Press Releases

Historic trees fall in Capitol Park

12:45 p.m.: Maintenance crews on Thursday cleared the aftermath of three historic trees at Capitol Park’s Civil War Memorial Grove that were knocked over in Wednesday’s storm. The trees where brought to the memorial site as saplings. The grove was established in 1897 to commemorate those who fought in the Civil War, said Ken Cooley, chairman of the Assembly Rules Committee. Both a box elder from Missionary Ridge, Tenn., and a tulip tree from Five Forks, Va., come from the site of Southern battlefields and were planted at Capitol Park in 1897. The third tree, an American elm, was brought in from McKinley’s Tomb in Ohio in 1902 to honor William McKinley, the last president to serve in the Civil War, Cooley said. Brian Ferguson, deputy director for the Department of General Services, said the trees fell about 6 p.m. Crews were up at dawn to clear the pile of branches and debris left behind. Two park benches were damaged from the fallen trees. The grove was closed to the public Thursday morning.”

Assemblyman Cooley Encourages Other 49 States to Follow California’s Lead and Protect Their Historic State Park Names

Mirror Lake

Wawona Hotel

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) announced today he has kicked off a national push to encourage other states to protect their historic state park landmarks as California did this year in response to the U.S. National Park Service’s controversial renaming of several landmarks at Yosemite National Park due to a dispute with their concessionaire. 

Assemblyman Ken Cooley to Present Inclusive Leadership Strategies at Global Conference

RANCHO CORDOVA − Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has been invited to discuss inclusive leadership strategies at the International Leadership Association’s 18th Annual Global Conference on The Dynamics of Inclusive Leadership.  The conference, which is designed to facilitate an open dialogue on the challenges of inclusive public leadership in a complex and shared-power world, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from November 2−5. Cooley will present inclusive leadership strategies he has developed throughout his career in public service during the Public Leadership portion of the conference.  It is expected to draw over 1,200 people from 37 countries.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s Bill to Expand Foster Youth Access to Court Appointed Special Advocates Signed by the Governor

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s (D-Rancho Cordova) AB 2417 was signed in to law by Governor Brown this afternoon.  AB 2417 expands foster youth access to court appointed special advocates, known as CASAs. These are volunteers who are appointed by a judge to provide one-on-one mentorship and advocacy to abused and neglected children who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Children with court appointed special advocates have demonstrably better long-term outcomes: they are more likely to find a safe permanent home, half as likely to reenter the foster care system, and have far greater success in school.  However, there are currently not enough CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of the foster children in need of their services.

CASA programs are required by law to fingerprint each volunteer to screen for a criminal background before allowing them to mentor and advocate for youth. Non-profit organizations that serve children do not have to pay the California Department of Justice fees for background checks, but CASA programs are currently excluded from this benefit. This places an undue financial burden on this critical child advocacy program.