Making Law or Sausage?

There is an old joke in the Capitol that goes something like this: “There are two things that you never want to see being made – sausage and the law.” As one who worked for years as an apprentice butcher in my father’s meat market and now as a policy consultant with the California Legislature, it is clear to me […]

High School Senioritis or Golden Opportunity

 When I was in high school, I cut one class and got caught. It wasn’t even a hard class like Chemistry or Calculus. I ditched an afternoon class of Leather Shop because I was bored and frankly not very good at cutting and stitching together pieces of former cows. For many years, I had to fold the dollar bills that […]

Redistricting, Modern Art and Deliberative Democracy

As the California Legislature reconvenes on August 20th and concludes its work for the year on September 14th, you might be a bit surprised by what will dominate legislators’ time and attention. Naturally, one would think that putting back together our Humpty Dumpty electricity system would be the first priority. Nope. The electricity crisis will continue to dominate the newspaper […]

New Legislative Opportunity to Fight Cancer

 During the last thirty years, physicians, drug researchers, patients and their families have waged a highly publicized, vigorous and gut-wrenching War on Cancer. There has been considerable public and private investment in trying to find ways to successfully treat cancer, with mixed results. In this long battle, the numbers are stark. More than 113,000 Californians will be diagnosed with cancer […]

Loophole for Sex Offenders Threatens Safety on Campuses

The other day, as I sat in my brown recliner clicking through various political talk shows, I discovered that just about the only thing politicians could agree on seemed to be “closing loopholes.” It was unanimous. “Loopholes” are bad. Not a dissenter in the house. But what they say on talk shows doesn’t always match up with their actions.

Being generally […]

Putting the Health of Children Up for Sale

A few days ago, a friend and I were having lunch in a Greek café in downtown Sacramento and the conversation turned to education reform. My friend has been a teacher, administrator, and for the last ten years, an education policy analyst with the California Legislature. She admits that she has lost more battles than she has won but she […]