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California Dream

Traffic sign of CA interstate 1 highway.

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.

Special Series

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More Retirees Find Themselves Taking Care Of Mom And Dad

March 4
By Amita Sharma

People are living longer compared to decades ago, and that has spawned a trend: Senior citizens taking care of their very elderly parents.

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Frustrated With The Slow Response Of Government, Californians Are Serving Their Homeless Neighbors Themselves

Feb. 12
Matt Tinoco/KPCC

Around the state, concerned neighbors are becoming homeless rights advocates and service providers.

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A New Solution To The Student Housing Crisis: Retiree Roommates?

Feb. 11
Felicia Mello/CALmatters

Finding housing was one of the first challenges Alyssa Mathiowetz faced as a new graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. She landed a room in a shared house near campus, but it came with a steep price tag: $1,500 a month.

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In Style And Substance, Gavin Newsom Goes His Own Way

Feb. 8
By Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Gavin Newsom is proving to be a very different California governor than Jerry Brown. At least, the second Governor Jerry Brown.

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Kamala Harris: Criminal Justice Reformer, Or Defender Of The Status Quo? The Record Is Mixed

Feb. 4
Louis Jacobson, Chris Nichols

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., kicked off her campaign for president with a speech that, in part, pushed back against critics who believe she failed to challenge shortcomings of the criminal justice system during her career as an elected prosecutor.

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Middle-Class Californians: Here’s What’s In Gov. Newsom’s Budget For You

Jan. 28
David Wagner/KPCC

Health insurance and higher education could become more affordable — but probably not the cost of caring for aging family members.

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California’s Next-Gen Farmers Look To Nonprofit Groups For Business Coaching

Jan. 23
Julia Mitric / Capital Public Radio

Organizations in California are helping the state's young farmers gain necessary business skills.

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What Can Tenants Do When Rent Jumps?

Jan. 16
By Amita Sharma

It depends on where you live, but in many parts of California, there’s not a lot of recourse for renters who are priced out.

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Could Anti-Price Gouging Laws Slow Rising Rents?

Jan. 14
By Amita Sharma

California lawmakers are exploring new ways to limit skyrocketing rents.

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Roundtable: San Diego Labor Leadership Change

Dec. 21, 2018
By Kris Vera-Phillips, Mark Sauer

San Diego sees big changes within the labor movement, authorities respond to Del Mar's crumbling bluffs and losing out on the California Dream.

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The Risks Of Energy Efficient Loans

Nov. 28, 2018
By Amita Sharma

Lenders are selling seniors on the idea of home renovation work; sometimes homeowners don’t realize they’ve taken on debt until it’s too late.

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Pricey Real Estate Prompts Scammers To Target Senior Homeowners

Nov. 27, 2018
By Amita Sharma

Amid California’s record-shattering housing prices, the state’s senior homeowners are sitting on a gold mine. That’s made them marks for con artists.

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What Questions Do You Have About How California Cities Are Addressing Homelessness?

Nov. 16, 2018
California Dream

Join us Friday, Nov. 16, for a wide-ranging conversation with the mayors of four of California's largest cities about our crisis in homelessness and housing. Hear what they're doing at a local level and what else they think California can do to help those struggling to get by.

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2018 Midterm Election Results: Join In On A Statewide Discussion

Nov. 7, 2018
By KPBS News

In collaboration with the California Dream project, join us for a live, statewide call-in radio show on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon. We’ll get reaction to the 2018 midterm election results from political reporters around the state and from listeners like you.

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The New Normal In California’s Direct Democracy Process: Ballot Measures As Leverage

Nov. 5, 2018
Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

A 2014 state law opened up California’s direct democracy process to negotiations with the governor and Legislature. In doing so, it created a powerful new tool for interest groups.

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