CalCare is dead; May establishment Democrats fall with it

On Monday California’s Assembly was slated to vote on AB1400, which would have paved the way for the Golden State to become the first in the union to adopt single-payer healthcare. Progressives this week hinted that they weren’t messing around on CalCare, and would block any state party endorsement for legislators who vote against it. This meant they would not be able to use state party money in their 2022 campaigns.

But in a devastating turn of events, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who authored the bill, decided not to bring it to a vote. This devastated advocates such as California’s nurses and the state party’s progressive caucus, forcing them to ask how they might make the establishment Democrats pay for this horrific about-face on the people of California.

Will this be a much needed moment showing progressives and moderates within the party just how little they have in common?

Speaking of campaigns: Despite the California GOP crowing on Fox 40 about their grand intentions in 2022, last year’s failed governor recall election shattered any dreams they may have had for the state’s executive office. With that said, we’ve got two very interesting statewide races to watch. First, a Dem-on-Dem battle for the state’s commissioner seat between incumbent Ricardo Lara and challenger Marc Levine. 

We’ve also got an interesting race bringing the “tough on crime” issue into view: Attorney General Rob Bonta, considered more progressive than most in the capital as the state’s top cop, will be challenged by Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, a Republican-turned-No-Party-Preference candidate known for her draconian measures against Sacramento residents during her reign. 

Also along the “tough on crime” vein, Democratic mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, has called a state of emergency for her city’s Tenderloin District. Is it making a difference? Or is this simply a pivot to the right for a mayor currying favor with her city’s millionaires and billionaires who are fed up with progressive approaches to crime? 

Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always:

Twitter: @youknowkempa, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune, @guillotine4you

Support us on Patreon:  

Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am.

If you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to and we’ll make it happen.

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.