All Newswriting Work

What’s the role of unions in the 21st century?

Unions have historically formed to ensure fair wages, benefits and better working conditions for their members. They negotiate with businesses and governments on behalf of employees, who either work a particular type of job or in a particular industry. They’re a powerful force in California politics, pushing for a statewide $15 minimum wage, increased paid sick time and greater workplace safety in the COVID era. But membership, particularly in the private sector that makes up 84% of the labor f

How sports arenas became the poster child of California’s housing crisis

Anaheim, San Diego and Oakland are all hoping to give their sports arenas a boost by giving the surrounding real estate a makeover. In high-gloss renderings, developers promise walkable, transit-friendly cityscapes featuring housing, hotels, shops and restaurants with plenty of inviting green space. To borrow from “Field of Dreams,” if you build it they will come. And these cities are wagering the improvements will be enough to get professional sports teams to stay. There’s just one problem on

Payday loans dropped during pandemic, but Californians are ‘not out of the woods’

Pandemic government assistance may have helped some Californians avoid using expensive payday loans last year, but some experts say it might be too early to celebrate. A new report found that in 2020, California saw a 40% decline in payday loans taken out compared to 2019, a drop equivalent to $1.1 billion. Almost half a million fewer people didn’t rely on payday loans, a 30% drop compared to 2019. Despite the unprecedented job loss triggered by the pandemic last year, government-funded financ

For 3.5 million California families, jobs don’t cover high cost of living

A new cost-of-living study reveals a hard truth that millions of Californians now face: In many parts of the Golden State, having a job is far from enough to ensure financial stability. The report from United Ways of California, an antipoverty advocacy organization, shows that the rising costs of housing and child care have outstripped growth in wages so much that 3.5 million working households don’t make enough to meet their most basic necessities. Peter Manzo, president and CEO of United Way

California may move to regulate booming debt settlement industry

Before the pandemic, Graciela Gomez relied on two jobs to keep up with her expenses. After losing her part-time job at Macy’s in March 2020, she had to choose between paying off her credit cards or paying her rent. She chose the latter. “I didn’t know who to talk to, who to contact. I was embarrassed,” Gomez said. An ad for a debt settlement company appeared on her social media feed promising to lower her debt. After following up, she says what she got was a lawsuit from one of her credit card

CSULB explores alternatives after losing 'Broadway Block' housing project

After losing two potential affordable housing projects in the Downtown Long Beach area, Long Beach State officials continue their search for student housing. While the search has slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic, other obstacles like funding, seismic regulations and disgruntled neighbors haven’t made it any easier. “I remain committed to finding affordable housing for our students,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “That’s one reason why we’re building this new complex that will be open

How CSULB lost an affordable housing opportunity in Downtown Long Beach

Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley was eager to expand the university into downtown with the Broadway Block, a project designed to provide 24 affordable student housing units and classroom “flex” space. However, those plans were squashed in June 2020. “For a couple of years, I had a styrofoam model on my desk about what this is going to look like,” Conoley said. “So I was very excited about walking through the courtyard and being able to see our students.” According to university of