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Today we welcome veteran lobbyist Kristina Bas Hamilton. From 2010 to 2020, she worked as a policy analyst then lead lobbyist for the United Domestic Workers (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930). We discuss her background, what political changes she’s seen in Sacramento, why she started her own consulting firm, how she adapted to lobbying in the time of covid, …
 
Today we interview Jaime Zepeda, community organizer, nonprofit and small business advisor and tech leader and candidate for California State Senate District 10. He tells the amazing story of journeying to California by himself as a high school student to live the American dream, how that relates to why he is running for office, how learning to cam…
 
Tomorrow is the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom so we thought it best to consult an expert. And we found the best recall election expert out there: Joshua Spivak. He’s Senior Fellow at Wagner College’s Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform, the author of Recall Elections: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom, and runs…
 
Today we welcome back to the program California State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco. The senator joins us to discuss his legislative priorities, which include housing zoning and development, drug decriminalization, changes to alcohol laws to help restaurants and bars stay open, and a host of investments for his districts. SacTown Talks is a…
 
Today we interview Rocklin City Councilmember, Joe Patterson. Rocklin, California is a suburb of Sacramento about 30 mins northeast of the California capitol. Joe has been a council member for 5 years, and we discuss all things housing from a local perspective. Joe takes us through all the steps of the building process, how he works to assuage conc…
 
Our guest this week is former California Assemblymember Mike Gatto back with more insight into the inner workings of California politics with an episode on the end-of-session when California passes its budget and all the wheeling and dealing gets done. Listen as he describes some of the things he learned, and what he thinks all citizens should unde…
 
Today we welcome Darrell Review, President of the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers. He takes us through California Senate Bill 296 which would mandate locality to establish training for code enforcement officers which would modernize, professionalize and protect code enforcement officers around California, with no new costs to ta…
 
Today’s guest is labor lawyer and former political candidate Kipp Mueller. Kipp discusses why he became a workers rights attorney, how he ran for California state senate by happenstance, his best and worst experiences campaigning, and his future in California politics. SacTown Talks is a podcast about California politics, policy and culture. We fea…
 
Today we interview Rodney Wilson, currently an elite realtor and formerly a legislative staffer. Rodney was chief of staff to Assemblymember before starting a career outside of politics and the legislature. He firmly believes that the link between his work in the legislature and in real estate is people, and that working on a common set of goals, c…
 
Today we welcome three guests for a labor law regulations panel: Tom Sheehy of the Sheehy Strategy Group, Ashley Hoffman, Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, and John Kabateck, California State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business and President of Kabateck Strategies. We discuss new California mandates on…
 
Today we welcome California Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua from the 13th Assembly District, encompassing the cities of Stockton, Tracy, Thornton, and Mountain House. He discusses his path to the Assembly, including a great story about having a supervisor come to him after being confronted by angry seniors. He talks about campaigning during covid,…
 
Today we welcome California Assemblymember Luz Rivas of the 39th District encompassing the northeastern San Fernando Valley, running up into the San Gabriel Mountains. We discuss her background in engineering, going to MIT, and how that led to her STEM non-profit (https://www.diygirls.org) and her entry into politics. We then segue into a detailed …
 
Our guest this week is Stacey Gordon, the Chief Diversity Strategist at Rework Work. We have a fascinating discussion of implicit and unconscious biases, why we have them, how to test for them, and what we can do about them. Her book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Release list and is also available at…
 
Today we welcome California State Senator David Min of Senate District 37 covering Orange County. We discuss how he went from a policy guy to a politician, campaigning during covid and why he thinks his district wanted a change. Then we discuss Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both a voting block in his district and across CA, as well as how w…
 
Today we welcome a very special guest, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. D.A. Schubert has announced her candidacy for California Attorney General and we discuss her background, why she decided to run now, and why her experiences make her the most qualified candidate for California Attorney General. SacTown Talks is a podcast…
 
Today we welcome Jamie Zoller and Matthew Silver of the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers (CACEO). They explain what code enforcement is, how it’s different from being a peace officer, how the CACEO is professionalizing California code enforcement, why the job has become more dangerous and legislation that can help. SacTown Talks …
 
