"San Francisco Politics Is Like a Knife Fight in a Phone Booth" - A Groundbreakers Q&A with Scott Wiener

San Francisco politics is like “a knife fight in a phone booth.” And that's why State Senator Scott Wiener says getting his start in that city has made him sharp enough to handle politics in Sacramento and NIMBYers around the state.

Our "Groundbreakers Q&A" with the buzzed-about State Senator from June 26 is up -- listen in to the conversation about housing, homelessness, education and LGBTQ legislation.

The podcast is currently up on Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, Sticher, Google Play and other podcast hubs -- just type "California Groundbreakers" into the search box.

It's Wildfire Season! What Is This Guy Planning to Do About It?

Wildfire Season is here! (Although in California, it’s now almost year-round, right?) And to find out how the Golden State is planning for it, our latest “Policy and a Pint” event was a conversation with the man who is now responsible for a lot of those efforts — Wade Crowfoot, California’s new Secretary for Natural Resources.

He’s in charge of CAL Fire and the Departments of Water Resources, Fish and Wildlife, and Parks and Recreation, among other departments. Basically, Crowfoot is making a lot of the decisions about what happens on California lands — and what should happen to those lands in this age of climate change.

Listen to our podcast as we talk with Crowfoot about what he’s planning for forest management, wildfire preparedness and firefighting efforts, and what will be different about Wildfire Season 2019.

"Groundbreakers Q&A" with Two of Sacramento's Top Chefs

One of our favorite conversations in 20190 was with two guys who know their way around a kitchen.

Rick Mahan and Patrick Mulvaney are two of longest-running and most-admired chefs in Sacramento. Their restaurants, The Waterboy (opened in 1996) and Mulvaney B&L (in 2006), set the bar for fine dining in this city, and they're still atop the list of places worth opening up your wallet for a memorable meal.

Join us for a great conversation with these two seasoned veterans of the city's ever-changing, often-challenging restaurant scene as we talk with them about Michelin stars, minimum wage hikes, the mental health movement, farmers markets, and other things that are shaping their menus today.

Listen to the podcast of this conversation on SoundCloud, iTunes and other major podcast players (just type “California Groundbreakers” into the search box.)

Hear about the “Future of Transportation in Sacramento”

California’s Capital City is getting attention nationwide for its alt-transportation methods, from red Jump bikes and scooters to shared electric cars and an entirely-revamped bus network.

But it’s not always a smooth ride. There are multiple complaints about how Jump bikes are blocking sidewalks, and Jump scooters are not that safe for their drivers or the people they run into. There’s talk of the City planning to impose a fee-per-ride ordinance that Jump says is expensive and prohibitive to expanding its services. The streetcar project is in jeopardy, with project bids for construction way higher than expected, and far beyond the project budget. And can SacRT ever get anyone to ride its light rail?

The future of transportation in Sacramento is off to a great start, but how will these bumps in the road affect it? And how will we — as users, taxpayers and voters — affect and be affected by these new transit methods?

Listen to the podcast of the discussion we held this with the people who are in charge of taking us where we want to go, but differently — on Soundcloud, iTunes and the other major podcast-gathering websites.

A "Groundbreakers Q&A" with Sacramento's Art Mavens Liz Moe and Estella Sanchez

Liv Moe, founding director of Verge Center for the Arts, and Estella Sanchez, founder and executive director of Sol Collective, play big roles in shaping Sacramento’s arts scene, supporting and promoting local artists, and getting their efforts talked about in cultural circles around California and nationwide. They’re two major reasons why the Capitol City’s cultural scene is on fire, and why it has such a passionate community rooting it on.

Listen to this great conversation with Moe and Sanchez about the state of the arts in Sacramento, what they’re working on now, and what they want to happen so that the city’s artists get the support they need and the recognition they deserve.

Listen to "Bringing Economic Equality to the Neighborhoods that Need It"

After the Stephon Clark shooting put Sacramento in the national spotlight last year, one of the City’s big initiatives now is this: Come up with the right jobs strategy that boosts all of its neighborhoods, especially those with less-than average employment rates and high poverty.

So how will all that go down? What will the funding be spent on, and who and where is it benefiting? How can the City’s government, businesses, and nonprofits and turn these efforts into economic growth and good jobs that boost people’s incomes and improve the neighborhoods they live in?

We hosted a Pop-Up Panel discussion around these questions, “Getting Economic Growth to the Neighborhoods that Need It.,” with some California Groundbreakers who are giving their all to do just that.

