Good morning. It’s Thursday, Oct. 20.
- Scholars push UC system to hire undocumented students.
- L.A. lawmaker Kevin De León says “I will not resign.”
- And a short film shows what it’s like to live in Yosemite.
California is home to an estimated 44,000 undocumented college students who are ineligible for DACA, the federal program that shields young immigrants from deportation. Federal law makes it illegal to hire them. But a coalition that includes some of the nation’s top legal scholars has now launched a campaign to pressure the University of California to offer jobs to the students. They’ve found substantial support within the university community. N.Y. Times | S.F. Chronicle
Georgia’s Raphael Warnock is in a tight race for the U.S. Senate against the Republican former football star Herschel Walker — and California has stepped up for him in a big way. Warnock has raised nearly $9 million from donors in the Golden State, far more than the roughly $5 million raised from residents of his own state. Among the high-profile figures funding his campaign: Norman Lear, J.J. Abrams, and Steven Spielberg. The Wrap
Anna May Wong will become the first Asian American featured on U.S. currency, a quarter-dollar coin set to debut next Monday. Born in Los Angeles, Wong rose to become America’s first movie star of Asian descent while facing entrenched racism in the 1920s. She eventually relocated to Europe out of frustration. “Why is it that the screen Chinese is nearly always the villain of the piece, and so cruel a villain — murderous, treacherous, a snake in the grass,” she said in a 1933 interview. “We are not like that.” L.A. Times | NPR
What is it like to live in Yosemite? After college, Andrew Upchurch reinvented himself as a modern-day John Muir, moving to the Sierra valley to connect with the natural world. A few years ago, a filmmaker made a video vignette about his life. “I didn’t expect to live here,” he says. “It feels very surreal and it feels humbling because there aren’t really that many people who get to live here.” Vimeo (~3:34 mins)
Catholic schools have historically attracted immigrant families who felt squeamish about deficiencies in the public school system. In many large cities today, another option has emerged: the Chinese-language-immersion school. Jay Caspian Kang wrote about Yu Ming Charter School, an elementary school in Oakland with eye-popping test scores, huge lines to get in, and a surprisingly diverse student body. New Yorker
Fresno County’s district attorney, Lisa Smittcamp, filed murder charges in a fentanyl overdose, a first for the county and part of a growing movement to punish fentanyl dealers more harshly. The suspect, 22-year-old Cassidy Gonzalez, was accused of selling fentanyl that killed a woman who was seeking a painkiller. Smittcamp said she expected to file more murder cases against drug dealers: “People ask me, ‘Are you trying to send a message?’ And you know what I say? ‘You’re damn right I am.'” FOX26 | Fresno Bee | KFSN
On Wednesday, San Francisco officials planned a celebration to share some news: They secured money to add a public toilet in the town square in Noe Valley. To build the 150-square-foot unit with just one toilet, the city budgeted $1.7 million and set a timeline of more than two years. Tom Hardiman, a leader in the modular construction industry, was flabbergasted when he heard: “This is to build one public restroom? What are they making it out of — gold and fine Italian marble?” S.F. Chronicle
The illustrator Chris Arvin created a map San Franciscans didn’t know they needed: “San Francisco Store Cats” shows which shops in the city have cats, along with their names, headshots, and a star rating for “particularly friendly” felines. Arvin posted the map to acclaim on Twitter Wednesday, noting, “I have spent years building up this knowledge.” SF Standard
“No, I will not resign.”
In his first interviews since the leak of the racist L.A. City Council audio, Councilmember Kevin De León said he is “so sorry” for his role in the discussion but said he wasn’t going anywhere. “I have to do the hard work. I have to repair. I have to help heal. I have to help restore,” he said. Other Council members responded by repeating calls for him to resign. L.A. Times | LAist
L.A. Times’ Mark Z. Barabak: Many politicians have weathered knee-buckling scandals: Bill Clinton. John McCain. Donald Trump. This one is different.
Cal State Fullerton said it had pulled its student teachers from classrooms in an Orange County school district that voted in April to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory. The college told officials at Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified that the ban conflicted with its goals to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, “and tenets of critical race theory.” Several school board members said the statement bolstered their support for the ban, calling it proof that the academic theory is “infiltrating” schools. Voice of OC | L.A. Times
On May 6, 2019, Tanya Suarez, high on methamphetamine and hallucinating, began clawing at her eyes while in a San Diego County jail cell. According to a lawsuit, a deputy stood outside and watched, holding up her iPhone, as Suarez removed her right eye, then the other. It was another five minutes before deputies entered the cell, the lawsuit says. In a settlement reported Wednesday, the county agreed to pay Suarez $4.35 million. S.D. Union-Tribune | CBS8
Christian Secor, a former UCLA student who founded an ultra-right campus organization, was sentenced Wednesday to three years and six months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. In the Senate chamber, Secor sat in a chair that Vice President Mike Pence had occupied about 30 minutes earlier. He later tweeted, “One day accomplished more for conservatism than the last 30 years.” Washington Post | NPR
A caption in Wednesday’s newsletter mislabeled a photo of a lizard. It was a fence lizard, not an alligator lizard.
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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