The Zombie Building That Ate San Diego

Can the Rest of California Learn From the City Losing Millions on an Empty Office Tower?

As Californians figure out what to do with thousands of buildings made empty by pandemic and recession, we should hold ourselves to a baseline standard: Let’s not be as scared and as stupid as San Diego.

In recent months, America’s Finest City has seen its most civic-minded brains eaten not by zombies, but by a long-empty downtown office building. Perhaps compensating for the absence of typical Halloween rites, San Diegans have grown so frighteningly obsessed with the horrors at 101 Ash Street that they sometimes seem incapable of discussing anything else.

“Are …

When Will Californians Start Spending Again? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Will Californians Start Spending Again?

For Lower Income Residents, Consumer Confidence Continues to Slide

California isn’t just the world’s fifth largest economy—it’s also a global capital of consumer culture. And now its culture, and the everyday habits of its people, are being profoundly disrupted …

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 …

Live on Twitter: Will Anyone Ever Be Able to Afford to Live in California? with Jerry Nickelsburg and Erika Aguilar | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Anyone Ever Be Able to Afford to Live in California?

Housing Affordability Is a Long-Term Problem, but COVID Could Help Reset the Conversation

On June 24, the UCLA Anderson Forecast predicted a difficult economic future for California and reported that the U.S. economy is in a “Depression-like crisis.” What does this mean for …

Now Is the Time for California to Think Big, Again | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Now Is the Time for California to Think Big, Again

Will the State Use This Moment to Be Ambitious—Or Shrink Back Into Its Old Habit of Budget Cuts?

Coronavirus is forcing Californians to isolate themselves. But it has brought us together in one big way: by fusing all of our biggest problems into one colossal crisis.

That crisis could …

The Bad News Behind California’s Good Times | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Bad News Behind California’s Good Times

Economic Busts Are Bad in the Golden State, but Booms Can Be Even Worse

Californians, being tougher than we look, have always found ways to survive our economic busts.

It’s the booms that bring us to our breaking point.

This essential truth is being missed in …