Underneath the CA Capitol

(S) CA Capitol Book Store Shoot (17 of 1)Within the halls of the California Capitol Building in Sacramento state legislators, lobbyists, staffers, guards and visitors roam the mosaic-tiled floors among the many pieces of framed art, statues and historical artifacts on display.

Completed between 1861 and 1874, the Neoclassical structure sits at the west end of Capitol Park and, according to figures obtained by Politifact.com attracts over 1 million visitors each year. s-ca-capitol-book-store-shoot-4-of-1

Underneath the echoing steps, whispering tourists, marble statues and decorative murals is an area of the state park known as the “Capitol Basement.” On one side of the basement–tucked under a quaint, brick archway–resides an oddity unique to California, a gift shop run by a local non-profit, the sales of which benefit art programs for adults with disabilities.


The shop is one of the few official purveyors of California seal-themed items and offer a plethora of such from key chains, to T-Shirts, cigar boxes and marble paperweights.


Run by DDSO, the cozy store harbors a wide variety of California history books, kids games, gifts… and a historical placard depicting the tale of “The Crack.”


Also in the Capitol Basement is the California Capitol Museum, located in basement Room B-27, next to the Basement Theater (where free films are shown daily) as well as a cafe-style restaurant /espresso bar (Rush Cafe) and a large bronze statue of President Reagan.

Little-known fact: an organization or constituent can request to reserve portions of the Capitol Basement for “special events” by obtaining the sponsorship of a legislative member.

Article by L. R. Styles, Photographer: Steven Styles/Belator Media

Can California Afford to be a ‘Sanctuary State’?

Photographer: Steven Styles/Belator Media

On January 31st, 2017 California Senator Pro-Tem Kevin DeLeon spoke at a Public Safety committee hearing about SB54, also known as the “California Values Act” or ‘sanctuary state’ bill. This bill’s language has not gone unnoticed. Recently, President Trump acknowledged the bill in a nationally-televised interview with Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News:

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “I will tell you that sanctuary cities are – they’ve got a lot of problems and there’s tremendous crime. A lot of people agree with me, this was a campaign issue. “We will certainly not stand for sanctuary even cities, let alone states.”

Trump also stated of California: “in many ways is out of control … from an economic standpoint … People are leaving California [and] going to Texas and other places that are run in a different manner, but we’ll see what happens.”

Photographer: Steven Styles/ Belator Media

Some of the text from SB54:

Existing law provides that when there is reason to believe that a person arrested for a violation of specified controlled substance provisions may not be a citizen of the United States, the arresting agency shall notify the appropriate agency of the United States having charge of deportation matters. This bill would repeal those provisions.
Photographer: Steven Styles/Belator Media

In passing this bill–California may be making a principled stand it can ill afford, because even as the sixth largest economy in the world California Receives More Federal Money Than Any Other State.

In FFY 2012-13, California received $343 billion in federal spending. If that wasn’t enough, California is currently facing a looming pension crisis and–according to an article by the San Francisco Chronicle–there is a predicted shortfall among all state retirement accounts of at least $230 billion based on what’s owed to current and future retirees.

Article by L. R. Styles; Photographer: Steven Styles/Belator Media