Sunday, April 9, 2017

State Politics>National Politics

My buddy Cristian and I with Assemblywoman Monique Limon
Every single day we hear something about Donald Trump, the State Department, or a member of his cabinet doing something. The media loves talking about national politics and for good reason too. When you cover something on a national scale your audience is much larger than if you were to specify it further. Even more so it creates the conversation piece for America as a whole, so if  I was to fly to Philadelphia and talk to someone about the news in general, chances are we would share knowledge on the same current events. However I'd like to argue the case for being politically conscious on a state-wide level.

Assemblyman Chen whom I will be interning for over summer
This past week politicians in Sacramento in the state legislature voted on an expedited bill that approves an increase in gas tax for every single Californian. "The legislation, for which final details were unveiled last week, would raise the base excise tax on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon, bringing it to 30 cents. Another variable excise tax would be set at 17 cents" (LA Times). When talking to people about this bill, many people were completely unaware that their gas will be going up on average 10 dollars a month (an estimate based off the average Californian's driver statistics). Californians already are among some of the highest payers in regards to gasoline tax, but we still voted for this tax because of a "lack of funds for state-wide infrastructure projects," despite there being more than enough in the general fund. But again, no one is having this conversation which is far more important than anything else. Most decisions about your future are directly controlled by the state government. This includes: collecting taxes, making and enforcing laws, taking private property for public purposes, borrowing money, regulating intrastate commerce, taking measures for public health, and anything else that the constitution does not explicitly give to the national government via the 10th amendment (Source).

"How do I stay in the know in regards to state politics?" Good question theoretical question asker. There are two sources that were recommended to me by my internship mentor. Mainly the Sacramento Bee which covers Sacramento local news as well as Capitol news. Rough and Tumble Politics which is more policy heavy. And then I personally recommend The Los Angeles Times which also does a great job covering State and National news for more of a 2-for-1 stop and shop. Furthermore you can find who your representatives are on a state and national level here.

This week's quote is completely unrelated and comes from my favorite comedy TV show Rick and Morty,

"Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. We're all going to die. Come watch TV."

Amen,
Matt

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