Why the 2020s Were California’s Golden Decade

A Letter From the Future Explains How a Series of Disasters Transformed the State

January 1, 2030

To My Sons:

I’m so proud of all three of you. I especially appreciate that, now that you’re 21, 18, and 16 years old, you no longer fight with each other constantly like you did when you were little. You’re all doing well in school and in work, and you have bright futures ahead.

But I also want you to never forget how lucky you’ve been to come of age in California during this now-concluding decade, the Roaring 2020s. Our state is doing so well now that it’s hard to …

Santa, Please Save San Diego! | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Santa, Please Save San Diego!

This Christmas, All America's Finest City Wants Is a Bigger Convention Center

Dear Kris Kringle,

This Christmas, can you save San Diego by bringing the city the one gift its civic elite obsessively wants, but doesn’t get?

I’m talking deep obsession. Yes, Captain …

Why California Is Stuck in the ‘Gray Zone’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why California Is Stuck in the ‘Gray Zone’

Unwilling to Pay for Its Lofty Ambitions, the State Settles for Much Less

California is stuck in the gray zone.

“Gray zone” is a term the military uses to describe the space between peace and war, a time and place that provides opportunities …

Our Block Party Wasn’t as Bad as I Feared | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Block Party Wasn’t as Bad as I Feared

Californians Are Understandably Wary of Their Neighbors, but There's Value in Getting to Know Them

Is it still worth getting to know your neighbors?

I found myself wondering that on a recent Saturday afternoon as I contemplated attending a block party in my San Gabriel Valley …

Frozen’s Queen Elsa Is a Dangerous Autocrat | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Frozen’s Queen Elsa Is a Dangerous Autocrat

Disney’s Animated Franchise Sends Children an Anti-Democratic Message 

So far, our republic has survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, two world wars, and even the 2016 election. But can it survive the new sequel to the mega-hit …

Why Californians Should Party on the Beach Now | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Californians Should Party on the Beach Now

Before Waters Inundate the Coast, We Need to Embrace the Flood and Plan for the Future

Peace out, Pacifica.

Don’t despair, Del Mar.

Never stress, Newport Beach.

Yes, sea levels are rising. Yes, California’s coastline is eroding and changing. And yes, even with Californians taking action against …