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No. 39: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

39. Jennifer Barrera

Jennifer Barrera is an executive vice president of the California Chamber of Commerce, which means she wears two hats: She develops policy and strategy, and she represents the Chamber in legal reform spats, which presumably includes smacking unionized labor and pushing for business tax breaks. But whatever Barrera does, she’s doing it well.

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No. 28: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

28. Jason Sisney

Jason Sisney is the state budget adviser to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and traditionally this job is one of the most important in the Legislature. Sisney is the lead budget negotiator for the Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Speaker in dealings with the Senate and the administration. Like a number of state

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No. 17: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

17. Yolanda Richardson

Yolanda Richardson heads a cabinet-level agency called “GovOps,” or Government Operations Agency, which Jerry Brown created in 2013 and is intended to bring organization and rigor to nearly a dozen state operations, including Human Resources, the Census Office, the Franchise Tax Board, CalPERS, CalSTRS and something called the Department of Tax and

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No. 10: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Dee Dee Myers

10. Dee Dee Myers

California political reporters with long memories may recall Dee Dee Myers from her days as spokeswoman for Tom Bradley’s 1986 gubernatorial campaign. She impressed newsies then, and she went on to impress just about everyone else soon enough. She was a spokesperson for Michael Dukakis and Dianne Feinstein, and she did

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No. 27: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

27. Thom Porter

Thom Porter is Gov. Gov. Newsom’s top fire fighter, a daunting task in a state which seems to face huge fires every summer and into the fall, sparked in part by the impacts of climate change. Porter is director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, and his

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No. 32: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

32. Eloy Oakley

Eloy Oakley is the chancellor of California’s community college system, the largest postsecondary system in the United States with 2.1 million students, 73 districts and about 115 colleges. The community college system is hugely important in California, and Oakley, who has been chancellor since 2016, makes no bones about keeping that message in

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No. 43: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

43. Harmeet Dhillon

Harmeet Dhillon is the founder of a nationally recognized business litigation law firm – the Dhillon Law Group – and the founder of the Center for American Liberty, which targets discrimination and civil liberties. A Sikh who was born in India and came to the U.S. as a child, Dhillon, a Republican,

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No. 44: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

44. Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond is the president of the State Board of Education, the policy-making body that sets academic standards and curriculum for California’s sprawling K-12 educational system, which serves about 6 million students. If anyone was qualified for this gig, it’s Darling-Hammond. She’s a professor in education at Stanford University, the founding president

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No. 50: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

50. Orrin Heatlie

A retiree after a 25-year-stint in the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, Orrin Heatlie is credited with being the spark that touched off the recall drive against Gov. Gavin Newsom. Heatlie has characterized Newsom as a “rogue governor,” who deserves to be ousted. Newsom now faces his sixth recall effort, but it’s the

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No. 53: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

53. Mark Weideman

Lobbyist Mark Weideman, who heads the Mark Weideman Group, had a very busy year: He was on the ground floor of the Newsom administration’s decision in January to place Blue Shield in charge of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program. A number of counties balked loudly at the move, and it was a major

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