COVID-19 exposed truths that America and California can no longer ignore
Since the magnitude of the threat from a new strain of coronavirus became apparent early in 2020, California, the nation and the world have endured a massive upending of daily life. More than 170 million cases of COVID-19, a likely undercount, have been confirmed globally, and more than 3.5 million people have died — nearly 1 in 5 of them in the United States and 63,000 here in California.
We’ve discovered we can work from home. There’s no turning back
Last spring, the shift to remote work appeared to be one of the few bright spots in a landscape of sorrow and fear. The state was a few months into sheltering in place, and if you weren’t an essential worker or unemployed, you were told to work at home.
Want single-payer? California needs a public option first
Post-pandemic, let’s make capitalism more equitable
The sudden COVID-19-driven shutdown of workplaces early last year cost more than 33 million people their jobs over a seven-week span. Governments rushed to try to help, partly by funneling cash to keep countless households afloat, but the damage was severe, especially to nonwhite workers and those already on the low end of the income spectrum. Even now, as jobs come back, the pain continues for people left with higher personal debt, deferred rent payments and other financial problems.
The pandemic let us imagine a world without waste
To wrap your mind around the vast problem of waste, it helps to start by thinking about the disposable dental flosser.
There’s no going back on sentencing and prison reform
The novel coronavirus seeped easily into jails and prisons. It entered along with newly arrived prisoners, and with the officers and others employed in those facilities. When the people locked inside paid their bail or completed their sentences, and when the work shifts ended, the virus went home along with the formerly incarcerated and the employees, and spread to their families, friends and neighbors.
You shouldn’t need a college degree to have a decent life in America
A young person who wants to go into hotel management typically needs a bachelor’s degree. Or at least, that’s true here. Not so in Switzerland, where a high school student would attend classes part time while also working at a paid apprenticeship for a hotel, take one more year of training after high school and be set in a well-paid career.
To solve homelessness, California should declare a right to housing
Housing should be a human right, ideally one enshrined in the United States Constitution. But that shouldn’t stop the city of Los Angeles from adopting such a right. In fact, the City Council has asked city agencies to research the idea. It’s an idea whose time has come.