There is nothing like meeting new Fellows to make you feel ancient. You try to explain how things were three Assemblyman Allens ago, but some things are hard to explain.
When I got here, we still had legislators who had started before term limits. Heck, we even had one Assemblyman who started in the legislature during the Kennedy administration.
Of the legislators who were in office when I started as a fellow, seven are dead; Merv Dymally, Ed Vincent, Nell Soto, Dave Cox, Pat Wiggins, Jenny Oropeza, and Ira Ruskin.
Back in 2007, we had Gene Mullen, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Charles Calderon instead of their kids. Juan Arambula and Nicole Parra were still Democrats and Nathan Fletcher and Steve Fox were still Republicans.
Of the 256 legislators during my time in Sacramento, we’ve had 8 legislators named Mike or Michael, four Toms and Davids, and three Johns, Jeffs, Bobs, Pauls and Bills. But my goodness, only one Roy, only one Tim, and only one Sheila James. Very special people.
A lot happened; we had the longest day of session in the history of the Senate and more Extraordinary Sessions of the Legislature than ever before. We saw a Senate Pro Tem get carjacked, an anti-gun Senator who was gun-running, and an Assemblymember go shoplifting.
The big lesson is this; the Capitol has always been a world that changes constantly. But now it’s changing more (and faster) than in quite a while. Get ready for a bumpy couple of years and enjoy the ride.