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California Dream

You became a Californian because someone in your family believed in a dream. A strong public education. The promise of a job. The weather. (Ahhh, the weather.) In its long history, the California Dream has meant different things to different people. Today, the state’s identity is in marked contrast to the rest of the country. The dream may still be alive, but it’s challenged at every corner.

What does it mean today?

KPBS and mission-driven media organizations around the state will explore the California Dream starting this year. Reporters and producers will tell the personal stories and discuss the ideas that make up the history, future and current state of the California Dream.

Related Content

An early voting and registration sign is shown ...

Props To You, Californians: A Preview Of What’s On Your November Ballot

July 4
Ben Christopher / CalMatters

Facing a dozen measures on their November ballot, voters will be asked to decide the fate of hot issues from taxes to rent control, bail to privacy, and more.

The UC San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanogra...

University Of California Endorses Affirmative Action Measure

June 15
By Associated Press

The proposed ballot measure would repeal the controversial voter-approved statewide ban that's been blamed for a decline in diversity in the prestigious university system.

Eden Asfaha, an asylee from Eritrea, works the ...

‘Brain Waste’: Highly Skilled Immigrants Struggle To Fill Workforce Gaps

Jan. 8
Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

As a greater proportion of college-educated immigrants flock to California, they face barriers to getting good jobs — a “brain waste” estimated to cost California and other states billions of dollars per year in lost individual earnings and tax revenues.

Trump supporter Kevin Coffey and protester Cath...

Reporter’s Notebook: Tolerance Or Tantrums? It’s Not Just Politicians Who Need To Choose

Jan. 6
By Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

As a veteran California Capitol reporter leaves the beat, he digs back into his reporter’s notebook to reflect on our growing polarization. His takeaway? Just because you disagree with someone’s political views, it doesn’t make them a bad person.

UC Berkeley assistant professor Travis Bristol ...

Keeping Men Of Color In The Teaching Profession

Jan. 2
Vanessa Rancano/KQED News

Recruiting male teachers of color is one thing. Getting them to stay is another.

Darryl McKellar, in this photo taken Nov. 18, 2...

The Future Is Male: Why California Needs More Male Teachers Of Color

Dec. 31, 2019
Vanessa Rancano / KQED News

Three-quarters of California students are of color. For these students, having a teacher of color, who has high expectations, can relate to their experiences, and serve as a role model could make a big difference.

In this Monday, July 1, 2019 file photo, homele...

California Looks To Reduce Homelessness Through Better Prevention

Dec. 27, 2019
David Wagner / KPCC

Officials are looking to cities like Chicago for lessons on how to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

A protest of the anti-Iraqi government over all...

Large Chaldean Iraqi Population Is Thriving In San Diego Suburb

Dec. 3, 2019
By Claire Trageser

In recent decades, the city has been changing — it's now home to one of the largest populations in the country of Chaldeans, a persecuted religious and ethnic minority from Iraq.

The campus of CETYS in Tijuana on October 14, 2019

San Diego Students Going To Mexico For College

Nov. 7, 2019
By Max Rivlin-Nadler

A private Tijuana university offers a business degree in English that's become a low-cost alternative for American students. A growing number of U.S. students are crossing into Mexico to pursue college degrees at CETYS.

San Lorenzo Valley Unified is working to turn t...

Santa Cruz, The Least Affordable Place For Teachers, Is Trying To Make It More Livable

Nov. 6, 2019
Erika Mahoney / KAZU Public Radio

At least three of 10 school districts in Santa Cruz County are exploring the option of building below-market homes for teachers and staff on school district property. In neighboring Monterey County, at least two districts out of 34 are also looking into the idea.

Veggie samosas stuffed with potatoes, peas and ...

From Tikka Masala To Mexican BBQ, Home Kitchens Set To Expand Across State

Nov. 6, 2019
Scott Rodd/Capital Public Radio

Riverside County first to allow amateur chefs to welcome diners into their homes or offer take-out foods.

Photo of an apartment building in Pomona that l...

Housing The Homeless Cuts State's Health Care Burden

Nov. 5, 2019
Matt Tinoco / KPCC

As more than 100,000 people find homes on California’s sidewalks, roadways and parks, the costs mount for local and state governments.

A Factory OS apartment building in West Oakland...

Can Factory-Built Apartments Solve California’s Housing Woes?

Oct. 30, 2019
Matt Levin / CALmatters

The checkered past and promising future of pre-fab housing.

Flames from the Witch Creek fire light up the e...

PG&E Blasted For Not Being More Like SDG&E In Managing Power Shutoffs, But Is The Comparison Fair?

Oct. 24, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A few weeks ago, PG&E cut power to more than 700,000 customers. At the time, politicians and pundits pointed to SDG&E, which shut off electricity to about 500 customers, as a better example of wildfire preparedness.

A group of students starting online courses mee...

Amador County Builds Community College Pipeline For Mental Health Workers

Oct. 21, 2019
Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Amador is one of six California counties without a physical community college. It also struggles to recruit mental health providers. A small online learning program could offer a solution to both problems.

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