Spring 2017 District Update
We are only a few months into the 2017 legislative session and there is already so much to share. As always, whether through legislation or budget talks, I look forward to improving the lives and communities in the 41st Assembly District and the state.
The majority of my legislative package has cleared their policy committees in the Assembly. My legislation, Assembly Bill 726, which creates the Energy Rates Alert Program, would save consumers money by requiring that power companies alert customers when they cross into a higher priced tier. To address California’s teacher shortage, I introduced Assembly Bill 586, which allows newly-credentialed teachers to receive a tax deduction for professional development expenses. I’m also proud to author Assembly Bill 1567, which helps improve educational outcomes among former foster youth in California who are enrolled in public higher education institutions.
In April, the legislature passed a transportation funding package, signed by Governor Brown, to improve road safety, fill potholes, and repair local streets, freeways, bridges and overpasses. For decades, transportation in California has been getting worse and the funds to fix it have been drying up. This compromise will save consumers in the long run and avoids borrowing funds that may result in cuts to schools, health, and public safety. The funding from the transportation package will have a powerful and positive impact on the 41st Assembly District as we will see more than a 100 percent increase in much needed transportation funds.
In the district, we celebrated Women’s History Month at my Annual Open House where I had the honor to recognize Jaylene Mosley as the 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year as well as nine other women as Women of Distinction. The women were honored for their service and their work in making a positive impact in the 41st Assembly District.
It will continue to be a busy year at the Capitol and in the district, and I look forward to keep you up to date in the coming months.
41st State Assembly
In this Issue:
- Legislative Update
- Pasadena Playhouse Update
- Young Legislators Program
- 41st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction
- Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Update
- Honoring Holocaust Survivor Monique-Saigal-Escudero
- Celebrating Jackie Robinson
- California Legislative Black Caucus Priorities
- Summer Internship Opportunities Available
- My District Office Staff
- Block Party
- Chris in the Community
AB 17 – Public Transportation for Students
- Establishes the Transit Pass Program to provide free or reduced cost transit passes for low-income K-12 and college students (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
AB 586 – Teacher Tax Credit
- Allows newly-credentialed teachers a tax deduction for professional development expenses to help address California’s teacher shortage (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
AB 620 – Trauma Informed Parole Therapy
- Provides access to trauma focused therapy to youth offenders upon entry to prison and to inmates approaching their parole hearing date (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
AB 726 – Energy Rates Alert Program
- Requires power companies to provide an opt-out alert program to electric and gas customers when their usage comes close to crossing into a higher priced tier or crosses a pre-set bill amount (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
AB 959 – Regional Center Vendors
- Educates parents with special needs children about their rights (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
AB 1567 – Foster Youth in Higher Education
- Streamlines foster youth enrollment into educational assistance programs in California Community Colleges and a California State Universities (In Assembly Appropriations Committee).
I’m happy to report that Governor Brown’s proposed May Revision Budget restores the $1 million in funds for the Pasadena Playhouse renovation. At the beginning of the year, Governor Brown presented his 2017-2018 Budget that included a $1 million dollar cut in funding to the Playhouse that was committed in last year’s budget. Since that time, I worked directly with the Pasadena Playhouse and the governor’s office to secure the original funding amount. Thankfully our work led to the Playhouse receiving $413,000 earlier this month to pay off the money already spent. I’m proud to support the Playhouse, which is the official State Theater of California, as it celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
With Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman
at the 80th Anniversary of The Pasadena Playhouse being designated the State Theater of California.
The Young Legislators Program held its second and third sessions. At the University of La Verne, a panel of student leaders shared their personal stories of community involvement and activism at their respective campuses and the impact they made. The students also toured LA Metro’s Union Station and met with Metro staff to learn about how public transportation connects communities throughout our region.
The second annual Young Legislators Program is a six-month program that provides students with an opportunity to learn about the legislative process, the services that elected leaders provide to constituents, and the relationship between local and state governments. You can read more about the program here.
In celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2017, I was thrilled to honor Jaylene Moseley from Pasadena as the 2017 Woman of the Year for the 41st District. As president of the Flintridge Center, she has been a force of impact for Northwest Pasadena and West Altadena for more than 30 years. Through her leadership of the Flintridge Center, it continues to be a catalyst for community empowerment and reintegration.
