Op-Eds

August 12, 2020

SB 1079 is designed to help California avoid another takeover of single-family homes that corporations employed in the Great Recession.

 

August 4, 2020

After the killing of George Floyd, we learned that Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer responsible, had a documented history of misconduct complaints and uses of force, making it even more clear that communities deserve to know about the actions of officers who police them. Which is why I have introduced SB 776 this year.

July 31, 2020

As righteous as these demonstrations have been and are, we also must come to grips with the fact that we face another grave threat: President Trump and his insidious attempt to exploit protests that sometimes turn violent in order to jump-start his flagging campaign.

January 17, 2020

While the wealth of each of our families was very different, we both grew up during a time when most families could live comfortably on what they took home after working a 40-hour-a-week job. In those days, a middle-class salary could cover a household’s needs. And the company boss didn’t make that much more than the people who worked for them.

Today, the paycheck from the same middle-class jobs that supported a family when we were growing up can barely make ends meet.

January 15, 2020

The NCAA’s announcement late last year that it would take steps toward allowing college athletes to benefit from the their name, image and likeness was a welcome turnaround from its earlier threats to penalize our state, California, for passing the Fair Pay to Play Act.

Likely, the NCAA realized it had to change course. Not only was the bill signed into law, but lawmakers from other states announced plans to pass or consider similar legislation. We welcome and encourage each of these additional states to take action.

 

November 3, 2019

After decades of secrecy surrounding police misconduct, California has a new law that is designed to restore trust in our criminal justice system. And what we’ve seen since Senate Bill 1421 took effect in January has been both illuminating and deeply concerning, demonstrating why the measure was necessary to ensure that law enforcement is both transparent and accountable.

August 30, 2019

The destructive fires that roared through California over the last two years have displaced tens of thousands of people, creating a humanitarian crisis as well as a housing crisis. One of those fires provided valuable lessons on how to solve emergency housing shortages in the state — the Tubbs fire that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County in 2017.

August 14, 2019

Despite recent efforts to reduce California’s prison incarceration rates, severe racial disparities persist in our criminal justice system. According to a report last month by the Public Policy Institute of California, African-American males account for 28.5 percent of the state’s male prison population, despite the fact that black men make up just 5.6 percent of the state’s adult males.

African-American women and Latinos are also significantly over-represented in state prisons.

August 9, 2019

Here in the Bay Area, we pride ourselves on being environmental trailblazers. Our achievements include pioneering curbside recycling, prohibiting the use of ozone-depleting Styrofoam, and leading the effort to ban plastic bags, straws, and utensils.

California, likewise, has long been a global leader on environmental and climate change issues. But there is still much work to do, particularly when it comes to reducing air pollution, meeting our renewable energy goals, and slashing the amount of plastic trash that litters our beaches, parks, and waterways.

August 7, 2019

One year ago, when the Alameda County Sheriff's Office released Jessica St. Louis from Santa Rita Jail at 1:30 in the morning, her prospects were bleak. Alone in the darkness, the 26-year-old faced a 40-minute walk, along desolate roads, past about a dozen vacant lots, to the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station. And then once at the station, she would have to wait three hours for the trains to start running.

She never made it to a train. She was found dead at 5:30 a.m., July 28, 2018, of an opioid overdose, just outside the BART station.