Capitol Alert

Rebuffed by Senate bosses, Eddie Wright shines on

Shoe shiner Eddie Wright buffs a customer’s shoe at his stand inside the Capitol on Nov. 1, 2001.
Shoe shiner Eddie Wright buffs a customer’s shoe at his stand inside the Capitol on Nov. 1, 2001. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Is your footwear looking a little lackluster after the recent rains?

You’ll still be able to get them buffed when business returns to the Capitol next month.

The man who has shined the shoes of lawmakers and lobbyists in the Capitol for the last two decades says he’s going to keep at it in the new year, even though he’ll no longer get a legislative paycheck to provide information to visitors.

Eddie Wright, who runs the Big City Shoe Shine stand inside the south entrance of the Capitol, was laid off earlier this month amid a series of personnel changes imposed by new Senate leader Kevin de León. A fixture of life inside the Capitol, Wright had been on the Senate’s payroll since 2000 and was paid about $13,000 a year. He described the part-time salary as compensation for the time he spends helping visitors who pass his stand and ask for directions around the building.

Wright said Friday he’s decided he will still operate the shoeshine stand, and doesn’t plan to change his rates to offset the loss of the Senate paycheck. A shine will still cost $8.

But what will he do when visitors ask him where Capitol tours begin, or where to find their meeting room?

“I’m going to answer them,” Wright said. “The same way I always have.”

Call Laurel Rosenhall, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1083. Follow her on Twitter @LaurelRosenhall.

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