Winners and Losers – February 26
Tim Anaya, Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Fans of Tina Turner – If you’re a big Tina fan like I am, you were very excited this week to see the release of the first trailer of a much-anticipated documentary on Tina and her life and career that will air on HBO in late March.
Loser: California parents and students – Parents and students have been waiting all week long for the Legislature and the Governor to agree upon a school reopening plan. They’re still waiting, as the Legislature failed to act this week. Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether anything they agree to will overrule the demands of teacher unions resisting reopening efforts or lead to a swift, full-time return to in-person learning.
Evan Harris, Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: Tiger Woods – We don’t know what impact Tiger Woods accident will have on his career, from all accounts Woods is lucky to be alive after his car crash this week.
Loser: Big State Governors – The old phrase, “it’s lonely at the top” couldn’t be more true for the governors of California, Texas, and New York as the state leaders are engulfed in their own scandals. Newsom faces a recall out west, Abbott is facing the fallout over one of the worst energy crisis in recent memory, and Cuomo is being investigated by the Feds for the New York nursing home fiasco.
Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President
Winner: Pilots of United Flight 328 – As a United frequent flyer and one who visits Hawaii annually, my hats off to the pilots of United Flight 328 for safely landing the plane. Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation today thanks to skilled and dedicated pilots — many of whom are U.S. Air Force vets.
Loser: California’s students – An analysis by Burbio, a community data service that has been auditing 1,200 districts across the U.S. on their reopening status since the beginning of the school year found that California ranks 49th among the 50 states in the proportion of students offered in-person instruction.
Kerry Jackson, Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winners: Thomas Jefferson (and opponents of the cancel culture/outrage mob) – The University of Missouri has refused to remove a statue of the third president from campus. It’s a bit of a partial victory, though. A disclaimer placed next to the statue of Jefferson, shown writing the Declaration of Independence, that would summarize his “accomplishments, and also his shortcomings” is being considered.
Loser: San Franciscans – The University of California, San Francisco wants to expand the medical center at its Parnassus Heights campus. New construction would add 200 beds to a facility that says every year it turns away about 3,000 patients seeking care because of shortage of capacity. But NIMBYs are trying to stop the project.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winner: Rand Paul – The Kentucky Senator made national news this week on worker freedom. On Wednesday, Senator Paul reintroduced the National Right to Work Act which guarantees the right of employees to choose whether to unionize and pay union dues.
Loser: Oakley Union Elementary School Board – An entire school board located in Northern California resigned after being caught mocking parents and using profanity on an unintentionally public Zoom link. Other trustees joined in laughing. The shocking remarks came during a time when students desperately need schools to reopen for the sake of their education and mental health.