After two Iraq wars, five presidential administrations and a total of 33 years in Congress, Sen. Barbara Boxer is stepping down.
Multiple Assembly members in the 2017-2018 class have never lived through a time when Boxer was not representing California in Washington. A few weeks before Boxer first won election to the House of Representatives in 1982, replacing a 49-year-old John Burton, a young woman named Kamala Harris turned old enough to vote for the first time.
Boxer’s departure has set off a generational cascade of changes in California politics, with California Attorney General Harris winning Boxer’s seat, Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, getting the nod to be an assertive heir to Harris’s job and the vacancy opened by Becerra drawing plenty of interest.
Today Boxer will give a 10 a.m. EST farewell speech in the U.S. Senate chamber where she has spent much of the last 24 years. She’s spent her waning days as a senator using the platform to promote repealing the Electoral College, an idea that has gained some traction among her counterparts in Sacramento.
VIDEO OF THE DAY: A California legislative leader rejects “the politics of scapegoating.”
BY THE NUMBERS: 50 percent was the increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in California last year, according to the California Department of Justice. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra has marked his return to the Legislature with a bill, AB 39, to publicly name hate crime offenders.
FOR THE TREES: More than 100 million dead trees across California continue to pose a wildfire threat and prompt environmentalists to demand political solutions. Last year, a cap-and-trade spending deal included language directing utilities to convert deadwood into electricity – and today the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection will talk about an emergency rule letting landowners clear fallen trees free without having to go through the usual timber harvesting rules, which has so far covered work spanning 130,054 acres. From 8:30 a.m. at 1416 9th street.
MR. MAYOR: Former Senate leader Darrell Steinberg’s decision to run for mayor of Sacramento surprised some folks, who assumed the former top Senate Democrat would set his sights higher. But the mayor-elect has already waded into some heavy issues, vowing to preserve Sacramento’s sanctuary city status. A week ahead of his swearing in, Steinberg will talk about what else might be in store during an 11:30 a.m. Sacramento Press Club event at 1231 I St.
IN ACCORDIANS: It’s December at the Capitol, which means the sweet sounds of seasonal concerts drowning out the din of chattering lobbyists and hollering schoolchildren. Today’s performers are the Golden State Accordion Club, at 11 a.m., followed by noon performances by Davis High School choirs.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, who will be celebrating his 65th birthday – after fending off a Democratic challenger – and to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, who hits the big 4-0.