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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

Bidhan Roy, a Cal State LA professor, teaches i...

A College Education In Prison Opens Unexpected Path To Freedom

Sept. 23, 2019
Vanessa Rancaño / KEQD

Inside a maximum-security prison in the middle of California’s high desert, there’s an unusual educational experiment underway. It’s become something no one expected — a path to freedom.

Uber Driver Jeff Perry waits in the Sacramento ...

A Bill To Fix Or Foul California’s Gig Economy

Sept. 10, 2019
Randol White / Capitol Public Radio

Independent contractors could become employees of companies such as Uber, Lyft and Doordash, changing their ability to earn a living and the businesses they work for forever.

Juan Hernandez is trying to make a living in th...

Gig Worker Barely Scraping By In Imperial Valley

Sept. 9, 2019
By Amita Sharma

Amid high unemployment and hot weather, local workers are trying to patch together a living in the “gig” economy.

Dr. Dan Dahle visits his patient Wilma Chesbro,...

Paging More Doctors: California’s Worsening Physician Shortage

Sept. 3, 2019
Elizabeth Aguilera/CALmatters

In a northern California valley stretching under miles of bright blue sky between two snowy volcanic peaks, Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta, Daniel Dahle is known as a godsend, a friend, a lifesaver, a companion until the end.

Vila Xiong operates the mixing board herself wh...

Central Valley Radio Station Stands In As A Cultural ‘Town Hall’ For Local Hmong And Punjabi-Speaking Communities

Aug. 30, 2019
Julia Mitric /Capital Public Radio

Since the late ’80s, KBIF has slowly but steadily cultivated a niche for itself by serving as a cultural hub for Fresno’s Hmong and Punjabi communities.

Juan Hernandez is trying to make a living in th...

KPBS Wants Your Help In Understanding The Gig Economy

Aug. 27, 2019
By Amita Sharma

The gig economy is transforming the workplace and fueling a debate about what kind of wages and benefits gig workers should get. We want to know your thoughts on the topic.

The interior of Patsy’s Irish Pub in Mission Vi...

Nearly 40% Of Young Adult Californians Live With Their Parents. Here’s Everything To Know About Them

Aug. 27, 2019
Matt Levin/CALmatters

A data dive explores who they are, where they are and why they still live at home —and yes, how they manage to have sex.

Kaye, who asked that we not use her last name, ...

Santa Monica To Ramp Up Rental Subsidies For Seniors

Aug. 23, 2019
By Amita Sharma

Over the last year, the city has experimented with sending rental checks to nearly two dozen seniors on the brink of homelessness. Now it plans to significantly expand the program.

Tessa Scott (left), Gladiola Aguilar, Mirtha Ni...

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

Aug. 6, 2019
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.

Rancho La Puerta owner Deborah Szekely, 97, at ...

Health Spa Pioneer Recalls Her Early Years

Aug. 1, 2019
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.

San Diego ads play up the region’s natural beauty.

San Diego Still Captivates Health Seekers

July 31, 2019
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.

Tuberculosis patients convalesce at Vauclain Tu...

How The 'Invalid Trade' Helped Build San Diego

July 30, 2019
By Amita Sharma

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

The Cupa Indians stop for a rest during their t...

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

July 29, 2019
By Amita Sharma

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

A cart loaded with fresh vegetables, eggs, and ...

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

July 11, 2019
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

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

Helen, Juan, and Monica Rivera in front of Juan...

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

July 10, 2019
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.