Photo credit: The Guardian

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about criminal justice reform. Bail and sentencing laws in many states have been loosened. Reformist district attorneys won election in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and other cities.

Criminal justice reform is very much needed, especially when it comes to lower level, non violent offenses. In the past several decades, our society engaged in excessive incarceration, with insufficient opportunities for rehabilitation of offenders. This was especially true for those who engaged in non-violent and/or relatively minor crimes.

That needed to be changed. It’s good we’re moving in a different direction.

With that said, in many…

Photo Credit: Business Insider

For most of us, home holds a special place in our hearts. There’s nowhere quite like the city or town where we grew up.

It doesn’t matter if you’re from a small town in a tiny country, or from a huge city in a large nation. Where we grow up colors our perspective on nearly everything.

With that said, it is incredibly powerful to make big changes in our lives. From these major adjustments, we grow and improve.

One of the biggest adjustments you can make is to move to a different city, one which is a meaningful distance from…

Photo Credit:

In the United States, it appears that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is winding down. New cases and deaths have dropped considerably. Schools have been reopening, and even concerts and live performances are resuming.

Of course, there’s one big thing I haven’t mentioned: Work. Essential workers have been on the grind since day one, dying of higher rates from COVID-19. Whether we’re talking about agricultural workers, those in construction, or of course health care personnel, those on the frontlines have faced considerable dangers at work.

For tens of millions of other Americans, work also changed — but in very…

Photo Credit: Digital Commerce 360

Growing Larger Faster

Nearly 4 years ago, I published a piece on Medium, titled “The Trouble With Amazon.” In this piece, I explored the problematic implications of Amazon’s dominance, from an antitrust perspective.

At the time, Amazon had recently acquired Whole Foods, and in 2016, accounted for 43% of all online retail sales. In 2017, the company reported more than $177 billion in revenue, which was 30.8% higher than in 2016.

Today, Amazon is even more of a juggernaut. In 2019, the firm reported $280.5 billion in revenue. This is an increase of more than 58%, in just 2 years.

Photo Credit: Phocus Wire

When we look back through the annals of American history, March 2020 will stand out. That month, the spread of COVID-19 became the focus of intense national attention.

The NBA was cancelled. California issued a stay at home order, and many other states soon followed. Public life came to a grinding halt, as offices, restaurants, and much more, shut down. To say that life has changed, is a gross understatement.

Plenty has been written about COVID-19, vaccines, and the recent trajectory of the virus. I’d like to focus a bit more on what comes after.

More specifically, how might we…

Photo Credit:

How a (partially) distributed, remote Congress could better serve Americans

435 House Districts, 435 Different Stories

Less than 2 weeks from today, on January 3, 2021, 435 members of the United States House of Representatives will take their oaths of office. So will 33 members of the Senate. The other 67 senators were elected / reelected in either 2016 or 2018.

These Members of Congress represent highly varied parts of our country. In the House, the 13th Congressional district, located in New York City, is the nation’s smallest (in terms of land mass).

Adriano Espaillat is the district’s congressman. The…

Photo Credit: Canva

Early Voting Is Very Popular

In much of the country, early voting is well under way. Polls suggest that as many as 52% of Americans plan on voting early in the presidential election. In states like North Carolina, ballots for voting by mail were sent out beginning in early September.

It is widely anticipated that voter turnout will surge to record levels. The 2018 midterms brought the highest voter participation rates (for a midterm election) in at least 4 decades, with more than 50% of the voting-age population showing up at the polls.

Higher turnout seems to be reflective of…

Photo Credit: Lawyer Monthly

Just over 10 years ago, I graduated from the UCLA School of Law. I finished my legal education during what was a very difficult economic environment for most Americans — including attorneys. In the first few years after graduation, I grew skeptical of the value of law school.

Today, I look back fondly on those years. I believe there are plenty of good reasons to attend law school, and become a practicing attorney.

At the same time, I’ve also been critical of legal academia. More than 4 years ago, I argued that institutions were not being transparent in disclosing bar…

April 26, 2020. Los Angeles, California.

It was a warm, clear Sunday afternoon, though not unseasonably hot. Think mid 70’s and sunny. It’s this incredibly pleasant climate, which has attracted people from across the planet, for generations, to live in southern California. The time was 2:57 PM.

Photo Credit; Travel & Leisure

For the past 5 weeks, I had been (mostly) staying indoors, save for a vigorous morning run. Once or twice a week, I’d go to our nearly deserted office, located just a few miles from my home.

All those hours indoors gave me a chance to reflect. I never thought I’d say it…

Photo Credit: TED Talks

Criminal Justice In California: The Way It Used To Be

From the 1960’s through the early 1990’s, many neighborhoods in California saw a sustained rise in crime. Whether we’re talking about burglary, robbery or murder, things were consistently getting worse, pretty much every single year.

While virtually every neighborhood saw an increase in crime during this time, some communities were absolutely devastated. In southern California, Compton, Watts, and most of South Central Los Angeles, faced astronomical levels of violent crime, particularly in the mid to late 1980’s, through the early 1990’s.

In large part, this was driven by the crack…

Shiva Bhaskar

Enjoy reading and writing about technology, law, business, politics and more. An attorney by training, I’m a native of Los Angeles, and a former New Yorker.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store