Among the multitude of California ballot measures approved by voters over the years, few have been as influential, controversial and downright confusing as Proposition 13. Passed in 1978, the measure transformed how state and local governments in California raise and distribute tax revenue, an issue that affects everyone who lives here.
Illegal! Unauthorized! Undocumented! A lot of loaded terms are used to refer to the diverse group of more than 11 million immigrants who live in the United States without legal status. Almost a quarter of this population lives in California. But who exactly are they? Where do they come from? And what impact do they have on … Continue reading In the Shadows of the Golden State: Who are California’s Undocumented Immigrants? [Illustrated Explainer] →
Love ’em or hate ’em, propositions are an entrenched part of California’s political system. In nearly every statewide election, voters wade through a slurry of local and statewide ballot measures, part of a system intended to expand direct democracy. Some are really complicated, some are controversial, and some are just kind of weird (like when voters passed … Continue reading Majority Rules: California’s Proposition System Explained [Infographic] →
The upcoming midterms marks the first major nationwide election since the Supreme Court struck down a key piece of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The 2013 decision had an immediate impact, giving a handful of primarily southern states the green light to change their voting rules without first getting approval from the federal government.
UPDATE: Since we first published this piece two weeks ago, embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed (on August 15) — after days of tense standoff that brought the possibility of a military coup — to relinquish power and accept the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as the country’s new leader. Abadi, also a Shiite, belongs to the same party … Continue reading The ISIS Threat and Why Peace in Iraq Is So Hard to Find [An Illustrated Explainer] →
UPDATE: On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, under the Clean Air Act, to regulate carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters like power plants and factories. The Obama administration dropped the proverbial climate change bomb earlier this month when it announced a groundbreaking plan — without … Continue reading Carbon Control: What America’s New Climate Change Offensive Looks Like →