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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The California Journal of Politics and Policy (CJPP) is an online journal of original scholarship, cutting edge research, and informed commentary regarding all aspects of national, state, and local government, electoral politics, and public policy formation and implementation. Published by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California-Berkeley, the Journal provides timely insights and historical and comparative perspective on issues ranging from legislative and electoral concerns to tax and social welfare policy, the courts, campaign finance, and the changing role and character of political media.


Affluence, Risk and Community Engagement: The Case of Ascon and Huntington Beach

This paper explores the engagement and mobilization of an affluent community in relation to a known environmental hazard. It extends our understanding of individual responses to environmental risk and provides at least one response to the long-unanswered question: how would affluent communities respond to hazardous sites? Despite the contention that these resource-rich communities will respond differently than the less affluent communities that traditionally have these environmental hazards, we find no meaningful difference in their mobilization and engagement. Despite their perception of risk associated with the Ascon landfill in Huntington Beach and  relatively little trust in government to clean up the site, the community is largely unwilling to engage in activities related to site cleanup. This is an important contribution to our understanding of what generates individual action for environmental hazards and compels us to re-examine our understanding of what (if any) role socio-economic status plays in an individual’s response.

Improving Transfer in California: Trial and Error in Statewide Reform and Local Implementation

California’s community colleges play a wide range of crucial roles in providing educational opportunities for state residents, including providing transfer for students to four-year universities. Transfer students represent about half of each entering class in the California State University System (CSU) and almost one-third in the University of California. In 2010, California enacted legislation to streamline transfer from community college to the state’s four-year universities by creating a new transfer degree. It was implemented in 2012. This study examined how students experience policies and practices related to transfer from community college to California State University in the context of the new degree. Key findings reveal that, although there are improvements, capacity within the CSU and other factors have kept transfer complex and confusing for most transfer students. Major implications are that the state and systems need to continue to simplify the transfer process and strengthen supports for students.