Capitol Alert

AM Alert: UFW convention draws high-profile speakers

hamezcua@sacbee.com

The roster of speakers at an annual convention for a union made up of some of the most disadvantaged workers in the country includes the most powerful names in Democratic politics: Clinton, Kennedy and Brown.

Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert Kennedy and president of an international human rights organization bearing his name, was scheduled to keynote a pre-convention United Farm Workers fundraiser Thursday in Bakersfield.

The United Farm Workers’ 20th Constitutional Convention officially begins today with a series of workshops and a visit to Keene to pay homage to Cesar Chavez at his home and grave site. The union convenes every year to provide updates about ongoing work and rally its members.

The events return to Bakersfield Saturday with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, State Treasurer John Chiang and UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez acting as warm-up bands throughout the day for the main event: Gov. Jerry Brown’s speaking at a 7 p.m. dinner.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León addresses the convention early Sunday after a Catholic mass honoring five UFW members killed during strikes. Hillary Clinton’s all-but-official surrogate, potential First Gentleman and former President Bill Clinton, closes out the festivities with a talk at 2:15 p.m.

The union endorsed Hillary Clinton’s bid for president in March and also backed her campaign back in 2008.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Curious about the i.e. funds flowing into legislative races? Bookmark The Money Trail for daily updates.

PLASTIC BAGS: An association of plastic bag manufacturers said it intends to submit nearly 600,000 signatures to qualify an initiative today that directs money consumers pay for re-usable and recyclable grocery bags to an environmental fund. The alliance’s Environmental Fee Protection Act is in response to SB 270, a bill passed by the Legislature in 2014 to ban single-use bags in California. The bill also allowed grocers to keep profits from alternative bags sales and use the money to comply with the new law. The American Progressive Bag Alliance also funded a referendum to overturn the ban on plastic bags, which qualified for the ballot in February.

Environmental groups and other plastic bag opponents say the industry pushed the initiative to prevent grocers from benefiting from the bag ban and to discourage unions from supporting similar legislation in other states. Phil Rozenski, senior director of sustainability for plastic bag company Novolex and policy chair of the bag alliance, said critics are “over-thinking” the group’s strategy and his group’s singular intention with the initiative is to give voters a choice about where their money goes.

PIPELINE: The Central Valley Flood Protection Board will discuss a permit requested by PG&E to build a new 26-mile natural gas pipeline running north of Woodland and extending east of Roseville. The board meets at Sacramento City Hall at 9 a.m.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, turns 47 Sunday.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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