June 9, 2022: Making Sense of the Election: A Post-Primary Recap
A lot will be determined as Californians cast their ballots over the coming weeks, setting the top-two runoffs in races across the state and potentially choosing the winners in key local elections. After the big vote on June 7, four of California’s top political experts will make sense of the results and forecast what might happen next.
This election recap will feature pollster David Binder and strategists Marva Diaz, Dana Williamson and Matt Rexroad.
- David Binder is a San Francisco-based pollster. His clients have included President Barack Obama, dozens of state and local candidates across the United States as well as labor, environmental and business clients in California.
- Dana Williamson is owner of Grace Public Affairs in Sacramento. Former Cabinet Secretary to Gov. Jerry Brown, she also directed his political initiative efforts. In this cycle, she is working on two statewide constitutional officer races, a statewide ballot initiative and a State Senate campaign.
- Marva Diaz is an editor at the California Target Book, and also is president of her firm, Marva Diaz Strategies. She has collaborated on the strategic planning for over 600 campaigns in dozens of states, ranging from internal corporate campaigns to ballot propositions.
- Matt Rexroad is a founding partner at Meridian Pacific. He has run dozens of statewide and local campaigns, served in local and countywide office, is a regular op-ed columnist for the Sacramento Bee, and is chief legal counsel for Redistricting Insights.
Politico’s Lara Korte and ABC 10’s Morgan Rynor will moderate the discussion.
April 20, 2022: Sacramento Press Club Journalism Awards
March 15, 2022: Fighting Sex Trafficking: Why It Matters and How To Cover It
The Sacramento Press Club hosts a conversation with experts on sex trafficking, including Maggy Krell, Attorney General Rob Bonta’s newly appointed special assistant focusing on the issue. Krell, the author of a new book, Taking Down Backpage, will be joined by author and attorney Carissa Phelps, and Sharan Dhanoa, director of strategic development for the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. The discussion, moderated by former SPC president Dan Morain, will cover topics related to trafficking including legislation pending in Sacramento this year.
March 4, 2022: California’s Road Ahead: Dr. Mark Ghaly on Year Three of the COVID-19 Pandemic
As California enters year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state health officials have begun to ease safety guidelines, but challenges to protect the health and safety of Californians persist. The Sacramento Press Club is pleased to welcome Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services, to discuss recent changes to California’s pandemic guidelines and reflect on the road ahead. SPC board member Samantha Young of Kaiser Health News will lead the conversation with Dr. Ghaly.
February 16, 2022: Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
As the new legislative session gets underway, what issues are likely to dominate the Capitol in the months ahead? The Sacramento Press Club is pleased to welcome Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to discuss their priorities this year. SPC board members Alexei Koseff of CalMatters and Ashley Zavala of Nexstar Media Group will interview the legislative leaders.
December 9, 2021: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
The Sacramento Press Club is pleased to welcome U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who will discuss what the recently passed federal infrastructure bill means for California. Buttigieg will be interviewed by Nikki Laurenzo of Fox40 and Chris Megerian of the Los Angeles Times.
December 1, 2021: California Attorney General Rob Bonta
Since taking office in April, Attorney General Rob Bonta has overseen the launch of a new unit to investigate police shootings, challenged Amazon over its COVID-19 notifications for workers and created a team to enforce state housing laws.
Please join the Sacramento Press Club for a discussion with Bonta about his first seven months as attorney general, his vision for the office, what California is doing to address rising crime rates and more.
Appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Bonta is the California’s 34th attorney general and the first of Filipino descent. He previously served in the state Assembly, where he authored several laws aimed at changing California’s criminal justice system.
Adam Beam of The Associated Press, Marisa Lagos of KQED, and Byrhonda Lyons of CalMatters will interview Bonta.
November 22, 2021: “In Trump’s Shadow,” with David Drucker
A year after losing re-election, former President Donald Trump still looms large in conservative circles. But behind the scenes, there is a scramble to control the direction of the Republican Party.
Join the Sacramento Press Club for a conversation with journalist David Drucker about his new book, In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP. It includes profiles of former Vice President Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, members of the Trump family and others fighting to emerge as the party’s next leader.
Drucker, who covered former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from Sacramento for the Los Angeles Daily News, is now a senior correspondent at the Washington Examiner. He will be interviewed by KFBK’s morning host Sam Shane and Gillian Brassil, Washington correspondent for McClatchy.
November 12, 2021: Rep. Katie Porter
Since flipping California’s 45th Congressional District in 2018, Katie Porter has been a rising star on Capitol Hill. Her tough interrogations of Trump administration officials during committee hearings, aided by a whiteboard, made her a viral political sensation.
The Irvine Democrat joins the Sacramento Press Club for an interview with Orange County Register reporter Brooke Staggs and Nolan McCaskill, who covers Congress for the Los Angeles Times.
October 27, 2021: Covering Afghanistan: From Kabul to Sacramento
When all eyes turned to Afghanistan this summer, as the Taliban swiftly retook control of the country during the American military withdrawal, Naweed Yousufi was busy trying to find out what was happening on the ground for Kauser TV, his online news program for Sacramento’s Afghan immigrant community.
Yousufi began his journalism career in Afghanistan as a freelance reporter for the Los Angeles-based Khorasan Television and, in 2005, he began working with the U.S. Army, including advising them on developing radio and television stations in eastern Afghanistan. He left the country in 2017, moving to Sacramento on a Special Immigrant Visa.
Please join the Sacramento Press Club for a conversation with Yousufi about his experiences as a journalist in Afghanistan and covering his home country from 7,000 miles away.
Stephen Magagnini, editor in chief of The Sacramento Observer, will moderate the conversation. From 1994 to 2018, Magagnini wrote about ethnic affairs, immigration and race relations for The Sacramento Bee. His 2016 project “No Safe Place” detailed the challenges faced by Sacramento’s growing community of Afghan refugees, many of whom put their lives on the line for U.S. troops.
September 21, 2021: “Paradise,” with author Lizzie Johnson
With California once again burning, the Sacramento Press Club welcomes Lizzie Johnson, author of the fascinating and powerful new book, Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire, about the deadliest fire in California history.
Lizzie wrote Paradise while reporting on wildfires for the San Francisco Chronicle, and she since has moved to The Washington Post. She will be interviewed by Robin Epley, an editorial writer for the Sacramento Bee who was part of the Chico Enterprise-Record team that covered the fire in Paradise.
September 15, 2021: What Happened With the Recall Election?
In the end, it wasn’t close: The election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom was called within an hours of polls closing last night, as California voters appeared to hand the governor a landslide victory. So how did a race that once appeared within reach for Newsom critics turn into a blowout?
Join the Sacramento Press Club for a virtual discussion on what happened and why, with the people who were there all along the way. The Sacramento Bee’s Sophia Bollag and the Los Angeles Times’ Phil Willon will moderate a discussion with:
- Juan Rodriguez, manager for Newsom’s anti-recall campaign
- Courtni Pugh, political director for Newsom’s anti-recall campaign
- Jeff Corless, campaign manager for leading replacement candidate Larry Elder
- Ron Nehring, adviser to replacement candidate Kevin Faulconer
- Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data, Inc. and voter data expert
August 25, 2021: California’s Forever Drought
Another severe drought is forcing state officials to make tough choices about who gets access to a dwindling supply of water. A recent emergency resolution will allow the state to block water diversions from major users, including farmers, in the state’s agricultural region. Californians up and down the state are being asked to conserve water.
Los Angeles Times reporter Ian James and Sacramento Bee reporter Dale Kasler moderate a discussion on California’s drought and what comes next. Panelists are:
Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Adel Hagekhalil, the new general manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Tom Birmingham, general manager of the Westlands Water District
Jennifer Pierre, general manager of the state water contractors
August 5, 2021: How Can California Achieve “Broadband for All”?
Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a $6 billion plan to build a statewide, open-access fiber network. In Washington, President Biden and Congress are negotiating their own $65 billion broadband deal. Will these efforts actually provide “internet for all”? Now that the law has passed, what is the role of industry, the state and regulators?
Join the Sacramento Press Club for a discussion on the next steps for bringing broadband to every California household. A panel of government, industry and legislative experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead:
- Assemblymember Robert Rivas, a Democrat from Hollister who has advocated from getting high-speed internet into rural and underserved communities
- Carolyn McIntyre, president of the California Cable and Telecommunications Association
- Michael Lawson, president of the Los Angeles Urban League, whose national organization recently unveiled a framework to bridge the digital divide
- Vickie Robinson, general manager for Microsoft’s Airband Initiative
Politico’s Susannah Luthi, who covers tech policy in California, and CalMatter’s Ben Christopher will moderate this virtual event.
