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California’s Private Colleges Are Preparing for the End of Affirmative Action

By Kevin Cook, Mary Severance

The US Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling this year that declares affirmative action in college admissions unconstitutional. We talked with Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, about the potential impact of the court’s decision.

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Despite State Action, Grim Views on Housing Persist

By Dean Bonner

While policymakers have taken steps in recent years to address the state’s housing challenges, seven in ten Californians say that housing affordability is a big problem—the highest share since 2017. In addition, a solid majority of residents are very concerned that the cost of housing will prevent their family’s younger generation from buying a home in their part of California.


Is College Worth It?

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Cesar Alesi Perez, Vicki Hsieh, Hans Johnson

Rising college costs and a reluctance to take on debt lead many students and families to wonder if college will actually yield a brighter future with higher earnings and better jobs. In this explainer, we explore whether the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs.

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California’s African American Community

By Eric McGhee

The African American community in California has never been large, but it has been vital to our state’s political, economic, and cultural history. We look at how California’s African American population has changed over time and how it is faring.

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Concerns about Crime Are Up, Views of Police Are Down

By Deja Thomas

The share of Californians saying that violence and street crime is a problem in their community has increased from a year ago, and the share saying that the police are doing an excellent or good job controlling crime has declined. Views on crime and policing vary notably across demographic groups, including by race and ethnicity.

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What Student Debt Relief Means for Californians

By Darriya Starr, Jacob Jackson, Dean Bonner

A plan to forgive federal student loan debt—now being reviewed by the US Supreme Court—could provide relief to about 3.5 million Californians. Six in ten Californians favor a government policy to eliminate college debt, though support varies across different racial/ethnic groups and by educational attainment and income level.


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.

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