Abolish the California Capital

The Pandemic Showed Us the Wonders of a Decentralized State Government

Why bother maintaining a state capital?

Californians certainly shouldn’t. The pandemic demonstrated what things are essential in California, and what things we can live without. Among our superfluous assets: the designation of Sacramento as our capital city, and the various buildings occupied by our state government there.

In the biggest emergency of our lives, our elected officials managed to respond and govern with the Capitol, the seat of government, closed. Public employees in Sacramento-based agencies kept the government running while working remotely or from home.

Having the capital effectively closed didn’t …

Give California’s Kids Barstools for Christmas | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Give California’s Kids Barstools for Christmas

It's Clear That the Next Generation Doesn't Matter in a State That Prioritizes Bars and Restaurants Over Schools

Santa, California children need more this Christmas than you can fit in the sleigh. But could you at least give every Californian under the age of 18 their very own …

The Shiny Sacramento Statue That Reflects California’s Failures | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Shiny Sacramento Statue That Reflects California’s Failures

As the State Continues to Expand Its Authority, Local and Regional Communities—Including the Capital Itself—Suffer

There may be no better symbol of Sacramento’s failure as California’s capital than the 18-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture outside the city’s downtown sports arena. The work, by famed contemporary artist Jeff …

A Letter From Sacramento, Where Fear Grows as Flowers Bloom | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Sacramento, Where Fear Grows as Flowers Bloom

A Survivor of 1954’s Polio Epidemic Welcomes Social Distancers to His Garden

SACRAMENTO—Our front garden hit peak bloom just as the COVID-19 death toll passed 200 in California. As usual, the California golden poppies seized control of the gravel borders along the …

Take the ACE Train

A Small but Successful Commuter Line Between Stockton and San Jose Points a Way Forward for California Transportation

As the ACE Train pulls into the Santa Clara station, the conductor pops out—and begins apologizing for his train.

“I’m sorry, but this is not the Amtrak!” he bellows, loud enough …

If You Can’t Beat the Bay Area, Join It

Solving Northern California's Toughest Problems Requires a New Megaregion, from San Francisco and Tahoe to the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys

Welcome to the Bay Area, Merced!

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and …