June 2, 2021: Sen. Alex Padilla, 2021 Scholarship Awards
It’s been nearly four months since Alex Padilla was sworn in as California’s newest senator, the first Latino to ever represent the state in the U.S. Senate. What has he been up to since making the move from the secretary of state’s office to Capitol Hill?
Find out when Padilla joins the Sacramento Press Club’s annual scholarship reception, where he will help hand out nearly $40,000 in scholarships to eight exceptional student journalists.
Alexei Koseff, state Capitol reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Press Club president, and Jazmine Ulloa, national politics reporter for the Boston Globe, will interview Padilla about some of the country’s biggest political debates, including voting rights, immigration reform and the filibuster.
May 27, 2021: Are Blackouts Back in California?
Another hot, dry summer looms, which means more rolling blackouts may be on the horizon. The power shutoffs could disrupt millions of Californians’ lives — and pose a threat to Gov. Gavin Newsom as he faces a recall election.
The Sacramento Press Club hosts a discussion on energy reliability and its political implications with:
- Sen. Mike McGuire, a Democrat from Healdsburg, whose district has borne the brunt of many of the worst wildfires and blackouts in recent years.
- Elliot Mainzer, the chief executive officer of the California Independent System Operator, the entity responsible for managing California’s electric grid.
- Susan Kennedy, who was Gov. Gray Davis’s cabinet secretary and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff. She is a former California Public Utilities Commission member and a founder of an energy software company.
- Bob Foster, the former mayor of Long Beach. He is also a former chair of CalISO’s board and past president of Southern California Edison.
Los Angeles Times energy and environmental writer Sammy Roth, the author of the acclaimed newsletter Boiling Point, and Ashley Zavala, the California Capitol correspondent for KRON4News and Nexstar Media Group and a Sacramento Press Club board member, interview the panel.
May 19, 2021: The Future of News, with Colleen McCain Nelson and Emilio Garcia-Ruiz
Two of California’s largest newsrooms have welcomed new editors in the past year. Colleen McCain Nelson was appointed in January as executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and regional editor for McClatchy’s California news organizations. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz joined the San Francisco Chronicle in August 2020 as editor in chief.
The Sacramento Press Club is delighted to host them both for a conversation about their visions for the future of local news, moderated by Joyce Terhaar, an SPC board member and former editor of The Bee, and Kevin Yamamura, California editor for Politico.
April 21, 2021: “The Triumph of Nancy Reagan,” with author Karen Tumulty
Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty will discuss her acclaimed new book, The Triumph of Nancy Reagan. Tumulty has been one of the generation’s top political affairs reporters at the Post, Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times. While covering all the major political issues of the day, she spent five years working on the book, which includes a chapter on Nancy Reagan’s pivotal time in Sacramento as California’s First Lady.
Tumulty will discuss her riveting biography of Reagan with Sacramento public relations consultant Dennis C. Revell, a former Sacramento Press Club board member. By virtue of his marriage to the late Maureen Reagan, Revell was a passionate and privileged observer to some of the dramatic episodes, as well as the more quiet moments, of the last 36 years of Nancy Reagan’s life.
April 16, 2021: Beyond the Blueprint: How to Reopen California Safely
On June 15, California is scheduled to fully reopen its economy pending adequate vaccine supply and low hospitalization rates. But new infections are on the rise nationally, and highly contagious coronavirus variants are causing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases among young people in other states. According to a recent survey, 1 in 5 Californians still say they definitely or probably will not get a COVID-19 vaccine, which could slow the state’s progress toward herd immunity. What will it take to ensure that California reopens safely and without another surge?
Join us as Los Angeles Times reporter Soumya Karlamangla interviews California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Mark Ghaly, followed by an expert panel featuring:
- Michael Ybarra, vice president and chief of medical affairs, PhRMA
- Yaneer Bar-Yam, founder of the COVID Action Group and president of the New
England Complex Systems Institute
- Sunshine Moore, senior vice president, external Affairs and business development,
April 15, 2021: Sacramento Press Club Journalism Awards
April 6, 2021: Covering ‘Stop AAPI Hate’
The increase in hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander residents, including the tragic killing of six Asian women in Atlanta last month, has put the “Stop Asian Hate” movement at the center of many newsroom discussions. For this collaborative event with the Sacramento chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, our panelists will explore the intersection of journalism and conversations about how to end this violence and support AAPI communities.
Former journalist and current UC Davis Health media relations director Pamela Wu will moderate the discussion, and panelists will include Associated Press reporter Bobby Caina Calvan, Sacramento Bee reporter Alex Yoon-Hendricks, Fox 40 reporter Lonnie Wong and CalMatters editor Judy Lin.
April 7, 2021: Inside the Newsom Recall
It seems all but inevitable that Californians will vote this fall on whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. But as the pandemic conditions that turbocharged the recall drive against him recede, the political environment is rapidly shifting.
Join us for a fascinating discussion on what brought about this likely recall election and what Newsom needs to do survive.
The panel includes:
- Ace Smith of Bearstar Strategies, Gov. Newsom’s chief strategist
- Anne Dunsmore of Capital Campaigns, Inc., a driving force behind the recall
- Marty Wilson, executive vice president of public affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce
- Katie Merrill, a Democratic strategist with the firm BaughmanMerrill
Moderating the panel will be Liz Kreutz, an anchor and reporter at ABC7 News Bay Area, and Lara Korte, political affairs reporter for the Sacramento Bee.
March 22, 2021: Meet the Rookies
The November election brought a wave of new lawmakers to the Capitol. Meet five members of the freshman class and learn about their priorities for Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee’s Hannah Wiley and CalMatters’ Emily Hoeven will moderate a conversation with:
- Senator Josh Becker, D-Menlo Park
- Senator Dave Min, D-Irvine
- Assemblymember Alex Lee, D-San Jose
- Assemblymember Suzette Martinez Valladares, R-Santa Clarita
- Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua, D-Stockton
January 19, 2021: Now What? Reflections On a Biden Presidency
The election of Joe Biden left Santa Cruz-based author Steve Kettmann wondering what the next four years, with a new president, would hold.
So he asked 38 of his most thoughtful and provocative friends to write essays on the topic for a new book, Now What?: The Voters Have Spoken — Essays on Life After Trump. Authors range from Anthony Scaramucci and Wesley Clark to Rosanna Arquette and Keith Olbermann.
Three of them — satirist and author Christopher Buckley, former San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker, and Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton — will join Kettmann for a special Sacramento Press Club event to offer their insights. Joan Walsh, an author, The Nation correspondent and commentator at CNN and MSNBC, will also join the discussion.
January 12, 2021: “Kamala’s Way: An American Life,” with author Dan Morain
Please join us for a Sacramento Press Club exclusive: an interview with Dan Morain, president of the press club, about his new book, “Kamala’s Way: An American Life,” the first biography of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Morain will be interviewed by Stuart Leavenworth, the California enterprise editor for the Los Angeles Times and former editorial board editor of the Sacramento Bee.
Dan Morain has been there from the start of Harris’ career, having first written about her in 1994. In “Kamala’s Way,” he tracks the events that shaped her from early days in Oakland and Berkeley. He also gets the back story about her climb from a deputy district attorney in Alameda County to San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and U.S. senator, as well as the behind-the-scenes campaign she waged to become the first Black, South Asian and female vice president in our nation’s history. He covers the key relationships in her rise to power, such as those with former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and President Barack Obama.
In the interview, Morain will also talk about what might surprise readers about Harris, how he thinks her experience in California will impact how she works with President-elect Biden and what he thinks is the common misperception that the public has about her.
December 15, 2020: The Affordable Care Act: Now What?
With the fate of the Affordable Care Act in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, California experts discuss what’s next for access to health care.
- Peter Lee, executive director, Covered California
- Carmela Coyle, president & CEO, California Hospital Association
- Kiran Savage Sangwan, executive director, California Pan Ethnic Health Network
- Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California
Moderators: Angela Hart, Kaiser Health News, and Victoria Colliver, Politico
December 10, 2020: What’s Next In Criminal Justice Reform?
