Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Women take the lead at the California Capitol

The California State Capitol building seen from the Tower Bridge on Sept. 29, 2013.
The California State Capitol building seen from the Tower Bridge on Sept. 29, 2013. The Sacramento Bee file

Ladies are taking over Sacramento today.

The Assembly hosts its annual Women of the Year celebration, in which each member recognizes a superlative woman from his or her district, during floor session at noon in the Assembly chamber. A celebratory lunch with the honorees and members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus follows at 1:30 p.m. on the north steps of the Capitol, sponsored by the non-profit public awareness group Women in California Leadership.

California Women Lead, which works to promote women in elected and appointed office, is also hosting its annual Women’s Empowerment Day at the Capitol, a conference designed to help women become leaders in their communities. The event, starting at 8 a.m. at the Residence Inn on 15th Street, features special guest Anna Caballero, secretary of the state business, consumer services and housing agency, and ends with a reception sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce.

VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown's long-ago effort to clean up California politics never loosened lobbyists' grip on the Capitol, Dan Walters says.

PEACE: A recent string of troubling events around the world and locally – including the painting of swastikas on a Jewish fraternity at UC Davis and controversy over a swastika display at a Sacramento home – has prompted the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region to organize a rally against anti-Semitism, 5:30 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol. Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego and chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, and former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg are among those scheduled to speak, and former Senate chaplain Rabbi Mona Alfi will deliver the opening prayer.

INNOVATION: In the 2014 state budget, Brown appropriated $50 million for grants to support efforts to increase degree completion and improve transfer at California’s public colleges and universities. Applications were submitted to the Department of Finance in January. While the state is selecting its awards, California Forward and others have organized a showcase for applicants to present their projects, noon at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom on J Street. Thirty-five community college, University of California and California State University campuses are scheduled to participate in sessions on supporting students, transforming college and collaborating across systems.

HONOR: Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who famously kissed her spouse from the dais when she became the first openly gay woman to lead the lower house, will receive an award from Equality California for her “vanguard leadership,” 5:30 p.m. at the Park Tower Lobby on 9th Street.

OLD GLORY: State Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove, and several Republican colleagues will announce efforts to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prohibit public colleges and universities from banning the U.S. flag on school property, 1 p.m., Room 1190 in the Capitol.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.