Why Not Let the Church You Loathe Save the Theater You Love?

Across California, Growing Congregations and Communities Have Bridged Differences to Preserve Historic Movie Palaces

Have a little faith, Californians.

Even if you can’t stand the religion or politics of your local churches, you might find their congregations to be valuable saviors—of your historic and endangered movie theaters.

In other words, please think twice before engaging in a holy war like the one in Fresno over the historic Tower Theater.

The Tower, first opened in 1939, is an arrow-shaped, Streamline Moderne gem anchoring a neighborhood of retail, restaurants, and arts known as the Tower District. But, like so many of California’s signature theaters, it has struggled, especially …

The Fires California Grieves—And Needs | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Fires California Grieves—And Needs

In Her Scorched Klamath Mountains Community, a Fire Advisor Contemplates Mortality and Renewal

On a recent Sunday, I lay alone by my favorite hometown swimming hole, taking in the familiar sensations of the South Fork Trinity River. The hot sun, the light up-canyon …

To Beat Climate Change, Rural Towns and Farms Need to Head North | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To Beat Climate Change, Rural Towns and Farms Need to Head North

A Policy of ‘Managed Retreat’ Would Move California’s Thirsty Agriculture to a Wetter Part of the State 

Twenty-five years ago, at age 18, I followed my uncle to the top of Mount Lassen for a 10,000-foot view of Northern California’s Fourth of July fireworks. We watched the …

Abolish the California Capital | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Abolish the California Capital

The Pandemic Showed Us the Wonders of a Decentralized State Government

Why bother maintaining a state capital?

Californians certainly shouldn’t. The pandemic demonstrated what things are essential in California, and what things we can live without. Among our superfluous assets: the designation …

California Needs a 3/13 Commission to Investigate School Closures | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California Needs a 3/13 Commission to Investigate School Closures

Why Did Our Kids Lose a Year of Education—And How Can We Prevent This From Happening Again?

If America needs a 1/6 Commission, then California certainly must have a 3/13 Commission.

When an irreplaceable foundation of our free society is threatened, an independent body must investigate so that …

Small Towns Can Create Big Change | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Small Towns Can Create Big Change

From Banning Private Prisons to Universal Broadband and Pre-K, Necessity and Opportunity Allow California Communities to Punch Above Their Weight

Before answering the question of the evening—“What Makes a Good Small Town?”—the panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event had to choose a definition. What, asked moderator and Los Angeles …