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Homeless Populations Are Rising around California

By Jennifer Paluch, Joseph Herrera

Between 2020 and 2022, California’s homeless population increased by 6%. While this growth was largely concentrated in urban areas, the number of people experiencing homelessness declined in San Francisco and Orange County.

Report

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Arrests in California

By Deepak Premkumar, Thomas Sloan, Magnus Lofstrom, Joseph Hayes

At the onset of COVID-19, California’s criminal justice system was affected by shelter-in-place orders and other public health measures, along with law enforcement directives intended to minimize exposure to the virus. We found that pandemic arrest trends mirror mobility patterns, particularly early on. But other factors, such as a shift in policing strategies, also played a role.

blog post

Shrinking Household Size Strains California’s Housing Market

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Hans Johnson, Julien Lafortune

Changing demographic patterns during the pandemic—with Californians “spreading out” across more housing units—has boosted housing demand, while the pace of new construction has not kept up with the number of new households.

blog post

How a New Way of Counting Prisoners Has Changed Redistricting

By Jennifer Paluch, Eric McGhee, Heather Harris

For the purposes of drawing state legislative and congressional districts, California now counts state prisoners as residents of their last known address, rather than as residents of prisons. Though the effects are small, communities with large numbers of residents who have been sent to prison now do not lose representation to the few communities in which the prisons are located.

Report

Racial Disparities in Traffic Stops

By Magnus Lofstrom, Joseph Hayes, Brandon Martin, Deepak Premkumar

Traffic stops have emerged as a key driver of racial disparities in law enforcement and an area of potential reform. Our new report examines whether certain types of traffic stops could be enforced in alternative ways that reduce racial disparities and risks to officers and civilians without jeopardizing public safety.

blog post

California’s Competitive House Districts

By Eric McGhee

California’s newly drawn congressional districts could play a key role in determining party control of the US House of Representatives. What factors might shape the competitive races?

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

Understanding the Effects of School Funding

By Julien Lafortune

Funding for California’s K–12 public schools has reached record highs, but gaps in student outcomes remain. Understanding the benefits of additional funds, and how to distribute those funds, are key concerns for policymakers. This report offers insights from a robust body of research on the extent to which higher spending improves outcomes.

Report

Equitable State Funding for School Facilities

By Julien Lafortune, Niu Gao

Most funding for California’s K–12 facilities comes from local tax revenues, which depend on property wealth. State funding could potentially address wealth disparities, but it has disproportionately benefited more-affluent districts. Policymakers should prioritize equity in facility funding so that all students have access to safe and effective learning environments.

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