Sharon's Reviews > California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach

California Politics and Government by Larry N. Gerston
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it was amazing

I didn't grow up in California and I wanted to learn how to engage with it as an adult. This book covers all the basic concepts like the bicameral legislature and the responsibilities of a city versus a county. It also delves into more depth for certain topics, like San Francisco's unique mayor / supervisors structure and the number of budget crises we've weathered within recent years.

My favorite part is probably the racist history of the Progressive movement being highlighted in the first few pages, but I genuinely enjoyed the whole book as a high-level overview. This is a solid introduction to California and a good refresher on overall civics basics.
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2017 – Started Reading
January 8, 2017 – Shelved
January 8, 2017 –
page 6
3.13% "I'm only a few pages in and there's already a housing crisis. Also, the Progressive movement has a long and ugly history of campaigning against immigration."
January 16, 2017 –
page 25
13.02% "Reading about blackouts and Gray Davis and how recalls work. I remember reading about this in the news so it's a little weird to see it in a book. It does feel like a long time ago though."
January 20, 2017 –
page 57
January 22, 2017 –
page 67
34.9% "California's legislature has changed form a few times since it attained statehood. Apparently 2010 brought a pretty significant change: for the first time, census redistricting was done by a citizens' commission instead of by the legislature itself. I need to read more about that. (I'm reading an edition published in 2012 so the book doesn't know how things turned out.)"
February 2, 2017 –
page 96
50.0% "This book is now overdue to my public library but I'm stubbornly keeping it and continuing to read it. (Maybe I should just buy it.)

Reading about the governor is interesting. Somehow I didn't remember that Schwarzenegger remained in office until a few years after I moved to California. Jerry Brown's nonconsecutive terms are odd too."
February 6, 2017 –
page 122
63.54% "I've read a lot of words about how the state budget is supposed to be balanced, but I still can't explain what the actual consequences are if it isn't. Also, it blows my mind that this is a year-long process."
February 9, 2017 –
page 145
75.52% "Finally reached what is probably the most important chapter right now: "State-Federal Relations: Conflict, Cooperation, and Chaos.""
February 9, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 10, 2017 –
page 149
77.6% "On California's power in Congress:

"California's representatives have often canceled each other's votes, leaving states such as Texas far more powerful because of their relatively unified stances."

February 10, 2017 –
page 154
80.21% ""In 2007, the Bush administration-guided EPA ruled that there was no evidence suggesting that auto emissions contained greenhouse gases, to the amazement of most scientists in the United States and worldwide. Since the agency gave no scientific explanation for its ruling, California and sixteen other states sued the EPA for not carrying out its mandate.""
February 10, 2017 –
page 158
82.29% "Love these closing words:

"California's growing autonomy may be the hallmark of the state's direction in the coming years. Whatever the future, it will be an interesting experiment.""

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