Seven years ago this month, a half-dozen state employees met at the Downtown Plaza food court over pizza, Chinese food and brown bag lunches from home. The seventh member of the group was a nervous Sacramento Bee reporter facing the daunting task of covering California’s state workforce.
The conversation started with a question: What do state employees and the public need to know about working for the state? The discussion that followed touched on everything from the civil service system and union contracts to government technology and pensions. There was even a lively debate about whether “state workers” should be referenced as “state employees.”
The 45 minutes we spent together that day helped shape the news sensibilities that underpin The State Worker blog and our coverage of the bureaucracy ever since.
On Oct. 9, we will host another lunchtime get together for State Worker blog users. Bring your lunch, your observations, your questions and your gentle criticisms. Got an idea to improve coverage? Want to know why some stories get attention and others don’t? Or perhaps you just want to escape the office for a while and meet folks with similar interests and concerns.
We’re opening the Capitol Bureau’s conference room at 925 L St., Suite 600, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to accommodate employees with varying lunch schedules. RSVP via Facebook, Twitter (@TheStateWorker) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5 p.m. on Monday.
Who knows? Maybe our time together will help shape coverage of California state-employee news for years to come.
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