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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

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Do You Speak Mam? Growth of Oakland’s Guatemalan Community Sparks Interest In Indigenous Language

Aug. 6
Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

A handful of adults at an Oakland community college practiced how to say “good afternoon” in Mam, a Mayan language spoken in the western highlands of Guatemala.

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Health Spa Pioneer Recalls Her Early Years

Aug. 1
By Amita Sharma

Nearly 80 years ago, as World War II raged, immigration rules and a keen interest in health motivated Deborah and Edmond Szekely to get into the wellness business.

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San Diego Still Captivates Health Seekers

July 31
By Amita Sharma

For thousands of years, the San Diego region’s near constant sunshine, lush valleys and stunning coast have drawn people searching for wellness. In the final installment of a three-part series, a spa owner and San Diego boosters explain why the area’s allure remains.

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How The 'Invalid Trade' Helped Build San Diego

July 30
By Amita Sharma

In the late 19th century, San Diego pitched itself to the rest of the country as a place to get well.

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San Diego’s Reputation As A Place To Get Well May Have Started With The Cupa Indians

July 29
By Amita Sharma

San Diego has a long reputation as a place to heal.

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Despite A Growing Latino Middle Class, California Families Face Hurdles Getting There

July 11
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Despite rising incomes and lower poverty rate for Latinos, many California families struggle.

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A Growing Latino Middle Class: One Family’s Journey From Have-Not To Have

July 10
Leslie Berestein Rojas / KPCC

The first of two stories for the California Dream series explores the growth of the Latino middle class as children and grandchildren of immigrants come of age, and Latino median household incomes rising.

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Dream Big, Live Small: Why The Van Life Is Taking Hold In California

July 3
Sammy Caiola/Capital Public Radio

A growing enclave of millennials is choosing van life as an alternative to a 9-to-5 job and a mortgage.

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How Redding Became An Unlikely Epicenter Of Modern Christian Culture

July 2
Vanessa Rancaño/KQED

In the two decades since the School of Supernatural Ministry’s founding, more than 10,000 people from around the world have made the same pilgrimage, turning Redding into an unlikely global epicenter of Christian culture.

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs Invigorate California's Economy

July 1
David Wagner / KPCC

Immigrants take big risks coming to California. When they get here, many decide to take another risk: launching their own company.

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The Global California Dream, In 5 Charts And Maps

June 26
Matt Levin/CALmatters

The “California Dream” is a global brand. For more than a century the state has been a magnet for migrants from around the world, and now has the largest foreign-born population of any state in the country.

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Experts Cheer Newsom's Order To Create Aging Plan, Some Push For Interim Fixes

June 18
By Amita Sharma

Advocates say immediate attention needed on boosting funding for healthcare and long-term care costs for the elderly.

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Roundtable: Navy SEAL War Crimes Trial Delayed

May 24
By Aly Sadik, Mark Sauer

The trial has been delayed for the Navy SEAL accused of committing war crimes while on deployment. Seniors are finding it harder to live in the Golden State. California moves one step closer to restricting short-term rentals in San Diego.

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How Prepared Is California For The Booming Senior Population?

May 22
By KPBS Staff

Seniors are the fastest growing population group in California. The state faces numerous challenges in helping seniors deal with issues from financial stress to access to healthcare and housing.

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California's Aging Population Is Growing, Quickly. Are We Ready?

May 21
By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

By the year 2030, California's senior population is expected to grow from 6 to 9 million residents. That will have a significant impact on everything from health care to transportation and housing. Join KPBS Midday Edition this Wednesday at noon for a live broadcast and panel discussion with local experts on navigating the golden years in California.

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