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Nation State of Play

Nation State of Play

By Nation State of Play
On each episode of Nation State of Play, we explore the political stories that are driving public policy in California at the federal, state, and local levels. We don’t just cover what politicians are doing—we cover how they’re doing it, and why they’re doing it. We explore these stories with political insiders, business leaders, journalists, and policy-makers themselves to get below the surface of the headlines, and show you the true forces shaping our nation state.
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Edward Ring - California Needs More Water Now

Nation State of Play

Bobbi Lopez - Housing Priorities in California
Bobbi Lopez of TODCO introduces emerging policies around California housing. TODCO Development Co. is the housing development division of the TODCO (Tenants and Owners Development Corporation) Group, the community-based housing/community development nonprofit corporation for San Francisco's South of Market Neighborhood. (Originally aired 21Jan21)
January 22, 2022
Edward Ring - California Needs More Water Now
Ed Ring, Co-founder of California Policy Center and proponent of The Water Infrastructure Act of 2022, sits down with Bryan to go below the surface of California's most valuable, and threatened resources. (Originally aired 14Dec21)
December 14, 2021
Lindsey Vuolo - Fighting the Addiction Epidemic
Leading health advocate, Lindsey Vuolo of the Partnership to End Addiction, talks with Bryan to discuss how Washington and members of the California delegation are considering bills like The MATE Act and what impact it can have on addiction. Visit the Partnership's advocacy page to find resources and opportunities to advocate for other important bills currently before Congress. (Originally aired 3Dec21)
December 03, 2021
Cynthia Murray - Business in the Bay
Cynthia Murray, President and CEO of the North Bay Leadership Council joins Bryan to discuss the unique needs of the Bay Area, a global destination for wine and tourism. (Originally aired 30Nov21)
November 30, 2021
Chuck Rocha - Latino Outreach Strategies
Bryan has a conversation with Chuck Rocha, political consultant, Democratic Party strategist, former union organizer who is the president of Solidarity Strategies and host of the newly launched Nuestro Podcast. (Originally aired 24Nov21)
November 24, 2021
Jon Switalski - California Infrastructure and Supply Delays
Bryan is joined by Jon Switalski, Executive Director of Rebuild SoCal to talk infrastructure improvement and the problems that affect the supply chain delays in California.   (Originally aired 22Oct21)
October 21, 2021
Janell Smiley - Educational Challenges and Opportunities in California
Janell Smiley, author of As Long As They Don't Turn into Weirdos,  joins Bryan to explore the educational opportunities in California. Her book recounts her family's journey through the process of starting public school plus the how and why she decided to take her kids out and find a different way to do education.  (Originally aired 27Sept21)
September 27, 2021
Jim Knox - Big Tobacco's Latest Mis-Information Campaign
Bryan speaks with Jim Knox, Vice President, Legislative Advocacy at American Cancer Society, on the misinformation used by Big Tobacco to target vulnerable consumers. (Originally aired 24Sept21)
September 24, 2021
Danielle Coffey - The Future of the Free Press
Danielle Coffey, EVP and General Counsel for the News Media Alliance, shares with Bryan the future of the free press and pending legislation. The News Media Alliance represents 2,000 news media outlets worldwide. Danielle leads the organization’s advocacy and strategy while focusing on a digital future for news, which includes building a more favorable legislative and regulatory environment. (Originally aired 21Sept21)
September 21, 2021
Will Gaffney - The Latest on Political Technology
Bryan discusses the latest on political technology with Will Gaffney of, a leader in localized programmatic solutions. Trade desks, networks, local media groups, agencies, and multi-location brands leverage’s performance, customizable audiences, and efficient delivery models to drive higher ROI in their digital businesses. (Originally aired 17Sept21)
September 17, 2021
Meghan Butler - Making California a Leader in Plastic Recycling
Meghan Butler, VP/Chief of Staff at Recology, sits down with Bryan to talk about their efforts to make California a leader in plastic recycling. The Recology mission represents a fundamental shift from traditional waste management to resource recovery. They seek to eliminate waste by developing and discovering sustainable resource recovery practices that can be implemented globally. (Originally aired 10Sept21)
September 14, 2021
Olivia Troye - Kevin McCarthy's Responsibility to Examine the Facts of January 6th
Bryan chats with Olivia Troye, Director of the Republican Accountability Project, to discuss Kevin McCarthy, the facts of January 6th, and the fragility of the Democracy. Olivia Troye served in the Trump administration as Vice President Pence’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, as well as his lead staffer on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. (Originally aired on 7Sept21)
September 06, 2021
David Mitchell - Why is Rep. Scott Peters Flip-Flopping on Affordable Drugs for San Diegans?