Women of Distinction throughout the district include Jacqueline Collier (Altadena), Elizabeth Bingham (Claremont), Dr. Beatriz Gonzalez (La Verne), Gayle Montgomery (Monrovia), Christy McKinzie (Rancho Cucamonga), Margie Green (San Dimas), Rachelle Arizmendi (Sierra Madre), Carol Calandra (South Pasadena), and Alcuyn Pitts (Upland).
Please click here to read more about their accomplishments and contributions to the district.
I was honored to be appointed chairman of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee for the 2017-18 Session by Speaker Anthony Rendon. This work has put me front and center in the development of our state’s policies on “greening the grid” to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals. On our agenda this year is legislation to increase the state’s procurement of renewable resources of electricity to 100 percent by 2045 from our current goal of 50 percent by 2030. Also, of immediate concern is the future of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility and how its use will impact our communities and delivery of electric and gas service to the LA Basin. We will be reviewing two bills on the impacts of the closure of the facility.
Stay tuned for further information as we plan to bring the Committee to the district in the fall for an informational hearing on electric and gas issues of concern to the state and our area.
In observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, I had the honor to recognize Holocaust survivor Monique Saigal-Escudero of Claremont on the Assembly Floor. Saigal-Escudero is a child of the Holocaust with an incredible story of survival and perseverance. Based on her experiences during the war, she became an expert and author on women who served in the French Resistance. Please read about her amazing story here.
This spring, the California Legislature passed my resolution, ACR 42, which recognizes the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in a major professional sport. Robinson, a Pasadena native, made baseball history when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Robinson is a true hero who continues to influence our lives 70 years later by his actions and words both on and off the field. With this resolution, the legislature recognizes the bravery he exhibited and the sacrificial hardship he and his family endured, during a time of racial turmoil and inhuman discrimination. You can read more here.
The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) announced their 2017 legislative and budgetary priorities for the 2017 legislative session to pursue social, economic, and educational Justice. As the chair of the CLBC I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature and Governor Brown to further Californian’s leadership role on a number of issues that affect all Californians but particularly the black community. The CLBC’s legislative priorities include the Sickle Cell Treatment Act, AB-1488, by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (AD-15) and the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act of 2017, AB-1520, by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (AD-62).
My Pasadena and Claremont District Offices are looking for volunteers and interns! If you are interested, please contact Hector Rodriguez at (626) 351-1917 in Pasadena or Matthew Lyons at (909) 624-7876 in Claremont.
I recently announced new staffing changes to my District Office. I’ve named Phlunte’ Riddle, who previously served as senior field representative, as my district director. Former Executive Secretary Hector Rodriguez, is now serving as field representative and I hired Karen Wingard as office assistant. You can learn more about them here.
Please join me at my 18th Annual Block Party and Community Resource Fair on August 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 500 block of Jackson Street in Pasadena. This event is FREE and open to the public. We will discuss legislative and community issues and information on local resources will be available. Free hot dogs and lemonade will be served.
In South Pasadena, commemorating the 90th year of U.S. Highway 66
Standing up for Planned Parenthood in Pasadena
Always a pleasure to meet with students from Pasadena City College in my Capitol Office!
Ribbon cutting for the completion of Heritage Square Senior Apartments, which provides affordable housing to seniors
Retirement celebration for CEO Bill Flinn of the Tournament of Roses
At the Aspires West Pasadena Role Models for Youth Luncheon
Shepherd's Door's Annual Women, Wealth, Warriors Luncheon
Young African American Women's Conference in Pasadena City College
I had the honor to introduce to our State Assembly a fellow colleague and friend, Carl E. Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly.
Speaking at Caltech’s March for Science
Marching for justice in solidarity with the Armenian community of Pasadena to commemorate the Armenian Genocide
University of La Verne administration and student leadership in my Capitol Office including University President Devorah A. Lieberman.
With Claremont Mayor Larry Schroeder and Claremont Councilmember Sam Pedroza