Democratic Presidential Debate
Last night, Democratic candidates vying for the 2020 presidential nomination faced off once again for a nationally televised debate. Only 10 of the candidates this time qualified for a prime-time opportunity to make their case, with front-runner Joe Biden sharing the debate stage for the first time with Elizabeth Warren, who has enjoyed a steady rise in the polls since the first debate held in June. Then, California Sen. Kamala Harris memorably attacked Joe Biden for his decades-old opposition to school busing. But this time it was his fellow former Obama Cabinet member, Julian Castro, who made the most personally direct attacks against 76-year-old Biden, including a suggestion that his memory is suffering because of his age.
- Seema Mehta, political writer, Los Angeles Times
- Joe Garofoli, senior political writer, San Francisco Chronicle
From Gig Workers to Rent Control, Legislative Highlights as Session Ends
This week, lawmakers in Sacramento passed AB 5, a bill that is sending shock waves through the tech industry, especially ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft that dominate the so-called gig economy. The bill could affect roughly a million gig workers in the state by reclassifying them as employees rather than independent contractors, and entitling them to benefits such as health insurance and a pension. Uber and Lyft, along with the meal delivery service DoorDash, have vowed to spend $90 million to place a ballot measure before voters next year to fight it. Also this week, lawmakers passed for the first time a statewide rent control bill to help millions of tenants, as California grapples with a housing crisis and a surge in homelessness.
- Marisa Lagos, KQED politics and government correspondent
Berkeley Rep’s New Season and New Artistic Director
On Thursday night, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre will kick off its 51st season with the American premiere of “The Great Wave,” a story of separation and struggle between two sisters that plays out across North Korea and Japan.This season’s lineup of shows will also be helmed by a new artistic director, Johanna Pfaelzer, a New York theater veteran who helped bring to the stage Tony Award-winning productions such as “Hamilton” and “American Idiot.”