The Los Angeles program received $38 million from the city. A small portion of the money comes from private funds.

According to city data, one-third of adults in Los Angeles are unable to support their families on income from full-time work alone.

“When you provide resources to families that are struggling, it can give them the breathing room to realize goals that many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said when the program began.

That breathing room came at an opportune time for Ms. Barajas. After graduating from high school in 2017, she pushed aside dreams of college and began working a string of retail gigs — Claire’s, Old Navy, Walmart. She set aside $300 from her paycheck each month to help cover her family’s rent.

“I had to work,” she said. “We had no foundation, no money in our pockets.”

Last year, Ms. Barajas, 22, received funds from an extension of the child tax credit. She used some of the money for essentials like clothes and food.

On a recent afternoon in Chatsworth, a Los Angeles neighborhood, Ms. Barajas reflected on how the money from the guaranteed income program was helping her stay afloat. She moved out of her mother’s apartment in April, after an argument. Since then, she and her daughter, now 15 months old, have slept on friends’ couches and sometimes stayed at pay-by-the-week motels.

For now, they are living at a 90-day shelter for women and children. Ms. Barajas hopes to attend community college this fall, but is focused first on finding a job. Many mornings, she scrolls her iPhone looking at postings before her daughter wakes up.

Most of the money from the guaranteed-income payments goes toward food, diapers and clothing, but she’s trying to save several hundred dollars, enough for a security deposit for an apartment she hopes to move into with a friend.

“I’m one emergency away from having to spend money and then live on the streets and become homeless,” she said. “A lot of people are just hanging on with the smallest amount of wiggle room financially.”

Zohna Everett, who was part of the Stockton program, knows how it feels to live within that razor-thin margin.

Before the program began in 2019, she was driving for DoorDash five days a week, bringing in about $100 a day. Her husband at the time worked as a truck driver, and the rent for their two-bedroom apartment was $1,000. To help earn gas money, Ms. Everett sometimes collected recyclables and turned them in for cash.

“The money was a godsend,” Ms. Everett said of the Stockton program, adding that while enrolled in it, she got a contract job at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., on a production line.

Until then, Ms. Everett, 51, had been in a perpetual state of hustle, never stopping long enough to realize her exhaustion. After the payments started, she noticed she was sleeping better than she had in years.

“A weight truly was lifted from me,” she said.

The payments stopped during the pandemic, but she then received stimulus money from the federal government. She had started to save some money, but after a case of Covid left her with persistent fatigue and breathing problems, she recently took a leave from her Tesla job.

“With this pandemic, there is a lot of struggling,” she said. “There needs to be a permanent solution to help people.”

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Prepare Yourself for This Weekend’s ‘Crypto Bowl’

The crypto industry, which struggles with a reputation for being volatile, bad for the environment and overrun by wealthy tech guys, has tried to demystify itself for the general public in part by pouring money into marketing. Several ad experts said they had déjà vu, noting similarities to the gush of money dedicated to marketing the dot-com boom more than 20 years ago.

The number of crypto companies advertising more than tripled last year, and their spending more than quintupled, according to a sample of 200 companies reviewed by the research firm MediaRadar. The National Football League star Tom Brady signed on as a brand ambassador for FTX. Crypto.com paid $700 million to rename the Staples Center arena in Los Angeles. Celebrities including Spike Lee, Matt Damon and Neil Patrick Harris appeared in crypto commercials.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, loosened a ban on crypto ads that had been in place at the social network since 2018, explaining in December that “the cryptocurrency landscape has continued to mature and stabilize in recent years.” Google also relaxed its crypto advertising guidelines over the summer.

Not everyone is sold. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, a financial regulator, said this year that crypto companies should stop advertising to retail investors because trading digital currencies is “highly risky and not suitable for the general public.” The Athletic, the sports news site recently bought by The New York Times, reported last year that the N.F.L. does not allow teams to sell sponsorships to cryptocurrency trading firms.

