Winter 2017 District Update
Much has changed since my last update. As our new president begins his term, I want you to know that I am resolute, now more than ever, to build upon our successes in California – growing our economy, protecting our environment, strengthening our infrastructure and supporting working families.
Additionally, my colleagues and I have made it clear that we will lend our voice to the millions of Californians who may be adversely affected by new federal policies and ensure our great state remains true to its core values.
I also look forward to making a big impact in my new roles. I am pleased to share with you that Speaker Anthony Rendon appointed me chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. Serving nearly 24 years on the Pasadena City Council, with responsibility over the city's water and power company, provided me with a strong foundation and understanding of the utility industry, and the need to be smart and thoughtful as we implement forward-thinking energy policy for California. As the new chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I will push for justice and opportunity for all Californians.
As for my legislative agenda, I am proud to bring back my bill to establish the Student Transit Pass Program. Assembly Bill 17 will provide low-cost, effective transportation options to budget conscious students, while providing local transportation agencies with a statistically-proven source of new riders. This bill will save money for students, reduce our carbon footprint, and energize urban transportation infrastructure.
I will keep you updated on other legislative proposals in upcoming newsletters. It is going to be a busy year in Sacramento and in the 41st Assembly District. My staff and I look forward to serving you.
41st State Assembly
In this Issue:
- New Committee Assignments
- 2017 Young Legislators Program Kickoff
- Workers’ Compensation Round Table
- Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Accepting Assembly Fellowship Program Applications
- Cottonwood Canyon Acquisition Project Awarded State Funding
- Accepting Nominations for the 41st Assembly District Woman of Distinction
- Internship and Volunteer Opportunities Available
- Our State Budget
- Governor Brown's State of the State Address
New Committee Assignments
As chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy, I am excited for the opportunity to make way for our new energy future. You can learn about this committee's jurisdiction here. In addition to chairing this committee, I will also serve on the Assembly Committees on Business and Professions, Communication and Conveyance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, and Judiciary.
2017 Young Legislators Program Kickoff
I am proud to launch the second annual Young Legislators Program. This six-month program will provide 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. We kicked off the program at the Pasadena Rose Bowl with our special guest speaker Dan Schnur, who teaches courses in political science, communications and leadership at the University of Southern California. You can read more about the program here.
Workers' Compensation Round Table Discussion
Last fall in Claremont, I held a round table discussion with small business owners to encourage constructive dialogue around workers compensation reform. We were joined by Betty Jo Tocolli, President of the California Small Business Association, who advocates on behalf of small businesses throughout the State of California and Christel Schoenfelder, President of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association, who advocates on behalf of injured workers.
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January was a special month as we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In Pasadena, I had the privilege of delivering the celebration message at the annual MLK Celebration Service, hosted by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Pasadena (IMA). The IMA, a local fellowship group of more than 30 spiritual leaders, has been hosting these celebrations since the first year after Dr. King's death in 1968. At the MLK Leadership Breakfast in Sacramento, I shared my vision as chair for the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC). This year, the CLBC will work to increase access to quality education, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, and bring environmental justice to neighborhoods that for decades have been dumping grounds for toxic materials. You can read more about the MLK Leadership Breakfast here and watch Roland S. Martin, NewsOneNow TV host, deliver the keynote speech here.
Photo left to right: Mark Terry, CLBC Chair Assemblymember Chris Holden, CLBC Vice Chair Assemblymember Shirley Weber, Myra Turner, Governor Jerry Brown, John Burris Esq., Speaker Anthony Rendon, and CLBC Chair-Emeritus Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer
Accepting Applications for the 2017-2018 Assembly Fellowship Program
The Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program provides the opportunity for aspiring public servants of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences to directly participate in the legislative process. The 11–month fellowship provides an introduction to public policy formation and adoption through full-time work as professional staff in the Assembly. The program provides a challenging, professional work experience that serves as the foundation for successful careers in both public and private sectors. Applications for the 2017-2018 Assembly Fellowship Program are due Monday, February 13, 2017. Click here for more information.
