Whether seen as a beacon of progress or a cautionary example of government overreach, California garners interest from politicians and voters across the nation.

As Super Tuesday (March 5) approaches, voters in the Golden State are considering Proposition 1, a statewide ballot measure that would, in part, reallocate a portion of state tax dollars to build more housing for unhoused people with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. They’ll also cast ballots to determine who will fill the U.S. Senate seat held for 30 years by the late Dianne Feinstein, who was temporarily replaced in 2023 by Laphonza Butler.

And in Los Angeles County, 11 candidates are running to unseat incumbent District Attorney George Gascón, who has held the position since 2020.

UCLA has experts who can comment on these and other topics related to local, state and national elections.

Note: The UCLA campus has three voting centers open for voting and in-person ballot return from Feb. 24 through March 5: Ackerman Student Union, Bradley International Hall and the Hammer Museum.

Affordable housing and mental health

Michael Lens
Lens, an associate professor of urban planning and public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, is an expert on poverty, socioeconomic class, equity and housing. He has studied the U.S. housing voucher program, job accessibility among housing subsidy recipients, the relationship between land use regulations and income segregation and the effect of negative housing equity on mental health outcomes.

Email: mlens@ucla.edu

Presidential politics and a polarized nation

Lynn Vavreck
Vavreck, UCLA’s Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy, is an expert on political campaigns, elections and public opinion, with an emphasis on how candidate behavior affects voters. She can comment on campaign advertising, survey methods, politics and the media, and how the state of the economy and other factors affect elections and the nation’s growing cultural and political divides.

Email: vavreck@mac.com

The crowded race to unseat L.A. County D.A. George Gascón

Jim Newton
Longtime journalist Newton is a UCLA lecturer, author and founding editor-in-chief of UCLA Blueprint, a magazine covering the latest public policy research from UCLA. He is an expert on Los Angeles and California government and politics, as well as policing and the U.S. Supreme Court. His most recent book, “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown,” explored the career of the former California governor.
Newton can comment on the races for Los Angeles County District Attorney and U.S. senator and other topics related to California politics.

Email: jnewton100@ucla.edu

California and the U.S. economy

Lee Ohanian
Ohanian, a professor of economics and director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at UCLA, is an expert in macroeconomic theory and policy, business cycles and growth, the stock market, and financial markets. He can comment on economic growth, Federal Reserve policy, interest rates, the U.S. economy and California politics.

Email: ohanian@econ.ucla.edu

Climate emergencies and environmental politics

Megan Mullin
Mullin, a political scientist and faculty director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, focuses on environmental politics. Her research examines the factors that shape political responses to environmental change, including the government and finance of urban water services, public opinion on climate change, and the local politics of climate adaptation.

Email: mullin@luskin.ucla.edu

Immigration enforcement and government policy

Amada Armenta
Armenta is associate faculty director of the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute and an associate professor of urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, with a joint appointment in the department of sociology. Her research examines the connections between the immigration enforcement system and the criminal justice system and the implications of this connection for immigrants, bureaucracies and cities.

Email: armenta@ucla.edu

Reproductive rights and antidiscrimination in California

Melissa Goodman
Goodman is executive director of the UCLA Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy, which engages with community organizations, scholars, lawmakers, practitioners and advocates on reproductive health, law and policy. She can answer questions on reproductive law and policy, LGBTQ rights, sex education, paid family leave and sick leave for parents, marriage equality, workplace discrimination, and harassment and gender-based violence in workplaces and schools.

Email: goodmanm@law.ucla.edu

Gun control, same sex marriage, freedom of speech and the Constitution

Adam Winkler
Winkler, a professor of law, is a specialist in American constitutional law whose scholarship focuses on the Second Amendment and gun control, the right to vote, freedom of speech, affirmative action, judicial independence, same-sex marriage, constitutional interpretation, corporate social responsibility, international economic sanctions and campaign finance law.

Email: winkler@law.ucla.edu

Los Angeles politics and policy

Zev Yaroslavsky
Yaroslavsky, who served as an elected official in Los Angeles for over 40 years, leads the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He can comment on the politics and government of the city and county of Los Angeles, municipal finance, public safety, environmental policy, and arts and culture.

Email: zev@yaroslavskyinstitute.org