Senator Dianne Feinstein, California’s longest-serving U.S. Senator, has announced she will not seek re-election in 2024. A conversation on California’s declining birth rate and its implications. A Pacific Crest Trail hiker shares how his epic hike helped him heal from a traumatic brain injury.
Sen. Feinstein Not Seeking Re-Election
Senator Diane Feinstein’s political career began more than five decades ago as a San Francisco County Supervisor in 1969. The first step in what would become a trailblazing career in California and national politics. The native San Franciscan would eventually become not only the first woman from California elected to the U.S. Senate, but after three decades in office, she is now California’s longest-serving Senator and the longest-serving woman senator in American history. Yesterday, we learned her storied career will come to a close in 2024, officially announcing she will not seek re-election next year. A moment that wasn’t necessarily unexpected, pressure began to build as two Democratic colleagues launched Senate campaigns for her seat. Her legacy in California and Washington is profound. A political powerhouse who was instrumental in passing legislation on gun control, gay rights, environmental protections, and restricting the CIA’s use of torture. But in recent years, that influence had begun to wane. Shira Stein, Washington correspondent at the San Francisco Chronicle, joined Insight to share her reporting on Senator Feinstein’s decision, what the rest of her term could look like, and the senator’s legacy.
California’s Declining Birth Rate
California’s birth rate is at a near-historic low which hasn’t been seen in more than a century. The findings come from the Public Policy Institute of California. According to the report, the number of births hit a peak in 1992, and more than 30 years later, that number dropped by roughly a third. The numbers may not seem significant now, but in the decades to come, the decline can have significant consequences for society and the economy. Economic, financial, and cultural shifts all play a factor in the complicated decision to have, or not have, children. To help unpack the numbers and what they mean, Insight invited Henry Gonzalez, a Sacramento State professor of Family Studies and Human Development, and Jordan Davidson, Editorial Director of Health-dot-com, and author of “So When Are You Having Kids?” onto the program.
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
2,650 miles, the numbers fall short of the experience of accomplishing the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail encompasses the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain ranges, touching the California-Mexico border on one end and the Washington-Canadian border on the other. The hike is trying to say the least. A feat of a lifetime and one that many people attempt yet never accomplish in its entirety. It is extremely physical, but also a spiritual journey for many. That includes a hiker who used this remarkable pilgrimage to overcome dire medical odds from a traumatic brain injury and found invaluable healing along the way. That hiker is Brandon Case, an author, and photographer, who will be sharing his inspiring journey at the Auburn State Theatre on Sunday as part of a fundraiser for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. The event is moderated by Alan Hammond with the non-profit Limit Situation Trail Magic.
Correction: A previous version of this description misidentified the Pacific Crest Trail.