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Joe Mathews

Joe Mathews writes the Connecting California column and is the democracy editor of Zócalo Public Square. He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Baltimore Sun. He is co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It and author of The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy. He is co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Updated February 2024

Stories from This Author

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What’s the Cost of a Family Secret?

Feb. 27, 2024 • Joe Mathews

A California Writer on the Aunt He Never Knew He Had—and the Lessons She Taught Him Is there a family trait more common than keeping secrets? These secrets can have hidden costs. When we leave a place or person behind, we don’t know what becomes of them. We miss out. We cut them out of our familial history. These secrets can even make us miss the entire life of a loved one—a burrowed family secret, not passed down, and brought …

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