“The Super Bowl is low-effort — it’s fun, you’re in a relaxed mode, and then a crypto commercial comes on and it seems friendly and accessible and people might be more likely to give it a shot,” said Demetra Andrews, a clinical associate professor of marketing at Indiana University. “But it does present real risk, certainly more than trying out a new flavor of beverage or Uber Eats.”

Other technology ads will feature heavily in the Super Bowl, including sports betting ads (Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings) and ads about the metaverse (Meta and Salesforce). Google has an ad centered on its Pixel 6 camera and diversity in photography. A commercial from the financial app and Super Bowl first-timer Greenlight shows the “Modern Family” actor Ty Burrell impulse-buying a Fabergé egg, a jetpack and a Pegasus.

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The Game Awards Returns With Glitz and an Industry Asserting Its Muscle

LOS ANGELES — Wearing blazers and bedazzled dresses, downing cocktails, swapping industry gossip, and hobnobbing with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, the stars of America’s video game industry assembled on Thursday night for a long-delayed reunion at the Game Awards.

The lavish event was a victory lap of sorts for the video game community. While the movie industry has fretted over ticket sales and cannibalization by streaming services like Netflix, the video game industry has enjoyed tremendous growth during the pandemic. An estimated 2.9 billion people — more than one out of every three people on the planet — have played a video game this year, according to the video game analytics firm Newzoo.

Thursday’s awards were also a welcome opportunity for the industry to gather under the same roof, since last year’s event was held online because of the pandemic. Gaming luminaries arrived on the red carpet at the vast Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, joined by celebrities better known for their work in other entertainment industries.

Sting, the rock music icon, was backed by an orchestra as he opened the show with a performance of the haunting song “What Could Have Been” from the Netflix series “Arcane,” which is based on the video game hit “League of Legends.” The hit band Imagine Dragons performed “Enemy,” another song featured in “Arcane.”

entertainment award events, you would also have been on the nose.

At the center of the gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars was Geoff Keighley, the video game and television personality who created and hosts the annual event and who tried, with seemingly endless reserves of energy and enthusiasm, to steer an increasingly antsy audience through more than three hours of awards presentations and trailers for upcoming games, interspersed with music from the orchestra.

The show began in 2014 and has attracted millions more eyeballs each year on YouTube and Twitch. Last year’s fully remote version garnered 83 million live streams, according to organizers, and Mr. Keighley said after Thursday’s show that he expected more people to have watched live this year, though preliminary numbers were not yet available.

bnans, said in the crowded lobby after the show. “We’ve been in quarantine for so long, but it’s really nice to actually get to hang out with everyone again and see each other after two years.”

More than two dozen awards were handed out in categories like best action game and best art direction. The most prestigious title, game of the year, went to “It Takes Two,” a two-player puzzle adventure game developed by Hazelight Studios about a married couple navigating a divorce and journeying through a fantastical world.

Microsoft’s gaming division brought home a number of awards, with “Age of Empires IV” winning best strategy game, “Halo Infinite” winning a fan award called players’ voice, and “Forza Horizon 5,” a car-racing game, taking home three honors. “Deathloop,” a first-person shooting game developed by Arkane Studios, also won multiple awards.

The winners were determined by a vote of industry insiders and the general public.

For many watching, though, the awards were just a sideshow. The Game Awards is also used by the industry to introduce new game announcements and debut trailers for upcoming titles. If audience reaction is any indication, the fantasy game “Elden Ring” continues to be one of next year’s most hotly anticipated titles.

debuted on the stock exchange, topping a $45 billion valuation on its first day of trading.

The increased mainstream interest in online worlds has also been a validation for industry insiders and gamers that were using the term “metaverse” years before Mark Zuckerberg decided that Facebook was going to change its name to Meta. Even Mr. Carrey, appearing at the awards show on a prerecorded video, joked about it.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there with you, but I look forward to meeting all of your avatars in the metaverse, where we can really get to know each other,” he said.

As the industry has grown, it has faced increasing challenges, none more pressing Thursday night than the treatment of its employees. A shadow was cast over the event by the scandal trailing Activision Blizzard — the game publisher that has been under fire for months following a lawsuit from California accusing it of fostering a workplace environment in which mistreatment and harassment of women was commonplace.

