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Housing Affordability, State Taxes Among Californians’ Biggest Concerns About What Direction The State Is Heading, According To New Statewide Poll Results

Voters line up to cast their ballots for the California recall election at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on September 14, 2021 in San Jose, California.
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Voters line up to cast their ballots for the California recall election at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on September 14, 2021 in San Jose, California.

Housing Affordability, State Taxes Among Californians’ Biggest Concerns About What Direction The State Is Heading, According To New Statewide Poll Results

Berkeley IGS Poll 4.18.22

As Americans filed their returns this weekend (or maybe asked for an extension), researchers at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies released the results of a recent statewide poll showing nearly two-thirds of voters feel their state and federal income taxes are too high. Forty-two percent of Californians say they feel worse-off financially than they did a year ago at this time. IGS previously released a separate set of data from the poll, highlighting which issues Californians think are most important to address immediately, including homelessness, rising crime rates and high gas prices. Forty-one percent of respondents said high gas prices are causing a very serious problem for them and their families.

Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with UC Berkeley’s Mark DiCamillo, who directs the Berkeley IGS Poll, which is a non-partisan public opinion survey on matters of politics, public policy and public affairs conducted by Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies.

Supply Chain Problems & More, Checking In With The Port Of Long Beach

Port Progress 4.18.22

The pandemic helped create massive supply chain problems across the economy, resulting in a huge backlog of idling container ships off the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. While the backlog has alleviated from its peak, a recent report by White House economic advisors said the supply chain disruptions we experienced over recent years could become more common, and the head of the Port of Long Beach is calling for major changes to prevent it from happening again.

Today on AirTalk, we talk to the executive director of the Port of Long Beach, Mario Cordero, about how ports are managing these lingering supply chain issues and more.

The Case For Mandatory Voting

100 Percent Democracy Boook 4.18.22

In the 2020 presidential election, the highest percentage of eligible voters in 120 years cast a ballot -- and turnout was still just 67 percent, meaning about a third of potential voters still didn't have their voices heard. In Australia, where voting is mandatory, turnout averages more than 90 percent. What happens to a democracy when elected leaders derive their power from the minority of Americans who actually cast a ballot? And what could happen if nearly every eligible American participated in the civic process? What would our elections and government look like?

That's the idea behind the new book "100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting" (The New Press, 2022). Today on AirTalk, we speak with authors E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport about how universal voting works in Australia, why they think it would work here, how it would be implemented, possible legal challenges, and more.

A New Bill Proposes A 4-Day Work Week: How Would Californians Adjust? 

CA 4 Day Work Week 4.18.22

A new bill moving through the state legislature would mandate a 4-day workweek for companies with more than 500 employees. The bill, AB 2932, would require overtime pay for employees working more than 32 hours in a week, rather than the current cap of 40 hours per week. One of the bill's authors, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens, cites a mass employee exodus during the COVID-19 pandemic as a cause for change. Over 47 million people left their jobs last year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Garcia said we’re already seeing the signs of labor shortages regularly in multiple fields, such as restaurants, retail and education. “Employees are letting us know that they're not willing to return to what was before because there was not a healthy balance out there,” Garcia said.

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by assistant professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business at USC, Eric Anicich to discuss the pros and cons of a 4-day workweek and what it would mean for employers, employees, and California’s economy.

COVID-19 AMA: California Ditches Vaccine Requirement For Kids, How At-Home Tests Are Affecting Case Counts, Breath Test To Detect COVID, And More 

Covid Update 4.18.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Sam Torbati, co-chair of the department of emergency medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Topics today include:

AirTalk Honors The Local Heroes Making A Difference Around Southern California

Local Hero 4.18.22

The news is a lot to handle right now, so on Airtalk, we’re setting aside time each week to talk about some of the positives, like all the good people doing great things across Southern California. We asked you to help us shine a spotlight on your local heroes, and we received a lot of great submissions. Today on AirTalk, we talk with Jennifer Purcell, a legal secretary, who spends countless hours volunteering as a coach for Special Olympics athletes in Huntington Beach.

To help us shine a spotlight on your local hero, go to kpcc.org/airtalk. You’ll find a link right under our show description where you can nominate your local hero. And they could be interviewed here on AirTalk. We’re hoping to do one of these each week, and we can’t do it without your help. 

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