California’s Changing Demographics

Yesterday was the most exciting day of the year for demographers who moonlight as futurists. For the rest of us was just a Thursday.

But it just so happens to be the Thursday that the Department of Finance’s Demographics Research Unit released the population projections through 2060. The projections cover detailed information about age, race, and gender population changes for each county. And by detailed, I mean nine decimal… Continue reading

Surfing with the Governor

I don’t know if Governor Jerry Brown, a life-long Californian, has ever actually been surfing, but he is currently riding a wave of political acumen, popularity and good fortune that could qualify him to compete in the elected official’s equivalent of the “Mavericks” big surf contest.

Some of his earlier public policy wins are well documented; 2011 realignment, pension reform, and passage of Proposition 30 come to mind. Whether… Continue reading

Health Care Reform: What Role for Counties?

The Governor has called a “special session” of the Legislature to work on implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  When the ACA takes full effect in January 2014, about a million more people will be eligible for Medi-Cal and the Governor has outlined two possible ways to expand Medi-Cal coverage. Both of them have significant implications for California’s 58 counties so it is imperative that we remain engaged in the… Continue reading

We All Need to Be Asking, “And How Are the Children?”

I have always admired the African tribe the Masai – not for their fighting spirit or intelligence, but for their cultural values.  Their traditional greeting, passed down through generations, is “Kasserian Ingera.” Simply translated, this means, “And how are the children?” The question would be asked until the answer, “All the children are well,” was given. This would… Continue reading

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

It’s not often that you hear the Bible, William Butler Yeats, and “The Little Engine That Could” quoted in the same political speech, but Governor Jerry Brown did just that today in a wide ranging State of the State address that was aimed as much to inspire as it was to inform.

The Governor told the story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams about feast and famine as he talked… Continue reading