After winning big on statewide ballot measures and the Los Angeles county district attorney race, proponents of overhauling the criminal justice system will discuss their future plans and explain Californians have changed their tune on this issue.
Join the Sacramento Press Club on Thursday, Dec. 10, at noon for a live conversation on our Facebook page with Los Angeles District Attorney-elect George Gascón, Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, and campaign strategist Dana Williamson. KQED’s Marisa Lagos and Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times will moderate.
November 18, 2020: How to Give a Media Interview In the Digital Age
When a journalist calls in this fast-moving era of digital communications, it’s more important than ever to respond quickly and effectively to ensure your message is heard. But how to take advantage of the opportunity while also minimizing the risks?
Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Kevin Riggs will lead a workshop with former KCRA reporter Pamela Wu on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at noon on our Facebook page. A co-author of the newly published book, “The Insider’s Guide to Media Training: 99 tips to Survive your Interview in the Digital Age,” Riggs will equip you with the knowledge to handle interview requests with confidence and the understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The two will discuss how to:
- Anticipate and answer difficult questions
- Navigate potential pitfall
- Understand how reporters think
- Find the right voice in crisis situations
- Create compelling quotes and soundbites
Kevin Riggs is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than three decades of broadcast experience in California. He spent 17 years as an anchor and political reporter for KCRA in Sacramento, where he covered the state Capitol and national political stories, including several national political conventions and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. He still serves as political analyst for KCRA and is a senior executive with Sacramento-based Randle Communications, where he works with a wide range of business and political clients.
November 6, 2020: Making Sense of the 2020 Election Results
California will still be counting votes three days after election day, but a picture of the results will undoubtedly have begun taken shape. So join the Sacramento Press Club for a conversation with state’s top pollsters, pundits and data crunchers. We’ll analyze the results of we have, who voted and why this COVID election was like no other.
Top political reporters will moderate, including Adam Nagourney, a Los Angeles-based correspondent of The New York Times, Libby Denkman, senior politics reporter for KPCC, and Elex Michaelson, anchor for Fox 11 Los Angeles and host of the statewide political show “The Issue Is.”
- David Binder, founder of DB Research and a former pollster for Barack Obama
- Shakari Byerly, partner and principal researcher with Evitarus
- Adissu Demisse, founding principal of 50+1 Strategies who managed Cory Booker’s presidential campaign
- Paul Mitchell, election data geek and vice president of Political Data, Inc.
- Steve Schmidt, Republican strategist and former adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger
October 15, 2020: Proposition 24 Debate
California voters nearly weighed in on their digital privacy rights two years ago, but proponents pulled the measure from the ballot when the Legislature passed the first major statewide protections in the country. That law, which extended new rights to consumers to control how their personal information online is used and sold, took effect earlier this year.
The issue is back at the ballot box this November, however. With privacy advocates and business groups waging battle at the Capitol over whether to undo parts of the new law, San Francisco developer Alistair Mactaggar is leading another effort to put those rights into the state constitution where legislators can’t change them — an initiative that critics argue is fundamentally flawed.
Please join the Sacramento Press Club for a debate over Proposition 24, moderates by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Dustin Gardiner, Politico’s Katy Murphy and the Salinas Californian’s Angelica Cabral. The event, which will be streamed live on the Press Club’s Facebook page, will feature:
Jamie Court, president and chairman of the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, supports Prop 24. Court is a veteran of more than a dozen California ballot initiative campaigns, including 1988’s Proposition 103, which has saved consumers more than $150 billion on their auto insurance over the last three decades, according to a recent report. Court also takes on insurers, banks, technology companies and the oil industry in the Legislature. He is the author of three books, most recently 2010’s “The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell .”
Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, opposes Prop 24. Snow previously served in the San Francisco office of the Federal Trade Commission, where he brought actions against companies for false advertising cases and worked on antitrust cases to preserve competition between California health care providers. As an intellectual property litigator at Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe, Snow was a member of the trial team that won a jury verdict invalidating a series of online-backup patents asserted by a non-practicing entity, Oasis Research. The case was featured on an episode of “This American Life.”
October 14, 2020: CNN’s Clarissa Ward
Please join Clarissa Ward, CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, in conversation about her new book: “On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist,” an unforgettable story of one extraordinary journalist — and of a changing world.
Ward is the recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, and is a world-renowned conflict reporter. In this strange age of crisis where there is no clear front line, she has moved from one hot zone to the next.
Ward will be in conversation with Markos Kounalakis, Ph.D., a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a former foreign correspondent for NBC and Newsweek, whose foreign affairs columns appear weekly in the McClatchy chain of 30 newspapers from Sacramento to Miami.
October 8, 2020: Proposition 16 Debate
California voters will decide this November whether to reinstate affirmative action in public university admissions, government hiring and contracting. The state previously banned the practice in 1996 when voters passed Proposition 209.
To help you understand the initiative better, the Sacramento Press Club will host a debate on Proposition 16 moderated by
Speaking for the initiative are:Eva Paterson, a civil rights advocate and attorney with over 45 years of experience fighting for equality, including as a leading spokesperson against Prop 209. She is president and co-founder of Equal Justice Society.
Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a community-based civil rights organization that works for equality for women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups within the Chinese community. The organization also advocates for immigrant rights, language diversity and racial justice.
Speaking against the initiative are:
Gail Heriot, co-chair of the No on Proposition 16 campaign. She is a professor of law at University of California at San Diego. Heriot was a key co-chair for the Proposition 209 campaign and authored the official argument against Prop 16.
Richard Sander, an economist and distinguished professor of law at UCLA. He has published extensively on the operation and effects of university racial preferences, and on the dynamics of, and possible solutions for, the problem of housing segregation.
October 5, 2020: Proposition 15 Debate
California voters this year are being asked to decide whether to raise property taxes on big businesses. The contentious Proposition 15 would amend the state constitution so that commercial properties are taxed on their market value once every three years.
Such a change would boost local funding for schools and local government. But critics say now is the wrong time for the biggest tax increase in California history, a move that would drive up rents and the cost of living.
Please join the Sacramento Press Club for a debate between proponents and opponents of Proposition 15, streaming at 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Press Club’s Facebook page. Laura Mahoney of Bloomberg and Doug Sovern of San Francisco’s KCBS will moderate the event.
Speaking for the initiative are:
David Goldberg, vice president of the California Teachers Association, who has spent most of his 20-years as an educator as an elementary bilingual teacher in Los Angeles. He is fluent in Spanish and sign language.
Veronica Carrizales, policy and campaign director of California Calls, an alliance of 31 community-based organizations that advocates for fair taxes, economic growth and stable funding for public services. Carrizales oversees the organization’s expansion into new regions of the state, shapes policy analysis, and maintains partnerships with key statewide allies.
Speaking against the initiative are:
Larry Stone is Santa Clara County Assessor, named by San Jose Magazine as one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful 100 leaders. He previously served as a city council member and mayor of Sunnyvale, and worked as a financial manager on Wall Street. He also co-founded a successful Bay Area real estate investment and development firm.
Jamie Johansson is president of the California Farm Bureau Federation and operator of Lodestar Farms where he grows olives and citrus in Oroville. Johansson served four years on the Oroville City Council, including a term as vice mayor.
September 24, 2020: How To Be Smart and Safe While Covering Protests
This Sacramento Press Club lunchtime discussion will be a resource for journalists who increasingly find themselves reporting on demonstrations for racial justice and against police violence.
Experienced reporters and experts will discuss covering protests and share advice for how to accurately and safely serve readers, listeners and viewers during street demonstrations.
Nick Miller, managing editor of news at Capital Public Radio, the NPR affiliate in Sacramento, will moderate the panel. He has covered demonstrations across California, from the Iraq War to Occupy to George Floyd.
Judith Matloff is a senior adviser with the Dart Center For Journalism and Trauma and faculty at the Columbia Journalism School, where she teaches crisis reporting. From her Dart Center bio: “Matloff consults for leading organizations around the world, and has pioneered protocols for digital, gender and physical security. Clients have included NBC, the United Nations, the Society of Professional Journalists, Doc Society, Magnum, the State Department, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Her training company, Security Rules LLC, offers workshops for a wide variety of dangerous situations.”
Sergio Olmos is an independent journalist currently covering the racial justice demonstrations in Portland for Oregon Public Broadcasting, where he has been out nearly every night for months. His work has also appeared in The New York Times and on Reveal.
