John Masterson delivers inspiration at California Capitol

November 15, 2016

SACRAMENTO — Seasons change at the Capitol of California, just like they do everywhere else.

And with each new political season, the names on the office doors here change, too. But the wheels of government – those need to keep on rolling. “Smart governors figure out who of the people that have served previous governors should remain. Because they have the institutional wisdom and knowledge and experience,” Nancy McFadden, Chief Aid to Governor Jerry Brown, told FOX40. It’s morning at the Capitol, and the mail needs to go out.

Inside a room full of envelopes and parcels is a lot of the stuff it takes to run the world’s 6th largest economy. And running that stuff where it needs to go, as he has done for a decade now, is John Masterson. “Actually, this job is very good. You know,” Masterson told us during a break. John got his job, for the most part, the same way we all do. “After college, I was an intern here,” he explains. That was 10 years ago now, and Masterson has seen a lot of people come and go in that time. “He actually showed me the ropes,” mail room supervisor Shawn Porter said. John keeps his job the same way we all do too — consistent, hard work. “Sometimes we put mail in the wrong boxes and he catches it so we rearrange it,” Porter said. In short, Masterson plays a vital role. “We’re the Brown administration and we’re very frugal. We wouldn’t just make up a job for somebody.

In fact it’s one of our points of pride,” McFadden said. Like the rest of us working stiffs, John’s life is long hours. Sure, it’s got those little moments of peace and comfort. “I take lunch breaks. Lunch breaks,” he smiled. But also there is unexpected adversity and moments of sadness to be faced, as it happened earlier this year when John’s friend and former boss Nick Broadway was shot and killed in downtown Sacramento- an innocent bystander to an argument between two men he didn’t know. “I do miss him a lot, yeah,” John said. And that gets to the heart of one of John’s special skills- his ability to connect with with his coworkers, even up into the highest levels of government. “I think this friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger is really cool,” Porter said. The two men have a common passion- weight training. “He always keeps us up to date with what he’s lifting. He can bench quite a bit… up around 200,” Porter said. But it’s his ability to connect that is his real gift- a gift John has and a gift that he gives. “He’s sort of… joy. And in tough, tough offices where a lot of difficult and serious work gets done, it’s really wonderful to have somebody who brings a little joy, a smile, a little humanity,” McFadden said. And if you’ve come this far in our story about John Masterson, if you’ve come to understand him as a man and a public servant, you can probably also understand why we didn’t make our profile about Downs Syndrome, John’s developmental disability.

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