Cottonwood Canyon Acquisition Project Receives State Funding
I'm thrilled to announce that the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy has been awarded $507,000 from the Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs for the Cottonwood Canyon Acquisition project. I am proud to have supported this project and commend Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy for taking the lead in attempting to re-establish the wildlife corridor that once saw animals roaming freely between the San Rafael Hills and Verdugo Mountains to the San Gabriel Mountains. I am proud to have supported this project and look forward to seeing its completion. Click here to learn more about Cottonwood Canyon.
Accepting Nominations for the 41st Assembly District Woman of Distinction
In celebration of Women's History Month in March 2017, I am honoring outstanding women whose service and work have made a positive impact in the 41st Assembly District. The women will be recognized at my annual District Office Open House on March 2. The nomination deadline is February 15! Click here for information.
Internship and Volunteer Opportunities Available
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.
Governor Jerry Brown presented his proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget. For the first time in four years, Governor Brown projects a state deficit – $1.6 billion from declining revenue – that he proposes to offset with $3.2 billion in budget solutions. I am most disappointed in the one million dollar cut in funding for the renovation of the Pasadena Playhouse that already passed in the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget. The Playhouse has already committed funds they were promised to the renovation project and it is disingenuous of Governor Brown to take it away six months later. Additionally, his budget proposal includes cuts to the Middle Class Scholarship and a fee increase for our public higher education institutions. The Middle Class Scholarship awarded 1,584 students in my district with an average award of $660 in scholarship aid last year.
My Response to Governor Brown's State of the State Address
Last week Governor Brown delivered the 2017 State of the State address. Overall, I applaud his passionate leadership and commitment to protecting the gains California has made on our progressive values. He understands California's unique role as a beacon of hope and change, not just for our country but the world. Click here for my full response.
I enjoyed the opportunity to tour the Bernard Field Station in Claremont with Dr. Marty Meyer, Station Director and Associate Professor of Biology at Pomona College. The 86-acre field station is available to the general community and education groups for biological and ecological studies.
I am glad to attend the graduation ceremony for the Saving Our Young Black Men Program. These students were in a four week job-skill training program and received a free suit, which will prepare them for their promising futures.
The California Legislative Black Caucus hosted a movie screening of "Loving" inspired by the landmark court case of Loving v. Virginia. On my right, my wife Melanie Holden, and on my left, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.
Under the direction of Executive Director, Toni Navarro, Tri-City Mental Health is doing great things for the health and well-being of residents in Claremont, La Verne, and Pomona. It was great meeting the members of the Tri-City team in their administrative offices in Claremont. I look forward to following the development of Tri-City's housing project that will serve individuals in need, including homeless veterans.
What a wonderful turnout at the Monrovia Holiday Parade! It's become my holiday tradition to join this festive event to kick off the Christmas celebration in Monrovia. Thank you to the City of Monrovia for having me again this year!
Another successful effort this year at my Annual Holiday Party and Open House, with the help of Shoes That Fit! We collected 135 pairs of shoes and 104 packs of socks that will directly help children and young adults in need. Thank you to everyone who attended and donated to this year's shoe drive! To view more pictures of my Holiday Open House, click here.
After the Rose Parade with all-time Olympic gymnasts and gold medal winners Bart Connor and Nadia Comaneci
I had a great time at the SoCal Women's Health Conference & Expo in Pasadena.This event brought together hundreds of women, families, community-based health organizations, medical professionals, and beauty and wellness experts for a day of education and inspiration.
It was an honor to be the keynote speaker at the 16th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. "Rekindling the Light of Peace" event at Pasadena City Hall. Thank you to the Pasadena Human Relations Commission and the MLK Community Coalition for the opportunity and for organizing an amazing program.
Thank you to the MOMS Club of Pasadena for organizing another great preschool fair to provide families with early education and enrichment program information!