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Thanks To My Readers!

Well, folks, it’s been a long road chronicling Jerry Brown’s winning campaign for Governor, complete with interesting twists and surprising turns.

And now, after six months, I am officially ending my blogging duties and moving to New York City for an editing job at a pretty cool online publication.

I will miss being a part of our state’s transformation, but I can leave confidently assured California’s in great hands. It will be a tough job for Jerry, one I know he will approach with competence, integrity, an open mind, and a genuine enthusiasm for the Golden State.

I encourage you all to keep following Jerry on Twitter and connecting with him through Facebook so you can stay privy to news from the transition and the Governor’s office.

Thanks for your comments, support, and readership – never lose your passion for getting California working again!

Signing off,

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Back To Work

As the excitement surrounding our guy’s landslide election subsided, I headed to the East Coast to enjoy (what I thought was) a well-deserved vacation with family.

Not so for Jerry. He began his gubernatorial duties immediately, beginning with a press conference at our Oakland campaign headquarters on Wednesday – which coincided with a parade celebrating another local victory (baseball, anyone?).

And the next day, Jerry went straight to Sacramento to fulfill his campaign season promises of tackling the state budget as early as possible.

There’s no disputing that Jerry faces a challenge of colossal proportions, especially when it comes to the budget. Although voters approved Proposition 25 on Election Day, which allows a budget to pass with a simple majority in lieu of the previous two-thirds requirement, they also passed Propositions 22 and 26, which make it more difficult to both borrow cash from local governments and impose any new fees.

In backing all three propositions, the voters’ message was simple: Pass the budget on time, but don’t take any more money from us. In fact, they even rejected a measure that would have increased vehicle license fees by a mere $18 to raise money for state parks.

Jerry has made it clear he understands the popular sentiment, and his pledge to impose no new taxes without voter approval speaks to this.

Setting a precedent for bipartisan efforts, while in Sacramento Jerry met with members from both parties of the state legislature to begin budget talks. California officials followed his lead, opting for cooperation over stratification. Even state Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton said he would meet Jerry with “an open mind.”

Rightfully so. As the New York Times pointed out over the weekend, a lot has changed about California since Jerry last governed–but a lot has changed about Jerry as well. He has accumulated years of experience in an array of leadership roles, and today, he approaches his once and current position with the perspective of a seasoned politician. And he brings a new confidante along to help him, too: First Lady Anne Gust is his most trusted advisor.

Jerry and Anne will finally get some much-needed relaxation during their vacation this week. But never one to curtail his duties, our Governor-elect will resume work promptly next Tuesday.

I wish them both a restful and refreshing trip, as the job ahead will certainly not be easy. Luckily, Jerry Brown is always ready for a challenge.

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Don’t Whine About The Economy – Wine About It

Oenophiles from San Diego to Humboldt toasted the official start of California Wine Month yesterday. September is marked with a slew of events throughout the state celebrating our flourishing industry, including free winery tours and festivals like Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.

From leisurely hikes through the vineyards to five-course meals with special pairings, it’s easy to forget that the California wine industry is more than just swirling and sipping. In fact, this here Golden State is the fourth largest producer of wine in the entire world, right alongside behemoths like Italy and France.

Our wine history dates back close to 250 years, and has always served as an integral part of our economy, providing more than 300,000 jobs to Californians and pumping $51 billion in revenue throughout the state. Further from home, the industry contributes an estimated $121 billion to the wider United States economy each year, providing 820,000 jobs and more than $25 billion in wages nationwide.

Wine also provides a significant boost for our small business economy. There are more than 3,000 wineries across the state, and most are family owned and operated.

And lest we forget the renowned chefs, like French Laundry‘s Thomas Keller, who call Napa and Sonoma home. Some 21 million tourists pour into California wine country each year, eager to taste our state’s finest in both food and drink.

From travel to jobs to family business to plain old revenue, we have a lot to thank this thriving industry for. Show your gratitude (and have some fun) by checking out one of the many exciting events this month.

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