Open California

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Open California is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 2012 to continue – and expand on – the important public policy work done by Capitol Weekly.

Our Mission is to inform, enlighten and educate Californians about public policy and state governance, and to provide a platform for engagement with public officials, advocates and political interests.  To meet this goal, Open California publishes continuing, in-depth, nonpartisan coverage of current policy and political issues, and hosts regular forums for public discussion of policy and California politics.

We believe that this model of a non-profit, multi-media platform will be a major part of public policy journalism in the future.  We have seen the Sacramento press corp decline sharply, and the amount of coverage dedicated to state news is now minimal. Meanwhile, Sacramento decisions about infrastructure and regulations, education, health care, public safety and the environment are critical to the future of the world’s eighth largest economy  –  and to a democracy that relies on informed voters to make important ballot choices.

Our projects and publications include:

Capitol Weekly: For 25 years, this publication has been required reading for Sacramento insiders and government workers.

The Roundup: A daily e-newsletter that follows the latest developments in Sacramento for more than 6,000 subscribers around the state.

California Conferences: A quarterly series examining critical issues such as health care, climate change and elections.  Each event includes bipartisan panels, a keynote luncheon speaker and is filmed for broadcast by the California Channel.

The Top 100: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 is a highly anticipated annual publication profiling the biggest, non-elected names in Sacramento.

The Capitol Weekly Podcast: A weekly discussion of California politics and personalities, usually featuring a guest or two.

Internships: Capitol Weekly nurtures the next generation of public policy voices with more than a half dozen internships annually. Interns are mentored by Capitol Weekly’s editor and gain experience covering the major issues and personalities in Sacramento.

Open California Oral History Project: From blacklisted Hollywood writers and interned Japanese-Americans to women political activists and laborers in Southern California restaurants, oral histories of the prominent and the obscure tell the story of the state.

Political Pulse: A compendium of California political news mailed to subscribers throughout the state for more than 30 years.

We operate a lean but expanding office with several full-time staff and about a dozen contributors, including:

Rich Ehisen, editor in chief: Rich is an award-winning journalist, editor, and public speaker. He was the managing editor of the State Net Capitol Journal for two decades, and his freelance work has appeared in a variety of publications across the country.

Tim Foster, Executive Director: Tim has worked in publishing for over 20 years with a focus on politics since starting at California Journal in 1996. He has been with Capitol Weekly since 2005 and also published and edited the Midtown Monthly from 2007-2012.

Jyoti Alexander, Office Manager

John Howard, Director, Oral History Project: John is the former political writer and news editor for the Associated Press in Sacramento, associated editor of the California Journal and Sacramento bureau chief of the Orange County Register. He was an editor at Capitol Weekly from 2005-2023.

Open California Board of Directors

Molly Dugan, President
Professor of Journalism, California State University

Tom Gede, Secretary
Of Counsel, Morgan Lewis, LLP

Sheri Sadler, Treasurer
President, Sadler Strategic Media

Mike Belote
Legislative Advocate, California Advocates

A.G. Block
Associate Director, retired, University of California Center Sacramento

Brian Brokaw
Brian Brokaw Consulting

John Garcia
Vice President, Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente

Rob Gunnison
Former administrator, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Jodi Hicks
Executive Director, Planned Parenthood of Northern California

Teri Holoman
Associate Executive Director, California Teachers Association

Fiona Hutton
Founder, Fiona Hutton & Associates

Seema Mehta
Journalist, Los Angeles Times

Jacob Mejia
Executive Director, TASIN

Kassy Perry
President, Perry Communications Group

Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: