The day’s Keynote speaker, Assemblymember Tom Daly (D- Anaheim), followed. Assembly member Daly is the author of the CRA sponsored legislation (AB 669) that seeks to account for tips in minimum wage calculations. Mr. Daly was warmly greeted with a standing ovation from all attendees for being such a strong leader for the restaurant community while, at the same time, facing mounting opposition from organized labor over his AB 669.
Next up was the California Restaurant Education Foundation (CRAEF) presentation of the Restaurant Neighbor, Faces of Diversity/American Dream Awards. California winners for the Restaurant Neighbor Awards were Bravo’s Soup and Sandwich Shoppe, Mulvaney’s B&L, Black Bear Diner, Milano Restaurants International, and El Pollo Loco. The California and national winner for the faces of diversity award went to Carlito Jocson of the Yard House.
After an open networking lunch, all lobby day participants joined their teams and headed across the street to the State Capitol for an afternoon of appointments with legislators and Capitol staff for a full afternoon of meetings. Groups met with the Governor’s office, the Assembly Speaker’s office, the Senate and Assembly Republican leaders, and dozens of Assembly and Senate offices. Key issues that were highlighted were the proposed minimum wage increase (SB 3), total compensation calculation for tipped employees (AB 669), employee schedule restrictions and penalties (AB 357), double pay for holidays (AB 67), ADA reform (AB 52 and AB 54), and requirements to warn consumers about sugar sweetened beverages (SB 203).
Capping off the day’s events was a free reception, Crave the Experience, which brought legislators, their staff, and the CRA lobby day participants together to continue discussions in a more casual setting while enjoying food from local area restaurants, specialty drinks, and live music. With over 200 attendees at the reception, the event was a great success and closed out another very productive and well attended CRA lobby day.