Jackie botts journ

Jackie Botts

Economic Inequality Reporter for CalMatters

Location icon United States

I cover economic inequity and survival in California for CalMatters. Send tips to jackie@calmatters.org.

I've previously written for Reuters News, Pacific Standard, SFGate, Public Radio International, The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com, The Santa Barbara Independent and the Half Moon Bay Review. My multimedia and investigative stories have touched on a wide range of topics, including criminal justice, immigration, wildfires, voting machines, the arts and more.



For cops who kill, special Supreme Court protection

Effective barrier Aldaba's lament has become an increasingly common one. Even as the proliferation of police body cameras and bystander cellphone video has turned a national spotlight on extreme police tactics, qualified immunity, under the careful stewardship of the Supreme Court, is making it easier for officers to kill or injure civilians with impunity.

State Politics and Policy

Overlooked Pacific Islanders hit hard by coronavirus | CalMatters

Pacific Islander communities in California have long faced economic and health disparities that make them uniquely vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Often overlooked by public health officials, community leaders are mounting their own response. For two weeks in March, Dr. Raynald Samoa fought to move air through his lungs.

How one man found freedom from his struggle to survive in the Bay Area | CalMatters

By Jackie Botts In January, I sat among dozens of other reporters in California's Capitol as we peppered Gov. Gavin Newsom with questions about his spending plan for the year, a bulging $222 billion budget full of progressive proposals: $1.4 billion in new funds for homeless services, expansion of the state's health insurance for low-income residents, a proposal that the state manufacture generic drugs to bring prices down.

Orange County Register
New laws could make life a little easier for low-income Californians

Lawmakers have passed a suite of bills that aim to ease financial burdens for Californians living paycheck to paycheck. While several new California laws have sparked national attention - such as the law that will convert gig economy workers into full employees and another to cap large rent increases - state legislators quietly approved dozens of other bills that address challenges faced by California's poor.

Getting food stamps to poor Californians is surprisingly difficult | CalMatters

Pressure is increasing on counties to sign up more people for food stamps since the state's participation rate is one of the lowest in the nation. But greater enrollment may require more money or more state intervention. In May 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors set an ambitious goal: enroll 70,000 new families in food stamps in two years.

California could get $1.8 billion in food stamp funding. It just needs people to sign up

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a food assistance program that aids millions of low-income families and individuals. California, a state with the nation's highest poverty rate, consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to enrolling low-income people in CalFresh, the state's name for the federal food stamp program.

US News & World Report
ABCs of LGBTQ History Mandated for More U.S. Public Schools

Charley Parkhurst, a legendary stagecoach driver during California's Gold Rush, also known as "One-Eyed Charley" is seen in this illustration image, released by Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, California, U.S., on May 2, 2019.

Public Radio International
After the California wildfires, community leaders are trying to rebuild homes - and trust in...

On Oct. 21, when wildfires in Northern California were still smoldering, about 150 people gathered at a middle school gymnasium. Thousands more watched the livestream on Facebook. Officials in Sonoma County, the region most devastated by the fires, had put together a Spanish-language community forum to address the concerns of the Latino community - the first of its kind in the county.


Peninsula Press
Plastics are forever: Pacifica beachcombers still finding landfill fallout - Peninsula Press

Jeff Christner spots the folded credit card from several feet away. The white plastic pokes out from layers of crumbling sandstone, disintegrating cloth and glass. Christner brushes off decades of dust to reveal the card holder's name: HARRY HOFFMAN. The card expired in December 1959. Hoffman probably threw out the card with little thought.

Local: In The Peninsula
Experience Bay Area capoeira in 360 degrees

The fighters circle around each other, eyes locked. One throws a swift kick at her opponent, who spins and ducks away. The pattern continues: spin, kick, escape. They're ringed by onlookers who clap and sing to the rhythm of tall drums and the , a musical bow with one string that produces a thick twang.

Local News

Santa Barbara Humane Society Executive Director Fired

Jackie Botts Critics ask why there were only three cats sheltered at the Santa Barbara Humane Society's Patterson facility, which has the capacity to house 70 felines. It can't be money woes, they say, since the society has a $30 million endowment, making it among the top-10 richest local animal welfare organizations in California.

Across Town from Fiesta, El Centro Celebrates Community

This past Friday night, as thousands milled around downtown in their Old Spanish Days getups, smashing cascarones on each other's heads and getting smashed on margaritas, a very different scene took place at El Centro, a volunteer-run community center nestled within the lower Westside, which describes itself as a radically inclusive space "for the community, by the community."

Inside Fire City, Population: 1,612

Jackie Botts Tents dot the campus at unified command headquarters as firefighters try to get some rest between bouts with the Whittier Fire. Dos Pueblos High Transforms into Whittier Fire Base Camp Saturday, July 15, 2017 Usually a ghost town during the sleepy summer vacation, Dos Pueblos High School is now a bustling city, a temporary home to the 1,612 firefighters, U.S.

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