Goodbye to My Family’s Last Okie Migrant, Who Taught Us to Be Californian

The Passing of Great Aunt Fern Marks an Era's End

“They had qualities of humor and courage and inventiveness and energy that appealed to me. I thought that if we had a national character and a national genius, these people, who were beginning to be called Okies, were it.” – John Steinbeck, America and Americans

We ain’t Okies anymore.

My great aunt Fern was the last member of our big California family to be born in Oklahoma. But she never much cared for author John Steinbeck’s portrayals of her fellow Okies, in The Grapes of Wrath and other books, as …

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying

Border Policies, Corporate Greed, and Political Dysfunction Hurt Monarchs and Humans Alike

In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus plexippus, to its Red List of Threatened Species, a recognition that the insect’s ongoing …

California Housing Is Becoming More Affordable—Relatively, Anyway | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California Housing Is Becoming More Affordable—Relatively, Anyway

You Still Get More House for Your Money in Austin or Boise Than L.A. or San Francisco, But the Difference Is Dwindling

California housing prices have soared during the pandemic. The California Association of Realtors reports that the median selling price of a single-family house here increased 11 percent, to $796,000, between …

To Solve America’s Immigration Woes, We Need to Think, Act, and Work Locally | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To Solve America’s Immigration Woes, We Need to Think, Act, and Work Locally

Individuals and Communities Are Able to Connect with Newcomers Even as Policymakers Work to Drive Us Apart

The Zócalo event “Could Immigration Unite Americans?” comes at a time when much of the world has actually come together in support of one group of immigrants. But, as New …

a moving truck on the Golden Gate Bridge

Let’s Pay Californians to Move

Relocation Subsidies Could Solve Housing Gridlock and Make This State a Better Place to Live

Are you a Californian who wants to make your state a better place?

Then move.

Any place within California will do, though it would be great if you could relocate to a …

How Domestic Migration Keeps Changing American Politics | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Domestic Migration Keeps Changing American Politics

The Democratic Flip of Georgia Points to a Future of Greater Conflict Within Southern States 

Population migration out of the South proved to be a major force for national political realignment in the 20th century. But as the recent Democratic breakthrough in Georgia seems to …