don’t think of them as TV stars, but for two decades California Assembly
members have been on live TV via The California Channel every day they’re in
session. On Friday, February 4, 2011, The California Channel will celebrate its
20th anniversary by replaying some of the most memorable moments
from the Assembly floor.
my 18 years as President of The California Channel, I have seen moments that
were amazing, unique and sometimes uncanny. I remember a particular instance
when several Republican Assembly members began singing The Beatles’
"Revolution" in the middle of a proceeding. Another unusual moment was former
Assembly member Diane Martinez’s wedding on the Assembly floor while they were
in a C-SPAN format, today The California Channel is dedicated to providing
unbiased and uncut gavel-to-gavel proceedings for all three branches of state
follow C-SPAN camera rules. We don’t show reactive shots, we show the person
speaking, although sometimes it is not pretty, for example when they do things
like try to balance gum on the microphone. Many felt that cameras would make a
difference in the decorum of the Assembly members, but the members quickly
forgot that the cameras were there.
the beginning, The California Channel captured everything that happened on the
Assembly floor. I received frequent requests for content from the staff of "TV
Bloopers and Practical Jokes." I always declined. We aren’t in the business of
embarrassing the elected officials.
have powerful memories of one of California’s most well-known political
figures, Willie Brown, who served thirty years in the State Assembly including
fifteen as Speaker.
was a visionary who understood the importance of TV as a means to open a window
for the public into state government. Brown wanted people to understand how
issues were debated and laws were made.
major change to the way Californian’s view politics came in 1998 when The
California Channel began broadcasting legislative hearings over the internet.
The addition of this online platform allowed anyone in the world with an
Internet connection access to these proceedings. Now, thousands of people each day visit www.calchannel.com for live coverage of state government dealings, or to find archived
videos of past ones.
to The California Channel has been provided exclusively through cable systems
since its start. Cable providers have volunteered over $25 million to fund the
operations of the channel to date. Each state legislative house funds its own
production expenses. Since 1991, The California Channel has expanded its reach
from 1.5 million homes to 5.5 million homes.
California Channel has created a public service
announcement to celebrate 20 years of live broadcasts from the Assembly floor.