Van Tieu is a television journalist for ABC 10, who previously worked at NY1 in New York City. She has covered demonstrations in Sacramento and traumatic events on the East Coast, including the New York City West side highway terrorist attack.
George Kelly is a reporter with the East Bay Times and has covered demonstrations and breaking news in Oakland and Berkeley for the Bay Area News Group for nearly 15 years.
Scott Rodd is a state government reporter for CapRadio. He has covered demonstrations and was wrongly arrested by Sacramento police while covering Stephon Clark protests in 2019.
September 15, 2020: Attorney General Xavier Becerra
With more than 90 lawsuits filed, on everything from clean air protections to the Affordable Care Act, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been at the forefront of California’s resistance to the Trump administration. He is now a leading contender to be appointed to the U.S. Senate if Sen. Kamala Harris wins the vice presidency.
Please join the Sacramento Press Club as The Sacramento Bee politics reporter Hannah Wiley, Capital Public Radio politics and government reporter Nicole Nixon and Fox40 morning anchor Richard Sharp interview Mr. Becerra.
September 9, 2020: Congressman Eric Swalwell
Whether from his brief presidential run or his role as one of President Trump’s most vocal critics, you’ve surely heard a lot from Congressman Eric Swalwell in the past few years. The Bay Area Democrat is also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, where he had a front-row seat to the historic impeachment proceedings against Trump. He shares those insights in his new book, “Endgame: Inside the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump.”
Please join The Sacramento Press Club as Congressman Swalwell is interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle editorial page editor John Diaz, Politico’s Carla Marinucci and Nikki Laurenzo, Fox40 anchor and host of Inside California Politics.
September 3, 2020: Former Congresswoman Katie Hill
Katie Hill was a rising Democratic star in Congress, having flipped a Republican seat in the 2018 blue wave. Then her personal life, including an affair with a campaign staffer, was exposed on the internet, and she resigned less than a year into her first term. She tells that story and more in her book, “She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality.”
Please join the Sacramento Press Club as Ms. Hill is interviewed by Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee’s political cartoonist and deputy opinion editor, and Beth Ruyak, former host of Insight on Capital Public Radio.
August 27, 2020: “Devil’s Harvest,” with author Jessica Garrison
California’s San Joaquin Valley long has been a source of rich and compelling stories. That’s why the Sacramento Press Club is honored to present Jessica Garrison in conversation about her new book, “Devil’s Harvest: A Ruthless Killer, a Terrorized Community and the Search for Justice in California’s Central Valley.”
Jessica is a senior investigative editor at BuzzFeed News in San Francisco, and is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she ran across the story of Jose Manuel Martinez. Known as “El Mano Negro,” Martinez was a contract killer who plied his bloody trade over three decades, often in Tulare County.
We are delighted that Mark Arax, a former L.A. Times reporter, will discuss “Devil’s Harvest” with Jessica. No one has a deeper understanding of the Central Valley than Mark, as he made clear in his most recent book, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California,” about forces that have shaped the valley where he was born and lives.
August 26, 2020: University of California President Michael Drake and Board of Regents Chair John A. Perez
Michael Drake was appointed in July as the 21st president — and the first Black leader — of the University of California. Most recently serving as the president of The Ohio State University, he spent much of his career at UC, including a nine-year stint as the chancellor of UC Irvine. Drake takes over as the president of the ten-campus system at a moment of financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic and amid a moment of cultural reckoning over racial justice.
John A. Pérez was appointed to the UC Board of Regents in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown and was elected chairman in 2019. He is a former speaker of the California Assembly.
August 19, 2020: Racial Equality In the Newsroom
During a historic moment for racial justice and equity in this country, Black journalists are not just covering the news — they are also pushing media organizations to confront how they have fallen short including diverse voices on their staffs and reflecting the communities they cover.
Join the Sacramento Press Club for a conversation with Black and African-American journalists from California and across the country about racial equality in the newsroom, covering the latest Black Lives Matter protests and more. Otis Taylor, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate a panel featuring:
- Keith Woods, chief diversity officer at NPR
- Erika Smith, columnist at the Los Angeles Times
- Joanne Griffith, managing editor of the California Regional News Hub
- Lina Washington, sports anchor and reporter with ABC 10 in Sacramento
- Keiona Williamson, editor at The Sacramento Bee
July 23, 2020: “Fair Warning,” with author Michael Connelly
Looking for a great read? Pick up Michael Connelly’s latest bestseller, “Fair Warning.” He’ll join the Sacramento Press Club for a Facebook live event at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, to discuss his new book.
Joining Michael will be Myron Levin, founder and editor of the investigative news site FairWarning.org.
Michael and Myron are friends from their days as reporters at the Los Angeles Times. Michael captures Myron’s unique personality in “Fair Warning,” as the protagonist, investigative reporter Jack McEvoy, tracks down a serial killer.
Connelly told critic Paula L. Woods in the Los Angeles Times: “I wanted to write about a reporter who’s undaunted and fierce in trying to find the hidden truth.”
The New York Times says of “Fair Warning”: “Connelly is in terrific form here, applying genre conventions to the real-life dangers inherent in the commercial marketing of genetics research.”
July 16, 2020: Rep. Karen Bass
The Sacramento Press Club is honored to have Rep. Karen Bass join us for a conversation on Facebook Live on Thursday, July 16, at 12:15 p.m. A familiar face to Sacramento as the former Assembly speaker, Bass has been in the headlines recently as a potential vice presidential candidate for Joe Biden and a leader on congressional action on police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
As the San Francisco Chronicle noted in a recent profile, “Like many of the other women on Biden’s short list, Bass, 66, is a ceiling-breaker. The daughter of a postal worker, in 2008 she became the first Black woman in history to lead the California Assembly or any similar legislative body in the country. But she’s also different. She’s a healer. And right now, she’s having a moment in the national spotlight while trying to bring together warring parties.”
Bass, a Democrat from Los Angeles, is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she chairs the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, and on the House Judiciary Committee, where she is active in crafting new criminal justice policies.
Bass is also working on unity team between Biden and his former presidential campaign rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, trying to get progressive excited for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
George Skelton, LA Times Capitol Journal columnist, Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle Senior Political Reporter, and Seema Mehta, LA Times Political Reporter, will interview Congresswoman Bass.
A fun fact: Bass earned brown belts in tae kwon do and hapkido.
Please join us for this conversation on politics, police reform and other issues facing our state and nation.
June 24, 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading voice on the Covid-19 pandemic, will participate in a Sacramento Press Club Facebook Live event at noon on Wednesday, June 24.
Following Dr. Fauci’s appearance, the Sacramento Press Club will host a panel including Sen. Richard Pan, who has been at the forefront of state health care legislation; Dr. Sara H. Cody, Santa Clara County’s public health director, who was one of the first officials in the country to take action to contain the spread of the virus; Dr. Sarah Medeiros, an emergency medicine physician at UC Davis Health and co-host of the podcast EM Pulse; and Assemblyman Jim Wood, a Democrat who is chairman of the Assembly Health Committee.
Capital Public Radio’s Sammy Caiola will moderate the conversation with Dr. Fauci. She will join Kaiser Health News’ Samantha Young during the panel.
June 9, 2020: What’s Next for AB5?
The Sacramento Press Club will host a virtual forum at noon this Tuesday, June 9, focused on the future of Assembly Bill 5, the law that aims to require companies to reclassify hundreds of thousands of workers as employees, rather than independent contractors.
AB 5 will be the focus of one of major ballot measure fights this coming November, as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates have given $110 million to an initiative that would exempt their industry from the law. Debate at the Capitol is ongoing as lawmakers consider whether to pass follow-up legislation exemption additional professions, including freelance journalists.
Participants will include:
– Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who carried AB 5, among the most consequential pieces of legislation approved in years.
– Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, one of the measure’s opponents.
– John Kabateck, California state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, which advocates on behalf of small and independent business owners.
– Steve Smith, communications director for the California Labor Federation-AFL-CIO, the leading backer of AB 5.
