Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters says the California Republican Party ignored former Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte's advice years ago, but given the November election results, its officials are tapping him now.

California Republicans in the Assembly looking to revive their party have a new team on their side.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway on Thursday announced a new "Diversity Outreach Team" made up of government staff members. A news release says the group will focus on "helping strengthen Republican ties with women, ethnic communities and young people."

"We know that most Californians share our common-sense ideas, but we need to do a better job communicating that message," Conway said in a statement. "To become the majority party again, we must not only talk to diverse communities but also listen and that's what our Diversity Outreach Team is all about."

Conway spokeswoman Sabrina Demayo Lockhart (whose Twitter account is at this link) will head the team:

Ivette Barajas, the Spanish-language press secretary for the Assembly Republicans, will oversee outreach to Latinos. (She's on Twitter here.)

Ronald Ongtoaboc, a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association and a communications consultant for the Assembly Republican Caucus Office of Member Support and Outreach, will focus on outreach to Asian Americans.

Roleeda Statham, the community outreach consultant for that caucus office, will focus on outreach to African Americans.

Michele Kane, now the caucus office's deputy director for news videos, will focus on outreach to women. (Her Twitter account is here.)

John Bockweg, a UC Davis junior and a student intern with that caucus office, will focus on outreach to young voters.

Today in Sacramento, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg speak today at services for Mort Friedman, the philanthropist who died Wednesday at age 80. The funeral starts at 11 a.m. in the Friedman-Lichter Sanctuary of Mosaic Law Congregation, 2300 Sierra Blvd. Click here to read more about Friedman's life and his impact on Sacramento culture.

HOLIDAY MUSIC: Today's lineup in the Capitol rotunda includes the Broadway-style group High Voltage at 11 a.m., the Cosumnes River College Chamber Choir at noon, and the Golden State Accordion Club at 1 p.m. Click here for information about this weekend's schedule.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, celebrates his 61st birthday today.



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