Our criminal justice system is supposed to be based on a fundamental premise: “innocent until proven guilty.” In reality, this basic right is not afforded to millions of low-income Californians, particularly those in communities of color.

The Great Recession sparked a massive transfer of wealth in California and the rest of the nation. It happened on courthouse steps around the country when an estimated 5 million U.S. families lost their homes due to foreclosure. Many of those foreclosed homes were sold in bulk at auctions, and for the first time, large numbers of single-family homes were snatched up by Wall Street firms. 

Two Santa Clara County corrections officers choked and abused individuals held in county jail and then tried to cover it up. Contra Costa County prosecutors were forced to dismiss criminal cases because an Antioch detective leaked confidential information to known criminals.

People have every right to be outraged about police brutality and deep-seated racism in our criminal justice system. Since 2015, police have killed more than 1,300 Black people nationwide, and African Americans have, for years, died at the hands of law enforcement in dramatically disproportionate numbers.

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.

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.

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.

An exuberant top-scoring floor routine by U.C.L.A.’s Katelyn Ohashi went viral this year, making her one of the most famous college gymnasts ever.