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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

John Decker / The Sacramento Bee

Michael Navarro testifies at a legislative hearing in 2004 when he was director of the Department of Personnel Administration.

Column Extra: Should Jerry Brown seek a non-white state human resources chief?

Published: Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014 - 1:42 pm

The our latest State Worker column has drawn a range of comments and emails from readers tossing in their thoughts about vital qualities the next director of the Department of Human Resources must possess.

Here’s an email that succinctly captures a common theme we’re hearing. We’re publishing it here, unedited, with the author’s permission:

Mr. Ortiz -

As a recent retired state employee with 40 years in State government, I agree with your editorial comments but would add one very important factor for the Governor to consider in selecting the next CalHR Director: Diversity. State government needs someone with exemplary skill sets of inclusion and experience in reaching out to California's bilingual, cultural and diverse population including persons w disabilities, LGBT, women and veterans.

Neptaly Taty Aguilera

State President

CAFE de California

A Chicano Latino State Employees Association

Worth noting: Only one director of CalHR or the its predecessor, the Department of Human Resources, has been a person of color in the agencies’ combined 32-year history: Mike Navarro, a 2004 appointee of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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