Tag Archives: NLO

California Legislators go to Washington

We talk a lot about the state legislature, and I’ve written a few times about redistricting, and its effects. One of the things that I find so interesting is how legislators move around, jumping from local officials, to the legislature, sometime serving in statewide office, and sometimes running for congressional seats. The start of the 113th Congress is a good example of that.

On January 3, the 113th Congress was sworn in. With it, 82 freshman members from all over the country. That means that of the 435 members that serve in Congress, almost 19% of them were new. Compared to other years, this seems right in line (there were 93 in the freshman class of the 112th Congress and 65 in the freshman class of the 111th Congress), but what is noteworthy is the California delegation. This year the California delegation experienced the highest turnover it’s had in 20 years according to a Los Angeles Times article.

Of those 82 new faces in DC, 14 of them are from California. According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, this higher than normal turnover in the California delegation is due to “retirements, redistricting, and the new ‘top-two’ election rules.” What is even more impressive is that of those 14 new Congress Members, nine of them previously served in the California legislature as Senators and/or Assembly Members. Read More »

Post-Election Craziness!

After the election in November I was full of excitement, I loved looking at the rare outcomes that were produced by redistricting and the new top two primary system that was used in June primary. But now that we are a month and a half after the election, that excitement has worn off some.

As I sought out resources to help me provide you all with the most accurate information on the election, I began to realize that the normal resources we use were themselves struggling to produce accurate information! Because of the slew of close races and redistricting, information was slow to be made available, and often times combined a mixture of old and new district details. From the odd collection of legislators listed on the Assembly’s official website during the first day of session in December to the difficulties with some official websites in simply figuring out which counties were in each district, it was clear that this election created a plethora of additional challenges. Read More »

Election Day is Never Boring!

Election Day is like my Super bowl. I settle in for the night to watch the talking heads analyze and dissect every single vote and what it means. This year’s election held even more excitement for the true political nerds out there. This was the first election with our new districts as organized by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and the first election using our top two primary system , leaving the outcome of California Senate and Assembly races unpredictable.

Heading into the election, there was a lot of buzz around the Democrats obtaining the rare “supermajority” in the Senate. A supermajority means that one party has two–thirds of the seats in the house (that’s 54 seats in the Assembly and 27 seats in the Senate) giving them the power to pass special types of legislation, such as a tax, other urgency measures, and allow them to override a gubernatorial veto. Prior to the election, the dreams of Democrats for a supermajority in the Senate seemed within reach, but a supermajority in the Assembly seemed much further off. Read More »

Dispatch from the District – New Legislator Orientation with Sen. Kevin De León

By Guest Blogger – Justin Robertson, Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program

New Legislator Orientation is a great opportunity for relationship building with new members of the California Legislature. Some members come to Sacramento knowing less about tobacco policy than others, and often appreciate that we’re here to answer their questions and to help keep them informed.

Last month, my TCPP/Project TRUST colleague Alisha Lopez and I sat down with Senator Kevin De León and his District Director—himself a local city councilmember—for a brisk 15-minute meeting at his district office in Los Angeles. It was a great experience that showed me the value of crisp, clear communication, and how materials like the American Lung Association in California (ALAC) State of Tobacco Control report can be invaluable for our information and education efforts. Read More »

Need some tips from a Capitol Insider?

We’ve organized I&E Days for what, a hundred years now? And I’ve been around our government relations office here in Sacramento for ages, hearing the ins and outs process at the State Capitol. You’d think I’d practically be a Capitol insider by now.

Well in truth I’m not even close. And that was really brought home to me when I heard Susan McEntire speak on our New Legislator Orientation webinar. She’s a true Capitol insider with years of experience in a district office and at the Capitol. She’s now the Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Das Williams (35th District). We were fortunate to have her speak on the New Legislator Orientation call last week to share her experience and advice. Read More »