May 19, 2020: “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown” with author Jim Newton
May 7, 2020 Special Event: Covering the 2020 Campaign, COVID-19 Style
Mark you calendars for our next Facebook live conversation, “Covering the 2020 Campaign, COVID-19 Style.” Los Angeles Times veteran political reporter Mark Barabak will moderate a panel with NPR’s Tamara Keith and Scott Detrow, Shane Goldmacher of The New York Times, Chris Cadelago and David Siders of POLITICO, Margaret Talev of Axios, and Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times. All of the journalists were Sacramento-based reporters earlier in their careers before moving on to the national stage to cover the 2020 presidential campaign. They will share their insight on the challenges covering this election on Thursday, May 7 at 4 p.m. on our Facebook site.
April 30, 2020, Special Event: How California Restaurants and Farms Will Survive COVID-19
How can California’s farm-to-table community survive during the coronavirus pandemic?
Join Golden State farmers and restaurateurs for the Sacramento Press Club’s first virtual Facebook Live discussion on Thursday, April 4, at 4 p.m.
With restaurants shuttered or resigned to takeout business only, they’re struggling, but also innovating. Same goes for farmers, who are having difficulty moving their products. California’s farm-to-table success is in peril.
Recent reports by The New York Times, The Sacramento Bee and public radio have highlighted the struggle of California’s agricultural and restaurant industries to stay afloat.
Join us for a Facebook Live discussion moderated by the San Francisco Chronicle’s food enterprise reporter Janelle Bitker. She will be joined by one of the founders of the Sacramento Farm-to-Fork restaurant scene Patrick Mulvaney; dairy farmer Cody Nicholson-Stratton of Foggy Bottom Boys in Ferndale; Lynn Giacomini Stray, whose family operates Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese; and Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz.
February 10, 2020 Luncheon: Inside California’s Democratic Presidential Primary
California is the biggest prize on the Democratic presidential primary calendar and several candidates are positioned to reap the benefits. Recent polls show a three-way battle at the top between former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg nearing the threshold to win delegates under the state’s complex system of distributing its prize. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also gone all-in on California as he plots a path to the nomination through Super Tuesday after a late entry to the race.
With less than two months until the March 3 primary and just weeks until voters start receiving their ballots in the mail, come hear the leading campaigns share how they plan to win California, why they believe their message appeals most to the state’s diverse electorate and where this sprawling battleground factors into their strategy to clinch the Democratic nomination. Joe Garofoli, senior political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate a conversation with:
– Jessica Mejia, state director for Vice President Joe Biden
– Chris Masami Myers, state director for Mayor Michael Bloomberg
– Rafael Návar, state director for Sen. Bernie Sanders
– Nicole DeMont, state director for Sen. Elizabeth Warren
January 9, 2020 Luncheon: How to Beat Trump in 2020
Democrats are eager to stop President Trump from winning re-election, but they can’t agree on how best to do it: Fire up the base with a progressive candidate or appeal to disillusioned independent voters with a moderate?
Meanwhile, a group of prominent Republicans is now launching its own effort to defeat a man that they argue has been corrosive to politics and the country. The Lincoln Project seeks to convince conservatives, particularly in swing states, to vote against Trump in November.
With the California presidential primary just around the corner, come hear veteran strategists from both sides of the aisle share their thoughts on the state of the race and what it will take to beat Trump in 2020, in a conversation moderated by POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci.
Bill Burton has served as an adviser to political leaders, celebrities, CEOs, corporations and nonprofits in California, Washington, D.C., and around the world. He was one of the first hires on President Obama’s first presidential campaign and worked in the Obama administration as deputy White House press secretary and special assistant to the president. In that capacity, he traveled extensively, both domestically and internationally, advising the president, managing media strategy and dealing directly with the press corps in in the White House briefing room and on Air Force One. During the 2006 election cycle, in which Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, Burton worked as Rahm Emanuel’s communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Most recently, he joined former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to help him shape a possible presidential run.
Mike Madrid has been involved with local, state and federal political campaigns for more than 25 years. He is a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends and outreach strategies, a career focus that emerged from his thesis at Georgetown University. Madrid has previously worked as the press secretary for the California Assembly Republican leader and as the political director for the California Republican Party. He currently serves as a senior advisor to the California Latino Economic Institute and on the board of directors of the American Association of Political Consultants. He also teaches a class on race, class and partisanship at the University of Southern California. He recently helped launch the Lincoln Project, for which he is an advisor.
Carla Marinucci, senior writer for POLITICO’s California Playbook, has consistently been named one of California’s leading political writers — and for the last two years has also been named the state’s top digital influencer in political reporting. Prior to launching the POLITICO California Playbook in 2015, Marinucci was senior political writer for the Hearst flagship San Francisco Chronicle, and before that for the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner. She has covered six presidential elections and seven California gubernatorial elections since 1996, including the historic recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2013, she was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with a lifetime achievement award for her coverage of California politics.
November 4, 2019 Luncheon: A Conversation with the Surgeon General of California Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a national leader in pediatric medicine, was named by Gov. Gavin Newsom as California’s first-ever surgeon general soon after he took office. In her role as surgeon general, Dr. Burke Harris has been making national news with her advocacy to policymakers to consider the social determinants of health, especially for children. She is focused on combating the root causes of serious health conditions — like adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress — and using the platform of surgeon general to reach young families across the state.
As a pediatrician, entrepreneur and nonprofit CEO, Dr. Burke Harris has dedicated her professional career to understanding the link between adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress in children, and the effect both have on future health outcomes. She is the founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) – a national leader in the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness and transform the way society responds to children exposed to adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress. She leads the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, a partnership between CYW and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, to advance scientific screening and treatment of toxic stress. She serves as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Advisory Board for Screening and on a committee for the National Academy of Medicine. She is an expert adviser on the Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force, a former member of the Boys and Men of Color Trauma Advisory Committee and a former appointee by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to the San Francisco Citizens’ Committee for Community Development.
Sophia Bollag of The Sacramento Bee will lead the conversation with Dr. Burke Harris, focusing on her work in the Newsom administration and health issues facing California.
September 11, 2019 Luncheon: Meet California’s New Party Chairs
Please join the Sacramento Press Club on Sept. 11 for a conversation with California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks and California Republican Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson.
Jessica Millan Patterson was elected California Republican Party chair on Feb. 24, focused on taking the fight to Democrats and winning California elections, emphasizing her grassroots success, experience as a political strategist, communicator, and fundraising ability. She is the first female and first Latina chairwoman of the California Republican Party.
Rusty Hicks was elected California Democratic Party chair on June 1, after serving as president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. He believes the party’s top priority should be grassroots organizing to create people-powered election victories.
Politico’s Jeremy B. White and AP’s Kathleen Ronayne will serve as moderators.
September 9, 2019 Special Event: Andrew E. Stoner Q&A and Book Signing
Randy Shilts was a crusading and pioneering reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle who broke many of the huge stories regarding the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and ‘90s. He was the author of the acclaimed book, ”And the Band Played On,” and “The Mayor of Castro Street.” He died too young but lives on in a fascinating biography, “The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts,” by Andrew E. Stoner, a professor at Sacramento State.
Please come to hear Dr. Stoner talk about his book on Monday, Sept. 9, at 5:30 p.m., at the Sacramento State Downtown center, 304 S Street. Politico’s Angela Hart will moderate the discussion.A Q&A and book signing will follow Professor Stoner’s presentation. This event is presented by the Sacramento Press Club and Sacramento State. Avid Reader will be selling copies. Press Club members get a discount.
August 28, 2019: Droughts, Tunnels & Clean Water: A Conversation on California Water Policy
Please join the Sacramento Press Club on Aug. 28 for a conversation focused on the future of water in California.
Wade Crowfoot is California Secretary for Natural Resources, appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January 2019. As a member of the governor’s cabinet, he advises Gov. Newsom on natural resources and environmental issues. He oversees an agency of 19,000 employees charged with protecting and managing the state’s forests and natural land, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife, and energy development.
Jennifer Pierre is general manager of the State Water Contractors, overseeing implementing objectives and overall operations. Pierre manages coordination with the California Department of Water Resources regarding statewide water supply management, and the programs, policies and regulations affecting the State Water Project.
Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties.
Stuart Leavenworth, an editor at the Los Angeles Times, will moderate the panel. He is the Times’ California enterprise editor, and wrote extensively about water as a reporter and editorial page editor for The Sacramento Bee.
