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The Sacramento Press Club is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists through college scholarships. In addition, the Sacramento Press Club is committed to informing and educating its members and the public through monthly luncheons featuring news makers from throughout the nation.

June SPC Events

  • June 18, 2019 Luncheon - Can California solve wildfire season?

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June 18, 2019: Can California solve wildfire season?


Join Pulitzer Prize-winning Santa Rosa Press Democrat editor Brett Wilkison and Rick Silva, editor of The Paradise Post, as they discuss options to address the "new normal" of California wildfires with the state's leading policymakers. On the eve of fire season, our panelists will discuss what the role of the state, utilities, landowners and others should be in combating the fires that have ravaged California. 

Michael Picker is President of the California Public Utilities Commission. Prior to his appointment by Gov. Brown, Picker was senior adviser for renewable energy to the governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, deputy treasurer in the California State Treasurer's Office from 1998 to 1999, chief of staff to former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and deputy assistant for toxic substance control in the governor's office from 1981 to 1982. He was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014.

Rich Gordon is president and CEO of the California Forestry Association, the statewide trade association that consists of forest owners, forest products producers and forestry professionals. He recently completed three terms in the California Assembly, where he served in leadership and successfully carried legislation supporting sustainable forestry. He also served as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, during which time he sat on the board of directors of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). Gordon was president of CSAC in 2008. He has extensive nonprofit experience and was the founder of Youth and Family Assistance, an agency in San Mateo County serving at-risk youth.
Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) represents wildfire-scarred Napa and Sonoma counties. He co-chaired the 2018 conference committee on wildfire safety and prevention and authored numerous bills that were signed into law to protect Californians from future infernos and accompanying utility rate hikes. Before the Senate, Dodd represented the 4th Assembly District and served on the Napa County Board of Supervisors for 14 years. Prior to his time in elected office, Dodd owned and operated one of the largest full-service Culligan Water operations in California, and served as president of the water quality industry’s state and national trade associations. 

Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) served on the conference committee on Senate Bill 901 to address wildfire preparedness and response last year, quickly winning respect for her work on the issue. She also introduced legislation this year to help inmate firefighters begin a career in the field after they are freed, hoping to ease the restrictions that have traditionally locked ex-offenders out of the profession. Reyes was elected to the Legislature in 2016 after serving as co-founder of the Inland Empire Community Health Center. She was the first Latina to open a law firm in the Inland Empire. 

Caroline Choi is senior vice president of corporate affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, and its parent company, Edison International. Choi is responsible for overseeing government affairs, public affairs and corporate communications on national, state and local levels. Previously, Choi served as senior vice president of regulatory affairs at SCE, overseeing the company’s regulatory strategy and policy at the national and state levels. Choi is active in national policy and community engagement, where she serves on the executive board of Smart Electric Power Alliance, a nationwide organization that supports utilities in the implementation and deployment of clean energy and distributed resources. She also serves on the boards of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification and the National Forest Foundation.

Thank you to our sponsor, the California Forestry Association.

About the event
June 18, 2019
11:15 registration opens
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, 1231 I St.
$29/member, $40/non-member
RSVP deadline:
Monday, June 17 by 12:00pm
Registration is now closed

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