Today we welcome State Senator Susan Eggman of the 5th Senate District, representing Stockton California. The senator touches on transitioning from an Assembly Member to a Senator, the upcoming budget, and how covid affected her district. She also discusses her Right to Repair bill, mental health and homelessness, and the balancing act that is wate…
 
Today we welcome California State Senator Patrica “Pat” Bates of the 36th Senate District to the program. Pat was also a former Assembly Member and we discuss the changes she has seen between her time the Assembly in the early aughts and now, why compromise and collegiality is still the key to success in California politics, and her legislative pri…
 
Today we welcome political consultant and leader of the Ronin Project Bill Wong. Bill joins us to discuss the rise of anti-Asian hate in California and across the United States, why this moment is a turning point for politically minded Asian Americans, and what type of cost his organization is going to exact from those that use hateful rhetoric. Sa…
 
Today we welcome California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago of the 53rd Assembly District, which covers downtown and east side Los Angeles. Assemblymember Santigo joins us to discuss his background and how his district is one of the poorest in California, while also being one of the most culturally rich. Then they discuss a key issue for the Assmebl…
 
Our guest this week is former California Assemblymember Mike Gatto to discuss all things Appropriations Committee. As a former chair during the Great Recession, Mike can explain all the nuances of how and why bills get passed and debunks the four greatest myths of the committee that even legislators still believe. SacTown Talks is a podcast about C…
 
Today we welcome California Assemblymember Mike Gipson of the 64th Assembly District. We discuss why he sees his transition from police officer to labor leader and politician as a continuation of public service, how giving someone a job can stop a bullet, his priorities of community building and reimaging policing, and why he chose the bowtie for h…
 
Today’s interview is with political consultant Shawnda Westly. She tells her heartbreaking story of medical malpractice and an in-depth look at California’s Medical Insurance Compensation Reform Act. MICRA limits the amount of money patients can receive in damages. She discusses how MICRA works, including some parts that are relatively unknown, why…
 
Today we welcome two experts from the California Budget & Policy Center, Monica Davalos and Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto, to discuss the recently released Budget Center report urging California policymakers to declare racism as a public health crisis. We explore why they think this is necessary and how racism affects housing, the environment, employment,…
 
Our guest this week is former Assemblymember Man Gatto and we do a deep dive on Bitcoin, blockchain, and all things cryptocurrency! We discuss the murky origins, why the price has risen so much, how cryptocurrency works, and what the future might be. SacTown Talks is a podcast about California politics, policy, and culture. We feature interviews wi…
 
Today’s interview is with Dr. Micah Weinberg of California Forward. We discuss a multitude of issues facing California, including broadband for all, wildfire prevention, housing and homelessness, and why California should spend one-time expenditures on things that can pay dividends in the future. SacTown Talks is a podcast about California politics…
 
Today’s interview is with California Senator Bob Wieckowksi. This episode features a lot from climate policy from wildfire preventions and recycling, to cap and trade and carbon sequestration. We also discuss his bills on arbitration and why he thinks every high school student will have a summer job in forest management in the future. SacTown Talks…
 
Today we interview California Senator Steven Bradford where he discusses his work as the Chairman of the Black Legislative Caucus, why California needed a Committee on Reparations and updates on his priorities for the legislative session. SacTown Talks is a podcast about California politics, policy and culture. We feature interviews with California…
 
Today we have a powerful episode. We are excited to have the first California Native American elected to the Legislature, Assemblymember James Ramos. He discussed how he got to elected office, how more native people can be elected, how California needs to understand its past to fully embrace the diversity of its future, how tribal governance prepar…
 
Today we welcome Julie Baker, Executive Director of Californians for the Arts. Julie explains how badly hit the arts were by the pandemic, why the California government needs to communicate clear guidelines for reopening, and proposals to help fund California arts to survive and create a cultural Roaring Twenties going forward. SacTown Talks is a p…
 
Today we welcome Congressional Candidate Nicole Parra. Nicole is a former California Assemblymember running in the 21st Congressional District, which covers 4 counties in the Central Valley. We discuss her time in the Assembly, her bipartisan approach to politics, why she started her campaign so early, and why she thinks she's the right person to f…
 
