The public, the mainstream media, and key figures have called the events of January 6th, 2021 as a day that will not be forgotten, as a day that threatened our democracy, and as a day that was both surprising and shocking. But, this has been happening for the last four years at a minimum- let’s discuss how this surge of public concern is a clear indication that Black and BIPOC communities are viewed as second-class citizens.

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Image Source: AP

Insurgency groups have consistently threatened nonviolent BLM protests with what they call “counter-protests,” where they blend in perfectly with the police force with their bulletproof vests and their automatic rifles and machine guns. Videos show these groups making jokes and sharing laughter with police forces, and both of these groups have been proven to time and time again harm our Black community and BIPOC communities with ruthless violence that have greatly involved inhumanity. The tear gas, military-grade rubber bullets, riot squads, military tanks, pointless arrests with costly bail, physical violence where heads and bodies are slammed and pinned into concrete ground- all of this was inflicted towards our Black community, Indigenous community, and BLM protestors. In all this, Washington leadership said little and did little, and showed little concern or outrage that this shook them to the core. But, as I watched the Senators’ speeches on the Capitol Hill domestic terrorism which occurred on January 6th, 2021, there was a clear indication that they were either shaken, wanting to save their public image by saying the right words, or regretful. …


President-Elect Joe Biden has appointed Neera Tanden to serve as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. While she would be the first woman of color and South Asian to fill the position, there are bipartisan concerns about the legitimacy of her appointment. Her likelihood of getting confirmed continues to decrease by the day- let’s break down why that is.

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Image Source: Biden-Harris Transition Website

President-elect Joe Biden has raved about the mind of Neera Tanden and is confident in her ability to empathize with American struggles given her personal experiences of relying on food stamps and Section 8 Housing as a child. As a South Asian woman myself, I was briefly hopeful to see someone from my community getting appointed into such a position of senior leadership- yet, like with many recent decisions by the President-elect, I was quickly disillusioned. …


With the Governor’s yearly budget scheduled to be released on January 10th, 2021, this article intends to briefly analyze the previous year’s budget and assess its validity. First up: prisons.

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Image Source: AP Photo (Eric Risberg)

Governor Newsom’s 2020–2021 Budget Act allocated $13,352,940 to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), whose mission is to “facilitate the successful reintegration of the individuals…by providing education, treatment, rehabilitative, and restorative justice programs, all in a safe and humane environment”. With the Governor’s 2021–2022 budget being released on January 10th, 2021, this article intends to backtrack and determine if the budgets provided for various sectors were legitimate. …


On December 10th, 2020, at 9:27 PM, the American government willingly engaged in the unjustified murder and execution of Brandon Bernard. This article highlights concerning trends about the death penalty before diving into the lack of legality, ethicality, and feasibility which exists when considering the practice of the death penalty.

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Image Source: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

*trigger warnings: discussions of violence and death/dying are prevalent in this text. please read with caution*

Though establishment Democrats and Republicans often position themselves as hosting starkly different opinions from their opposition on a variety of issues, the death penalty does not appear to be one of those issues. Though former President Obama did not execute anyone under federal jurisdiction, he was greatly criticized for not granting more clemency petitions prior to transitioning out of power. The Death Penalty Information Center analyzed that, under President Trump, the federal execution “spree” is out-of-touch with current trends and attitudes about the US death penalty: not only have capital trials and executions been halted with COVID-19, but they also note that the federal government has NEVER carried out more than five executions in any year since World War II. …


President Trump has officially lost the 2020 Presidential Election- but that doesn’t mean he won’t try again. The work is not done, and our fight against apathy, privilege, inequity, and inequality must continue. Let’s break it down.

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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

Going into this election, I had little to no faith that President-Elect Biden was going to be victorious. For one, President Trump had the powerful incumbency advantage, which has allowed American presidents to keep their victory two-thirds of the time. Even more concerning was the rampant voter suppression in key states like Georgia, Biden’s reliance on white suburban female voters, the traditionally low youth voter turnout, and the discontent many Democrats, including myself, had with Biden’s platform. But I forgot that trends matter little when dealing with a president so turbulent as Donald Trump. While there was great surprise and a resounding sense of relief for Biden defeating Trump in this election, we must take precautions to ensure that President Trump will stay a one-term president and to ensure that we keep doing the work outside of elections to enact the reforms we wish to see. …


In January 2021, Governor Newsom has the grueling decision of selecting the replacement for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s former position as a US Senator for California. Here, I break down his short-list and offer my take on who I believe Governor Newsom should select.

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Image Credit: Adam Schultz

A dreaded decision that Governor Newsom claimed he would not wish for his worst enemies- that is how he has described this selection process to fill VP-elect Harris’s Senate seat. Many have asked that the seat be filled by a woman, and more specifically, a Black woman. As currently the only Black woman in Senate, Newsom would essentially be confirming their lack of representation in governmental institutions. While his advisors have confirmed that “diversity” is being taken into consideration, this is not a guarantee that Newsom will in fact choose a Black woman, or even a woman for that matter, especially considering that he is facing insurmountable pressure to select the first Latino senator to represent California in 170 years. …


In the November 2020 Elections, California voters had the opportunity to vote on 10 propositions. While many ballots were considered controversial and garnered mass media attention, there was little partisan friction over Proposition 18, which would have expanded voting rights to 17-year olds in primary and special elections. The result of this proposition reveals harsh truths about the conditions of California ballot language and Californian civic engagement. Let’s dive in.

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Image Source: ABC7 Los Angeles

Simple- one of the best words to describe Proposition 18. I was very shocked to see it fail on Election Night, which transitioned to frustration as I realized the implications of the failure of this key ballot measure. As a proposition that was dedicated to giving 17-year olds the right to vote in primary and special elections, Proposition 18 would be a way to ensure increased youth civic engagement. Better yet, it was not formulated in a way that would be deemed partisan. …


There are many undue burdens being placed on women that are impacting their levels of elected representation. This blog offers a preview to my working paper, which analyzes and critiques existent literature, identifies some of the barriers that women currently experience, and makes a call to action to have certain solutions implemented that will promote a more equitable experience.

Map showing red states and blue states for the electoral college in the 2020 elections
Map showing red states and blue states for the electoral college in the 2020 elections
With the conclusion of the 2020 elections, political candidacies continue to be at the forefront of our minds.

With the impending conclusion of the 2020 elections, two topics that have returned to the forefront of news cycles are political candidacies and American civic engagement. In my working paper, “An Undue Burden: Assessing the Impacts of Gender, Public Opinion, and Electoral Systems on Female Candidate Campaign Strategy, and Proposing Solutions to Ensure a More Equitable Experience,” I explore the barriers women experience due to gender, public opinion, and electoral system configuration. Rather than just declaring the problems, my paper seeks to actively engage in the discourse by providing a set of solutions, both original and pre-existing, that can create progress for candidates from under-represented communities and improve American civic engagement. …


One year ago, Governor Newsom vetoed SB-212, which would have granted more cities, counties, and school districts with the CHOICE to implement ranked-choice voting. Here’s why his staunch opposition of ranked-choice voting is misguided, and here’s what it can ACTUALLY do for our cities, counties, and school districts in the state of California.

Governor Newsom is signing a bill
Governor Newsom is signing a bill
Image Taken From the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Since his time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Governor Newsom has been a strong opponent of ranked-choice voting. He was one of the members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who opposed the content of Proposition A in 2001, which ultimately still passed with 59.34% voting in favor. …

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Alisha Saxena

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