• Recreational Marijuana Panel- July 26

    On July 1, neighboring Nevada began its journey into legalized commercial sale of marijuana. California voters approved recreational use of marijuana last November on the same day as Nevada – but the regulatory framework for commercial sales is still a work in progress that is expected to extend beyond the end of the year.

    On Wednesday, July 26, the Sacramento Press Club is hosting a panel of experts to bring us up to date on the issues that have been settled and the ones that remain as sticking points to the smooth integration of recreational and medical marijuana usage in the largest state to legalize what the federal government still views as a dangerous narcotic.

    Profiles of Panelists and Moderator:

    Lori Ajax, Chief, Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation: In February 2016, Governor Brown appointed Ajax as the first chief of the newly formed Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. Prior to her appointment, Ajax served as Chief Deputy Director at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control where she spent 22 years working her way up the ranks, starting at the investigator trainee level.

    Hezekiah Allen, Executive Director, California Growers Association: Allen was born at home and raised off the grid in Humboldt County. Growing up on the frontline of the war on drugs instilled in him a deep-rooted passion for cannabis policy reform and social justice. As the Executive Director of the California Growers Association, he is now spearheading a community organizing effort to bring together cannabis growers and business owners throughout the state.

    Joseph M. Devlin, Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement, City of Sacramento: Joe is a Sacramento native with over 17 years experience managing and developing public policy at the State and local level. Prior to being appointed to the position, Joe served as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Jay Schenirer for seven years, where he developed an in-depth knowledge of cannabis policy.

    Peter Hecht, Panel Moderator: Hecht is a former Sacramento Bee reporter and author of “Weed Land: Inside America’s Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit.” He is author of two cannabis blogs, Weed Wars and California Weed.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Wednesday, July 26
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302
    Purchase deadline: Online registration has closed. Entrance can be purchased at the door.
    Cost: $29 members/$40 non-members

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  • Can Campaign Finance Reform Ever Work? – June 28

    Panelists: Former AG/Treasurer/Senate leader Bill Lockyer, OpenSecrets.org expert Sheila Krumholz, attorney Thomas Hiltachk and fund-raiser Kristin Bertolina Faust.

    Many voters see big money flowing into politics as a disruptive force that frustrates a true representation of the will of the people. Despite ever-tightening campaign finance laws, contributions to legislative, ballot measure and independent campaigns totaled more than $680 million in California last year. Would more or different reforms make a difference? How can the public access campaign finance information and use it to inform their votes?

    The Sacramento Press Club held a panel discussion about the role of money in campaigns, the pressure to raise funds, and the public’s right to know who is contributing. The panel included a nationally recognized expert on tracking contributions for OpenSecrets.org and representatives from both major parties who are immersed in campaign finance issues.

    Bill Lockyer
    was in the public arena from 1973 to 2015 as State Treasurer, State Attorney General, Senate President Pro Tem and member of the Senate and Assembly. During those years, he led both state and national initiatives to improve the lives of Californians and make the state run more efficiently and effectively. Today he serves as counsel in the Government Law & Strategies section for law firm Brown Rudnick.

    Sheila Krumholz is the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which operates the go-to OpenSecrets.org site for all matters related to federal campaign money, lobbying and dark money. Before becoming executive director in 2006, she spent eight years as the Center’s research director, supervising data analysis for OpenSecrets.org and CRP’s clients. In 2010, Fast Company magazine named Sheila to its “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.

    Thomas Hiltachk is managing partner at Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP. He has practiced political and election law exclusively since 1988, and has served as legal counsel and treasurer to statewide and local ballot measure committees, political action committees, trade associations and candidates. Hiltachk has represented state ballot measure committees on a variety of issues, including tax policy, the environment, education, civil and criminal justice reform and gaming. He has served as legal counsel to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

    Kristin Bertolina Faust leads Bertolina & Barnato, one of the most successful Democratic fundraising firms in California. Since founding the firm in 1999, she has worked with an “all-star” list of elected officials, candidates, committees and organizations. She has successfully provided both political strategy and fundraising services to candidates running and serving from the local, state and federal levels. She is most widely known for advising some of the California’s most successful statewide elected officials including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Wednesday, June 28
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302
    RSVP Deadline: Online sales have closed.

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  • Politics & Cocktails Happy Hour

  • California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye- May 25

    In an unprecedented letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye recently asked that immigration arrests in state courthouses be halted because they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to those coming to a courthouse. After Sessions and Kelly said the arrests would not stop, Cantil-Sakauye maintained in a Washington Post op-ed piece that the federal actions threaten the balance between the three branches of government. “This goes to the core of our system of government, built on the principle of checks and balances,” she wrote.

    The Sacramento Press Club hosted a discussion with Cantil-Sakauye and Sacramento Bee Editorial Page Editor Dan Morain at our May 25 luncheon.

    Cantil-Sakauye became chief justice in January 2011 after being appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). She served for more than 20 years as a judge in California trial and appellate courts in Sacramento before joining the state’s highest court. A native of Sacramento, she is a graduate of C.K. McClatchy High School and attended Sacramento City College before graduating from University of California, Davis with honors. She holds a law degree from the U.C. Davis Martin Luther King Jr. School of Law.

