California

California Democrat plans ballot proposal to cut public employee pensions

By Kevin Martinez, 17 March 2015

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will lead a ballot initiative in May to eliminate constitutional protections for CalPERS and other state pension funds.

Judge in Stockton bankruptcy upholds retiree benefit cuts

By Adam Mclean, 12 February 2015

The ruling paves the way for cities throughout California and nationwide to use bankruptcy courts to slash pensions.

University of California doctors hold one-day strike

By our reporters, 30 January 2015

In line with its strategy of subordinating workers to the Democratic Party, AFSCME limited the strike by doctors to one day, focused on claims of unfair labor practices.

Striking California mental health workers denounce attacks on health care

By our reporters, 19 January 2015

Some 2,600 mental health care workers in California are in the second week of a strike against Kaiser Permanente.

California mental health care workers strike

By David Brown, 15 January 2015

Without a contract for four years, mental health workers in the National Union of Healthcare Workers at Kaiser Permanente are holding a series of partial strikes across California.

Los Angeles police department on high alert after officers allegedly ambushed by gunmen

By Dan Conway, 30 December 2014

The placing of the LAPD on "high alert" coincided with the release of an autopsy report on the police killing of an unarmed man in August.

California drought has depleted water sources by 11 trillion gallons

By Evan Blake, 19 December 2014

Recent storms have only partially quenched the state’s worst drought in recorded history.

After being exposed, undercover cop draws gun on protesters in California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 12 December 2014

On Wednesday night, two plainclothes police officers dressed as protesters were exposed during a demonstration against police brutality in Oakland, California.

Protests over police killings continue in Northern California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 10 December 2014

Police cracked down on a third night of protests in Berkeley, California on Monday night, leading to the arrest of over 150 protesters.

Los Angeles police gun down man at busy Hollywood intersection

By John Burton, 9 December 2014

LAPD officers shot and killed a man allegedly carrying a small knife at an intersection in the heart of the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” stunning tourists.

San Jose, California: “The Jungle” homeless camp dismantled

By Evan Blake, 9 December 2014

Authorities in San Jose shut down the largest homeless encampment in the United States last Thursday.

Tear gas, rubber bullets used against protests over police brutality in Berkeley, California

By our reporters, 8 December 2014

Police fired tear gas at a peaceful protest late Saturday evening, hitting both demonstrators and passersby.

Protests, building occupations follow California tuition hike

By Evan Blake, 29 November 2014

The regents’ vote to approve 5 percent annual tuition increases for the next five years has prompted demonstrations on UC campuses statewide.

Teamsters sell out strike by port truck drivers in southern California

By Marc Wells, 24 November 2014

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ended an eight-day strike against unfair practices and wage theft.

Los Angeles: One thousand protest Mexican student massacre and disappearances

By Rafael Azul, 22 November 2014

Workers and students spoke about the massacre and abduction of teaching school students in Iguala, 43 or whom are still missing.

University of California’s regents approve tuition hikes

By Gabriel Black and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

The UC board of Regents has approved steep tuition increases for the next five years.

Los Angeles schools superintendent backs “parent trigger” privatization scheme

By Adam Mclean and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

Under the guise of empowering parents, the “parent trigger” law is part of a drive, funded by multibillionaires and backed by the unions, to privatize public education.

California Nurses Association backs Democrats with Ebola protest

By David Brown, 17 November 2014

The two-day strike at Kaiser Permanente facilities was used by the CNA to present Governor Jerry Brown, who has slashed health care, as a champion of nurses’ safety.

Port truck drivers strike in southern California

By Marc Wells, 15 November 2014

Truck drivers went on strike last Thursday at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over poverty pay and wage theft.

University of California president proposes new fee hikes

By Gabriel Black, 8 November 2014

A yearly tuition increase of up to 5 percent is being implemented in the UC system while the cost of living for students skyrockets.

