February 2014 District Report
What a difference a year makes. It’s a new year and a new outlook. In the wake of an improving economy that has generated a surplus in the billions of dollars, California is back and stronger than ever. The severe cuts experienced by our public schools and colleges during the recent recession are being reversed with local school districts seeing increases in K-12 funding for the first time in years. Our community colleges, such as Pasadena City College, Citrus, Mt. San Antonio and Chaffey Community College will also see an increase in support that will allow them to restore much needed classes. And there is more good news for the California State Universities and the University of California. The economic recovery will put California on solid ground to build up reserves, pay down debt, and invest in a growing economy.
I am pleased to report that during the 2013 session I scored well on both the Sierra Club and California League of Conservation Voters scorecards, and received a top grade from the Congress of California Seniors. Locally, I am working with South Pasadena to identify funding for a bike trail along the Arroyo Seco. At the request of the City of Rancho Cucamonga, I am advocating for inclusion of Cucamonga Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area.
My first bill of the new session (AB 1451) provides a way to give high school students a head start on their college careers by allowing them to pursue challenging courses and career tech classes at Community Colleges that aren't available in their high schools.
I’ll be telling you more about proposed legislation in the weeks ahead as we jump into the 2014 legislative session. Wishing you peace and prosperity in the New Year!
In This Issue:
Assembly District 41
With CA Agriculture Sec. Karen Ross at the Cal Poly Rose Parade float where all the flowers were California grown. I’ll be reintroducing my legislation promoting California farm products again this legislative session.
Now that the Colby fire in the foothills is all but out, I want to thank the more than 700 air and ground firefighting forces that stood their ground, protecting residents of the foothill communities. The rapid response by numerous public agencies including Los Angeles County Fire personnel and the California Department of Forestry prevented more damage by limiting the fire to some 1900 acres and six homes lost. Cities in the 41st AD sent engines and personnel, with LA County Fire coordinating the regional effort. Families are safely back in their homes and I am grateful for the brave men and women who contributed to this successful effort.
Emergency personnel say we need to remain vigilant because of the unprecedented drought conditions which have left our foothills parched and tinder dry. This is a good time to go over an emergency preparedness plan with your family and stock up on supplies. For more information, check with LA County at www.espfocus.org.
Colby fire from space (photo courtesy of JPL/NASA)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION
Asm. Holden and Dolores Hickambottom
February is Black History month and I am pleased to announce that longtime civil rights and community activist Dolores Hickambottom of Altadena will be honored by the Legislative Black Caucus at the State Capitol on Monday, February 10.
Dolores Hickambottom is one of the “Unsung Heroes” of the civil rights movement having begun her public service efforts in the early 60s. She remains strongly committed to a broad range of civic and political causes in the areas of civil rights, women’s rights, family issues and education.
Dolores was instrumental in the election of Loretta Thompson Glickman, the first African-American Mayor of Pasadena, and served as the mayor’s field representative. She also served on the staffs of State Senators Walter Stiern, Richard Polanco and Jack Scott, providing invaluable counsel in representing local concerns.
She is a founding member of the Pasadena Educational Foundation, as well as the Pasadena City College African-American Advisory Committee. She is a U.S. Army Veteran who served during the Korean War, and continues to play a major role in the Tuskegee Airmen, Los Angeles Chapter.
She told us one of the highlights of her life has been attending the two past Democratic National Conventions, and the two past Presidential Inaugurations for America's first African-American President, Barack Obama.
Assemblymember Holden joins other local leaders to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Park in Pasadena.
CAL GRANT AND MIDDLE CLASS SCHOLARSHIP
A reminder to high school seniors and parents – now is the time to apply for a Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship for financial assistance to attend college. To apply, you must complete and submit two forms: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by March 2, 2014.
The FAFSA is also the application used to apply for financial aid from the federal government, including federal Pell Grants, as well as financial aid from colleges.
Monrovia Educational Leaders visit Asm. Holden Capitol office. From left to right: Heather Warren, Tricia Hobbs, Alex Zucco (A.D. 41 field rep and Monrovia School Board President), Anne Battle and Dr. Kitty Thorossian.
Great to meet the leadership of Cal Poly Pomona. From left to right: Nam Kyu Kang; Cal Poly President, Dr. J. Michael Ortiz; Asm. Holden; ASI President, Christine Hall; Vice-Chair, Cal Poly Pomona Academic Senate, Monika Kozan.
SAVE THE DATE
Community Briefing on Hydraulic Fracturing
Join academic leaders from around the San Gabriel Valley for an informal community briefing on the current state of hydraulic fracturing in California. This informative briefing will provide unbiased facts surrounding geological, environmental and legal impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the state.
Saturday, March 1
10 a.m. - 1p.m.
1775 N. Indian Hill
Please join Assemblymember Holden and his staff for light refreshments.
Thursday, March 20
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Pasadena district office
600 N. Rosemead Blvd, Suite 117
Opening of the 41st AD Claremont office
Friday, March 21
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
415 W. Foothill Blvd, Suite 124
Upland Community Office Hours
For those who live near Upland we are offering office hours.
Fourth Tuesday of every month
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
450 N. Euclid Avenue
Asm. Holden with film director John Singleton and businessman Bill Galloway at the opening of the Pasadena City College Art Center.