    This event was also our annual scholarship luncheon. The Sacramento Press Club presented $34,000 in scholarships to seven college students who showed promise in the field of journalism. Please note the luncheon ended later than usual because of our scholarship presentations.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Thursday, May 25
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302
    RSVP Deadline: The online purchase option has passed. Entrance can be purchased at the door.

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  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra- May 15

    Since Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the post in January, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) has jumped feet first into California’s resistance to Trump Administration policies. He is using the courts to oppose Trump’s travel bans, cuts to women’s’ health care services, and rollbacks of environmental standards. He also continues with the everyday business of the state’s top law enforcement officer while he prepares to run in the 2018 election to keep his position. The SPC invited Becerra to discuss his new role and his plans to lead California’s Department of Justice.

    A Sacramento native and a graduate of C.K. McClatchy High School, Becerra became Attorney General after representing central Los Angeles in Congress for more than 20 years. He also worked as a deputy attorney general under John Van de Kamp and served in the California Assembly for two years before running for Congress. Becerra received undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Monday, May 15
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302
    Online luncheon sales have sold out. Entry may be purchased at the door.

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  • Julie Soderlund Memorial Scholarship Fund & Event

    On Wednesday, April 19th from 6-8pm at Ten22, the SPC celebrated Julie Soderlund’s impact and legacy on the Capitol community as we raised funds for a Sacramento Press Club scholarship in her honor.

    Only 70 tickets were available, which included complimentary appetizers and a no-host bar.

    Nearly one year ago, we lost one of our best and brightest to cancer. Known to the Capitol press corps as “Thumbs” for her speedy typing during media scrums outside Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office, Julie was respected by reporters and colleagues alike for her professionalism, work ethic and talent.

    During her time in Sacramento, Julie held various positions such as Governor Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Press Secretary, Press Secretary for his re-election campaign, Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications for Carly Fiorina’s U.S. Senate campaign and junior partner of Wilson-Miller Communications. In 2012, Julie accepted a position with an international company based in Lausanne, Switzerland; once there, she quickly rose to the position of Vice President of Communications. Julie passed away on April 28, 2016, due to complications associated with Stage IV melanoma; she was 38 years old.

    Scholarship Donation PageEvent Tickets


    –Julie’s blog: http://www.mydetourdeforce.com/

    –Ex-Schwarzenegger communications aide Julie Soderlund dies at 38: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article74712142.html

    –Remembering Julie Soderlund: http://www.girlsonthegrid.com/julie-soderlund/

  • Dr. Anthony Iton, Sr. VP of Health Communities at the California Endowment – March 21

    Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president of healthy communities at the California Endowment, joined the Sacramento Press Club to discuss new research showing an unprecedented spike in death rates of rural, white Californians. In Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties, death rates for whites were 40 percent higher than the overall death rate for whites in recent years. Iton was preparing to announce statewide findings, and discussed his results as Congress was poised to repeal or reduce the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid coverage that would hit the Central Valley hardest. While President Trump largely carried the region, it also had some of the highest rates of Medicaid participation, poverty and unemployment in the state. Iton discussed placed-based health outcomes and why your zip code is more powerful than your genetic code.

    As senior vice president of healthy communities at the Endowment, Iton oversees Building Healthy Communities, a 10-year, $1 billion comprehensive community initiative launched in 2010 to advance statewide policy, change the narrative, and transform 14 of California’s communities most devastated by health inequities into places where all people have an opportunity to thrive.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302

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  • Now accepting 2017 Journalism Scholarship Applications

    The Sacramento Press Club is now accepting online applications for the 2017 Journalism Scholarship Awards! Seven scholarships totaling $34,000 will be awarded, including two new scholarships honoring Steve Swatt and Julie Soderlund! If you are an Undergraduate or Graduate student in the field of Journalism, you are encouraged to apply. For more information about the scholarships available and eligibility requirements, visit http://sacpressclub.org/scholarships/

    The deadline is March 31, 2017.

  • The Press Secretary – February 27

    President Trump’s controversial press secretary Sean Spicer is redefining the role of a press secretary — and being spoofed on Saturday Night Live in the process. Five former California gubernatorial press spokespersons will share their war stories, advice and thoughts on their roles and their relationships with the media.

    Our panelists are:
    Gil Duran, Press Secretary to Gov. Jerry Brown
    Margita Thompson, Press Secretary to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Steve Maviglio, Press Secretary to Gov. Gray Davis
    Kevin Eckery, Press Secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson
    Rob Stutzman, Communications Director Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Attorney General Dan Lungren

    About the lunch:
    Date: Monday, February 27, 2017
    Time: 11:30 registration opens, lunch 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Where: State Building & Construction Trades Council at 1231 I St, Suite 302
    RSVP deadline: Friday, February 24, 2017 at 5pm
    Cost: $29 members/$40 non-members

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  • 2017 Legislative Reception- Tuesday, January 17th

    The Sacramento Press Club and The Capitol Correspondents Association of California held the 2017 Legislative Reception.

    Second Floor Rotunda
    State Capitol Building
    Tuesday, January 17
    5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
    Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes
    Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon
    Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller

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