One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband

Gonzales’ Victory Is a Lesson on Power, and How Communities Can Beat the Odds

If California is really the global tech capital it claims to be, why is it so hard for the state’s small towns to get the top-notch internet broadband service they need?

You’ll find one answer to that question in Gonzales, a city of just 9,000 people in the Salinas Valley, where local leaders spent 15 years seeking to connect all residents to the internet.

Right now, even California’s biggest and richest cities are struggling to provide the internet access necessary for their people to work or study from home. But Gonzales solved …

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 …

Small and Speedy, Gonzales Is a City on the Move

With a Growing Economy, Good Schools, and a Low Crime Rate, It's Outpacing Bigger Salinas Valley Rivals

Here’s a nasty bit of conventional wisdom: California’s small, rural places are supposedly desperate and doomed, with few economic prospects in an era when state policy favors the urban coastal …

A Misunderstood City, Full of Aspirations

Through Years of Filming Salinas, a Documentarian Saw How Hard People Work to Improve Their Lives

These are the three things I knew about Salinas, California, growing up an hour north in the Silicon Valley: gangs, John Steinbeck, and agriculture.

Steinbeck was often required reading in …

Policing My Hometown Is a Labor of Love

A Deputy Chief of Salinas PD Explains the Challenges of Protecting the City He Grew up In

We hear a lot these days about rifts between police and the communities they serve. This is especially true in communities of color. I thought it might be helpful to …