California’s Budget Deficit Is Not the Problem

Don’t Worry About Balancing the Books. It’s Our Kafkaesque State Constitution That Needs Fixing

You can tune out Gov. Newsom when he talks about the state’s big budget deficit. Ignore the pleas of Democrats who control the legislature, too. And turn the volume down when Sacramento lobbies complain about the proposed cuts.

California’s ballooning budget deficits, and the cuts to services they cause, are not a crisis. They are not really news. They are, sadly, normal and predictable.

And they are grounded not in budgeting mistakes—lapses of discipline in collecting revenue or controlling spending—but in our state constitution and in a reality so paradoxical it would …

Will California’s Quest for Clean Energy Get in the Way of Land Back?

PG&E and a Chumash Tribe Had a Deal for Diablo Canyon. Until the State Stepped In

In 2019, the California public utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced that once its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant closed, they would sell the land it sits on—12,000 acres …

The Unsung Heroes of the Boxing World

Mismatched Fighters Help Up-and-Coming Champs Bolster Their Records in a Winner-Takes-All Industry

In the name of beer sales and taco Tuesday nights, Cinco de Mayo has morphed from a symbol of anti-imperialist struggle into a lucrative marketing opportunity for corporate America. Cinco …

Huell Howser Lives!

One Chronicler of Our State Offers His Take on Another

Zócalo is celebrating its 20th birthday! As part of the festivities, we’re publishing reflections and responses that revisit and reimagine some of our most …

A Movie That Might Be Worse Than Civil War

‘Civil War’ Offers A Vision of California Fighting the U.S. That Matches Foreign Propaganda—and Misses the Point

The new film Civil War is a historic cinematic achievement. British director Alex Garland has made a movie that might be worse than a real American civil war.

Perhaps that was …

In Search of the ‘Tomato King’

Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil

There is only one person more obsessed than I when it comes to the memory of Don Andrés Bermúdez: his son, Andrés Junior. Junior lives with his family in the …