A handful of protesters stood with signs supporting Activision employees outside the theater Thursday evening, and Mr. Keighley faced pressure in the lead-up to the event to condemn the company.

He tweeted last week that Activision would not be a part of the awards show, and he opened the event by saying that “game creators need to be supported by the companies that employ them.”

“We should not, and will not, tolerate any abuse, harassment and predatory practices,” Mr. Keighley said, though he did not mention Activision by name. Rob Kostich, the president of Activision, is on the board of advisers for the Game Awards.

Before the event, Mr. Keighley said in an interview that he wanted to strike a balance between using his platform for good and maintaining the upbeat vibe of an awards show.

“Are we going to use our platform to take companies to task publicly inside the show? It’s always something worth thinking about,” he said, “but it’s not a referendum on the industry.”

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The Faces of Mothers Who Bore the Burden of the Pandemic

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.

As a freelance photographer, I was contacted by The New York Times in February to create a series of portraits of 15 mothers in Los Angeles who had been forced out of their jobs because of the pandemic.

I had become a mother during the pandemic, so this story struck a particular chord with me. I had lost some work as the coronavirus shut down the country, and it scared me to begin motherhood while record numbers of women were leaving the work force.

As soon as I had my heart set on taking the assignment, my editor, Crista Chapman, and I realized this would be difficult to execute. I was working in Florida for a few months and would need at least a week in California, and my doctor advised against being away from my breastfeeding infant for multiple days. Also, Los Angeles County was just beginning to recover from a devastating wave of Covid-19, so the initial plan for me to photograph everyone at their homes or in an open studio space was scrapped.

I thought I was going to have to pass on the assignment all together, which felt particularly ironic. But I didn’t want to give up, so I decided to get creative and pitched remote portrait sessions with the women. I knew these might be a little trickier because all of our subjects were busy moms without a lot of time to deal with technology. So, to ensure I could pull this off, I did a practice session with my sister-in-law and her kids. I could use those images as a step-by-step guide for all the sessions, and Crista signed off on the idea.

I emailed and called each woman with the general plan for the photo shoot and then jumped right into the work.

I set up a video call, usually with my daughter on my lap, so a different kind of intimacy was quickly developed. We could relate to each other as mothers, which broke any awkwardness that might be felt from FaceTiming with a stranger. My daughter would giggle, their child would shove a stuffed animal on camera, and we would share stories about what we had been through over the past year.

While we chatted, I would have each woman take me on a tour of her space and show me anything that reminded her of life before Covid. This typically took about 30 minutes while I figured out lighting and composition. Once we decided on the space, I would have her set her camera up on whatever she could find — a chair, bookshelf, laptop stand or kitchen table. Then I would have her sit with her kids.

The women would set up the camera while I gave directions. Sometimes I had a child, husband or translator hold the phone and help me out. I was always clicking the capture button.

A big part of my process is watching body language and documenting, with minimal direction, how people occupy space. To create organic, intimate images that tell a story, I usually have to share physical space with the people I photograph. So, remote shoots introduced a totally new dynamic.

I typically work to create images with a sense of familiarity and closeness, and by creating remote photos this way, I was able to go (virtually) into these women’s homes and capture their daily life with their children in a new way, creating really intimate portraits that were much more immediate than they would have been had we done the photos in person as planned.

I wanted to capture the feeling many of us have experienced communicating with family and friends through our phones and computers this past year, and this approach provided a different level of engagement.

Since the shoot, I’ve continued working while raising our daughter. I think of those women often and wonder how they all feel as life in Los Angeles is opening back up. I don’t take for granted the work that I’ve gotten, and I hope we all collectively remember the women who are still at home, still taking care of the kids with their lives on hold.

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Devin Hilton Falsely Accused by Citizen App of Starting Wildfire

As a wildfire blazed near the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, a photo of a homeless man was posted on Saturday night on an app called Citizen, which alerts members of the public to crimes and hazards around them.

The app had offered $30,000 to anyone who could provide information that led to the arrest of the man. Tips flew in.

