Melissa Caen


Melissa Caen got her first inkling of politics in kindergarten. Her beloved teacher, Lillian, was married to Georgia Congressman George “Buddy” Darden.

As if that weren’t reason enough to spark an interest, she was raised in Newt Gingrich’s district of Marietta, Georgia.

“He was this larger-than-life congressman who broke all the rules and who was making all the headlines so I couldn’t help but notice politics,” she recalls. “It suddenly became too interesting to ignore.”

At a young age, she enjoyed acting and performing and attended the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School.

Voted most likely to be a politician during her senior year, Melissa was involved with the debate team, mock trial and Model United Nations.

She majored in Political Science at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts.

Early on, she knew she wanted to go to law school and was part of a historic graduating class at Cornell University – the first to have an equal number of men and women.

After law school, Melissa took a series of jobs as a litigator.

“I loved researching, arguing and advocating so it appealed to my super nerdy desire to find the footnote,” she says.

In April 2004, she moved to San Francisco and in 2007 she went to a nearby bookstore, bought a book about blogging and started a website focused on local legislative analysis.

“I dipped my toes into writing and was able to do all the things I loved.”

In October 2008, The San Francisco Examiner asked her to write a weekly political column. During her four-year stint there, KPIX 5 invited her to deliver commentary and analysis on the morning news.

Melissa joined KPIX 5 as a full-time reporter in 2016.

Armed with her smart phone, the tenacious reporter traveled to Philadelphia and Cleveland to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions.

“Every once in a while someone on the street will come up to me and say ‘I read something you wrote, I saw your report and it’s motivated me to take action’ and those are among the best days of my life.”

In addition to her work with KPIX 5, Caen has written for publications like San Francisco Magazine, where she profiled billionaire activist Tom Steyer and covered the first congressional race between Mike Honda and Ro Khanna.

She frequently moderates debates and is active with events at the Commonwealth Club, including the “Week to Week,” political roundtable series.

Melissa is always listening to podcasts and can survive for days on Wild Berry Skittles.

E-mail Melissa | Follow Melissa on Twitter

Federal Judge Hears Suit Against Google Over ISIS YouTube Videos

The family of a California college student who died in the 2015 Paris terror attacks wants justice, claiming Bay Area tech companies helped kill her.


Victim In BART Mob Attack Calls For Release Of Surveillance Video

As BART continues to deal with growing concerns over rider safety, one of the victims of a mob attack on a train last spring on Tuesday called for the release of surveillance video that captured the incident.


BART Backpedals On Its Policy Of Withholding Crime Surveillance Video

BART is backpedaling on its explanation for why it is refusing to release surveillance video.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–07/13/2017

Rape Kit Backlog Bill Could Die Despite Overwhelming Support

Sexual assault survivors gathered at the state capitol Tuesday to promote three pending bills in the legislature that aim to reduce rape kit backlog in the state.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks to reporters after finishing a speech about the CIA on the Senate floor, on March 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks to reporters after finishing a speechabout th CIA on the Senate floor, on March 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Feinstein (D-CA) who is Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has accused the CIA of secretly removing documents from computers used by the Senate Intelligence. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senator Feinstein Weighs In On The Future Of U.S. Health Care

Senator Dianne Feinstein says the Republican Senate health care bill may not be revived.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–07/07/2017

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay Fights To End U.S. Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits

Mariska Hargitay said, “These are not kits sitting on the shelf, these are people’s lives sitting on the shelf.”

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–06/16/2017

State Lawmaker Faces Threat of Recall Over Gas Tax Vote

State senator Josh Newman, from Orange County, voted for the new gas tax and now voters might throw him out of office.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–06/15/2017

Scene of refinery flaring in Benicia on May 5, 2017. (Victoria K. R. Leong via Twitter)

Valero’s Benicia Refinery Spewed Alarming Amount Of Chemicals During Power Outage

An alarming amount of chemicals spewed into the air from Benicia’s Valero refinery during two weeks of flaring that followed a power outage in May 2017.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–06/12/2017

A lab technician analyzes the contents of a rape test kit. (CBS)

California Sheriffs’ Association Opposes Bill To Measure Rape Kit Backlog

The California Sheriff’s Association is opposing a plan that could help reduce the number of un-tested rape kits in the state.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–06/09/2017

Parents Fight Plans To Build A New High School Near Santa Rita Jail

Parents are fighting back against plans to build a new high school in Dublin, just blocks away from the Santa Rita Jail.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–05/23/2017

Some Question How Prop 56 Tobacco Tax Funds Being Used

When it comes to spending the tobacco tax approved on the state ballot last November, Governor Jerry Brown seems to have a somewhat creative interpretation of what voters approved.


Bay Area Lawmaker Fights To Protect Young Women From Coerced Marriages

A Bay Area lawmaker is leading the charge to protect young women from underage marriages.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–05/09/2017

University Of California President Janet Napolitano

UC President Napolitano Apologizes For Handling Of Audit

University of California President Janet Napolitano is apologizing for the way her office handled an audit that found UC administrators hid $175 million from the public while tuition increased.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–05/02/2017

Ann Coulter in Modesto

Ann Coulter Speaks In Modesto After Canceling Speech In Berkeley

Ann Coulter spoke in Modesto on Friday evening after cancelling her public speech in Berkeley.


