• Recreational Marijuana Panel- Members

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  • 2017 Journalism Scholarship Winners

    Congratulations to Thomas Oide, Bianca Quilantan, Alex Matthews, Emmanuel Aguayo, Emily Zentner, Daniel Wilson and Sawsan Morrar, the 2017 Journalism Scholarship recipients.

    The $4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Thomas Oide, who will be a junior in the fall at the University of Missouri. Like the journalist his scholarship honors, Thomas started his career in sports writing. He was hired by the Davis Enterprise while still in high school to report on high school games and athletes. Last summer, he interned at the Sacramento Bee, where he earned high praise for writing impactful stories about a park district merger that eventually was scrapped, a contentious graduation ceremony that left graduates’ families on the outside trying to look in, and a family dealing with a rare genetic disorder. Thomas will be back at the Bee this summer, which he says will “give me an incredible opportunity to grow as a storyteller and build my skills in data analysis and multimedia.”

    The $4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship, the winner was Bianca Quilantan. The Skelton scholarship is earmarked for promising students who come up through community college and are at the beginning of their journalism studies. Bianca graduated from Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista and now attends Chico State. During her time at Southwestern, Bianca not only became editor of the campus newspaper but also researched and wrote award-winning, impactful exposés. These included how the campus police department mishandled sexual assault cases, as well as an account of racial tension festering among staff, and features that displayed the human side of immigration by focusing on day laborers. A Chico professor described her as a Renaissance woman who was a stellar high school soccer player and a gifted singer who starred in professional theater productions. He also said she is a ferociously hard worker who loves journalism.

    The $4,000 Julie Soderlund scholarship winner was Alex Matthews, who will be starting a three-year master’s degree program at UC Berkeley this fall in the dual areas of public health and journalism. Alex’s route to a journalism career has involved several turns along the way. She planned to work in government when she came to Sacramento as part of UC Berkeley’s Cal-in-Sacramento fellowship program. Instead, an internship at Capitol Weekly affirmed her earlier high school passion for journalism. However, upon graduation she joined the Peace Corps to work in rural Morocco. Since returning, she has taken a variety of jobs including working for an open access scientific journal, while also developing a blog that tracks bills through the state legislative process. Her goal in pursuing a combined public health/journalism degree is to “use those skills and experiences to help translate the policies that come out of Sacramento to the broader public that they affect.”

    The $4,000 Dan Walters scholarship was awarded to Emmanuel Aguayo, who enrolled as a junior at Sac State this spring after graduating from Cosumnes River College. His road to college was not typical; estranged from his family, he was homeless and sleeping in his car when he decided to go to community college to try to improve his life. He describes discovering journalism as giving him an invaluable sense of purpose. As compelling as his life story is, what had more impact with the judges is how he has used those life experiences and personal growth to enhance his journalism and story-telling skills. Emmanuel says many of the stories he and his colleagues produced were “inspired by voices my colleagues and I heard while taking the local light-rail, studying at nearby coffee shops, or while tuning in on conversations of fellow students throughout campus.”

    The recipient of the $4,000 Steve Swatt scholarship was Emily Zentner, who will be interning at the Bee this summer. In the fall, Emily will be a senior at Arizona State University, where she has already had multiple professional experiences, including working for Arizona PBS in Washington, D.C., covering the Arizona delegation at the national Democratic convention, and traveling to Mexico with an advisor and team of reporters to write stories about the impact of the Trump election on people there. In his recommendation letter, her advisor wrote that she is versatile and a bit edgy in the way she attacks stories. He said, “She’s equally comfortable writing pop culture stories for millennials or lining up interviews with past and potentially future presidents of Mexico to talk about the current state of U.S.-Mexico relations.”

    The $6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship, the winner was Daniel Wilson, who will be a senior at Sac State in the fall. Daniel was a finalist last year, but fell just short of being awarded a scholarship. This year, he came back and the judges were very impressed with his continued development as a reporter and his dogged commitment to journalism despite personal adversities that he and his wife have faced. In the past year, he has worked as a freelance journalist for the West Sacramento News-Ledger, contributed to the Sac State Hornet as a news reporter, and worked for McClatchy to design and format sports agate for the Bee, the Bellingham Herald and the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The faculty advisor for the Hornet writes that Daniel’s news judgment and ethics “are unimpeachable. He responsibly assesses a story’s range of perspectives, and he takes care to include the crucial elements that help readers have the most informed and accurate understanding of the subject at hand.” While Daniel’s not-so-secret passion is to someday work for a video game news publication, he already has a diverse portfolio of news, features, opinion pieces, reviews and more. As he wrote in his application, “Honestly, I just want to write. It really makes no difference what I’m covering.”

    The $8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship was awarded to Sawsan Morrar, who will be entering her second year of the UC Berkeley masters program, is also a repeat applicant. In fact, she was designated as a winner several years ago, but as a young mother she had to defer her plans to go to UC Berkeley that year. She returns to us with strong credentials, having reported as a free-lancer on stories in the Middle East, Asia and throughout the United States. Sawsan also worked for two years as an assistant producer at Capitol Public Radio’s Insight program. One of her most compelling pieces from her travels abroad was a story about underage domestic workers imported from Indonesia by Jordanian families as servants. Central to her piece was one family who kept their worker when they discovered she was only 14 for fear the government would only give her to another family to be mistreated rather than return her to her home country. In her application, Sawsan wrote that “storytelling is my passion and curiosity is my motivation. I love to write, ask questions, and use new technology to explore ways to tell a story.” The judges were very impressed with the quality of her work, her professionalism, and her thoughtful responses to questions about reporting as a Muslim woman in today’s polarized world.

  • 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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  • Can Finance Reform Ever Work? June 28- Member

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  • Can Finance Reform Ever Work? June 28- Non-Member

    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?

    Join the Sacramento Press Club June 28 for 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 includes a nationally recognized expert on tracking contributions for OpenSecrets.org and representatives from both major parties who are immersed in campaign finance issues.

    June 28th, 2017 11:30 AM   through   1:00 PM
    1231 I Street
    State Building and Construction Trades Council Conference Center
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    United States
    Non-Member Lunch $ 40.00

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  • Test Lunch

  • Politics & Cocktails Happy Hour

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra- May 15- Non-Member

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra- May 15- Members

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  • 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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