• Conversation with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and The Sacramento Bee’s Amy Chance

    On October 10th, the Sacramento Press Club held a conversation with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sacramento Bee Political Editor Amy Chance.

    Eric Garcetti won his second term as the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles in March 2017. He just landed the 2028 Olympics for Los Angeles, with plans to use the Olympics to boost the city’s economy and infrastructure. He’s focused on protecting the city’s sanctuary status in opposition to the Trump Administration’s efforts to withhold funds, and is working to speed housing construction and address homelessness. Garcetti also has garnered attention for his record-setting, behested payments from individuals and businesses to a charity he created. And what about that trip to New Hampshire in August to support a mayoral candidate in Manchester?

    Garcetti served as a member and president of the Los Angeles City Council from 2001 to 2012 before he was first elected mayor. He was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. He is also a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

    Amy Chance, political editor for The Sacramento Bee, has covered California politics and government for more than 25 years. She supervises a staff of reporters and editors who cover the state Legislature, the Brown Administration, ballot measures and state political campaigns. Chance joined The Bee as its City Hall reporter in 1984, moving two years later to the Capitol Bureau to cover the second term of Gov. George Deukmejian. Since then, she has reported on most of the state’s major political figures, from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She currently oversees Capitol coverage across multiple platforms, including the popular Capitol Alert blog.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Tuesday, October 10
    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: The online RSVP deadline has passed. Entrance may be purchased at the door.
    Cost: $29 members/$40 non-members

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  • Retired U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer conversation with the LA Times’ Melanie Mason- September 27th

    Retired U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer joined the Sacramento Press Club in a conversation with Los Angeles Times Reporter Melanie Mason at the Sept. 27, 2017 luncheon.

    Boxer retired from the U.S. Senate in January 2017 after serving 24 years in the upper house and 10 years in the House of Representatives. Before serving in Congress, Boxer spent six years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

    Throughout her service, Boxer has advocated for families, children, consumers and the environment. She chaired the Environment and Public Works Committee, served as a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and served as the top Democrat on the Senate Ethics Committee.

    Boxer wrote landmark legislation establishing federal funding for afterschool programs. She also worked to fund anti-gang programs, pass the Violence Against Women Law (VAWA), and the Community Policy “COPS” Program. Her bill to prevent the criminal use of personal information obtained through motor vehicle records was signed into law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Senate, she fought back against repeated attacks on women’s health and a woman’s right to privacy.

    Since retiring from the Senate, Senator Boxer has been volunteering for the political action committee she founded, PAC for a Change, raising awareness about the importance of voting in every election and helping candidates make life better for the people that they serve.

    An author of several books, Boxer’s message in her latest book, The Art of Tough, is the need for each of us to be unafraid to fight for positive change in our communities and in our nation.

    Melanie Mason covers state government and politics in Sacramento. She first began working for the Los Angeles Times in 2011 in Washington, D.C., where she covered money and politics during the 2012 presidential campaign. She is originally from Los Angeles and is a graduate of Georgetown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Wednesday, September 27
    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 purchases have closed. Entrance may be purchased at the door.
    Cost: $29 members/$40 non-members

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  • SF Giants President and CEO Larry Baer with the Sac Bee’s Marcos Breton- August 29th

    San Francisco Giants President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer joined the Sacramento Press Club’s at the August 29 luncheon for a conversation with Sacramento Bee Columnist Marcos Breton about the art and business of baseball. Baer, a fourth generation San Franciscan, has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Giants organization since 2008. He started with the Giants as marketing director in 1980 after earning Phi Beta Kappa honors at the University of California. Baer left the organization for a few years to attend Harvard Business School at work at Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS Inc., but returned in 1992. He guides both the business and baseball sides of the team. When he’s not at the ball park he serves on several local boards of directors including KQED, the Bay Area Council, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Pacific Region. Baer is also chairman of Major League Baseball’s Long-Range Strategic Planning Committee.

    Marcos Breton is a news columnist with the Sacramento Bee. He has been a working journalist in California for 30 years and is a graduate of San Jose State University. Starting out as a general assignment reporter, Breton was a sports columnist before returning to news in 2007. He is a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame and the author of two baseball books. Breton is a past Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow and was featured prominently in The Tenth Inning, a 2010 PBS documentary directed by Ken Burns.

    About the lunch:
    Date: Tuesday, August 29
    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: Friday, August 25 at 5pm
    Cost: $29 members/$40 non-members

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

    LEARN MORE:

    –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/

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