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Today’s introduction comes from Nathalie Nieves, a reporter based in Washington.
Ammar Campa-Najjar, 28, is one of five Democrats vying for a congressional House seat in California’s 50th district. He also is of Palestinian and Mexican descent. In an interview, he shared his experiences campaigning as an Arab-Latino and his plans to bring SpaceX to San Diego. Here are edited excerpts from an interview in Washington, where he was visiting to hold a fund-raiser.
Your mother is Mexican-American and your father is Palestinian-American. In what ways has that influenced you?
I think it has helped me in politics and my career by allowing me to understand people who are not like me and their experiences. That made me step outside of my own issues and see people’s lives objectively, for what they were.
When I talk to people in my district who say they are an illness away from losing their home, I don’t really care about what their political persuasion is. I think when people really cling to their identities they don’t really have sympathy for other communities and their struggles.
What has your experience been like running a campaign as a Latino-Arab under the Trump administration?
It’s been challenging but extremely promising. We need to be able to represent everyone, not specific pockets of the country. A lot of Trump supporters are not all racists, or a lot of them aren’t ignorant; they are ignored. I want people to understand, they just need a voice. That is what Trump tapped into. If I lose this race, it won’t be because I played the same partisan game.
How do you plan to implement environmentally sustainable practices?
We’ve reached out to Elon Musk’s company to make solar farming available to constituents. I also want to bring the SpaceX program to the district. Elon Musk is well on his way to privatizing space travel, and if we could tap into that by creating launch sites here, that would help create jobs.
Duncan Hunter Jr., the incumbent, is under investigation for alleged violations of campaign finance laws.
When it comes to Hunter, one thing I will say is that he served in our military. People like him fight the wars we wage abroad so people like me can fight the wars within. But at the same time, I am appalled. There is a dereliction of duty. If we learned anything about 2016, people are fed up with political dynasties.
How has social media influenced your campaign?
I have had the opportunity to multiply my message through social media. The Obama campaign showed us how far-reaching and effective a social media initiative can be. I think it would be a really redemptive thing if I, as an Arab-Latino, could win. That would show us everything that is wrong with America cannot eclipse everything that is right.
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• The State Assembly leader shelved a bill to establish single-payer health care, calling it “woefully incomplete.” [Sacramento Bee]
• Watch for California’s north-south rivalry to play a role in the race for governor. [Opinion | CALmatters]
• The Wilshire Grand opened in Los Angeles. The state’s tallest building, it will glow at night like a lightsaber. [Los Angeles Times]
• A burned Quran was found outside a Sacramento mosque. Islamic leaders invited the attackers to visit. [Sacramento Bee]
• With many gay bars going out of business, some of the remaining ones have opened their doors to straight people. Now there are tensions. [The New York Times]
• Professional soccer is coming to San Diego with an expansion team in the North American Soccer League. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
• Welfare for golfers: how government policy reduces the cost of country-club memberships in California. [Opinion | The New York Times]
• She was named the World’s Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair, but “she’s just darling.” [The New York Times]
• A summer travel guide to Northern California’s lakes, rivers and waterfalls. [Los Angeles Times]
• Pictures and video: revelry and protest at San Francisco’s Pride parade. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• With his show “Hood Adjacent,” the Los Angeles comedian James Davis wants to bridge the racial divide. [The New York Times]
• The Bard’s tales are free at Griffith Park Shakespeare, which just kicked off and runs almost all summer.
• The High Sierra Music Festival, a jam band lover’s delight, takes over the town of Quincy for four days starting on Thursday.
• On Saturday, the San Diego Zoo will unveil its biggest construction project ever: a $68 million exhibit for African animals.
It’s hard to compete with ancient sequoias, soaring granite walls and waterfalls in every direction.
So visitors to Yosemite, understandably, might overlook another natural wonder: the people.
Now, the photographer Jonas Kulikauskas has made them the subject of a new photography book, “Yosemite People.”
More than five million people visit Yosemite National Park each year. Mr. Kulikauskas’s idea was to bring a street photographer’s eye to the “shifting metropolis” — the workers, residents and tourists whose numbers ebb and flow with the seasons.
In images such as a Native American basket weaver and a young couple sharing a romantic moment at Glacier Point, the landscape hovers as a secondary element or altogether out of frame.
Orlando Soria was raised in Yosemite Valley. His father worked as the park dentist and his mother as a schoolteacher. In an essay included in the book, Mr. Soria said his childhood resembled a Disney cartoon.
“Most of my afternoons were spent running all over the woods like ‘Pocahontas’ and then singing until a bird landed on my fingertip like in ‘Snow White,’” wrote Mr. Soria, who now works in interior design in Los Angeles.
“Yosemite People” is set to be published in August. Mr. Kulikauskas, who also teaches at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, shared a few of his pictures:
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The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Los Osos.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.