A roundup of the biggest news stories in California this week…
Paul Pelosi Assaulted by Intruder in San Francisco Home
Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was violently assaulted by an intruder at the couples’ San Francisco home this morning. Mr. Pelosi, 82, was admitted to a hospital and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and serious arm injuries. The Speaker’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, said Mr. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.
San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott told reporters that a 42-year-old man identified as David DePape was taken into custody. Scott said DePape had taken a hammer from Mr. Pelosi, and then violently assaulted him with the weapon. The suspect was arrested on multiple charges including attempted homicide, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.
The Hill reports that the suspect specifically targeted the home in search of Speaker Pelosi, shouting “where is Nancy?” before assaulting Mr. Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the assault.
5.1 Earthquake Shakes Bay Area
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the Bay Area at around 11:42 a.m. on Tuesday. Its epicenter was in the San Jose neighborhood of Seven Trees and on the Calaveras Fault, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A 3.2-magnitude aftershock followed approximately 5 minutes later. Thousands of residents said they felt the earthquake, but there were no reports of damage or injury. This is the most powerful seismic event to hit the region since 2014’s 6.0-magnitude Napa earthquake.
Governor Newsom’s office announced that 2.2 million Californians received emergency notifications through the state’s Earthquake Early Warning System. The first system of its kind in the nation, it provided up to 19 seconds of notice to “drop, cover, and hold on” before the earthquake was felt.
Download the app to get early earthquake warnings here.
California Will Soon Be World’s 4th Largest Economy
Bloomberg predicted this week that California will overtake Germany to become the world’s fourth-largest economy. The publication cites the state’s resilient economy as a counterpoint to a narrative of negativity focusing on wildfires, high taxes, drought and earthquakes. Through the challenges of the pandemic and inflation, California’s GDP has continued to grow steadily. The article highlights strong job creation, the strength of technology hardware, media and software industries, and renewable energy as the state’s fastest-growing business.
In advance of official figures to be published in 2023, some estimates already put California’s GDP ahead of Germany’s by $72 billion. The state passed Brazil and France in economic might in 2015, followed by passing the UK in 2017. When it officially surpasses Germany, only China, Japan and the US as a whole will have GDPs bigger than California.
“While critics often say California’s best days are behind us, reality proves otherwise – our economic growth and job gains continue to fuel the nation’s economy,” said Governor Newsom. “California’s values and entrepreneurial spirit have powered this ascent to becoming the 4th biggest economy in the world, and we’ll continue doubling down on industries of the future, like renewables and clean energy. I feel tremendous pride in California’s resilience, leadership, and our formula for success.”
Student Assessments Show Impact of Pandemic on Education
The California Department of Education released new student assessment data on Monday showing the impact of the pandemic and state recovery efforts. English language arts and mathematics scores are down from pre-pandemic levels. However, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), California students lost less ground between 2019 and 2022 than students nationally in math and reading. California held steady in eighth grade reading while the nation as a whole declined.
Statewide, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards declined by 4% for English language arts and 7% for mathematics compared to students taking the tests before the pandemic. These declines are less than the national average. As a result, California moved up in the NAEP’s state-by-state ordering in both math and reading.
Los Angeles City Council Censures De León, Cedillo and Martinez
The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to censure Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, as well as former Council President Nury Martinez, the LA Times reports. Martinez resigned from her position earlier this month following the release of a recorded conversation between her and De León, Cedillo and labor leader Ron Herrera featuring offensive and racist remarks. De León and Cedillo have both apologized but chosen not to resign.
The council voted unanimously to censure the three current and former members. The censure does not carry any legal weight. Before the vote, protestors present in the council chamber demanded that the council cease meeting until De León and Cedillo resign. Responding to instructions by newly appointed Council President Paul Krekorian, LAPD issued a dispersal order and cleared the chambers of protestors. De León and Cedillo have both been absent from all council meetings in the past two weeks.
Stay Safe on the Road This Halloween
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reminds the public to be safe this Halloween by working together to reduce drunk driving. If you are a member of the public and choose to celebrate with alcohol, designate a sober driver, or use public transportation or a ride-hailing service to arrive at your location and return home safely.
ABC, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recommend the following to stay safe on Halloween:
- If you witness a drunk driver, call 911.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure to provide non-alcoholic beverage options, offer plenty of food, and be ready to call a taxi, ride-hailing service, or provide sleeping accommodations for guests if they have been drinking.
- If you are a pedestrian, remember to stay alert and use a buddy system to get home safely.
Read last week’s news roundup here.