January 2017 Newsletter
Defending and Advancing California Values
Happy Lunar New Year - Gung Hay Fat Choy! Candace and I wish you and your family much happiness, good health and prosperity during this Year of the Rooster.
During his first week in office, President Trump declared war against our immigrant communities. His actions - attacking sanctuary cities, imposing an unconstitutional Muslim travel ban, building a Mexican border wall - have been breathtaking. Our unpopular president has also promised to reverse the progress we’ve made in California on issues ranging from health care and housing to education and climate protection.
California’s elected leadership is united in opposition to these policies. Governor Jerry Brown delivered a fiery defense of California values in his State of the State address last week. I served on the special committee that vetted the Governor’s great selection to replace Kamala Harris, and am glad our newly sworn-in Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined 16 other Attorneys General in calling Trump’s executive order “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful.” I’m working with legislative leaders in both the Assembly and the Senate to ensure we do everything we can to fight back.
My office is working hard to develop legislation for 2017 that will protect California values in areas like immigration, health, the environment and women’s rights. We also must show that progressive leadership can tackle the housing affordability crisis and the transportation gridlock that cause so many Californians to struggle.
Please feel free to contact our District Office if we can help with anything. I hope to see you soon at one of our events or my office hours.
Assemblymember - 17th Assembly District
In this newsletter:
- Defending California Values
- Accountability for Rape Kit Backlog
- Meet Keely O’Brien
- San Francisco Happenings
Ensuring trust between local law enforcement and our diverse communities is critical to public safety, which is why San Francisco needs to remain a sanctuary city and California needs to remain a refuge for everyone regardless of immigration status.
I will continue to champion policies that protect our community. In recent weeks, I have been proud to support and co-author new California laws proposed to prevent Trump from co-opting California state agencies to enforce draconian immigration policies, to prevent ICE from deporting immigrant families based on minor offenses that disproportionately impact communities of color, to forbid state agencies from disclosing a Californian’s religious affiliation, to bar contracting with private immigrant detention facilities, to challenge Trump’s plans to build a border wall, and to provide resources to nonprofits and attorneys that defend immigrants facing deportation - which is more essential than ever after the unjust Muslim travel ban. In the coming weeks and years, I look forward to standing with our immigrant communities and my Democratic colleagues as we champion new ideas to stand up for our immigrant family members.
At a time when women’s rights are under attack, I recently introduced AB 41, to address the significant backlog of untested rape kits. So many survivors of sexual assault have not received the answers they deserve, while unknown assailants are allowed to roam free. To reduce the backlog, we need to know how many kits are collected each year, and if they’re not analyzed, we need to know why.
This bill, which continues an effort we began last year, will provide greater transparency for survivors, policymakers and the criminal justice system concerning sexual assault evidence kits. AB 41 will ensure we collect this data, as well as shed light on what areas law enforcement may need to address and whether or not they need more resources to get the job done.
I am also happy to introduce you to our 2017 Assembly Fellow, Keely O’Brien, who will be working in my office this year. Keely grew up in Rocklin, California and spent half of her childhood summers exploring California’s state parks in a tent and the other half visiting family in Dublin, Ireland. Her interests include labor issues, specifically workers’ rights and income inequality, as well as immigration, childhood poverty and providing effective support networks for people with disabilities. Keely graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Sociology and Political Science. She also studied abroad as a political advisor intern in the Irish Parliament in Dublin. Keely previously interned in Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s office and worked as an event programmer for the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
“Being chosen as an Assembly Fellow was a dream come true as I can now combine two of the great loves of my life so far, the State of California and solving social problems with policy!” --Keely O’Brien
Riana King (right), our excellent 2016 Assembly Fellow, is now a Legislative Aide in my Capitol office. You can find out how to apply for this prestigious fellowship program here. The deadline is February 13.
These last few weeks, my family and I have joined the rallies to stand up against the harsh new winds blowing from Washington, D.C. We joined thousands of Bay Area residents at a City Hall rally to support the Affordable Care Act, at the post-inauguration Women’s March and this past weekend at San Francisco International Airport. I’m incredibly inspired by the grassroots response around the nation and the world. See you out there next time!
I’ve also been celebrating the Lunar New Year and key victories.
Following a min-procession around Chinatown, I joined Mayor Lee and many city leaders to kick off the Year of the Rooster at the annual Flower Market Fair - Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Together with Assemblymember Phil Ting and the City College Board of Trustees, we celebrated the announcement of City College of San Francisco’s accreditation for another seven years. Happy to help hold the accrediting organization accountable!
Please join my office, Assemblymember Phil Ting, Senator Scott Wiener, and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma in celebrating the Year of the Rooster. We will be providing light refreshments, tea, and entertainment.
Friday, February 3
2- 4 p.m.
Ronald M. George State Office Complex, Great Hall
455 Golden Gate Avenue
For more information and to RSVP, please contact Kenneth Chen at (415) 557-3013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative is hosting a free citizenship and fee waiver assistance workshop. They can help you or your loved ones get a comprehensive understanding of the naturalization process, assess one’s ability to naturalize, prepare documentation, and determine eligibility for financial assistance and other community resources.
Saturday, February 4
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
1355 Market Street
For more information and a list of documents to bring to the workshop, please visit sfcitizenship.org or call (415) 662-8901.
I look forward to meeting with folks at our upcoming office hours in SoMa. Please email Jen Kwart at email@example.com if you plan to come by, since office hours occasionally need to be rescheduled.
Saturday, February 11
12- 1:30 p.m.
270 7th Street