May 1, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
The second annual California Aviation Day at the Capitol took place April 22 and 23, with approximately 600 attendees, 24 sponsors, and 17 exhibitors. AOPA was one of many aviation organizations supporting the event. Western Pacific Regional Manager John Pfeifer served on the executive committee organizing the event.
This was the second year that a broad spectrum of aviation organizations came together for an event created to help inform state legislators, legislative staff, and the public about the importance of aviation to the California economy and the benefits of aviation to all Californians. The California Senate and Assembly passed resolutions in support of the Second Annual California Aviation Day at the Capitol.
The event began on April 22 when teams of volunteers, who had participated in a legislative visit workshop led by Pfeifer and Kevin Cole of Advocation, Inc., a Sacramento advocacy group, visited all 120 offices of state legislators and then presented them with educational information about the importance of aviation to California.
Later in the day, an invitation-only legislative reception was held at a local restaurant near the Capitol. It was well attended by event organizers, sponsors, legislators, and legislative staffers.
On April 23, the main event was conducted on the north lawn of the Capitol in a large tent that featured displays and educational materials by approximately 20 aviation organizations. The tent also housed exhibits provided by the McClellan Air Museum and provided interaction opportunities between organization representatives and attendees.
The event was kicked off with remarks by Ron Elliott, president of the Association of California Airports, and Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of government affairs. Remarks were also given throughout the day by state Sen. Jean Fuller, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian. Plans are already underway for the third annual Aviation Day, to be held in April 2015.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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