They are (from left to right) Nicholas Haystings of Square Root Academy; Melissa Anguiano from the City of Sacramento’s Department of Economic Development; Tyrone Roderick Williams of Sacramento Promise Zone; Dianna Tremblay of ICA Fund Good Jobs in Oakland; and Mariah Lichtenstern of DiverseCity Ventures.

Listen to our podcast of this great discussion — and find out how you can help them with their efforts.

Groundbreakers Q&A with Sacramento's "First Couple" of Real Estate Development

We’re talking with some of Sacramento’s mightiest movers and shakers this year, people who are bringing changes, making waves and putting California’s capital on the map in bold font.

Our first “Groundbreakers Q&A” conversation of 2019 was with two of Sacramento’s most well-known groundbreakers — literally — who are building up new hot spots in the city (and just got married recently). Katherine Bardis and Bay Miry like to go into under-the-radar parts of town and revitalize them (Miry ‘s R Street Corridor and the 700 block of K Street; Bardis’s housing community, the Mill, on Lower Broadway). As Sacramento grows up — and upward — they’re two of the people responsible for what that growth will look like.

Listen to some of this great conversation we held at Ruhstaller in February as Bardis and Miry talk about:
* their favorite buildings in Sac (that are not theirs)
* the significance of specific projects they’ve worked on
* how they see the "Bay Area effect" and the impact of gentrification on Sacramento
* innovative projects elsewhere in the U.S. that they want to bring here

How You Gonna Vote on . . . .? Listen to our "Policy and a Pint: Midterm 2018" Podcasts to Figure it out!

Election 2018 is in full swing -- and now is the time to figure out how you're going to vote!

We’ve been holding discussions with panelists who, whether they are "for, " against" or "neutral," give us the straight talk on local/statewide propositions and races, and what it means if you vote yay or nay on each.

Listen to these “Policy and a Pint” podcasts before you mark your ballot. We’ve covered:

  • Proposition 1 - Bonds for affordable housing and veterans’ housing loans

  • Proposition 2 - Using the “millionaire’s tax” to create bonds that build housing for the homeless who need mental health services

  • Proposition 3 - The water bond

  • Proposition 5 - Changing property-tax assessments for certain homeowners who want to sell

  • Proposition 6 - Repealing of the 2017 gas tax

  • Proposition 10 - Making rent control laws easier to establish in California

  • Proposition 12 - Banning sales of meat and eggs from farm animals that live in cages smaller than a specific size

  • City of Sacramento’s Measure U - increasing the city’s sales tax, and making it permanent, in order to pay for city services and invest in other big-ticket items

And then, of course, be a good voter and submit your ballot!

Dem/Rep/Indie Face-Off: Trivia Night Showdown!

The November election is still a few months away, but that doesn't mean we should take a break from politics, right? Hot summer nights are perfect for facing off against people who have totally different political views from you, and showing them what's what and who's right!

Before we start up the Election 2018-focused discussions with panelists facing off against each other, we're doing a few "Faceoff Nights" this summer. We want to find out which one of California's political parties is the big winner when it comes to knowing trivial stuff about California, defining slang words, debating trite topics, and showing off top karaoke skills.

 

 

First off was our Face-off Trivia Night. Democrats, young Republicans, Greens, on-the-fence and undecided voters, and even the California National Party came to the Federalist in Midtown Sacramento and played Golden State Trivia: California geography, history, politics, pop culture and famous people.  Prizes for winning category winners came from Sacramento-proud businesses like Ruhstaller Beer, The Trade Coffee and Coworking, Yoga Seed Collective, Comedy Spot and Hornblower Cruises in Old Sacramento.

The winner: Team Tim, a group of guys with various political opinions.

The goal: Even though we may be of different political parties and views, we showed that Californians can still gather in the same room, get along, and have some fun.

Next up: Dem/Rep/Indie Face-Off Game Night, August 13 at CLARA Auditorium. Field a team, come on out to play some fun party games that will test your witty humor, debate skills and knowledge of California. The winners get prizes and bragging rights for being the funniest, wittiest, savviest registered voters around!

The Sound and The Fury: Listen to Sacramento's Music Makers

Our first event with live music  . . . and ideally the first of many.

We had local musicians Dirty Chops Brass Band (pictured) and Todd Morgan book-end our Pop-Up Panel on "The Sound and the Fury: Sacramento's Music Scene" with great live performances, to give the audience a sample of the great musicians living and playing in the capital city.

It's no Austin yet. Sacramento has done some good things for the music scene, but it still could do a lot more. Our great panelists -- local musicians, club owners, concert promoters -- give some great advice in this conversation we held at CLARA in Midtown Sacramento in June.

Listen to the podcast, which also features more music from Todd Morgan and the Element Brass Band.