The police detained one man — determined he was not a suspect for alleged arson — and then arrested another person, the authorities said on Monday. By Sunday, Citizen had said its identification of the first man, Devin Hilton, was a mistake. His photo had appeared on the app for 15 hours.

In a statement, the company said that it regretted posting the photo without having coordinated with the appropriate agencies. “Once we realized this error, we immediately retracted the photo and reward offer,” it said. “We are actively working to improve our internal processes to ensure this does not occur again. This was a mistake we are taking very seriously.”

told a Spectrum News reporter that the actions of the Citizen app were potentially “disastrous.”

Innocent people are harassed by trolls and wrongly labeled criminals all the time on the internet, sometimes with grave consequences. But the incident in Los Angeles illustrated the potential stakes when companies, with hundreds of thousands of users, rally people around unsubstantiated tips and accusations.

Citizen said its mission is to keep people safe and informed. “We absolutely do not believe in putting law enforcement in the hands of the public,” a statement said.

Citizen, which was created in New York City in 2017, uses cellphone locations to alert its seven million users of safety hazards and possible criminal activities in their areas, including ones that are unfolding in real time with live discussions and footage from users who are at the scene. In the last few years, the company has expanded to Los Angeles, Baltimore and more than a dozen other locations.

Los Angeles County partnered with Citizen during the pandemic to produce an app for contact tracing.

On its website, Citizen says the app allows users to “get the real story from people on the scene” and when possible, contribute to help resolve a situation.

“You used to have to call a police tip line to help,” it says. “Now you can use Citizen to broadcast live video, sharing relevant updates with others.”

Citizen relies on police, fire and emergency radio transmissions and documents them on a map. It also suggests that users document nearby crime scenes if they’re able to safely stream from there.

After the wildfire began on Friday, Citizen had received tips from users and people who lived near the wildfire that the police were searching for a person of interest, along with a photo of him, the company’s statement said. Using a new product, called OnAir, users uploaded live interviews with neighbors and live streamed video on the ground. “OnAir is a new product with strict validation protocols, which we failed to follow,” the statement said.

Citizen, in its statement, said this was the first time it had offered a cash reward for information about someone. “To be honest, we don’t know if it’s something we will do going forward,” the statement said.

Mr. Hilton could not immediately be reached for comment.

At a briefing with reporters on Monday, Chief Ralph M. Terrazas of the Los Angeles Fire Department explained that the first person detained, accused of arson online, “turned out not to be a suspect.”

The second person, a 48-year-old man named Ramon Rodriguez, was arrested Sunday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. It was not clear whether he had a lawyer.

“We feel we have the right person,” Chief Terrazas said of the second man.

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L.A. Times Names Kevin Merida Executive Editor

When Mr. Merida started at The Undefeated, it was a stalled digital project with an unhappy staff — a would-be publication that, even after a nearly two-year development period, existed only as a web page with links to 19 articles.

He got The Undefeated up and running, quickly establishing its editorial identity. The site’s relevance grew as prominent Black athletes embraced activism amid the rise of the social justice movement after the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.

In his first editor’s letter at The Undefeated, Mr. Merida held up the example of his father, Jesse Merida, as someone who refused to be defeated by pervasive racism and the limited opportunities that went with it.

His father, he wrote, had gotten a degree in geology at what is now Wichita State University and did not listen to those who advised him to go into teaching rather than trying for a career in the more closed-off world of science. He ended up “earning his living as a janitor at one point while waiting for his opportunity,” Mr. Merida wrote, and was finally hired as a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, a job that led to a long career, among mostly white researchers, with the Smithsonian Institution.

At the Disney-owned ESPN, Mr. Merida became a close adviser to Jimmy Pitaro, the network’s chairman, and served as the chair of ESPN’s editorial board. He also played integral roles in its newsroom, helping oversee its investigative coverage and the television shows “E:60” and “Outside the Lines,” while also managing its standards team.

Mr. Merida, who was born in Wichita, Kan., grew up in the Washington area, where he still lives. He is married to the author Donna Britt, who has worked as a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post, USA Today and The Detroit Free Press.

