Have your say on the budget crisis.

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Assemblyman Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland, will hold a public discussion on the 2008 California budget crisis at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 2, in Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, at 1330 Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland.

California faces a budget deficit of more than $14.5 billion by the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed 10 percent across-the-board cuts from nearly every department — hitting public schools hard; shutting down four dozen state parks; speeding the release of over 20,000 non-violent prisoners with no additional services to local and county governments; and reducing child welfare services, CalWORKS programs, and Medi-Cal reimbursements.

Hancock’s office says this forum “will provide a framework for understanding the budget crisis and the Governor’s budget proposals. It will also highlight the proposals’ local impact and explore funding alternatives.”

Speakers will include California Budget Project executive director Jean Ross; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; Oakland Unified School District board president David Kakishiba; California Tax Reform Association executive director Lenny Goldberg; and an East Bay Economic Development Alliance representative.

And you, too — those who don’t inform themselves and act lose the right to complain.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.