Julian Notaro

Julian Notaro is an editorial intern at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

California Continues to Make Big Strides on Solar

Building on a foundation of pioneering green policy, a new bill would make rooftop solar affordable for thousands more Californians. 

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
California, the country’s solar energy pioneer, continues to lead the way in protections for solar consumers, thanks to a strong political and public consensus on the importance of renewable energy. A proposal working its way through the California State Assembly would curb the ability of municipal utilities to control net metering, a policy that allows consumers to sell surplus energy generated by rooftop solar systems back to the electric grid at retail rates. Last year, solar customers in the northern California town of Turlock saw their bills soar after the municipal utility, Turlock Irrigation District Water and Power, eliminated net metering entirely. The change priced some Turlock consumers out of solar altogether; the measure would prohibit these types of changes. The bill passed the State Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee overwhelmingly, 10 to 2. The change would affect nearly 50 of the state’s 81 utilities. Under California law, larger, investor-...

Race-Based Gerrymandering Comes to the Court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could have far-reaching effects on congressional representation for minority groups.

(Photo: AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch/Bob Brown)
Gerrymandering may be an American political tradition, but there’s one kind of gerrymandering on which the courts have begun to cast a cold eye. A case that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this session could curtail the Republican practice of creating more districts for themselves by packing racial minorities into a single district. Fifty years ago, at the height of the civil-rights movement, progressives hoped that the newly enacted Voting Rights Act would not just enable African Americans to vote in the formerly Jim Crow South, but also compel the states to create legislative and congressional districts that would elect African American representatives. The states soon complied, crafting districts with African American supermajorities. The number of African American legislators and members of Congress soared. In time, however, Republican legislatures learned how to game this system. By packing racial minorities into districts that Democrats would carry with two-thirds of...