Vivian, Meredith

Meredith Vivian is a MPP Graduate Student at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development.

Taking It Out On the Little Guy: Candidates for Governor Talk State Workers

By Meredith Vivian

With all this talk of reforming California’s pension system and eliminating state jobs because “everyone needs to sacrifice during tough times,” it’s understandable why there’s so much talk surrounding the cushy lives of state workers.

Yeah! Down with….nurses, firefighters, and teachers…?


Wasn’t it Wall Street and Big Business’ risky and careless behavior that led to the current financial state in California and the United States?

Yeah. I thought so.

Some of the incentives of being a state employee are a steady job, health benefits, and a pension, because it’s not the pay. A high school teacher’s starting salary averages $40,000, depending on the school district, while the salary tops out at $91,000, assuming the teacher has a master’s degree and thirty years of teaching experience.

For Meg Whitman, Money Can't Buy Love...or an Election

By Meredith Vivian

Meg Whitman is spending almost a million dollars a day in her bid to be California’s next governor, and with the recent USC/Los Angeles Poll showing Whitman 5 points behind Brown among likely voters only 32 days before the election, her spending spree is unlikely to slow down.

When I think of 119 million dollars, which last happened when I was 8 years old and owned a make-believe business with my cousin, I’m at a loss for words. I can’t even begin to process what it means to be able to spend that much money in a lifetime, let alone in 15 months. But clearly Whitman knows and doesn’t seem to have any qualms about it.

When questioned about her spending on one occasion, she said it was necessary because [Jerry] Brown’s name recognition was already so high. She had to spend that kind of money to be on equal footing.