Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown begins work at Vatican summit

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaking at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in Sacramento, Calif. Brown announced Thursday, July 9, 2015, that he plans to discuss climate change and modern slavery with Pope Francis and other dignitaries at a two-day event starting July 21 hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences at the Vatican.
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaking at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in Sacramento, Calif. Brown announced Thursday, July 9, 2015, that he plans to discuss climate change and modern slavery with Pope Francis and other dignitaries at a two-day event starting July 21 hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences at the Vatican. AP

Though Gov. Jerry Brown has a summer vacation planned later this week, the work of his visit to Vatican City has now begun in earnest with the first meeting of the two-day conference he is attending.

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences organized the conference on climate change and human trafficking. Along with Pope Francis, the academy will ask mayors and local officials to commit to greening their cities and working with the poor and socially excluded.

This morning, Brown issued perhaps his harshest assessment to date, telling the gathering that the world may already have “gone over the edge” on global warming and that humanity must reverse course or face extinction.

Monday, Brown spoke on Vatican radio about the measures California has taken to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In an interview with The Bee, Brown said that the world must turn to the “moral dimension” to counteract a “virulent strain of climate change denial” from Republicans and business interests.

Although climate change has been the headline-grabbing angle at the conference, Vatican officials are also trying to put some of the focus on poverty. The PASS says forced migration and extreme weather disasters caused by global warming can be “breeding grounds” for human trafficking, prostitution and other exploitation, and that the poor will bear the brunt of climate change’s negative effects.

Brown told Vatican Radio California’s trafficking laws are “very strong.”

CSU PAY RAISES: After securing $255 million in additional state funding in this year’s budget, California State University is providing a 2 percent raise for employees across the system. At its meeting today in Long Beach, the university’s Board of Trustees will vote on whether to extend that increase to its 23 campus presidents and a handful of top executives. The California Faculty Association, which represents about 23,000 professors, lecturers and other academic staff, will be in attendance to protest the proposal. CFA is currently in contract negotiations, asking for a 5 percent raise and additional salary adjustments, and the union argues that compensation increases for the highly-paid administrators, who make between $236,000 and $422,000 per year, should not take priority.

STEYER IN THOUSAND OAKS: Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is in Thousand Oaks with Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, for a discussion on climate change. Steyer was active during Irwin’s Assembly campaign last year. The event is at 11 a.m. at California Lutheran University.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this alert mentioned tours Assemblymen Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, and David Chiu, D-San Francisco, are taking of each other's districts. The tours are happening next Tuesday through Thursday, not this week.

Andrew Holzman: 916-326-5545, @andrewlholzman. Alexei Koseff of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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