We welcome our most frequent legislative guest Senator Bill Dodd of the 3rd Senate District, covering parts of Napa and five other counties. We start by discussing his new clean look, then segue into the serious topics of wildfire prevention and protection in 2021, including his new bill for an Office of Wildfire Technology and Research, how the st…
 
The Rose Bowl parade, how his office is working with the governor's office to communicate with the public, how the assembly will be able to function more smoothly this year because of covid-related planning and budget priorities will be focused on vaccines, and opening up both CA schools and the economy more generally. Then they turn to his work as…
 
Sactown Talks is about more than policy and politics, it’s also about the culture of the Capitol community. So today we bring you something a little different: an interview with Ryan Hammonds of R. Douglas Custom Clothiers. R. Douglas is blocks from the Capitol, and well known among the more sartorially inclined. Today he and Jarrett discuss how he…
 
This week we interview Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association. WSPA is a non-profit trade association representing the companies in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. She joins us to discuss the complicated nature of modern energy policy in the age of climate change, …
 
This week we have Assembly Sharon Quirk-Silva of the 65th assembly district. The 65th covers northern Orange county centered around the city of Fullerton and also includes the amusement parks Knott’s Berry Farms and Disneyland. We begin by discussing the events in Washington, D.C. on January 6th, with her calling it “an assault on democracy,” remin…
 
Today’s guest is Assemblymember Laura Friedman who represents the 43rd Assembly District covering Glendale and the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley. She is a returning guest so we just touch on her past and how she moved from the film industry into politics, first at the city level in Glendale and then to the assembly. Then we discuss her ne…
 
Welcome to a holiday edition of SacTown Talks. Today we are bringing you a slightly different type of show. One of the major issues confronting the legislature in 2021 is broadband access. This isn’t a new issue but exacerbated by the pandemic, has taken on new relevance and urgency. Listeners of this podcast have been hearing about it for the past…
 
We welcome Assemblymember Cristina Garcia of the 58th Assembly District to the program. The 58th district covers southeast Los Angeles County, including her hometown of Bell Gardens. We start quickly, jumping right in with a discussion of AB 1, how she got the first bill of the new session together, why reforming the department of toxic substances …
 
In this interview we welcome Senator Susan Rubio of the 22nd Senate district. Senator Rubio joins us to discuss her background, why she ran for California senate, covid, and her legislative priorities for this upcoming session. We begin by discussing her background as an undocumented immigrant who was deportetd, how the education system in two stat…
 
Today we welcome Alex Vassar, former legislative staffer, current California State Library employee and prolific California state political history tweeter to the program. They begin by discussing the CA Library, what it does and how it has responded to covid. The conversation then turns to Alex’s journey to the Capitol, working as a legislative st…
 
This week we welcome back Senator Bob Archuleta of the 32nd Senate District, which covers southeastern LA county. We discuss working on state campaigns during covid, and how his paired down legislative package of five bills were all passed into law. We discuss the details of all five bills, then advice for incoming senators on how he chose his staf…
 
Today we welcome Jim Wunderman the President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. The Bay Area Council is a business association in San Francisco, founded in 1945, and dedicated to economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jim takes up through his personal history and then the history of the Bay Area Council, including the building of BART. T…
 
In this episode we welcome Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula of AD31. Dr. Joaquin Arambula represents Fresno and west Fresno County. He is an emergency room doctor and son of former Assemblymember Juan Arambula. We discuss his recent legislative victory and what he has learned about campaigning during covid. Then the discussion turns to healthcare: s…
 
Today we welcome Carmela Coyle, the CEO of the California Hospital Association. She discusses her background in health policy, then segues to an in depth discussion of health policy in California. We discuss how CA is a microcosm of the United States, how covid has affected the hospital system by increasing workloads and decreasing revenue, and how…
 
Today our interview is with Lance Hasting of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. The conversation begins with his background in the legislature and trade associations, and the history of the CMTA. Then the conversation turned to manufacturing in CA, focusing initially on safelymade.org, which organized PPE supplies and distribu…
 
Another special Wednesday episode: this one dedicated to voting in CA. Today we hear from Senator Tom Umberg, chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee. He’s an expert on voting in CA, he has been elected in two different decades to both the CA Assembly and Senate, and chaired the elections committee in the Assembly in 2…
 
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