About Us

The California State Society (CSS) is a non-profit, bi-partisan social/networking organization whose objective is to promote friendly relations among its members and to serve the interests of the nation and the state of California. 

About the CSS

Photo of Laguna Beach ParThe California State Society is one of the largest and most active state societies in D.C. The CSS has been in existence since the 1890s and is still going strong!

The CSS is open to anyone with an interest in California, living in or near Washington, D.C. CSS membership is based on a calendar year, January to December. The society’s activities are managed by a volunteer executive board, assisted by both the California Congressional Delegation and generous corporate sponsors.

History of the CSS

Early California State Society records are sparse, but we do know that Californians have been gathering in D.C. since 1893 when the members of the society erected a cabin in honor of the “Frontier Poet” Joaquin Miller, in what is now known as Meridian Park. The cabin was moved in 1913 to Rock Creek Park on Beach Drive, a location in Washington thought to most resemble Miller’s beloved California Sierras.

Since those early days, the tradition of Californians celebrating California in Washington, D.C. has continued. Although primarily a social organization, the Society is proud of its role in promoting California in our nation’s Capitol, and of its ready support for fellow Californians. Records show the Society’s assistance to wounded service men and women from California during World War II, and that it hosted a “Picnic in the Park” in their honor in 1946 at the A.W.V.S. Canteen at 21st Constitution. More recently, the CSS has contributed to disaster relief efforts in California through the American Red Cross.

The annual Summer Picnic is one of the most enduring traditions in Washington, D.C. Thousands of Californians have come together over the past century to enjoy this summer rite, first celebrated at the old Joaquin Miller cabin in 1893. Some members still remember picnics in the 1960′s where Congressman “Bizz” Johnson presided with his famous BBQ chicken.

Feedback from CSS Members

Photo of a family enjoying an event

“As someone with deep and abiding ties to California, the California State Society is a natural fit.” ~Jonathan Strong

Contact information

For more information about the California State Society, please email info@californiastatesociety.com.

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