For the fifth year in a row, the way to make friends and influence your thinking about all things Sacramento is to get on the bus.
KHTS, along with AT&T, the SCV Chamber of Commerce, the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, is organizing a bus trip to put politicians and public figures in the same room to talk.
“I think the bus trip is good on two fronts; one is that it really helps the folks back home to see firsthand exactly what’s going on here in the Capitol and hear from a variety of speakers and experts who are on the front lines of issues that are important to Santa Clarita,” Smyth said. “Additionally, it’s important for my colleagues as well as myself to hear from people back home as well as business leaders and community leaders in California about the impacts of decisions made here in the Capitol and the effect they have back at home.”
“Every year I hear from colleagues that I’ve asked to speak,” he continued, “and they all ask about how we do it and about the logistics because they think it’s a great model for them to follow in their own communities. It’s been extremely well-received both in the Senate and Assembly, both Republicans and Democrats, everybody thinks it’s great.”
In 2009, the 70 participants were in meetings with representatives influencing water, transportation and education issues, such as Ron Davis, Legislative Director of the Association of California Water Agencies and Jared Huffman, chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife; Assemblyman Mike Eng from the Transportation Committee and Jack Scott, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.
Local representatives, including Assembly members Smyth and Audra Strickland and Senators George Runner and Tony Strickland made themselves available so hometown concerns could be expressed, one-on-one.
They also got to ask the hard questions about the state’s money crisis, meeting with Assemblyman Roger Niello of the Budget Committee and Assemblyman Hector de la Torre, who chairs the Accountability and Administrative Committee.
Dinner conversation was driven by information shared by keynote speaker, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, who painted a realistic picture of the state’s budget problems and whether legislation could help.
This year’s two-day tour is scheduled March 22 and 23 and there are still a few seats available. Scheduled to meet with the group are Assembly Members Smyth, Strickland, Anna Caballero, Mary Hayashi and Bill Emmerson; Senators Runner, Strickland and Bob Huff.
Ron Davis will again discuss water issues and the group will hear from State Auditor Elaine Howle on the Redistricting Commission, as well as Caltrans director Randell Iwasaki.
Delivering the keynote address during Monday night’s dinner at the Firehouse Restaurants in Old Sacramento will be State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner.
To find out more about the trip and how you can get involved, contact Carl Goldman at 661-298-1220. To read about and see pictures from the 2009 Sacramento Trip, click here.