Undocumented immigrants make up 10 percent of California’s workforce

By Norisa Diaz, 5 November 2014

In the world’s eighth-largest economy, 1.85 million workers live in constant fear of deportation.

Judge backs Stockton, California bankruptcy plan ending retiree health care payments

By Jerry White, 31 October 2014

A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a restructuring plan that will eliminate health care benefits for 2,400 retired city workers and their families.

The California drought: A tale of two cities

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 27 October 2014

The California drought has left thousands of people without access to drinking water while the super-rich are trucking in water to maintain their private lakes and gardens.

Los Angeles City Council proposes minor increase in minimum wage

By Kevin Martinez, 20 October 2014

The proposal, presented as a way of alleviating social inequality in one the poorest cities in the US, is aimed at bolstering the Democratic Party.

Students forced to endure sweltering temperatures in Southern California classrooms

By Kimie Saito and Adam Mclean, 20 October 2014

Children were sent to school nurses with nausea, headaches and bloody noses during a recent heat wave.

San Ysidro, California teachers sold out after three-day strike

By Toby Reese and Shane Reynaldo, 16 October 2014

The union rammed through the deal at a hastily called meeting at which teachers were not allowed to ask questions.

San Diego suicides reach highest reported number in 2013

By Archie Stone and Toby Reese, 8 October 2014

A recent report from the San Diego Suicide Prevention Council noted a 20 percent increase in suicides over the past six years.

Los Angeles police kill about one person per week

By Kevin Martinez, 30 September 2014

Police in Los Angeles County have killed at least 589 people since 2000.

Appeal filed in California of court ruling against teacher tenure

By Dan Conway, 24 September 2014

The ruling makes it easier to fire teachers and replace them with lower-paid, less experienced instructors.

More than 3,000 flee King fire in California

By Evan Blake, 23 September 2014

The state’s worst drought in 500 years has created the conditions for more frequent wildfires.

San Jose, California police acquire a drone

By Henry Allan, 15 September 2014

The drone, purchased with federal grant money, will be made available to 13 other bomb squads in the Bay Area.

California Governor Brown signs sick leave bill

By Henry Allan, 15 September 2014

AB 1522, with its three paid sick days, is a political maneuver on the part of California Democrats, Governor Brown, and the unions in the lead-up to the elections in November.

LAPD officers ignored pleas from dying asthmatic arrestee

By Dan Conway, 25 August 2014

Newly released video footage shows that officers told the dying man, “You can breathe just fine. You can talk, so you can breathe.”

Los Angeles police shoot and kill unarmed man

By John Andrews, 14 August 2014

Ezell Ford, a 24-year-old mentally challenged man, was gunned down near his home in south-central Los Angeles.

The political issues facing Los Angeles teachers

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 12 August 2014

Like its predecessors, the new leadership of the United Teachers of Los Angeles is aligned with the Democratic Party, which is leading the assault against public education.

California’s 2014-2015 budget attacks education

By Theo Mclean, 8 August 2014

Teachers and students are among those targeted to pay for the economic crisis.

California: Immigrants eligible for Medicaid may not receive coverage

By Clodomiro Puentes, 2 August 2014

The expansion of Medicaid in California under Obama’s Affordable Care Act has been falsely promoted as a huge success.

Los Angeles water main break points to failing national infrastructure

By Gabriel Black, 1 August 2014

Tuesday’s water main break at the University of California Los Angeles underscores the danger of the failing, ancient, water infrastructure beneath the nation’s cities.

Deepening water crisis in California driven by drought, wildfires and infrastructure

By David Brown, 31 July 2014

A burst water main flooded the UCLA campus with 20 million gallons of water during the worst ongoing drought in California history.

Three killed in Stockton, California after police open fire on vehicle

By Eric London, 18 July 2014

Two men suspected of bank robbery and a female hostage were killed and three others wounded by police who fired on the escape vehicle.

California drought hits state economy, pushes US food prices higher

By Evan Blake, 15 July 2014

The third year of California’s record-breaking drought has devastated the agriculturally rich Central Valley.

