VOICES: River City, Episode 57: Feelin’ Special

Democratic state Assemblymember Christy Smith lost to California GOP darling Mike Garcia this week in a special election over Katie Hill’s vacated #CA25 congressional seat. 

This wasn’t your everyday special election (and not just because of the story behind Hill deciding to step down). Santa Clarita residents had to cast their votes in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. Paul Mitchell of Political Data, Inc. broke down what we can take away from the race this week on Twitter (hint: not much), but it does leave some big questions for November, when the two will be going at it for the seat once more. 

Hill won this seat in 2018 by nine points against Republican incumbent Stephen Knight on a progressive platform that included Medicare for All. Smith, on the other hand, went the moderate tack in 2020 — going for the ‘centrist’ voters, and not supporting M4A. (We did an episode back in December on her abysmal housing rights record at the state Capitol.) Can Smith win in November? It’s possible. Bit it might behoove her to run on winning issues that actually excite voters in the district — such as Medicare for All. 

Here in Sacramento, restaurants are now looking at reopening with expanded outdoor seating options. We take a look at what this will mean for our homeless community, which has been, by and large, left behind by Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Darrell Steinberg. 

We also discuss how the office/retail space industry is going to plummet in the coming months. Twitter, for instance, is going to let employees work from home ‘forever.’ With remote employment looking to be the new normal, we revisit the idea of fashioning these vacant spaces into affordable/mixed-use housing.

Thanks for listening and, as always:

Patreon: patreon.com/voicesrivercity

Twitter: @youknowkempa@guillotine4you@ShanNDSTevens@Flojaune

And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.


VOICES: the podcast
Independent. Weird. Audio. The VOICES: River City podcast is here to talk all things Sacramento with the region's activists, artists and aardvarks.