Police Get Ready As Pundit Ann Coulter Insists On Public Speech In Berkeley

UC Berkeley is bracing for Ann Coulter.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–04/25/2017

Senate Democrats Consider Suing Trump Administration Over Businesses

There’s a growing push among Congressional Democrats to sue President Donald Trump.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–04/18/2017

Study Shows How Rising Sea Levels Could Put Parts Of Marin Underwater

A new report presented to Marin County officials Tuesday highlights hundreds of buildings at risk of flooding in the next 15 years and beyond due to rising sea levels.


San Francisco Supervisors Weigh Pay Parity Law

Officials in San Francisco on Tuesday considered a law that would ban employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history.


Governor Brown Pushes For New Bill To Fix Roads

As California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday pushed for his new bill that would raise gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to fix the state’s broken roads, some Bay Area lawmakers were asking why they should rush to pass it.


California Environmentalists Oppose Trump’s Move To Weaken Vehicle Emissions Standards

President Trump announced that in an effort help automakers, he is canceling Obama’s executive order requiring vehicles be fuel efficient.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–03/15/2017

Bay Area Cities Grapple With Sanctuary City Executive Order, Federal Funding Threat

The city of San Francisco renewed its fight against President Donald Trump Wednesday, asking a judge to stop an executive order that strips funding from sanctuary cities.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–03/08/2017

Proposed Law To Expand Rent Control Raises Ire Of Landlords

A housing hearing in San Francisco got heated Friday over a plan that would make it much easier for residents to find a rent-controlled place in California.


Poll Shows Surprising Bay Area Support For Key Trump Immigration Policies

An exclusive new Survey USA poll offered a stunning snapshot of where the Bay Area stands on immigration Monday, with the new numbers revealing that more local residents are backing President Trump’s policies than you might think.


Electrification Of Caltrain Could Come To A Screeching Halt

If the U.S. Treasury Secretary doesn’t release funds to Caltrain by March 1, the electrification project is effectively over.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–02/10/2017

Trump and Gorsuch

Gorsuch’s Supreme Court Confirmation Could Mean Setback For California

Neil Gorsuch, if confirmed as a Supreme Court judge, could mean significant setbacks for several high profile cases in California.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–02/01/2017

California Could Cut Off Feds In Response To Trump Threats

The state of California is studying ways to suspend financial transfers to Washington after the Trump Administration threatened to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities, KPIX 5 has learned.


Sanctuary Cities Grapple With Trump’s Threat To Pull Federal Funding

President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration is forcing Bay Area leaders to make tough choices.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–01/26/2017

Trump Prepares For Inauguration Day, As U.S. Cities Prepare For Protests

While Trump was basking in his big moment on the eve of his inauguration, people across the U.S. were preparing for a weekend of protests.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–01/19/2017

New Senator Kamala Harris Ready To Fight For California

As California braces for the reality of a Trump administration, on Thursday KPIX 5 political reporter Melissa Caen spoke with new Senator Kamala Harris, who said she is ready to take up the fight.


Social Media California - Alabama Facebook Group

Women In California And Alabama Engage In Political Dialogue

Trump versus Clinton: While friends have been taking sides on Facebook, some women in California and Alabama are engaged in a real dialogue.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–01/12/2017

John Burton

John Burton Talks About Retirement, Trump And California’s Future

California Democratic Party Chair John Burton weighs in on Donald Trump and how his party dropped the ball in the election.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–01/06/2017

U.S. Government Declares 35 Russian Diplomats Persona Non Grata

President Barack Obama told Russian diplomats in San Francisco and elsewhere in the U.S. to go home.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–12/29/2016

A sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Uber, Lyft Background Checks Toughen Up To Protect California Riders

California ridesharing companies are facing stricter background checks in 2017.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–12/28/2016

CalPERS Board Votes To Raise Cost Of Pensions For State Workers

The surging stock market is doing wonders for 401k plans, but a pension fund that millions of Californians count on has been losing an enormous amount of money.


Donald Trump Cruises To Electoral College Victory Despite Protests

There were many protesters but few faithless electors as Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote Monday — ensuring that the billionaire will become America’s 45th president.


Pacifica Plans To Demolish Apartment Building Along Crumbling Cliff

The city of Pacifica intends to demolish a vacant apartment building on the edge of an unstable coastal cliff, with or without the blessing of its owner.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–12/15/2016

Democrats Gain More Power With Supermajority In California Legislature

Democrats gained supermajorities in the California legislature, allowing them to override a governor’s veto, pass emergency laws and raise taxes.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–11/29/2016

Republican president-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

California Republican Party Official Alleges Voter Fraud In California

A California Republican Party official echoes Trump with allegations of voter fraud in California.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–11/28/2016

To Offer Free Tuition Without Layoffs, CCSF Needs An Enrollment Bump

City College of San Francisco is set to be free, but enrollment is down and the college is bracing for layoffs.

KPIX 5 | CBS San Francisco–11/21/2016

Cultural Impact Used As Argument Against Mission Development

A major housing project in San Francisco was rejected this week, not because of complaints about traffic or noise, but rather the type of people it could bring to the neighborhood.