September 2016 Newsletter
In this newsletter, you'll find legislative updates, plus news about great events happening in our community!
Assemblymember, 7th District
News from the Capitol
Some of my key efforts this year include:
Lower American River Conservancy Act (AB 1716)
With Assemblymember Ken Cooley, I authored this bill to create a new state conservancy to benefit the Lower American River. The American River is vitally important to the people, economy and culture of Sacramento. Since the founding of Sacramento in 1848, the American River has been a defining element of our region. It is a shining example of how an urban river can be utilized as a public good, while still maintaining its environmental integrity.
College Mental Health Services (AB 2017)
Introduced in partnership with the Steinberg Institute, this bill would fund grants for mental health services for undergraduate and graduate students at all public California Community Colleges and Universities. Access to mental health services on public college campuses vary, with some offering direct access to services and others with no mental health professional on campus. As the number of students seeking counseling continues to grow, we have an obligation to meet that need with effective services, such as peer-to-peer programs, and community and intra-campus engagement.
The bill is on the governor's desk! You can help urge him to sign the bill into law by signing the petition.
Smoke Free Campuses (AB 1594)
This bill is also pending on the governor's desk. The bill would expand the current smoking prohibition at University of California campuses to any California Community College and California State University campus by 2018.
Concussion Management for Youth Sports (AB 2007)
This year I was privileged to work with Dr. Bennet Omalu, famed forensic pathologist, and the California Athletic Trainers to ensure that kids playing non-school based youth sports are still covered by the state's concussion management protocol. One bad concussion, untreated, can create a lifetime of health issues. This bill would help ensure kids get the right treatment, right away.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (AB 1661)
As members of the State Assembly, we follow Assembly Rule 24 which requires each of us to attend a sexual harassment prevention course within six months of assuming any supervisorial position and every two years thereafter. However, current law does not explicitly require city and county elected officials to attend similar training. The cost to cities to litigate and/or settle sexual harassment claims can be hundreds of thousands of dollars resulting in a significant losses of revenue used to fund essential constituent services. The bill is pending action on the governor's desk.
Farmworker Overtime (AB 1066)
I was honored to co-author AB 1066 with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez— which would provide mandatory overtime for farmworkers. In this day and age, it is unconscionable that the workers who pick our produce do not receive overtime pay after a 40 hour work week, but those who package, can, or sell it do.
Voting Rights Act
The 6th of August marked the 51st anniversary of President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act. As the President told Congress then, "the command of the Constitution is plain: it is wrong-deadly wrong-to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country." Unfortunately for our democracy, the last few years have seen a terrible backlash against the right to vote for many citizens…
Sacramento Railyards Roads Grand Opening Celebration
The roads are now open! In August, we celebrated the grand opening of Fifth Street, Sixth Street, and Railyards Boulevard. The new roads are open to automobile, bike, and pedestrian traffic creating a new path through downtown. Some projects we look forward to at the Railyards are the Kaiser Permanente medical center, shops, housing, and of course the stadium for our very own Sacramento Republic FC!
Better Together Summer Jobs Program
Congratulations to the graduates from this year's Better Together Summer Jobs Program! This program provides youth from underserved communities in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Sacramento with career education, job readiness training, paid employment opportunities, and the confidence to pursue future careers. Thank you to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento and PG&E for bringing this much needed opportunity for our youth.
Assembly District 7 Event Report
Washington Elementary Grand Re-Opening
It was a pleasure to participate in the grand re-opening of Washington Elementary. Washington Elementary was one of six schools to close in 2013, but parents and families didn't give up. They mobilized to engage community members, spurring new life into Washington Elementary. Now, the school will offer a restructured STEAM model of education, incorporating art, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which helps develop creativity, problem-solving, and planning skills.
Sacramento Children's Home 150th Anniversary
For 150 years, the Sacramento Children's Home has been committed to the children and families in our community. What began as an orphanage, now offers a safe home for children, vital wrap-around services for our youth, and essential support services for our families. It was my honor to present a joint legislative resolution from Senator Richard Pan and myself to the Sacramento Children's Home in recognition for their 150 years of dedication to the care and support of Sacramento's most vulnerable children and families.
Upcoming Events in Assembly District 7
Feria de Educación at CSUS
The fourth annual Feria de Educación will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016 on the Sacramento State campus. The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. in the Serna Plaza off the University Union ballroom.
The Feria de Educación is designed to offer Spanish-speaking families with the information necessary to navigate California's education system from K-12 to college and beyond. This free community event will feature workshops on financial aid, preparing for college, services for undocumented students and the role of parents. Approximately 60 universities, community colleges, educational and non-profit organizations participate in the event to provide information and resources to students and their families. There is a book give-a-way, music, entertainment, and a reading garden for children.
To find out more information about the Feria de Educación, please visit the event website.
Cash for College Workshops
College tuition may be on the rise, but that doesn't mean college is off the table for you or your family. California's Cal Grant program ensures that if a student qualifies to attend college, the state will make sure they can attend. Cal Grants provide financial assistance to students, and because they are grants, they do not have to be paid back. They are available to California resident students who wish to attend two-year, four-year, or technical programs, and can be used to cover fees, tuition and living expenses.
In collaboration with the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP), I am hosting free financial aid workshops at six different schools around the district from now through January 2017 to help you and your family get started. We'll have experts there to answer your questions and even assist you with your application!Check out Cal-SOAP's informational flyer for the full list of workshops in the region.