David Mitchell of Patients for Affordable Drugs NOW chats with Bryan about Scott Peters, drug prices and Big Pharma checks. Listen to hear the impact on San Diegans' healthcare. (Originally aired 3Sept21)
September 03, 2021
Nicholas Rowley - California's Regressive Malpractice Damages Cap
Bryan talks with leading trial lawyer Nicholas Rowley discuss California’s regressive cap on medical malpractice damages, and a new ballot initiative to change the law. (Originally aired 24August21)
August 24, 2021
What Ranked Choice Voting in NY Means for the Future of Elections
Bryan hosts Chad Peace, legal strategist for the Independent Voter Project, and John Opdycke, Executive Director of Open Primaries to discuss the growing demand for structural election reform, and how New York is just one indication of how elections can change the entire political industry. (Originally aired 19August21)
August 19, 2021
Clint Reilly - “The" New California Coalition
Bryan sits down with Clint Reilly to discuss the business climate in California, and his leadership of The New California Coalition. (Originally aired 5August21)
August 05, 2021
Stephen Walker - Trauma of Law Enforcement
Bryan is joined by Stephen Walker of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to discuss the unaddressed trauma of California law enforcement officers. (Originally aired - 15June21)
June 14, 2021
Vern Pierson - California Gun Violence
California District Attorneys Association President and El Dorado County DA Vern Pierson, joins us to discuss Los Angeles's spiraling gun violence, and how LA District Attorney George Gascón's policies are contributing to the surge in violent crime. (Originally aired 27Feb21)
February 27, 2021
Fred Buzo / Rafi Nazarians - Solutions for Senior Affordable Housing
Fred Buzo and Rafi Nazarians with AARP join us to discuss AARP's new report on affordable housing for seniors. (Originally aired 28Jan21)
January 28, 2021
Blanca Castro - Nursing Home Safety During COVID
Blanca Castro, AARP's lead advocate in Sacramento joins us to discuss nursing home safety during COVID and what the legislature can do to protect seniors throughout the state. (Originally aired 23Dec20)
December 23, 2020
Su Jin Gatlin Jez - Workforce Education in the Age of COVID
Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez, the Executive Director of California Competes, joins us to discuss the changing needs of workforce education in the age of COVID. (Originally aired 6Oct20)
October 06, 2020
Rachel Michelin - Current State of Re-Opening
Rachel Michelin, President of the California Retailers Association joins us to discuss the current state of re-opening, devastating tax measures on the November ballot, and what exactly it is (or is not) that the Governor's mystery Economic Taskforce has been doing. (Originally aired 26Sept20)
September 26, 2020
Vern Pierson - Why Governor Newsom Should Veto a Bill that Would Dramatically Impact Public Safety
President of the California District Attorneys Association and El Dorado County DA Vern Pierson joins us to discuss a pending bill that would dramatically impact public safety throughout California. DA Pierson explains how a last minute legislative process was used  to slip through a dramatic re-write the California's criminal code, and why it's so critical for Governor Newsom to veto the bill. (Originally aired 23Sept20)
September 23, 2020
Chazz Clevinger - What's the Latest in Digital Advocacy
Chazz Clevinger, CEO of the award winning company One Click Politics joins us to discuss the latest developments in digital advocacy, and how COVID is disrupting the government affairs industry. (Originally aired 23Sept20)
September 23, 2020
Tracy Rosenberg / Mary Stone Ross - Proposition 24 as a "Privacy" Proposal
Privacy and data expert Mary Stone Ross and Tracy Rosenberg, the Executive Director of The Media Alliance join us to discuss Proposition 24, a so-called "privacy" proposal that would in reality undo key parts of the California Consumer Privacy Act. (Originally aired 22Sept20)
September 22, 2020
Donald Robertson - How To Think Like A Roman Emperor
Author and internationally renowned expert on Stoicism, Donald Robertson, joins us to discuss his best-selling book, How To Think Like A Roman Emperor, The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. (Originally aired 14Sept20)
September 14, 2020
Jeff Rice - Protecting Schools During COVID
Jeff Rice with The Association of Personalized Learning Schools & Services joins us to discuss a critical school funding issue that is jeopardizing education throughout the state.  Hear about what the legislature can do now to protect schools during COVID. (Originally 20August20)
August 20, 2020
Ron Hasse / Jim Ewert - Why The Legislature Must Save Local Journalism
Jim Ewert from the California News Publishers Association and Ron Hasse from the Southern California News Group join us to discuss a critical legislative effort to amend AB5 and save local journalism. (Originally aired 18Aug20)
August 18, 2020
Jennifer Hernandez - Solutions To The California Housing Crisis
Jennifer Hernandez from The Two Hundred joins us to discuss the origins of California's housing crisis, how COVID has made the crisis even worse, and what the legislature can do to change course. (Originally aired 3August20)
August 03, 2020
Alberto Torrico - On Advocacy In The Age of COVID, And Who Will Be Biden's VP Pick
