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Are People and Businesses Leaving the Golden State? | Remembering Bill Russell

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Smithfield Foods Factory Closes

Last week, the meat-packing giant Smithfield Foods announced it will close its factory in Vernon, CA, citing the high cost of doing business in the Golden State. About 1,800 employees will lose their jobs in February next year, although some could relocate to other Smithfield facilities outside of California.

We talk to New York Times economics correspondent Kurtis Lee, who reported on the Smithfield Foods story and what it says about doing business in California.

Are People Leaving the Golden State?

The pandemic and high housing prices are often cited as fueling a wave of departures from the San Francisco Bay area, but are people and businesses actually fleeing in search of better opportunities elsewhere? We look at shifts in the Bay Area’s demographics and workforce. 



  • Abbie Langston, Director of Equitable Economy, PolicyLink
  • Rachael Myrow, KQED Silicon Valley Desk senior editor
  • Jeremy C. Owens, San Francisco bureau chief, MarketWatch 

Something Beautiful: Bill Russell

Last Sunday, the Bay Area and the basketball world lost an icon: Bill Russell is arguably the greatest champion the sport has ever seen. Yet, Russell’s legacy off the court is where he really left a mark. This week’s Something Beautiful celebrates Bill Russell’s impact on sports and the civil rights movement. 

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