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Lively Exchanges Help Shed Light on Policy Challenges, Potential Solutions

A record crowd gathered in Laguna Niguel on October 24 and 25 for the annual CalChamber Public Affairs Conference. The packed day-and-a-half agenda still provided many opportunities for attendees to mingle and share observations about state and national politics.

Photos by Matt Lara

Robert Green and Adam Rosenblatt
Kicking off day one of the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference on October 24 are pollsters Robert Green (left), Pierrepont Consulting & Analytics LLC; and Adam Rosenblatt, Bold Decision. Here they field audience questions about the 9th annual CalChamber survey of California voter attitudes, the People’s Voice.
Adam Regele, Assemblymember Juan Carrillo, Assemblymember Laurie Davies and Senator Anthony Portantino
Offering perspectives on the complexities of goods movement in California at the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference on October 24 are (from left) moderator Adam Regele, CalChamber vice president of advocacy and strategic partnerships; Assemblymember Juan Carrillo (D-Palmdale); Assemblymember Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel); and Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank). Panelists commented on topics such as supply chain issues, state and local requirements affecting the location of warehouses, the infrastructure and other challenges raised by the transition toward medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, and potential mitigation proposals.
Preston Young, Senator Catherine Blakespear and Assemblymembers Blanca Pacheco, Juan Alanis, Rick Chavez Zbur and Diane Dixon
The opening session on October 25 — day two of the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference — gives some of the large class of “freshman” legislators an opportunity to review their experiences. From left are session moderator Preston Young, CalChamber policy advocate; Senator Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas); and Assemblymembers Blanca Pacheco (D-Downey), Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) and Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach). All agreed there was far too much legislation introduced in 2023.
Assemblymember Avelino Valencia, Senator Steve Padilla, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Assemblymember Vince Fong and Ronak Daylami
Panelists at an afternoon session on artificial intelligence (AI) on October 25 at the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference are (from left) Assemblymember Avelino Valencia (D-Anaheim), Senator Steve Padilla (D-Chula Vista), Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), Assemblymember Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and moderator Ronak Daylami, CalChamber policy advocate. The discussion covered the opportunities and risks of AI, the risks of overregulation, and role of the Legislature in this space, plus how to balance the need for guardrails to protect Californians and avoid the dangers of stifling innovation/economic growth.
 Marva Diaz, Jim DeBoo, Christy Wilson and Brandon Castillo
Strategy and funding of ballot measure campaigns is the subject of a morning session on October 25 at the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference featuring (from left) moderator Marva Diaz, Marva Diaz Strategies/California Target Book; Jim DeBoo, DeBoo Strategic Affairs; Christy Wilson, Wilson Callahan Strategies; and Brandon Castillo, BCFS Public Affairs.
Rob Stutzman, Stutzman, Mary Katherine Ham, Lis Smith
Entertaining the luncheon audience on October 25 at the CalChamber Public Affairs Conference are (from left) discussion moderator Rob Stutzman, Stutzman Public Affairs; journalist Mary Katherine Ham, podcast host and author; and Democratic Party strategist and memoirist Lis Smith. The lively discussion about Washington D.C. politics ranged from voter perceptions of the presidential candidates to House Republican issues and predictions for the 2024 elections.
Ben Golombek, Assemblymember Greg Wallis, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Assemblymember James Ramos, Senators Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh and Marie Alvarado-Gil
Appearing at a CalChamber Public Affairs Conference session on October 25 to discuss the huge impact of California tribal communities on the state’s economy are (from left) moderator Ben Golombek, CalChamber executive vice president and chief of staff for policy; Assemblymember Greg Wallis (R-Bermuda Dunes); Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis; Assemblymember James Ramos (D-Highland); and Senators Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) and Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson). Besides gaming, tribes have made investments in water, health care and education, among other areas.

See the October 27 Alert for photos of CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera moderating a conversation with Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and the “varsity” legislative panel.

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