May 14, 2019: First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 2019 Scholarship Awards
KCRA anchorwoman Edie Lambert will be interviewing First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the documentary filmmaker and wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom, at the Sacramento Press Club’s May luncheon. The Press Club will also present the student recipients of its 2019 scholarships.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is an award-winning filmmaker, advocate, and founder of the nonprofit organization The Representation Project, which inspires individuals and communities to challenge limiting gender stereotypes and shift norms.
After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Jennifer worked in Africa and Latin America, helping women entrepreneurs create their own socially and environmentally responsible businesses. She then moved to Hollywood to pursue acting and producing.
Dismayed by the way women were represented both in front of and behind the camera, Jennifer decided to rewrite this story and wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning documentary film “Miss Representation.” Released in 2011, the film exposes how the misrepresentation of women in the media contributes to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls. In response to the film’s powerful impact, Jennifer launched The Representation Project.
Jennifer’s second film, “The Mask You Live In,” made its world premiere in 2015 and explores how our culture’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large. She is currently wrapping up her third film, “The Great American Lie.”
Jennifer was proudly appointed to be a member of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and also serves on the advisory boards for The Imagine Bus Project, The Common Sense Media Gender Initiative, and Emerge America. She and her husband Governor Gavin Newsom are the proud parents to their four young children and greatest achievements – Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch.
April 18, 2019: Secrets of Opposition Research
No serious campaign can get by without a serious opposition research element, and so we’ve brought together some of the best opposition researchers in the business to help explain what they do and why. Maybe they’ll share a few tricks of the trade. Come on by, have a little lunch and hear what they have to say.
Joseph Rodota has worked at the highest levels of federal, state, and local politics for more than 30 years. He served as a writer and communications manager in the Reagan White House and as a top campaign and government aide to California Govs. Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In October 2008, as part of a team of bipartisan political consultants who managed the campaign against Proposition 8, Rodota ran the rapid-response “war room.” He is the CEO of Forward Observer, a research and strategy firm based in Sacramento. Rodota’s book The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address, was published in 2018 by William Morrow. He also is the author of Chessman, a play about the final days of Caryl Chessman, the “Red Light Bandit,” as seen through the eyes of Gov. Pat Brown and his family.
Liz Mair is the owner, founder and president of Mair Strategies LLC, a boutique opposition research and strategic communications firm with a lengthy history of work in California politics and policy. Mair advised former Hewlett-Packard CEO and US Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on communications She has also advised on several California ballot initiatives, as well as numerous legislative and regulatory efforts. A rival operative once described Mair as “hit[ting] harder than a truck” where her use of opposition research is concerned. A frequent TV news commentator on politics and policy and a social media presence in her own right, Mair was named one of Campaigns & Elections’ INFLUENCERS 50 in the field of communications in 2013. She regularly features as a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and Real Time with Bill Maher.
Mike Rice, partner at Oakland-based VR Research, has spent his entire career in public records and opposition research. Prior to co-founding VR Research in 1995, Mike worked as the research director for the California Democratic Party and on political campaigns throughout the nation as a research Associate at the Research Group. Mike has conducted trainings and written about opposition research (contributor, Handbook of Political Marketing, Sage Publications) and how to use open records law to the requestor’s advantage (contributor, America, the Owner’s Manual, Sage Publications.)
The panel will be moderated by Anita Chabria of The Los Angeles Times and Jeremy White of POLITICO.
March 26, 2019: A Conversation With California’s New Constitutional Officers
Last November, California made history by electing its first woman lieutenant governor. She is joined by two other women holding constitutional offices: state treasurer and state controller. The three women are bringing fresh perspectives to California government, shaping state policies on education, housing, and the environment. Together for the first time since their election, these three leaders will discuss their backgrounds, priorities, and what they have in store for the next four years – and beyond.
Eleni Kounalakis was sworn in as the 50th lieutenant governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected lieutenant governor of California. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. Kounalakis was the first Greek-American woman – and at age 43, one of America’s youngest – to serve as U.S. Ambassador. Prior to her public service, Kounalakis was president of AKT Development, where she worked for 18 years. Passionate about early childhood development, Kounalakis served as a member of California’s First 5 Commission and the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.
Betty T. Yee was elected state controller in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization. Reelected for a second term as controller in 2018, Ms. Yee is only the tenth woman in California history to be elected to statewide office. As the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. Ms. Yee previously served as chief deputy director for budget with the California Department of Finance.
Fiona Ma was elected California’s 34th state treasurer in November. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant elected to the position. She moved up to the post after serving as a member of the California Board of Equalization from 2015 until January 2019.She was selected as chairperson of the Board of Equalization in 2016, ordered three external audits of the agency, and helped lead the biggest reforms for accountability and efficiency in that agency’s history. She was a member of the Legislature from 2006-2012, serving as Speaker pro Tempore. From 2002-2006, Fiona served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She first became involved in public service in 1994 when she was elected president of the Asian Business Association.
March 22, 2019: Meet the Press
February 13, 2019: Meet Some of California’s Newest Legislators
The Sacramento Press Club welcomes a panel representing the next generation of California lawmakers. Whether they flipped their districts or won safe seats, all are launching their first terms in the Legislature. Meet these new members and hear their plans for priority issues including health care, housing, the environment, and the economy.
Alexei Koseff, who covers the Capitol for the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate the panel.
Sen. Andreas Borgeas, a Republican, represents the Senate’s 8th District, which includes all or part of eight counties from Sacramento to Death Valley. His district is larger than 10 U.S. states. Before his election to the Senate in November, Borgeas served as a Fresno County supervisor. He is also a professor of international law at the San Joaquin College of Law. Borgeas is a graduate of Georgetown Law School and a Fulbright Scholar. He is vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris represents coastal Orange County in the 74th Assembly District. She grew up in San Diego with her stepfather, a union machinist, and her mom, a homemaker who worked odd jobs to help make ends meet. She attended local public schools and earned degrees in economics and English at Yale University. Petrie-Norris worked in finance and marketing for 20 years. She lived in Washington D.C., South Africa and London before returning to Southern California five years ago. Petrie-Norris, a Democrat, chairs the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee.
Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat, represents Berkeley, Richmond and other East Bay cities in Assembly District 15. She was born in a small town in rural California and grew up in a trailer, raised by working class parents. Wicks attended public school, then enrolled at her local community college before transferring to and graduating from a four-year university. Wicks started her career as a community organizer, working with Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and the United Food and Commercial Workers, before joining President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Wicks served in Obama’s Office of Public Engagement to help pass the Affordable Care Act, and was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she advocated for economic security for women and families. She is a member of the Assembly Rules Committee and four other committees.
December 18, 2018: Jerry Brown – The Exit Interview
Join the Sacramento Press Club for a conversation with Governor Jerry Brown as he reflects on five decades of public service, the state of our nation’s political discourse, and the future of the Golden State. Brown will be in conversation with journalist and author Miriam Pawel, and Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton.
Pawel’s most recent book is The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation. Skelton has covered California government and politics for more than 50 years, spanning both of Brown’s tenures in the governor’s office.
The event will begin early with a silent auction of memorabilia from Brown’s life in California politics spanning the last half century.
November 19, 2018: Post-Election Breakdown
It’s a Sacramento Press Club tradition and the hottest ticket in town: We welcome Mark DiCamillo of the UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies and Mark Baldassare of the Public Policy Institute of California to discuss the results of the midterm elections. In addition to the outcome of key House races in California and across the country, DiCamillo and Baldassare will break down California voters’ choices on the slate of hot-button ballot initiatives, from a repeal of the 2017 gas tax increase to rent control, daylight savings time and space for farm animals. What about the “blue wave”? Did President Trump’s policies play a role in California’s contested races? Join the Sacramento Press Club on Nov. 19 as DiCamillo and Baldassare share their insights.
Mark Baldassare is president and chief executive officer of the Public Policy Institute of California. He is a leading expert on public opinion and survey methodology and directs the PPIC Statewide Survey. Baldassare is an authority on elections, voter behavior and political and fiscal reform. He has authored 10 books and many studies on these topics. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of California, Irvine.
Mark DiCamillo is director of the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Poll. Previously, he was senior vice president of Field Research Corporation and director of The Field Poll, a non-partisan, media-sponsored survey of California public opinion established in 1947 by polling pioneer Mervin Field. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the design and implementation of large-scale quantitative surveys, with particular emphasis on studies conducted within the state of California.
