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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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Proposition 13: Similar Homes, Different Taxes

Oct. 26, 2018
Matt Levin/ CALmatters

Jas and Don live just around the corner from each other. Their houses are worth the same. Is it fair that she pays far more in taxes?

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Proposition 13: The Birth Of California’s Taxpayer Revolt

Oct. 25, 2018
Chris Nichols/Capital Public Radio

40 years ago California voters passed Proposition 13. The election reshaped the California dream for generations.

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Voter Cram Session: AirTalk Breaks Down The Ballot Propositions

Oct. 18, 2018
KPCC

Voters have fewer propositions to sift through than two years ago, but will be asked to vote on 11 statewide ballot measures this fall. Among them, Californians will decide whether local governments should be able to expand rent control, whether to retain the gas tax, and if the state should only sell cage-free eggs.

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Special Call-In: Analysis And Reaction On The Newsom-Cox Debate From Across California

Oct. 8, 2018
AirTalk, KPCC

In collaboration with the California Dream project, AirTalk hosts a live statewide call-in show featuring analysis and voter reaction to the debate.

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Cox, Newsom Square Off In California Governor Debate

Oct. 8, 2018
Guy Marzorati / KQED

California's two gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox are set to square off head-to-head for the first (and probably only) time at 10 a.m. Monday in a debate on KQED's Forum program. The debate will also be carried on KPBS, 89.5 FM.

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Gavin Newsom Lays Out Plan For Resurrecting The California Dream Ahead of Monday's Debate

Oct. 5, 2018
By Amita Sharma

California Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox will square off Monday in a radio debate at KQED-FM. KPBS Investigative Reporter spoke with Newsom this week in Los Angeles about his plans to jump start the waning California Dream.

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Homelessness: I Feel Your Pain, Or Do I?

Oct. 1, 2018
By Amita Sharma

As cities look for ways to tackle homelessness and the state pours half a billion dollars into finding solutions, KPBS Wealth and Poverty reporter Amita Sharma looks at the science of empathy.

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Thousands Of Californians Are Working While Homeless, And Many Don't Want Their Boss To Know

Sept. 17, 2018
David Wagner/ KPCC

California doesn’t define homelessness as a protected class in the workplace.

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Thousands Of Californians Live In Vehicles; Lawsuit Challenges Cities’ Authority To Impound Their Homes

Sept. 13, 2018
David Gorn/CALmatters

For thousands of homeless people living in their cars across California, impoundment can be the tipping point into joblessness and a life on the streets.

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How A Transportation Safety Net Could Keep More People Off The Streets

Aug. 31, 2018
Meghan McCarty Carino/KPCC

Discounted transit fares and subsidies for new shared mobility tech, like scooters and ride-share, could help low-income people stay on their feet.

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Targeting The Turning Point Of Eviction

Aug. 30, 2018
David Gorn/CALmatters

For the more than one-third of Californians living under or near the federal poverty level, eviction may be the first step toward homelessness.

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A Deeper Dive Into California's Housing And Homelessness Crisis

Aug. 28, 2018
Victoria Cabales/ CALmatters

Over 134,000 Californians now face homelessness on any given night. Recent research conducted at UCLA found that there is a correlation between high cost of living and homelessness rates. As rents continue to rise, millions of low-income Californians struggle to meet ends meet, and many live on the edge of homelessness.

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New Survey Shows California Dream Continues To Fade

Aug. 28, 2018
By Amita Sharma

Nearly half of working Californians are grappling with poverty, according to a new survey by the DC-based Public Religion Research Institute.

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Santa Monica Offers Cash To Seniors To Help With Rent

Aug. 27, 2018
By Amita Sharma

As senior homelessness spikes in some parts of the state amid a shortage of affordable housing, Santa Monica is trying out rental subsidies to help keep its seniors off the streets.

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Housing, Homelessness And The California Dream

Aug. 24, 2018
Adriene Hill/California Dream Project Editor

On any given night in California there are about 134,000 people without a home, according to annual data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s nearly the equivalent to the population of Pasadena or Roseville, sleeping on the street, on a bench or in a shelter.