VIDEO: Dan Walters says that California's demographics are its destiny.
California Democrats heading to Congress got a glimpse Thursday of what lies ahead as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced committee assignments for new and returning members, including these 11 Golden State freshmen:
Ami Bera of Elk Grove will join Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach and Juan Vargas of San Diego on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino drew the Agriculture Committee.
Tony Cardenas of Los Angeles, Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert and Jared Huffman of San Rafael got the nod for the Natural Resources Committee. (Huffman chaired the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in the Assembly.)
Scott Peters of San Diego will serve on the Armed Services Committee.
Eric Swalwell of Dublin, who defeated long-time congressman Pete Stark, was assigned to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Mark Takano of Riverside and Julia Brownley of Santa Monica will serve on the Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Of the returning members, Barbara Lee of Oakland was assigned to the Budget Committee, Karen Bass of Los Angeles will serve on the Judiciary Committee, and Janice Hahn of San Pedro drew the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Click here to read the entire list of appointments.
MOMENT OF SILENCE: Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has requested that all governors across the country call for residents of their states to observe a moment of silence today in honor of the victims of the Newtown schoolhouse massacre. Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for Californians to observe that moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time.
HOLIDAY MUSIC: You still have a chance to hear festive tunes in the Capitol rotunda. Today at 11 a.m., listen to violinists Lisa and Stephanie Holzen, followed by what's described as a world music group called Sambandha. Then Saturday at 1 p.m., the State Capitol Museum Singers lead a singalong, followed by vocalist Catherine Cheshire at 2 p.m. On Sunday, the final concert features Festival Brass starting at 1 p.m.
ALERT TAKES A HOLIDAY: The AM Alert will go on hiatus over the holidays. Look for it to resume on Wednesday, Jan. 2.