October 8, 2018: Gas tax repeal initiative debate
Proposition 6 on the November ballot would repeal the 2017 gas tax increases that are expected to bring in $54 billion dollars in the next decade to fix roads, bridges, and freeways. But it’s about more than taxes and traffic jams. Fighting taxes is a standard platform for Republicans, and they are backing the campaign as a wedge issue to drive their voters to the polls. The Democrats see Prop 6 as a desperate attempt by the Republicans to stay relevant. Gov. Jerry Brown has said it’s a “flawed and dangerous measure pushed by Trump’s Washington allies” that jeopardizes the safety of millions of Californians.
Join the Sacramento Press Club at its next luncheon, on October 8, for a debate between the leading proponent and opponent of Proposition 6.
Carl DeMaio is a political talk show host on NewsRadio 600 in San Diego, a Republican, and a former member of the San Diego City Council. He started his first company at age 23 to help financially troubled government entities cut costs and improve performance. His business success turned into a lifelong crusade to improve performance, transparency, efficiency and accountability. He even turned down 22 percent of his own salary while on the city council.
Matt Cate is founder and president of Cate Consulting, a firm that specializes in local government and public safety. He served as executive director of the California State Association of Counties for five years, where he championed transportation infrastructure. Before Cate served as secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was inspector general of the department, and a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice.
September 11, 2018: Superintendent of public instruction debate
With education once again topping the polls as the issue most important to California voters, the battle to be next California’s superintendent of public instruction has become one of the most-watched (and expensive) races on this November’s ballot. The two candidates, both Democrats, have clashed on issues such as charter schools, teacher pay and school funding.
The superintendent of public instruction sets the tone for state educational policy. They are responsible for enforcing education law and regulations, and for continuing to reform and improve public elementary school programs, secondary school programs, adult education, some preschool programs, and child care programs.
Join the Sacramento Press Club on Sept. 11 for a dinner debate between candidates moderated by Dave Lesher, editor of CalMatters. A panel of journalists, including Katie Orr of KQED, will be asking questions of the candidates.
Marshall Tuck, the top vote-getter in the June election, was most recently educator-in-residence at the New Teacher Center (NTC), a nonprofit organization working with school districts to help develop and retain effective teachers and principals. Prior to that, Tuck was the founding CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a collaboration between the mayor’s office and Los Angeles Unified School District that operates 18 struggling elementary, middle and high schools serving 15,000 students. Before joining the Partnership, Tuck was the president of the nonprofit Green Dot Public Schools, where he helped create 10 new public charter high schools in some of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods. In 2014, Tuck, a Democrat, ran against the incumbent state superintendent, Tom Torlakson, forcing him into a run-off before narrowly losing.
Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) represents the15th Assembly District, which encompasses the northern East Bay. Before being elected to the California Assembly in 2014, Thurmond was a member of the West Contra Costa School Board from 2008 to 2012 and the Richmond City Council from 2005 to 2008. Thurmond was the council liaison to the West Contra Costa County Unified School District and the West Contra Costa County Education Fund. He also served as council liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board. He was a member of the Family and Children’s Trust Committee of Contra Costa County.
August 23, 2018: Jeff Bridges joins the Sacramento Press Club for a panel discussion on child hunger
The Sacramento Press Club welcomes Academy Award-winning actor, musician, photographer and philanthropist Jeff Bridges in his role as spokesman for No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization focused on ending child hunger in the United States. Bridges and Sen. Richard Pan be part of a panel discussion on child hunger moderated by KCRA-TV anchor Edie Lambert.
In California, nearly 21 percent of children under the age of 18 live in households where they don’t regularly have enough to eat. Across the country, 13 million children are facing the same difficulties. No Kid Hungry supports federal programs that help schools serve breakfast, lunch and summer meals to kids in need. The organization also teaches parents and caregivers how to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals, and works with elected officials and government agencies to strengthen and improve programs. No Kid Hungry is working to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps 20 million kids a year and is at risk in the House of Representatives’ version of the 2018 farm bill. At the state level, NKH supports expansion of Medicaid and other policies that address childhood hunger.
Bridges has worked as an anti-hunger activist and advocate for 30 years, and has served as national spokesman for the No Kid Hungry campaign since 2010. One of Hollywood’s most successful actors and a seven-time Academy Award nominee, he won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Bad Blake in the film Crazy Heart. Most recently, he received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a retiring Texas Ranger in Hell or High Water.
Pan, a pediatrician and former UC Davis educator, represents the Sacramento area in the California Senate. He chairs the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Before his election to the Senate, Pan co-founded and served as chair of Healthy Kids Healthy Future. This summer, he worked with a growing coalition in the Sacramento region called “Million Meals This Summer” to ensure no child goes hungry when school is not in session.
Lambert anchors the 5, 6:30 and 11 p.m. newscasts on KCRA-TV in Sacramento. Highlights of her career include interviews with former President Barack Obama and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Her work has aired on NBC stations around the nation, and it has earned her two Emmy Awards and seven Emmy nominations. Lambert holds a degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. As a former SPC board member, she lead the scholarship committee for seven years.
August 8, 2018: Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
The Sacramento Press Club welcomes Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) for a bicameral discussion about the Legislature’s agenda with Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers on Aug. 8.
The Legislature’s to-do list when it returns in August for the final month of the 2018 session is as long as the temperatures are hot in Sacramento. Will it overhaul the state’s bail system, set new renewable energy mandates, or enact net neutrality rules following the Trump administration’s withdrawal of national regulations? Will it find a way for cannabis businesses to use bank accounts instead of dealing only in cash? Can it pass bills in response to the #MeToo and #WeSaidEnough movements to end forced arbitration of sexual harassment complaints and nondisclosure agreements in misconduct settlements? Will it defy the Trump administration and allow taxpayers to get around new federal limits on state and local tax deductions? Join the discussion about the leaders’ priorities.
Atkins was sworn in as the Senate President Pro Tempore in March, making her the first woman and first openly LGBT person to hold the office. She represents the 29th Senate District in San Diego. Atkins previously served as a member of the Assembly and the Assembly Speaker, where she oversaw passage of a $7.5 billion water bond and creation of the state earned income tax credit. Since moving to the Senate, Atkins has championed funding for affordable housing and new policies to address sexual misconduct in the Legislature. Before joining the Legislature, Atkins was a city council member and interim mayor of San Diego, and director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center.
Rendon was sworn-in as the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly on March 7, 2016. He represents the 63rd Assembly District, which includes nine cities in Southeast Los Angeles County. Highlights of his tenure include passage of a $52 billion transportation funding plan, extension of California’s cap-and-trade program, and legislation to address the affordable housing crisis. He’s led expansion of the earned income tax credit and child care eligibility, record investment in education, and changes to the Board of Equalization and University of California. Before he was an Assembly member, Rendon was an educator, non-profit executive director and environmental activist.
Myers joined the Los Angeles Times as Sacramento bureau chief in 2015 after more than two decades in radio and television news, much of that as an award-winning reporter covering statehouse policy and politics. During a decade of work for San Francisco’s NPR affiliate, he launched one of Sacramento’s original politics blogs and California’s first politics podcast. He also served as the moderator of gubernatorial debates in 2014 and 2010. Myers is often cited by state and national news organizations as one of Sacramento’s top journalists.
July 10, 2018: Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is the city’s first African-American mayor, and at 27, he is the youngest mayor in America to serve a city of Stockton’s size. He is grabbing headlines for his proposals to launch a pilot universal income program for Stockton residents, and to offer $1,000 stipends and intervention for residents most likely to be violent criminals. He has also inspired a recall petition.
Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez recently said of Stubbs: “There’s a difference between a vision and a hallucination, and time will tell with Tubbs. But I like the young man’s mix of rebelliousness, impatience and willingness to take risks.”
Tubbs is a Stockton native who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University. He served as a city council member for four years before being elected mayor in November 2016. Stubbs will share his vision for his hometown in a conversation with CALmatters Senior Editor Dan Morain at the Sacramento Press Club on July 10.
Morain was The Sacramento Bee’s editorial page editor from 2013 to 2018, and a columnist and editorial writer at The Bee from 2010 to 2013. Morain spent 27 years at the Los Angeles Times, covering the California Supreme Court when Rose Bird was chief justice, the Legislature when Willie Brown was speaker and the Governor’s Office during Gray Davis’ tenure. His final assignment for The Times was to be part of the team that covered the 2008 presidential campaign. He spent nine months working in public relations for Consumer Attorneys of California, before joining The Bee’s editorial board.
