Steve Boilard, Executive Director, Center for California Studies

Around 6:30 each morning I arrive at the Center’s office on Sacramento State’s campus, and recently I’ve noticed that I have to make the trip with my headlights on. That, and the paucity of open parking spaces on campus signals the fall semester has begun. Summer is already fading into a memory.

Most of our key programs are built on an academic calendar. Our Capital Fellows Programs and our LegiSchool Project launch their programming in the fall. As I write this, Center staff are busily preparing orientation activities for 64 new Fellows and readying to welcome over 100 high school students to our first LegiSchool Town Hall Meeting of the academic year.  We are also working with Sacramento State faculty to prepare graduate seminars for our new Fellows. At the same time, we are gearing up to launch outreach activities around the state to encourage applicants for the next  (2018-19) Fellowship year. (Applications open in October.) It’s truly a year-round process.

Meanwhile, we’re deep into preparations for the 28th annual Envisioning California conference, which will be held on Thursday, October 5, in downtown Sacramento. This year’s conference theme is Homelessness in California. As always, the conference will highlight a large and diverse range of perspectives on a topic of great importance to our state. State and local government officials, academics, advocates, students, journalists, and others will come together to explore various facets of homelessness, including government and social programs, mental health factors, regional housing policies, and other topics. The centerpiece of the day-long conference will be a keynote address by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg during a catered lunch. Registration is free, but space is limited. You can register here.

At the end of this year’s conference, we will hold a reception marking the 35th anniversary of the Center for California Studies, as well as milestone anniversaries of our Capital Fellows Programs. It’s humbling for me to think of the vision, commitment, hard work, and sacrifice that went into creating and expanding the Center and its mission. Some of the people most closely associated with the Center, including Jeff Lustig and Tim Hodson, have passed. But one instrumental figure, former Sacramento State President Donald Gerth, remains active in supporting the Center (among numerous other good causes). I hope you’ll come to the reception to thank him personally!


October 5: 28th Annual Envisioning California Conference and Reception celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Center for California Studies, Tsakopoulus Library Galleria