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California’s Evolving Economy

By Sarah Bohn

Fundamental shifts in three keys areas--where we work, how we work, and the role of federal investments--are likely to shape California’s economic future as well as the policy questions we face.

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Housing

The high cost of housing poses a threat to the state’s economic future and widens inequality. Not surprisingly, Californians identify housing affordability and homelessness as among the most important issues facing the state. PPIC examines current and emerging housing needs and highlights the role of public policies in addressing the state’s housing crisis.

blog post

Commentary: Drought Requires New Strategies for Managing Cropland

By Andrew Ayres, Caitlin Peterson

With careful planning, research and development, and incentive programs, the San Joaquin Valley can avoid the worst consequences of land fallowing — and perhaps even create environmental and economic benefits.

Statewide Survey

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment

By Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

Key findings include: Three in ten Californians name water supply and drought as the state’s top environmental issue; nearly seven in ten say the water supply is a big problem in their part of the state. More than half of Californians say higher gas prices have caused financial hardship, and more than four in ten are upset about the current rate of inflation. Most Californians oppose offshore drilling, and an overwhelming majority want to prioritize alternative energy over oil, coal, and natural gas. But views are divided along party lines. Democrats are much more likely than independents and Republicans to support key state climate change policies.

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Farmland in Transition: The San Joaquin Valley

As the San Joaquin Valley works to bring its groundwater basins into balance, hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production. How do we manage all this newly fallowed land? Our latest research examines whether water-limited agriculture might help ease the transition—and what other management practices could mitigate dust and air quality concerns in the valley.

Report

Land Transitions and Dust in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Jaymin Kwon, Joy Collins

Agricultural operations and wind erosion are two of the largest sources of dust in the San Joaquin Valley, and the valley’s air quality may decline with increased farmland fallowing and a warmer, drier climate. This will impact low-income, rural communities first and foremost, but proactive management can help identify high-risk areas and direct funding to cost-effective interventions.

Report

Exploring the Potential for Water-Limited Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley

By Caitlin Peterson, Cameron Pittelkow, Mark Lundy

As irrigated farmland comes out of production in the San Joaquin Valley, valley residents will face increased pests, weeds, and dust—as well as a loss of employment and economic activity. Water-limited cropping is one alternative to fallowing that can improve soil health and air quality, create habitat, and keep land in production.

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How Is California’s Child Care Sector Faring?

By Sarah Bohn, Julien Lafortune

Parents are back to work, with the share of employed mothers even higher than it was pre-COVID. But job recovery in the child care sector markedly lags that of the economy overall.

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California’s LGBT Population

By Hans Johnson

California’s share of adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is higher than that in the rest of the nation. Our state’s LGBT community includes a broad range of identities and reflects California’s overall racial and ethnic diversity.

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