Brea Tar Pits may only run a few inches deep, but if you get trapped in the natural asphalt, you can’t get out. In fact, the more you …

After the Prisons Close, Where Does That Leave Rural Communities?

Incarceration Is Big Business In Towns Like Susanville, Which Now Must Find a New Economic and Civic Path Forward

Efforts to close prisons need to come with assistance to rural communities that depend on these institutions, said panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event in the northeast California town …

Journalist Claudia Kolker

I Never Lose My Fountain Pen

Claudia Kolker is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Rice Business Wisdom, the ideas magazine at Rice Business School and author of The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn …