California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster

In the New Memoir Miracle Country, a Preview of Our Windblown, Fiery, Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic Potential

How will Californians ever recover from this year of apocalypse and conflict, of pandemic and fire, when landscapes and lives were broken, seemingly forever? Where can we find a miracle?

In California’s Miracle Country.

Miracle Country is the title of Kendra Atleework’s new and magical memoir about her life in the Eastern Sierra. The book begins with the 2015 fire that decimated her 200-person hometown, Swall Meadows, north of Bishop and 7,000 feet above sea level (“marking the border between desert and sky”). And it is full of unforgettable stories about how …

Madrid Has 57 Councilmembers. Seoul Has 110. Why Does L.A. Have 15? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Madrid Has 57 Councilmembers. Seoul Has 110. Why Does L.A. Have 15?

More Mayoral Authority Won't Empower California Cities; Electing More of Your Neighbors to Local Posts Will

If you want to make your California city government stronger, don’t make your mayor more powerful. Instead, make your city council bigger.

This summer, two of our state’s most thoughtful …

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star

Let Nonpartisan Scientists and Doctors Lead the State’s Daily COVID-19 Briefings

Dear Governor,

Your lunchtime COVID-19 briefings—“Newsom at Noon”—are must-see TV.

No California governor has ever had such a regular, closely observed platform, and you are making the most of it. Your …

Megafires Are Getting More Dangerous—But We Can Better Prepare for Them | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Megafires Are Getting More Dangerous—But We Can Better Prepare for Them

To Coexist With a Fierier Planet, We Need to Stop Viewing Fire as the Enemy

Megafires—wildfires that burn more than 100,000 acres of land—have long been a fact of life across the American West and elsewhere. But as such fires grow larger and more frequent …

California’s Powerful, but Obscure, Answer to the COVID Jobs Crisis | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Powerful, but Obscure, Answer to the COVID Jobs Crisis

You May Never Have Heard of Your Local Workforce Development Boards, but They Know How to Move the State Forward

We can bring jobs back to California, and we can do it right now. The latest employment numbers should provide the sense of urgency. An additional 287,354 new unemployment insurance …