Former Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico joins us to discuss Sacramento advocacy in the age of COVID, the state of the union between Governor Newsom and the legislature, and who will be Biden's VP pick (Originally aired 24July20)
July 24, 2020
Dr. Marketa Houskova - What The California Legislature Can Do Now To Help Nurses On The COVID Frontlines
Dr. Marketa Houskova from the American Nurses Association/California joins us to discuss several pieces of legislation that California can pass now to assist nurses on the frontlines of the COVID response. (Originally aired 24July20)
July 24, 2020
Kevin Mullin - Allowing 17 Year Olds to Vote in Primaries
Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin joins us to discuss his proposed Constitutional Amendment that would allow 17 year olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by the time of the general election. (Originally aired 21July21)
July 21, 2020
Carmela Castellano-Garcia - The role of community health centers in the age of COVID
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President and CEO of the California Primary Care Association discusses the role of community health centers in the age of COVID. (Originally aired 10July20)
July 10, 2020
Audrey Dow - Proposed budget cuts to higher education
Audrey Dow with The Campaign for College Opportunity joins us to discuss the impact of proposed state budget cuts to higher education in California. (Originally aired 8July20)
July 08, 2020
Martha Escutia - Closing the Digital Divide
From telehealth to online schooling, COVID has made high-speed internet access more critical than ever. Yet 1 out of every 8 households in California still lacks broadband. Former State Senator Martha Escutia discusses how to close the digital divide. (Originally aired 6July20)
July 06, 2020
Dave Jacobson - Battle for the Presidency
Dave Jacobson, one of the leading Democratic political consultants in the country, discusses the state of play in the battles for the House, Senate, and Presidency. (Originally aired 29June20)
June 30, 2020
Tim Gibbs : Flavored tobacco ban
On this episode, Tim Gibbs with The Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids discusses California legislation to ban flavored tobacco. You'll learn about one of the greatest threats to public health in the nation, and how California can lead the way in changing course. (Originally aired 25June20)
June 26, 2020
Tony Chicotel : Nursing Home Reform; the COVID front-lines
Today’s guest is Tony Chicotel, staff attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform or CANHR.  CANHR is at the forefront of advocacy for long term care consumers in the state, who have seen the greatest outbreaks of COVID since the pandemic began. I’ll hope you’ll listen in for this important conversation about where California is falling short on caring for our most vulnerable citizens, and how we can change course. (Originally aired on 15June20)
June 16, 2020
Rachel Lawler - The Political State of Play
Our guest on this episode is Rachel Lawler from the Public Policy Institute of California. Rachel recently led a new statewide poll for PPIC covering everything from the approval ratings of key politicians, to support for the COVID stay at home orders. We discuss whether people tell the truth to pollsters, and the key numbers that will drive the decisions of policy-makers over the next several months. (Originally aired 12Jun20)
June 13, 2020
Jim Wunderman | Game-changing economic recovery
On this episode you'll hear from Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council on a game-changing economic recovery idea that could help pull California out of the COVID-induced recession, while avoiding the worst state and local budget cuts currently being considered. (Originally aired 11June20)
June 12, 2020
Jim Newton - Gov. Jerry Brown and the Modern California history
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jim Newton joins us to discuss his new book, Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown.  The book covers the modern political and cultural history of California and is essential reading for anyone interested in our state. You'll learn how California was transformed from a swing state to one of the most progressive states in the country. You'll hear about Brown's and Newsom's relationships with Trump. And you'll find out how a "cheap" governor made California governable again. (Originally aired 2June20)
June 02, 2020
Dr. Michael Wasserman - The epicenter of COVID
Dr. Michael Wasserman is one of the preeminent voices in our country on the many COVID issues impacting our nation’s long term care facilities. He’s been a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and has been quoted in numerous media outlets throughout California since the COVID crisis began. On this episode you'll learn what California can do to tackle the biggest epicenters of COVID in the state. (Originally aired 1June20)
June 01, 2020
Bryan Merica - Advocacy in the age of COVID
On today’s episode you'll learn how advocacy itself is being transformed in the age of COVID. We discuss how advocates are adapting to the normals, with legislators and staff scattered throughout the state, members online most of the day, and constituents more engaged than ever. Our guest is Bryan Merica, CEO of Unearth Campaigns. (Originally aired 8May20)
May 08, 2020