Teamsters shut down truckers strike at southern California ports

By Gabriel Black, 14 July 2014

A largely ceremonial strike by port truck drivers was ended in Los Angeles and Long Beach over the weekend with a deal brokered by local Democratic Party politicians with the Teamsters union.

California’s whooping cough epidemic

By Henry Allen, 12 July 2014

A growing number of whooping cough infections could be the start of the worst pertussis outbreak in 70 years.

Truck drivers on strike at two California ports

By Marc Wells, 9 July 2014

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on an indefinite strike Monday morning protesting against unfair practices, including lower than minimum wage pay, intimidation and retaliatory firing.

California police officer savagely beats great-grandmother

By Gabriel Black, 7 July 2014

Last week, a California Highway Patrol officer was caught on tape repeatedly punching an unarmed woman in the face.

Union-sponsored bill to fast track the firing of teachers signed by California governor

By Alan Gilman, 28 June 2014

The legislation signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown will be used to remove better-paid, more experienced teachers.

One quarter of people in San Diego cannot make ends meet

By Marko Leone, 13 June 2014

The Center on Policy Initiatives published a report on the wages needed to subsist without public or private assistance in San Diego County.

One quarter of people in San Diego cannot make ends meet

By Marko Leone, 13 June 2014

The Center on Policy Initiatives published a report on the wages needed to subsist without public or private assistance in San Diego County.

California court ruling signals nationwide attack on teacher tenure, seniority rights

By Gabriel Black, 12 June 2014

The anti-teacher ruling was immediately hailed by the Obama administration as creating a “new framework for the teaching profession” for the entire country.

Crisis of low-cost housing affects a million families in California

By Theo Mclean, 12 June 2014

Two new reports document the impact of growing social inequality in the area of access to decent, affordable housing.

California governor Jerry Brown calls for raising teachers’ pension contributions

By Kevin Martinez, 6 June 2014

As part of his May budget revision, California governor Jerry Brown is calling for increasing teachers’ contributions into the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Governor’s revised budget signals renewed attack on California workers

By Dan Conway, 29 May 2014

After years of cuts, the new budget is being seized upon as an opportunity to cut billions more from social programs.

Video: The plight of migrant workers in Southern California

By our reporters, 28 May 2014

In this video, agricultural workers and residents speak about social conditions in Southern California’s Imperial Valley.

Shooting rampage in Santa Barbara, California leaves 7 dead

By Kevin Martinez and David Walsh, 26 May 2014

A 22-year-old student allegedly stabbed three roommates to death May 23 before killing three more students and himself near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

US veteran killed by California Highway Police officers

By Jake Dean and Shane Reynaldo, 24 May 2014

CHP officers killed Tommy Yancy, a military veteran, during a routine traffic stop on May 11.

California: Police kill two, followed by crackdown on demonstrators in Salinas

By Eric London, 23 May 2014

Police armed with assault rifles threatened hundreds of demonstrators on Wednesday as residents of the farmworker community responded to police killings with anger.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2014

Part three: Bad Hair, School of Babel, South is Nothing: Struggling in a harsh reality

By David Walsh, 21 May 2014

It is difficult to conceive of a serious artistic treatment of life today that avoids the economic realities and pressures relentlessly bearing down on the overwhelming majority of humanity.

High temperatures and drought cause multiple wildfires in Southern California

By Kevin Martinez, 16 May 2014

Drought conditions have created a year-round fire season in Southern California.

Threat of closure held over heads of San Diego Opera musicians, workers

By Dorota Niemitz and Norisa Diaz, 14 May 2014

The closure threat is being used first and foremost as a means of transforming the company from a thriving cultural institution into an operation run on profit-making lines.

Video shows police gunning down unarmed man in Long Beach, California

By our correspondent, 8 May 2014

A cellphone video shows police in Long Beach, California opening fire at an unarmed man who is fleeing down a flight of stairs.

