Zócalo's Connecting California

Zócalo's Connecting California

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5 min

Every week, Zócalo columnist and fourth-generation Southern Californian Joe Mathews talks to Morning Edition host Chery Glaser about 21st-century California's people, politics, trends and idiosyncrasies.

All Episodes

California is home to the world’s most breathtaking places. But Zocalo Columnist Joe Mathews says its nature also makes it a challenging place to live.

California’s pretensions have acquired real weight.

Political violence is up. But commentator Joe Mathews says elected officials are not just victims of angry constituents, but often perpetrators of poisonous politics themselves.

By a quirk of redistricting, no one who lives in Monterey represents the county in Sacramento. Commentator Joe Mathews says that’s evidence our districts are way too big.

California students are falling far behind after two years of pandemic-related learning losses. Zocalo commentator Joe Mathews says the solution is more tutors.

Joe Mathews will eat a slice of chocolate pie this Thanksgiving in honor of his great-aunt Fern, who changed his family through her career as a teacher.

Joe Mathews recently tried to catch the Expo Line train. But he still missed it in what he calls a maddening consequence of poor transportation planning.

Gaming interests are prepared to spend whatever it takes to expand their reach in California, as they’ve shown with Propositions 26 and 27.

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After the recent storms, LA reservoirs in the San Gabriel Mountains are filling up, but not just with water — millions of cubic feet of mud and wilderness debris, too.

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Regenerative agriculture grows healthier food, captures carbon from the atmosphere, and fights climate change. So why isn’t every farmer doing it?

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Regenerative agriculture grows healthier food, captures carbon from the atmosphere, and fights climate change. So why isn’t every farmer doing it?

from Greater LA

Robot dogs made headlines in New York and San Francisco when those police departments added them to their forces. LA is next for the big debate.

Robot dogs stir heated debate in LA City Council

Robot dogs made headlines in New York and San Francisco when those police departments added them to their forces. LA is next for the big debate.

from Greater LA

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new concealed carry bill this week, banning guns in public places. It’s a response to the latest California mass shootings.

Water cuts are coming to CA and 6 nearby states. How will they be distributed?

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new concealed carry bill this week, banning guns in public places. It’s a response to the latest California mass shootings.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Other states, including Massachusetts and New York, are taking a page out of the California playbook and are working to improve and protect abortion access.

Abortion protection: Blue states are following CA’s footsteps

Other states, including Massachusetts and New York, are taking a page out of the California playbook and are working to improve and protect abortion access.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

For months, seven states that rely on the Colorado River have been debating how to reduce their water use — because the river is nearing critically-low levels.

CA and 6 other western states fight over dwindling water supply from CO River

For months, seven states that rely on the Colorado River have been debating how to reduce their water use — because the river is nearing critically-low levels.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new concealed carry bill this week, banning guns in public places. It’s a response to the latest California mass shootings.

How far can states go to restrict concealed carry laws?

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new concealed carry bill this week, banning guns in public places. It’s a response to the latest California mass shootings.

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Mayor Karen Bass has picked a new head of LA’s homeless services authority. Will a new regime make a difference in reducing the city’s unhoused population?

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Mayor Karen Bass has picked a new head of LA’s homeless services authority. Will a new regime make a difference in reducing the city’s unhoused population?

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