Price Resignation Letter

Current Price resigned from the State Senate this morning, concluding his service with the longest resignation letter in more than a decade. At 240 words, Price’s letter is the longest since Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas resigned the very same seat in 2009 (but used an extra 56 words to do it.

From a historian’s perspective, Price did it right. He used his letter (which will be printed in the Senate Journal) to define what he felt were the high points of his legislative career and his hopes for the future, in addition to the official “I hereby resign effective…” part.

Compared to his 2009 resignation from the Assembly (a 50-word letter that communicated only the minimum technical details of his departure), Price’s 2013 letter was a well and carefully reasoned farewell letter to the institution where he had served for five years.

Senator Price

June 30, 2013

Dear President Pro Tem Steinberg

I hereby resign effective June 30, 2013 from the California State Senate to be sworn in as Los Angeles City Councilman for City Council District 9.
Representing the 26th Senate District these past five years in the California State Senate has been the most gratifying experience of my decades-long career in public service.
Under your leadership, we were able to pass the kind of laws that not only protect the interests of all Californians but also improve the quality of life for generations to come.
As you know I have a keen interest in small business development and while serving in the Legislature I authored legislation that increased opportunities for small businesses to compete for state contracts and offered incentives for creating new jobs.
This type of legislation sparks economic growth, encourages innovation, opens the doors for diversity in public contracting and stimulates our state’s economy. I also successfully carried bills that expanded health care, increased educational opportunities, promoted civic engagement and supported the Arts. I am proud of these accomplishments.
While I am sad about leaving the Senate, I am excited about going home. I was born in the 9th District of Los Angeles and I have seen that community suffer a serious decline.
I know the skills I have learned in my years working with you and under your able leadership will help me build the consensus and momentum that is necessary to create a “New 9th District”.

Curren Price Jr.

Well done, Senator Price!

Big Daddy’s Vacation Photos

We don’t see new pictures like this very often… these vacation photos were taken on a trip that Speaker Jesse Unruh (also known as “Big Daddy”) took to Japan.

These photos were included in a collection of items recently donated by the estate of Senator Leroy F. Greene.


Unruh inspects pearl necklaces at an oyster farm.Unruh inspects pearl necklaces at an oyster farm.

Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh at the controls of a Shinkansen high-speed train in Japan.Big Daddy drives the Bullet Train

Jesse Unruh in JapanDinnertime!

Jesse Unruh and Leroy Greene right the light rail in JapanSenator Greene with Jesse Unruh make riding the light rail seem cool.

Jesse Unruh on a train in JapanTrain Ride!

Candid photo of Jesse Unruh on a Japanese trainTrain Ride Conversations

Jesse Unruh hails a cab.Big Daddy Hails a Cab

Jesse Unruh and Leroy Green visit a Japanese school.Senator Greene and Speaker Unruh with Japanese schoolchildren

Jesse Unruh beside a "0 Series Shinkansen" high-speed train in Japan.Embracing High-Speed Rail (or at least, leaning against it)

California Political Maps

A map of the 2013-14 Assembly Members and Districts (from

For the true California politics enthusiast, it’s hard to imagine something more exciting that finding a useful new resource.

As someone who has spent many hours building a library of legislative district maps, I was very impressed by the new maps sold by the people over at California Political Maps. Although they could have been a little more creative with the naming of their business, they’ve done an excellent job producing a beautiful set of maps that present a lot of information.

The brightly colored maps depict county boundaries, district lines, and cities. The maps also include insets that detail the smaller districts in the more urban parts of the state.

Finally, the maps include pictures of the legislators (which is helpful with the huge number of new legislators in the new session) as well as the constitutional officers and Supreme Court justices.

A map of the 1891 State Senate Districts (from the 1895 California Blue Book)

It used to be easy to keep track of legislative district lines; the first bill to divide the state into legislative districts fit on a single page (it had grown to thirteen pages by the 1891 redistricting).

Prior to 1966 redistricting, counties were rarely divided between legislative districts, and good maps could be printed on a single 8.5″ x 11″ page. Following the court decision in Reynolds v. Sims, districts were required to be equal in population and the maps got much more complicated.

California Political Maps has created a solid product that communicates a massive amount information in a colorful and well-designed format.

You can check them out at