This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he intends to open a satellite attorney general's office in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to fight the Trump administration.
- The results from California's latest cap-and-trade auction are in, and revenue from the sale of pollution credits was weak.
- A bill that would set up a state-funded legal aid system for immigrants will be amended by its author to allow those with criminal records to apply for assistance.
Kathy DeChellis, a 64-year-old retired school teacher, stood in the hallway outside Republican Rep. Steve Knight's district office in Santa Clarita and recalled the last time she went to a political protest.
It was 1971, when she was a college student at the University of San Francisco and marched around Golden Gate Park to protest the Vietnam War.
DeChellis joined a crowd made up of retirees, young organizers and parents with toddlers who showed up at one of Knight's three district offices to hand-deliver letters urging the Palmdale Republican not to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The protests were among several that have popped up in recent days outside the district offices of members of Congress throughout the state.
"I decided it was time to get off my retired rear-end and do something," DeChellis said. "We ought to take a lesson from the tea party; organize from the grass roots and get loud."
Buzz Morgan, a 63-year-old from Newhall who owns a business selling chemical pumps for the oil and gas industry, chimed in: "I want Medicare to be there when I get to 65."
The protesters formed a line that snaked out of Knight's second-floor suite, along a hallway, down a staircase and out the door of the office park building.
The local Democratic club that organized the event said 173 people signed in with them at the Santa Clarita event. A spokesman for Knight said that altogether 300 people came to his three offices on Wednesday.
Protesters handed in their letters one by one and aired their grievances to Knight's staffers while two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies watched from across the room. Some demanded that funding for Planned Parenthood be maintained. One woman carrying two kids walked away in tears after describing her battle with multiple sclerosis.
Chad Kampbell, an organizer from the local group Democratic Alliance for Action, said their group took a page from a guide that has been making the rounds online among progressives called "Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda." He said the group wanted to be respectful but disruptive.
After an hour and a half of delivering letters, pleasantries were exchanged. Organizers wrote a thank-you note to Knight's staffers, one of whom, Lisa Moulton, thanked the organizers for coming and being respectful.
Daniel Outlaw, a spokesman for Knight, said staffers are logging the messages they received so protesters' concerns and comments can be shared with the congressman.