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HR-50 (2019-2020)

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Revised  August 26, 2019
Corrected  August 13, 2019


House Resolution
No. 50

Introduced by Assembly Members Rendon and Waldron
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bigelow, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Brough, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chen, Chiu, Choi, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Cunningham, Daly, Diep, Eggman, Flora, Fong, Frazier, Friedman, Gabriel, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager-Dove, Kiley, Lackey, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Obernolte, O’Donnell, Patterson, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Smith, Mark Stone, Ting, Voepel, Weber, Wicks, and Wood)

August 12, 2019

Relative to the retirement of E. Dotson Wilson as Chief Clerk of the Assembly.


HR 50, as introduced, Rendon.

WHEREAS, E. Dotson Wilson grew up in Albany, California, and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, on an intercollegiate track scholarship, where he majored in political science. Mr. Wilson graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1976 and from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1979; and
WHEREAS, From October 1979 to October 1980, Mr. Wilson served as an Assembly Fellow with the Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr., who served as Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, and the Honorable Teresa Hughes, who served as the Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. In October of 1980, Mr. Wilson transitioned from his fellowship to work with Assembly Member Brown, who was appointed Majority Leader by Assembly Speaker Leo McCarthy; and
WHEREAS, In December 1980, Mr. Wilson joined the staff of newly elected Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr., initially serving as a special assistant to the Speaker. He was then assigned to work on issues relating to housing, public employees, retirement, and labor. During his time on Speaker Brown’s staff, he was proud of his achievement in working on legislation requiring student athletes to maintain at least a C grade point average and saw the direct impact that the legislative process can have on student athletes; and
WHEREAS, In 1984, Mr. Wilson took on the responsibility of serving as Floor Manager to the Speaker, as well as to other members and staff of the Assembly leadership. In that capacity, Mr. Wilson worked closely with the Chief Clerk of the Assembly and key committee consultants and regularly met with leadership staff and members to advise on key issues and procedural matters pending in the Legislature; and
WHEREAS, As Floor Manager, Mr. Wilson also worked with the Governor’s office, Members of the Legislature, and staff to facilitate special events on the Assembly floor, including floor ceremonies and the Governor’s annual State of the State address; and
WHEREAS, In 1988, Mr. Wilson became Deputy Chief of Staff to Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr., a position in which he assisted in facilitating the drafting of legislation, policy development, and administrative matters for the Speaker and Assembly leadership and in managing the 50 members of the Speaker’s Capitol office staff; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Wilson subsequently served as Director of the Speaker’s Office of Majority Services from 1991 until his election as Chief Clerk of the Assembly in 1992. In this position, he played a key role in implementing the budget cutbacks that were required to implement the fiscal provisions of Proposition 140; and
WHEREAS, Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr., nominated Mr. Wilson for the position of Chief Clerk of the Assembly, and he was elected to that position on January 6, 1992. Mr. Wilson would go on to be reelected 14 times over his 27 years as Chief Clerk, becoming the longest continually serving Chief Clerk of the Assembly in California history; and
WHEREAS, During his tenure as Chief Clerk and Parliamentarian, Mr. Wilson and the team in the Chief Clerk’s office played a key role in working with leadership, the Assembly Rules Committee, Legislative Counsel, and the Legislative Data Center in implementing many changes and improvements within the Chief Clerk’s office and in the operation of the Assembly, including:
(1) Changing the seasonal status of many desk staff and engrossing and enrolling staff in the Chief Clerk’s office to year-round status, which has helped to maintain stability and reduce staff turnover in the age of term limits.
(2) Improving the office space of the engrossing and enrolling staff, which for many years had tight quarters in the Capitol basement.
(3) Advocating for automation on several fronts, such as Member laptops, amendment tracking systems, amendments in context, and automating the “vote add” and “vote change” process with multiple kiosks on the Assembly floor. The changes to the “vote add” and “vote change” process, which had previously used paper and binders that caused Members to stand in long lines during session to process votes, was one of the most significant technological improvements that directly impacted the membership.
(4) Implementing resource savings, including eliminating printing of the Daily History and reducing print runs on many publications.
(5) Producing several legislative materials to assist Members and legislative staff, such as the rule book, the legislative procedure manual, the book on California’s Legislature, annotated guides to legislative publications, and training videos. The resources were especially critical in the wake of Proposition 140 term limits and legislative budget cuts.
(6) Working with the California State Archives to preserve the historic papers and ephemera of longtime Chief Clerk Arthur Ohnimus.
(7) Leading the effort to commemorate the Legislature’s sesquicentennial session in Benicia, California, in February 2000.
(8) Encouraging cross-training of Chief Clerk staff.
(9) Expanding the Chief Clerk’s paid internship program beyond the University of California, Davis, and the California State University, Sacramento, to also include the University of California, Merced, and increasing the number of interns from four interns to five annually.
(10) Facilitating multiple Electoral College meetings in the Assembly Chamber during presidential election years.
(11) Assisting in a 2015 documentary on Assembly Member Byron Rumford and assisting in the production of other historical projects.
(12) Facilitating, in conjunction with the Assembly Rules Committee and the Capitol Institute, new member and staff orientation programs, including mock committee hearings and floor sessions.
(13) Cohosting the annual Professional Development Seminar for the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries in Sacramento in 2013.
(14) Suggesting several improvements to the house and joint rules; and
WHEREAS, During the course of his career, Mr. Wilson has dispensed procedural advice in a nonpartisan manner to hundreds of Members of the Legislature; and
WHEREAS, Over the course of his 27 years as Chief Clerk, Mr. Wilson has provided guidance to 13 Speakers, 14 Speakers pro Tempore, 16 Majority Leaders, 21 Minority Leaders, and 14 Rules Committee chairs. In accordance with Section 9023 of the Government Code, Mr. Wilson has presided over 14 Organizational Sessions of the Legislature. Moreover, Mr. Wilson has served as a mentor to countless Capitol staff and legislators over the past 40 years; and
WHEREAS, In 2005, the Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., honored Mr. Wilson for “exceptional public service” and presented him with the first ever Jacob Soares Public Service Award; and
WHEREAS, In 2013, University of California President Mark Yudof awarded Mr. Wilson with the first ever “UC Public Service Award” to mark his years of public service as a University of California, Los Angeles, alumnus; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Wilson has been married to Jacqueline R. Wilson for 26 years and they have one adult daughter, Nicole; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly honors Chief Clerk E. Dotson Wilson on the occasion of his retirement; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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