California Dream

‘California Dream’ and indigenous peoples

The California Dream is a myth for many California Indian peoples and tribes. Since settlers arrived, California Indians’ reality has largely been one of land dispossession, cultural assimilation and even genocide. If California Indians were to design their own dream it would place decolonization at its core. Decolonization is the undoing of colonialism, part of what I study as a scholar of Native American studies….


Charles Manson and the ‘American Dream’

When Charles Manson died in November 2017, his name carried weight even among those who weren’t alive when he committed his crimes. For decades, Manson was the symbol of evil, a real-life boogeyman who loomed as the American conception of wickedness incarnate. His death ended 48 years of imprisonment for a series of murders in August 1969, some of which he committed, most of which…


Coastal protection on the edge: The challenge of preserving California’s legacy

By Gary Griggs, University of California, Santa Cruz and Charles Lester, University of California, Santa Cruz For 50 years California has used laws and policies to manage development alongs its 1,100-mile coastline and preserve public access to the shore. Climate change will make that task harder. The California coast is an edge. It’s the place where 1,100 miles of shoreline meets the largest ocean on…


Imagining the ‘California Dream’

Who gave the world the idea of the California Dream? One way to answer this question is: “Who didn’t?” Millions of people today and in the past imagined California before ever going there – or without ever going there at all. Their collective vision of this place, what it means and how it might make, or remake, those who come here is one way to…


After tax cuts derailed the ‘California dream,’ is the state getting back on track?

In 1978, the year I graduated from college with a degree in economics, most voters in my state chose to turn their backs on the “California dream.” Not unlike the American dream, California’s iteration focused on the limitless possibilities awaiting anyone who moved to the state. It was the state’s basic philosophic footing, a social compact that connected generations, geographies and economic classes in a common destiny….