Our Mission

To empower youth to be vital participants in decision making processes at all levels.


About The California Roast

The California Roast is a festive annual tradition conducted in Sacramento for over thirty years. Governors, Speakers, Senate Presidents, Attorney Generals, Treasurers, Budget Chairs, Democratic and Republican Party leaders and others gather to pay “respect” each year to the honoree.  The humorous and edgy crossfire of our high profile panel provides our audience with insights into the present, history and future of California politics. Over six hundred attend including legislators from both parties, lobbyists, executive branch officials, political and public affairs consultants, friends and foes of the Roastee, and others. They appreciate the insights into the dynamics and personalities affecting the legislative, budget-making and political processes of that moment.  The California Roast and the jokes are featured in the press, websites and social media exchanges. Proceeds benefit Capitol Focus and California Center Youth Programs.

The 2015 Event:

The California Roast of Speaker Toni Atkins was conducted in Sacramento on May 27, 2015.  The downtown Sheraton was sold out for the Atkins event. Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman was the MC. Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen made introductions to the California Center and to the Roastees. Congressman Scott Peters and Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, both old San Diego City Council colleagues with Speaker Atkins, helped roast, along with Senator Holly Mitchell and former Speaker John A. Pèrez.

Emcee Eggman was superb, starting off with an allusion to her former career as an Army Medic, what she did there, and how that got her ready for the Roast!  Senator Holly Mitchell got Atkins prepared for the evening with Pink Boxing Gloves and a hard hat.  Congressman Scott Peters got started by saying he was the Straight White Wasp among the Roastees, or as they say in La Jolla, “A Voice of the People”.   It was the Republican Brian Maienschein that brought down the house with zingers for everyone.  Among his many barbs Maienschein said, “This is the first time a switch from Mr. Speaker to Madam Speaker actually made the Assembly more masculine.”

In more than thirty years we have honored Speakers Willie Brown, Antonio Villaraigosa, Fabian Nunez, John A. Pérez, Karen Bass, and Herb Wesson; Senate President pro Tempores Darrell Steinberg, John Burton, Bill Lockyer and Don Perata; Republican Leaders Jim Brulte, Kevin McCarthy, and  Dick Ackerman; and Governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian and more.  You never know what you might here!  Our next Roast is May 31, 2016.  

Proceeds benefit Capitol Focus and the California Center for Civic Participation non-partisan youth programs on state and local government.
Click here to learn more about Capitol Focus!

The 2015 California Roast

Past Roastees

2015 - Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins
2014- Party Chairs John Burton and Jim Brulte
2013 - Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield
2012 - Break from the action!
2011 - Assembly Speaker John Perez
2010 - Sen. Pres. pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg
2009 - Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
2008 - Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman
2007 - Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata
2006 - Assem. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
2005 - Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez
2004 - Brulte, Burton, Vasconcellos, Alpert, et al
2003 - State Treasurer Phil Angelides
2002 - Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson
2001 - Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte
2000 - Governor Gray Davis
1999 - Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa
1998 - Senate President pro Tempore John Burton
1997 - Senate President pro Tempore Bill Lockyer
1996 - Attorney General Dan Lungren
1995 - Assembly Speaker Willie Brown
1994 - Senator Ralph Dills
1993 - Senate Republican Leader, Ken Maddy
1992 - Judge James Garibaldi
1991 - Governor Pete Wilson
1990 - Assembly Republican Leader, Ross Johnson
1989 - Senator Al Alquist (Budget Chair)
1988 - Superintendent Bill Honig
1987 - Senator Bill Campbell
1986 - Senate President pro Tempore, David Roberti
1985 - Attorney General John Van De Kamp
1984 - Governor George Deukmejian
1982 - Assembly Speaker Willie Brown