In the past week or so, we’ve heard state of the state, state of the city and finally President Obama’s State of the Union speech. All have given way to some interesting developments inside California.
Downtown Jerry Brown
California Governor Jerry Brown’s speech has been largely dissected, with the main takeaway being his budget proposal’s overwhelming dependency on his own revenue-increasing tax measure passing in November. Trigger cuts will hit the education budget first should the projected revenue be absent, so naturally there is concern.
Immediately after his speech (and we mean out the door and on a plane) Brown began a tour of Southern California that spilled over into this week. When it’s all over, Brown will have spoken at or with Los Angeles City Hall, a gathering of teachers in Burbank, the Orange County Business Council, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the California District Attorneys Association.
This whirlwind tour is meant to drum up support for his tax measure and it appears to be working. Other revenue measures have either been withdrawn or are not receiving nearly as much attention as Brown’s. Despite challenges to Brown’s calculations on just how much revenue will be generated and warnings toward business to avoid being “cajoled” by Brown, this one is clearly gaining momentum.
R-E-D-E-V-E-L-O-P…find out what it means to me
Quite a bit, apparently. A simple Google News search for “California Redevelopment” reveals a litany of woeful tales. Here’s a sampling of headlines:
Needless to say, the California Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold abolition of more than 400 RDAs in order to close a budget gap has been met with widespread uproar in communities across the state. It’s no wonder considering that redevelopment money has helped create neighborhoods such as Old Pasadena and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter as well as playing large roles in major overhauls of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles.
But these are cash-strapped times and hardly any corner of the budget has been left untouched. Cities such as Sacramento are trying to find a way forward with big revitalizations plans without the help of the state.
The Battle for California
President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Once the (well-deserved) bipartisan pleasantries surrounding Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s return to the House floor subsided, the big guns came out and the president delivered what can only be seen as a thinly veiled stump speech. If his expression throughout the duration were any indication, that’s at least how Speaker of the House John Boehner felt.
Conventional widsom says that Obama went for the populist jugular and largely solified his base with the speech. As far as California is concerned, this would translate to him having all but locked up one of the staunchest blue states on the map.
But in an interview with the Sacremento Bee, California Republican Party Chair Tom Del Beccaro see things in a different light. While he stopped short of predicting a Republican win, he is certain that California will be more of a battleground state than it has been in recent memory.
This will have a ripple effect, Del Beccaro says, forcing Obama to spend precious time and money in California when he would otherwise be focusing on known battlegrounds such as Wisconsin and North Carolina.
Only time will tell, but until then, we’d love to hear what you think!