April 14, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Column: Biden and Harris Could Reverse State’s Role

By Tom Elias, Yo! Venice Columnist

It has been more than 30 years since any federal administration featured a Californian in a starring role. That’s 30 years through which no president really had a gut feeling for how Californians think and what America’s largest state needs.

This was never more obvious than during the four years of the Donald Trump administration, when California became a prime object of the president’s resentments, a magnet for his revenge.

After all, this state provided all of the popular vote margin by which Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in 2016, even as razor-thin Trump victories in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania beat her in the Electoral College.

But with California’s Kamala Harris as vice president – in a role at least as central as President-elect Joe Biden’s was under ex-President Barack Obama – it’s a solid bet California’s needs will get the attention deserved by any state with almost 10 percent of the national population.

Instead of being a whipping boy blamed for almost every problem inflicted on it by nature and myriad incompetent officials in Washington, D.C., California could find itself a favorite son for the next four years.

This will be true even if Republicans continue in control of the Senate, where they likely will have a 52-48 seat edge after two runoff elections in Georgia next month that the GOP looks positioned to win.

For even without congressional cooperation, Biden will be able to do a lot on his own, via the executive orders so often employed by Trump. Despite biting and scratching resistance led by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Trump tried to eviscerate California’s power to regulate its air quality – supposedly assured under the 1970 Clean Air Act signed by Republican President Richard Nixon. Trump castigated California for failing to control its growing problem with homelessness, partially created by an influx of poor and mentally ill migrants from other states.

Trump sought to prevent California from expanding its clean power requirements, now set to make the state exclusively reliant on renewable energy by 2050. He blamed state officials for setting the stage for wildfires by failing to clean forest floors – in national forests for which he was responsible. He encouraged oil companies to plan more offshore drilling, even near Santa Barbara, the birthplace of the environmental movement.

The list could go on. Many Trump efforts were delayed by Becerra’s court actions long enough so that Biden can now reverse them. Word is he plans to do just that during his first week in office next month.

Some of these areas, like smog control, clean power and wildfire suppression, tie directly to international efforts at climate control, where Biden also plans quickly to rejoin the Paris Accords from which Trump extricated the United States.

One of the new California advantages is the life experience of Vice President-elect Harris, who grew up in Berkeley, began her legal and political life in San Francisco and moved to the Brentwood district of Los Angeles after marrying entertainment lawyer Douglas Emhoff.

There is, for example, no way she could easily reach her home in that leafy district over the last few years without passing by a homeless encampment or two. A large one still exists adjacent to the expansive West Los Angeles Veterans Administration hospital and home, less than three miles from her recent residence.

When California officials say they need more federal support to build transitional housing or to expand the veterans’ home, Harris will therefore have firsthand knowledge of the problem, not just a government document to acquaint her with it.

California enjoyed a favored status under both Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton, in part because its votes were lynchpins of their election victories. When disasters occurred during those presidencies, from the 1994 Northridge earthquake to big fires, aid flowed here quickly.

Harris will also be more aware than any White House denizen since Ronald Reagan of California’s longtime role as the national bankroll, its citizens paying far more in federal taxes than ever came back in federal spending.

So she will know – and likely make sure Biden also knows – that it’s not favoritism to meet Californians’ needs, but simple fairness.

Email Thomas Elias at tdelias@aol.com. His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It” is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit www.californiafocus.net

Related Posts

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Virtual Venice Art Crawl This Week

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Singers, poets, painters, photographers, performance artists and gallery owners are all scheduled to participate in the virtual Venice Art Crawl...

Junior Lifeguards Returning to Venice Beach This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

Beached Dolphin Near Venice: YO! Venice Show – April, 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Beached Dolphin Near Venice Beach * Fareless rides coming to LA...

SWAT Tear Gas Trailer in Seven-Hour Venice Standoff

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Standoff between police and barricaded suspect over the weekend at First Baptist Church By Sam Catanzaro  An over seven-hour standoff...

Dual Building Development Rises Near Venice High School

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Two-building development underway on Venice Boulevard By Chad Winthrop Work is well underway on a two-building, mixed use development near...

Edify TV: A Look at a Proposed Westside Homeless Shelter Locations

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Take a look at a collection of Westside properties that a LA lawmaker is proposing bringing homeless shelters to in this...

Westside Business Spotlight: The Bike Shop California

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Today on the Westside Business Spotlight we visit The Bike Shop California, your neighborhood spot for all things bike-related.

‘Next-Generation’ Pudding Comes to Venice

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Pudu Pudu opens on Abbot Kinney By Kerry Slater A dessert shop specializing “next-generation” pudding has come to Venice  Pudu...

Venice Beach Handball Courts Set to be Cleared Out

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Due to an encampment at the courts LA City has posted its intent to clear out the area on April...

Food Review: An Almost-Essential Westside Sandwich

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Johnnie’s french dip pastrami sandwich in Culver City  By Kerry Slater  While there are far better sandwiches in Los Angeles,...

Edify TV: Brentwood Encampment Reacts to Veteran Homicide

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Last weekend a homeless veteran, just a week away from entering permanent supportive housing, was killed in a vehicular assault....

Foster Youth Staffed Cafe Set to Open on First California Shop

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe to open in former Starbucks space  By Toi Creel  A Texas-based cafe that makes an...