42. Kimberly Rodriguez
Kimberly Rodriguez is the policy director for Senate Leader Toni Atkins, which means in theory she is responsible for coordinating her boss’s legislative efforts, managing an 11-person staff of consultants for the Senate’s Democratic Caucus and drumming up support in the Senate for Atkins’ legislative package. We say “in theory” because as anyone who works for leadership knows, it is never just about that person’s agenda. The pro Tem is expected to also support the wants and wishes of the rest of the Senate caucus, and to help keep everything moving forward. That unto itself is a huge task – there are something like 1,600 bills introduced in the Legislature every two-year session. It’s a lot to keep track of, but she handles it all with aplomb. Like all top jobs in the Capitol, hers is a mix of politics and policy, and very few are as adept at navigating the various potholes and roadblocks that come with it better than Rodriguez, who has worked in the Capitol for more than two decades.
Updated Aug. 15, 2023