Union backs California bill expediting teacher dismissal

By Juan Verala Luz, 5 May 2014

Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan has proposed AB 215, a measure designed to force out higher-paid teachers on the basis of “unsatisfactory performance.”

Compton, California subjected to massive secret aerial surveillance

By Alan Gilman, 30 April 2014

Local Police Departments are testing out new methods to carry out domestic surveillance in cities throughout the United States.

Bay Area Rapid Transit fined in death of two workers

By David Brown, 21 April 2014

BART has been found guilty of three willful and serious safety violations.

New wave of tuition hikes proposed for California universities

By Marko Leone and Clodomiro Puentes, 17 April 2014

Despite the passage of Prop 30 in 2012, universities throughout California are seeking to impose new tuition hikes and fee increases.

Los Angeles, a city of poverty and unemployment

By Gabriel Black, 15 April 2014

The second part of a report released last Wednesday exposes staggering levels of poverty and unemployment in Los Angeles, as well as the city’s overall decay.

California State Senate suspends three Democratic lawmakers under indictment

By Alan Gilman, 4 April 2014

The suspensions mean that the Democrats lost the two-thirds majority in the upper house that gave them full control of the California state government.

California police departments capture cellphone data

By Gabriel Black, 27 March 2014

A local news station has revealed that “StingRay” technology is used regularly by the major police departments of California to collect all cellphone communications in a given area.

AFSCME cancels University of California strike

By Evelyn Rios, 27 March 2014

The union accepted a tentative agreement and called off a planned five-day strike.

Tesoro refinery barred inspectors from site of accident in California

By Eric Abu Kweder, 10 March 2014

Last month, two workers at the Golden Eagle plant owned by Tesoro Corporation in Martinez, California suffered severe facial burns after a pipe containing sulfuric acid burst.

Vergara v. California: A smokescreen to hide the attack on education

By Antonio Marquez and Marc Wells, 7 March 2014

Under the guise of defending civil rights, the Vergara case seeks to enable corporate interests to take full control of the education system.

California Democrat sponsors bill to expedite teacher removal

By Juan Verala Luz, 6 March 2014

The bill would intensify the assault on California teachers in the name of cutting costs.

California Democrats attack pension protections

By David Brown, 4 March 2014

San Jose mayor Chuck Reed is pushing for an amendment to the state Constitution to remove protections for public employee pensions.

AFSCME cancels strike, accepts concessions at University of California

By Norisa Diaz, 3 March 2014

AFSCME Local 3299 has accepted a tentative concessions contract with University of California officials, canceling the five-day strike planned to begin this week.

California board votes to increase pension contributions as benefits face attack

By Kevin Martinez, 26 February 2014

The move by the pension board will translate into increased payments from workers, with some employees faced with an immediate rise equivalent to 0.75 percent of their salaries.

California enters third year of severe drought

By Gabriel Black, 24 February 2014

California is in the midst of the worst drought on record. Millions will be devastated by the state’s lack of planning and modern infrastructure.

100 years since founding of the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office

By Alan Gilman, 20 February 2014

In 2014, the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office marks a century since its founding, amid unprecedented attacks on the right to counsel.

University of California workers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

By Norisa Diaz, 19 February 2014

Patient care and service workers voted by 96 percent to authorize strike action throughout the ten University of California (UC) campuses.

Interview with director of homeless shelter in Long Beach

California’s homeless: Casualties of class warfare

By our correspondents, 14 February 2014

WSWS reporters recently visited a Long Beach, California homeless shelter.

Unite the working class behind University of California workers!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

11 February 2014

UC workers throughout California will be casting ballots in a strike vote beginning today.

AFSCME members to hold strike vote at University of California campuses

By Norisa Diaz, 5 February 2014

The union representing over 21,000 workers at the University of California (UC) has decided to negotiate separately the contracts for its patient care and service workers.

