Democrats in town for statewide convention

SAN DIEGO -- The Democratic State Convention is scheduled to open Friday at the San Diego Convention Center for a three-day run that includes addresses by Gov. Jerry Brown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein

The first day line-up includes caucuses by party interest groups and a reception with environmentalist Van Jones.

Brown, Pelosi and Feinstein will speak Saturday, as will other state elected officials and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

The event, expected to attract 3,000 attendees, wraps up Sunday with a general session to adopt a platform, make candidate endorsements and take positions on June ballot measures.

John Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, said a "tremendous opportunity'' exists for Democrats in the Golden State during this election cycle.

"We're going to work hard to re-elect President Obama and Senator Feinstein -- but we're also going to focus on electing more Democrats to the House of Representatives in swing districts across the state to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House again,'' Burton said.

He said Democrats also need to elect a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the state legislature in order to pass Brown's tax plans.

The state Republican Convention is set for two weeks from now in Burlingame.