He studied journalism at Boston University and started his career as a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal. After a decade at The Dallas Morning News, he joined The Post in 1993 as a congressional reporter.

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Berkshire Hathaway Shows a Rebound From the Pandemic

Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, reported $11.7 billion in net earnings in the first quarter on Saturday, swinging to a profit from a $49.7 billion loss a year ago as the paper value of its investment gains soared.

Using Berkshire’s preferred financial metric, operating earnings, the company showed a nearly 19 percent year-on-year gain as its wide array of subsidiaries — from energy production to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad to consumer brands — improved their performances.

Among the businesses that saw the biggest improvements was the railroad, which benefited from higher freight volumes as the American economy rebounded from the pandemic. Berkshire’s building products and consumer subsidiaries also posted higher sales, as housing construction and retail buying picked up.

Other parts of Mr. Buffett’s empire continued to show strain, however, particularly industrial manufacturers like Precision Castparts, whose aerospace parts were in lower demand because of the Covid-related drop in travel.

reject proposals to compel Berkshire to disclose more about its subsidiaries’ efforts to address climate change and workplace diversity, raising questions about whether his approach is out of step.

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Eli Broad, Who Helped Reshape Los Angeles, Dies at 87

Even his critics had to concede, however, that he was probably the most effective civic leader Los Angeles had seen since Dorothy Chandler, a remarkable achievement for a transplanted Midwesterner with no family ties to his adopted city.

“There’s no curtain you can’t get through in Los Angeles — no religious curtain, no curtain about where you came from,” Mr. Broad told The New York Times in 2001. “It’s a meritocracy, unlike some other cities. If you have ideas here, if you have energy, you’ll be accepted. I love L.A.”

Eli Broad was born in the Bronx on June 6, 1933, the only child of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. When he was 7, the family moved to Detroit, where his father opened a dime store.

After graduating from Detroit Central High, he entered Michigan State College (now University), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in three years. Soon after, he married Edythe Lawson, known as Edye, who survives him, as do their two sons, Jeffrey and Gary.

After working for a small accounting firm, he formed a partnership with Donald Kaufman to build no-frills tract houses in the Detroit suburbs. The Kaufman and Broad Building Company soon expanded to Phoenix and Los Angeles, where Mr. Broad moved in 1964.

In 1971, the company diversified, spending $52 million for a sleepy Baltimore insurance company, Sun Life, which became a powerhouse when Mr. Broad focused on selling annuities and financial planning services to baby boomers. Renamed Sun America in 1993, it was sold to the American International Group, the insurance giant, in 1998 for $18 billion, netting Mr. Broad more than $3 billion.

Mr. Broad began collecting art in the 1960s after his wife began making the rounds of the galleries on La Cienega Street and brought home a Braque print and a Toulouse-Lautrec poster. He spent $85,000 on his first purchase, a drawing by Van Gogh. Works by Matisse, Modigliani, Miró and Henry Moore followed.

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Chloé Zhao and ‘Nomadland’ Win at 2021 Oscars

LOS ANGELES — A surreal 93rd Academy Awards, a stage show broadcast on television about films mostly distributed on the internet, got underway on Sunday with Regina King, a former Oscar winner and the director of “One Night in Miami,” strutting into a supper-club set.

“It has been quite a year, and we are still smack dab in the middle of it,” she said, referencing the pandemic and the guilty verdict in the George Floyd murder trial. “Our love of movies helped to get us through.”

With little more preamble, Oscar statuettes were handed out, with Emerald Fennell, a first-time nominee, winning best original screenplay for “Promising Young Woman,” a startling revenge drama. The last woman to win solo in the category had been Diablo Cody (“Juno”) in 2007.

“He’s so heavy and so cold,” Fennell said about the gold-plated Oscar statuette in an impromptu speech that revisited one she wrote when she was 10 and loved Zack Morris in the television series “Saved By the Bell.” “They said write a speech. I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh,” she said.

overwhelmingly white and male, but the organization has invited more women and people of color into its ranks following the intense #OscarsSoWhite outcries in 2015 and 2016, when the acting nominees were all white. This year, nine of the 20 acting nominations went to people of color.

