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The past year highlighted and heightened California’s key challenges. Millions of Californians lost jobs and income during the COVID-19 crisis; low-income families, communities of color, and women were hit hardest. As schools and universities shifted rapidly to remote learning, educators and parents scrambled to provide all students with high-quality instruction, technology, and support. In addition, California endured a terrible wildfire season, widespread protests pushed the state and the nation to address racial inequities, and historic numbers of Californians voted in the highly consequential November election.

As California emerges from the pandemic, can policymakers pave the way for an equitable recovery? And how can California-the most diverse state in the nation-expand opportunity across all of its communities and regions? PPIC examines these questions in rigorous and innovative ways. Our nonpartisan, independent, fact-based research explores effective, efficient, and equitable public policies that improve the well-being of our state’s people, communities, and environment.

This multi-topic publication addresses the state’s most pressing policy challenges in several key areas:


COVID-19 Criminal Justice Economic Trends Economy Health & Safety Net Higher Education K–12 Education Population Water, Land & Air