June 7, 2018: Post-Primary Breakdown: What Do the Results Mean for November?
The Sacramento Press Club will host a post-primary breakdown with Darry Sragow of Target Book, Paul Mitchell from Political Data Inc., Democratic consultant Katie Merrill and Republican consultant Jennifer Jacobs. Going beyond who won and who lost, our panelists will discuss trends, demographics and what the outcome means for the November general election.
Darry Sragow is a veteran Democratic political strategist and attorney. He served as chief campaign advisor for the Assembly Democratic Caucus, and as campaign manager for five statewide races in California, three for governor and two for the U.S. Senate. Sragow has also managed a number of school and community college bond campaigns. He is currently senior counsel with the international law firm Dentons and teaches undergraduate political science at the University of Southern California. Darry previously directed the USC/Los Angeles Times poll.
Paul Mitchell is the owner of Redistricting Partners, and Vice President of Political Data Inc.—nationally recognized bipartisan industry leaders in their respective fields. He has been involved in campaigns from San Diego to Marin, California to North Carolina, and has worked with statewide organizations on legislative and congressional redistricting. He also works with local agencies on voting rights issues and implementation of the California Voting Rights Act. Through Political Data, he helps campaigns with data to contact registered voters, model voter behavior, target their constituencies and get out the vote. Mitchell also works with academic institutions, the Public Policy Institute of California and other nonprofit groups.
Katie Merrill is a principal at national direct mail and campaign consulting firm Baughman Merrill. She began her career as a field operative for Barbara Boxer’s first U.S. Senate campaign and has become one of the leading female and LGBT campaign managers and consultants in the country. Merrill has advised Democratic campaigns for president, governor, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and the Legislature. She has also worked on statewide ballot measures and advised corporations, trade associations and nonprofit groups. She is on the National Advisory Council for the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and lectures in the political science department.
Jennifer Jacobs is owner of Sunshine Strategy, a firm specializing in public relations, media and public affairs, crisis communications and event planning. Her clients have included governors, state constitutional officers, legislators, mayors, and city council members. She has also served national, state and local political organizations. Jacobs was a chief of staff in the Legislature, and was a key manager for Republican leadership throughout the state, with a focus on the Central Valley and San Diego. Jacobs also trains corporate and government leaders in media relations and crisis communications.
May 22, 2018: NPR Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, 2018 Scholarship Awards
The Sacramento Press Club welcomes back National Public Radio international correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson as our guest speaker at the club’s annual scholarships awards luncheon on May 22.
Nelson, based in Berlin, will share some of her experiences covering central Europe and the Middle East for NPR since 2006. Before she joined NPR, Nelson was a reporter for the Orange County Register based in Sacramento and a member of the Sacramento Press Club.
After opening the NPR Kabul bureau in 2006, Nelson reported from Afghanistan for more than three years, winning a Peabody Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, and several other awards for her coverage of the Middle East and Afghanistan. Most recently, Nelson won the 2017 Excellence in International Reporting Award from the International Center for Journalists. Her reports are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and other NPR programming.
During her 20 years as a newspaper reporter, Nelson also worked as Knight Ridder’s Middle East bureau chief, as a reporter on extended assignment for the Los Angeles Times in Iran and Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and as editor on a team at Newsday that won a Pulitzer Prize.
Nelson is one of seven honorees for whom the Sacramento Press Club’s 2018 scholarships are named. At the luncheon, the SPC will award a total of $34,000 in scholarships to seven college or graduate students who show promise in joining the next generation of journalists.
Join the SPC on May 22 to help us congratulate our 2018 scholarship winners and to welcome Nelson to Sacramento.
April 17, 2018: Lieutenant governor candidates face off in debate
The role of California’s lieutenant governor may seem mostly ceremonial, but it’s enough to entice plenty of people to want the office. The lieutenant governor helps shape education, environment, and economic policy on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees, the State Lands Commission, Ocean Protection Council, and Commission for Economic Development. The state’s second-highest ranking elected official can break a tie in the state Senate. And let’s not forget the role of acting governor when the governor leaves the state.
Join the Sacramento Press Club April 17 for a debate between candidates for lieutenant governor who on the June statewide primary ballot. UC Davis spokeswoman and journalist Pamela Wu will moderate the debate, with a panel of journalist asking questions of the candidates.
Jeffrey Bleich is a Democrat and a partner in the public policy and regulation practice at the law firm Dentons. He served briefly as special counsel to President Barack Obama in 2009 before he became U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013. He is chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Ed Hernandez is a Democrat and a state senator representing the 22nd District in the San Gabriel Valley. He also served in the Assembly for four years. Hernandez is a practicing optometrist, and previously served as president of the California Board of Optometry. He is chair of the Senate Health Committee.
Eleni Kounalakis is a Democrat and former president of housing development company AKT Development. She served as U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013. As a party activist, Kounalakis has worked on campaigns for candidates and initiatives starting with the 1992 U.S. Senate race. She is chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment.
Gayle McLaughlin is an independent candidate. She is the former two-term elected mayor and councilmember of Richmond, CA (2005-2017) and a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance.
Lydia Ortega is a Republican and professor of economics at San Jose State University, where she chaired the economics department for almost 15 years. At SJSU, she has also served as chair of the University Council of Chairs and Directors and the President’s Commission on Diversity, as well as other strategic planning and search committees.
March 21, 2018: Attorney General Debate
Public safety and law enforcement. Immigration and California’s sanctuary state status. Environmental protection. Consumer protection. California’s response to Trump Administration policies. These are just some of the issues on the docket for the next California attorney general. Join the Sacramento Press Club Wednesday, March 21 for a debate between candidates who will appear on the June statewide primary ballot. UC Davis spokeswoman and journalist Pamela Wu will moderate the debate, with a panel of journalists asking questions of the candidates.
Steven Bailey is a Republican and former elected Superior Court judge in El Dorado County, where he was mainly assigned to criminal, civil, probate, and juvenile delinquency cases. In his private practice, he handled criminal and administrative law for 19 years. Bailey is also a former director of legislation for the California Department of Social Services and staffer in the Assembly and Senate.
(Invited) Xavier Becerra is a Democrat and current California Attorney General. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) appointed him in 2017 to fill the term vacated by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D). He served as a member of Congress for more than 20 years, and was a California Assembly member for two years. Becerra also worked as a deputy attorney general under former California AG John Van de Kamp.
Eric Early is a Republican and an attorney with Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer & McRae LLP in Los Angeles. He regularly litigates complex business matters involving the entertainment and real estate industries. Before attending law school, Early worked in the film industry as a director, producer and writer.
Dave Jones is a Democrat and current California Insurance Commissioner. Before his election to statewide office, Jones served as a member of the California Assembly and the Sacramento City Council. Jones was a special assistant to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (D), and previously worked as a legal aid attorney.
February 20, 2018: Rep. Adam Schiff
As the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D) is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump (R) and a key leader of the Democrats’ push for a congressional investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Schiff faulted House Republicans for flouting investigative best practices and undermining Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“These attacks are a clear effort to lay the groundwork for a rejection of Mr. Mueller’s findings,” Schiff said. “They do lasting damage to the institutions of our democracy.” A former federal prosecutor and state senator, Schiff is also focused on public safety, job creation, the environment, and mass transit. He co-founded the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press in 2006. The caucus aims to advance press freedom by creating a forum to combat and condemn media censorship and the persecution of journalists around the world. Schiff is serving his ninth term representing the 28th Congressional District, which stretches from West Hollywood to Pasadena, and from Echo Park to Angeles National Forest. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
January 8, 2018: Aspiration.com Co-Founder Joseph Sanberg
Joseph Sanberg is a politically active Los Angeles investor and entrepreneur. He co-founded Aspiration.com, a financial services firm that offers socially responsible mutual funds and interest-bearing checking accounts with optional fees to promote middle-class investment and financial security. He also started the Golden State Opportunity Foundation in 2015 to promote a new state-level earned income tax credit for low-income people. Through the foundation, the CalEITC4me program has taken on statewide outreach to help families eligible for the credit claim their part of the $2 billion available. Testing his political reach, Sanberg launched a digital ad campaign in September promoting CalEITC4me and announced plans to start a federal political action committee to support candidates aligned with his priorities. Will he run for U.S. Senate or other elected office in California?