BY CALMATTERS PHOTO TEAM
DECEMBER 28, 2022
How to remember 2022 in California? It was a big election year, but it was filled with so much more — old and new.
The old: Homelessness continued to dominate public debate. The threat of wildfires stayed with us, as did the challenges of climate change. And, yes, COVID still hovered over daily life, including schools.
The new: More activism was organized by labor, wage theft gained more attention and abortion politics took center stage after the U.S. Supreme Court took away the federal constitutional guarantee. And the election brought the most diverse Legislature ever.
Here’s a look back, through the work of CalMatters photojournalists and freelance photographers.
First: Sacramento firefighters respond to a fire at a homeless encampment under Highway 80 near 14th Street and X Street in February. Last: John Vasquez, 61, sorts through the remains of the fire at the homeless encampment. The first snapshot of the crisis since the pandemic hit reveals that the number of people without a stable place to call home increased by at least 22,500 over the past three years, to 173,800. Photos by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters
Starlyn Darby and her 8-month-old son Zelimir Quarles at Memorial Park in San Leandro. Darby doesn’t produce enough breast milk to feed Zelimir, who is underweight and relies on formula. When a nationwide shortage began, California couldn’t quickly expand its list of approved formula brands due to federal restrictions, leaving low-income families scrambling to find formula. Photo by Martin do Nascimento, CalMatters
First: 1,000 flags representing 10,000 deaths from menthol cigarette use are laid out at a Sacramento park, during an event organized by supporters of Proposition 31 to uphold a state ban on flavored tobacco products. Next: Nursing home workers and supporters gathered at the state Capitol in memory of residents and colleagues who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last: Seriyah Harris, 11, organizes candles at a memorial for her father Sergio Harris, 38, who was killed in a mass shooting in Sacramento in April. Photos by Rahul Lal and Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters
Striking UC academic workers picket on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles in November. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters
Namirah Jones, at home with her mom Mia Costley, in Corona in May. Jones has severe autism, as well as an intellectual disability. Tens of thousands of Californians with disabilities require special accommodations for dental care, but only 14 centers in the state can treat them. Photo by Lauren Justice for CalMatters
Kavon Ward, CEO and founder of Where is My Land, at home in Marina Del Rey in November. For decades Black families have borne the brunt of eminent domain, with many saying they had little or no recourse. Eminent domain still poses barriers to Black homeownership today, contributing to the wealth gap. Photo by Lauren Justice for CalMatters