Connecting California, Joe Mathews »

Why Roy Choi Is California’s New Steve Jobs

By | June 24, 2016

Californians have fallen in love with the recipes of L.A. chef Roy Choi, the man best known for creating the Korean barbecue taco.
But does California have a recipe to cook up more Roy Chois?
It’s an urgent question. Choi probably comes closer than any living Californian to embodying the skills needed by our state today. Like Steve Jobs, who could look at existing technologies and combine …

Connecting California, Joe Mathews »

What’s Behind California Lawmakers’ Sudden Urge to Help the Homeless?

By | June 23, 2016

How did homelessness suddenly become such a hot issue across California? There are many reasons, and few of them have anything to do with people who are homeless.
Those reasons—economic anxiety, budget surpluses, tax schemes, housing prices, prison reform, health care expansion, urban wealth, and political opportunism have combined to create today’s “homeless moment” in California.
For decades, combating homelessness has been a civic obsession in …

Joe Mathews »

Justice Scalia Is Right. California Isn’t the Real West

By | July 2, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was on the wrong side of most Californians, and history, in his cranky dissent to last week’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation.
But, much as we might hate to admit it, Scalia was right when, in the same dissent, he argued that California isn’t part of the American West. And in so doing, he raised—almost certainly unwittingly—an …

Connecting California, Joe Mathews »

The Inland Empire Strikes Back

By | April 23, 2015

The Empire is back.
I’m talking not about the new Star Wars movie but about Southern California’s Inland Empire. Of course, you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a statewide celebration of the remarkable economic comeback of the I.E.—which encompasses Riverside and San Bernardino counties and their 4.4 million inhabitants. When it comes to this huge section of the state—with a population greater than Oregon’s—if …