As expected, Daniel Kaluuya was named supporting actor for playing the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

“Bro, we out here!” Kaluuya shouted in celebration before growing serious and crediting Hampton (“what a man, what a man”) and ending with the cri de coeur, “When they played divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend.”

Hollywood wanted the producers of the telecast to pull off an almost-impossible hat trick. First and foremost, they were asked to design a show that prevented the TV ratings from plunging to an alarming low — while celebrating movies that, for the most part, have not connected widely with audiences. The producing team, which included the Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”), also hope to use the telecast to jump-start theatergoing, no small task when most of the world has been out of the box office habit for more than a year. Lastly, the producers needed to integrate live camera feeds from more than 20 locations to comply with coronavirus safety restrictions.

red carpet had to be radically downsized and the extravagant parties canceled.

For the first time, the academy nominated two women for best director, recognizing Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland,” a bittersweet meditation on grief and the American dream, and Fennell for “Promising Young Woman,” about the aftermath of a sexual assault. The other nominated directors were David Fincher for “Mank,” a black-and-white love letter to Old Hollywood; Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” a semi-autobiographical tale about a Korean-American family; and, in a surprise, Vinterberg for “Another Round.”

Zhao had already been feted for her “Nomadland” direction by nearly 60 other organizations, including the Directors Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 93 years of the Academy Awards, only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow, has ever won. (Bigelow was celebrated in 2010 for directing “The Hurt Locker.”) The directing category has also been dominated over the decades by white men, giving the nomination of Zhao, who is Chinese, even greater meaning.

sharp-elbowed awards campaigners keep whiffing in the end.

Last year, the company’s best-picture hopes rested on “The Irishman.” It failed to convert even one of its 10 nominations into a win. In 2019, Netflix pushed “Roma.” It won three Oscars, including one for Alfonso Cuarón’s direction, but lost the big prize.

ending his popular, nine-film “Madea” series in 2019, Perry has focused on making television shows like “Bruh,” “Sistahs” and “The Oval” for BET. He owns a studio in Atlanta.

The Dolby Theater, which holds more than 3,000 people and has been the home of the Academy Awards since 2001, was not the epicenter of the telecast. This year, with just the nominees and their guests in attendance, an Art Deco, Mission Revival train station in downtown Los Angeles served as the main venue.

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L.A. Schools Superintendent Austin Beutner Stepping Down

Austin Beutner, who took the helm of the Los Angeles public school system, the second-largest in the nation, during a leadership crisis and shepherded it through the coronavirus pandemic, says he will leave his post as superintendent at the end of June.

“This job is extraordinarily demanding, even in ordinary times,” Mr. Beutner, 61, said in an interview, adding, “It’s been a long three years.”

Los Angeles school trustees had asked him to extend the three-year contract he signed in 2018. But Mr. Beutner, a former financier who has served as a publisher of The Los Angeles Times and a deputy mayor, wrote in a letter to the board on Wednesday that he preferred to move on.

Across the country, pandemic-fatigued civic leaders are reassessing their service.

Nearly one-fifth of the mayors in Massachusetts have said they will not run for re-election. In San Francisco, where political controversies over school names consumed the school board while families clamored for a return to face-to-face classes, the superintendent decided to stay on only after the board agreed in writing not to adopt any new mandates unrelated to reopening, for the time being.

settled after six days. Then in 2020 came the pandemic, emptying classrooms of the roughly 650,000 students the district serves, most of them from low-income households.

Operating under emergency powers and leveraging his contacts in the philanthropic and private sectors, Mr. Beutner was both praised and criticized for his handling of the pandemic.

The district set up an extraordinary social-service net, providing more than 123 million meals to needy children and adults, more than 30 million masks and other items, as well as mass Covid-19 testing and vaccination.

But California was among the last states to resume in-person instruction, in part because Mr. Beutner had agreed with the district’s teachers to make reopening conditional on access to vaccination.

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