Billionaire-backed lawsuit tries to abolish California teacher tenure

By Gabriel Black, 31 January 2014

A trial in Los Angeles that began this week would, in the name of education “reform,” make it far easier for districts across the state to fire teachers, preparing other states to follow suit.

California governor pledges continued austerity in State of the State speech

By Dan Conway, 27 January 2014

Governor Brown signaled that nothing would be done to help the state’s workers.

Wildfire forces evacuations in Southern California

By Gabriel Black, 18 January 2014

A Southern California has spread rapidly, forcing 3,700 residents to evacuate and scorching 1,700 acres of land.

Outrage over acquittal of California police who beat homeless man to death

By John Andrews, 16 January 2014

The acquittal of two officers captured on video beating to death a homeless, mentally ill man in Orange County, California has been met with widespread anger.

Desert Hot Springs, California, declares “fiscal emergency”

By Juan Verala Luz, 15 January 2014

Desert Hot Springs declared a “fiscal emergency,” paving the way for attacks on pensions and salaries as well as an increase in taxes.

Officers caught on video beating California homeless man to death acquitted of all charges

By John Andrews, 14 January 2014

A jury in Orange County, California, unanimously cleared two Fullerton police officers of all charges arising from their savage, deadly beating of a homeless man, Kelly Thomas, captured on a graphic video recording.

Billionaire-backed education “reform” organizations attack California teachers

By Dan Conway, 13 January 2014

Pro-charter school organizations are preparing multiple attempts to remove job protections and democratic rights for teachers.

UPTE union facilitates attack on University of California pensions

By Norisa Diaz, 4 January 2014

A tentative contract proposed by UPTE and the University of California increases by 1 percent the amount workers must pay towards their pensions.

Detroit’s bankruptcy ruling paves way for new attacks on California workers

By Gabriel Black, 18 December 2013

Detroit’s bankruptcy ruling will be used to deepen the attack against workers in California.

Federal prosecutors charge Los Angeles deputy sheriffs in jail abuse probe

By John Burton, 17 December 2013

FBI agents arrested 18 Los Angeles County Sheriff employees on charges of conspiracy, abuse of inmates and lying.

Nearly a quarter of Californians live in poverty, according to modified Census figures

By Dan Conway, 11 December 2013

New economic and sociological data reveal deteriorating social conditions for California’s working class.

Los Angeles moves toward restricting food distributions in public places

By Marc Wells, 30 November 2013

Members of the Los Angeles City Council have proposed a measure that targets the homeless population and threatens basic democratic rights.

Obama heckled during speech on immigration

By Jake Dean, 28 November 2013

During a speech on immigration in San Francisco, a member of the audience heckled President Obama, asking him to stop the mass deportation of immigrants.

Obamacare: Nearly a million Californians receive cancellation letters

By Archie Stone and Toby Reese, 26 November 2013

Those currently on health plans not meeting ACA requirements will be cut off and forced to find new coverage.

University of California health care workers hold statewide strike

By Norisa Diaz, 22 November 2013

On November 20, health care service and technical workers held a one-day strike throughout California’s UC system.

Directors threaten to reject California transit workers’ contract

By David Brown, 21 November 2013

Members of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors claim that one provision of the concessions contract signed by the unions was made in error.

California: Food stamp recipients speak about cuts

By Julien Kiemle, 8 November 2013

The WSWS interviewed food stamp recipients in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento about the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.

Los Angeles airport shooting prompts calls for further militarization of airport security

By Gabriel Black, 7 November 2013

The shooting at Los Angeles International Airport is being used to argue for further expansion of the power of the Transportation Security Administration.

Thousands protest police shooting of 13-year-old boy in California‭

By David Levine, 30 October 2013

The killing of a 13-year-old boy has sparked a public outcry and become the focus of‏‎ broader grievances over police brutality.‭

Unions push for concessions contract for Bay Area, California transit workers

By Joseph Santolan, 30 October 2013

Unions representing Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) called on workers to vote on a concessions contract Friday following the end of the strike last week.