Joe Mathews has this piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, “California politics doesn’t reward competence. That’s why talent keeps leaving.” He asks, “If you want to serve the people of California, is public office the best place for you?” Answering the question, he says, “Over generations, California has constructed a complicated governing system that prizes limiting the power of our public officials.”
Mathews cites Lorena Gonzalez’s recent decision to leave the state Assembly to lead the California Labor Federation, where Mathews says “[s]he will have more power to shape California’s future in the labor movement than in the Legislature.”
But, he adds, “For me, the most noteworthy resignation came last fall, when California Supreme Court Justice Tino Cuéllar departed.” (Link added.) “Why leave a seat on a court seen as second in influence only to the U.S. Supreme Court?,” Mathews asks.
Mathews says that Cuéllar’s new job as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace “offers not just higher pay than state service, but the possibility of making a greater impact. A state supreme court is limited to the California cases that come before it. At Carnegie, Cuéllar can work to address a tsunami of global challenges crashing down on all of humanity — from climate change to economic inequality, and from mass migration to technological disruption. And he doesn’t even have to leave California to do it. Carnegie is opening a Silicon Valley office.”