83. Cesar Diaz
Pretty much everyone agrees: California’s pothole-riddled infrastructure needs fixing. And one of the leaders of the fix-it charge is Cesar Diaz, the longtime legislative and political director of the California Building and Construction Trades Council. California’s Council can trace its roots back to County Limerick in 19th-Century Ireland, where a Catholic Bishop of the area demanded that workers building a cathedral work until 11:00 p.m. each evening. Patrick Henry McCarthy, then only 17, led a successful wildcat strike against the bishop’s orders. These days, the Council represents blue-collar workers ranging from boilermakers to bricklayers, and they stand to do well as those much-needed infrastructure repairs and new construction get underway. Diaz was formerly deputy legislative director of the Council and before that was senior policy consultant in the lieutenant governor’s office. He works to maintain that McCarthy-style feistiness on behalf of those blue collars.
Updated Aug. 21, 2019