July 2015 Newsletter
This past month, we’ve had so much to celebrate in San Francisco and California. From celebrating love as marriage equality became the law of the land, to passing our state budget with monies coming to San Francisco for important priorities, to new policies that address critical health need, we’re moving forward in great ways.
I was also honored to recognize San Franciscans in our 17th Assembly District for extraordinary work in our community. You can read about them in this newsletter:
- State Budget Update
- Health Policy News
- Our AD17 Small Business of the Year: Old Skool Cafe
- Our AD17 Veteran of the Year: Garrett Deese
- Bernal Heights Office Hours
As always, if you have any state-related issues, please contact my district office. Hope you are enjoying the summer!
Member, 17th District
Assemblymember Chiu with John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney at San Francisco City Hall right after the Supreme Court decision that upheld marriage equality.
What a month for civil rights in our nation! Words cannot describe the joy I felt when the Supreme Court handed down its decision declaring that marriage equality is now the law of the land. On the morning of the decision, I celebrated at City Hall with so many joyful San Franciscans, and will never forget feeling overwhelmed by the excitement and love that was present that day.
It was also a great way to kick off Pride weekend.
Assemblymember Chiu, civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, first openly LGBT Peruvian Congressman Carlos Bruce, and proud Californians celebrate LGBT Pride in San Francisco.
For the third year in a row, I teamed up with Dusty Rhino for the San Francisco Pride Parade.
We danced our way down Market Street and hosted one of the most exciting contingents of the 2015 Pride Parade! I was thrilled to be joined by long-time civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, the first openly LGBT Peruvian congressman Carlos Bruce, Assemblymembers Evan Low and Mike Gipson and hundreds of you for the largest LGBT Pride parade in the country. To see a short video clip, please click here.
Last month, Governor Brown signed our state budget, which I was happy to vote for and which has new monies coming to San Francisco for many of our shared priorities. We’ve made a significant investment of billions of new dollars in our schools - not just for K-12, but for our University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems. As we grapple with income inequality, the budget establishes for the first time a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help lift many Californians out of poverty; I was proud to be a principal co-author of the EITC proposal as it moved through the legislative process. To help our working families, the budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars for child care. I also want to take a moment to thank the outstanding leadership of our State Senator Mark Leno, who chaired the Senate Budget Committee.
We Are One California
During the budget process, as policy chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, I partnered with Assemblymember Luis Alejo, the Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, to successfully advocate for an investment of $15 million to help our immigrant communities navigate our immigration system. These dollars will ensure that Californians can receive assistance in-language from trusted community-based organizations. The transformational impact on individuals and families of each new work permit and each new citizen is life-changing and economically empowering.
As every San Franciscan knows, when we talk about earthquakes and “the big one,” it’s not a question of if, but when. The chance of a 6.7 earthquake in California in the next 30 years is 99% and it was recently reported that our chances for an 8.0 earthquake—one even stronger than the great quake of 1906—has nearly doubled. This year, I authored AB 1429, which will ensure that more Californians—including some of our most vulnerable residents—will be able to live in safer buildings when that day comes. The budget that Governor Brown recently signed essentially included the language of my bill along with critical funding that will help seismically retrofit buildings and help keep our residents safe.
Fixing California’s Roads
Governor Jerry Brown called a special session to fix California’s roads and transit infrastructure. I was honored to be appointed by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to find solutions to fix our transit systems, roads and highways, and I Iook forward to working with my Senate and Assembly colleagues on this very important issue.
As a member of the Assembly Health Committee and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, I’ve devoted a lot of time to health care. In addition to another great Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, this past month was an important moment for health care in our state.
Protecting our Children with Vaccinations
In recent months, our legislature has had a significant discussion about vaccinations. I want to thank the many San Francisco parents I have had an opportunity to talk to - on both sides of the issue - for raising passionate and real concerns about our children's health. But the fact is that vaccinations save lives. Because of vaccines, we have eradicated polio and smallpox in this country, and nearly eradicated measles, whooping cough, and other life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Vaccines protect those who cannot be vaccinated because they are either too young or too ill, but vaccines only work if enough of us get them. The science is clear – and that is why I was a co-author of SB 277, which will ensure that we protect as many of our children as possible with vaccinations, and which was recently signed by Governor Brown.
Health Care for All Children
The budget we just voted on included a $40 million allocation to cover 170,000 immigrant children through Medi-Cal. This effort is a major tenet of Senate Bill 4, known as the Health for All Act, a bill that I was happy to co-author to ensure that all Californians receive health care, regardless of immigration status.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Access and Affordability
California’s budget includes $2 million for ongoing PrEP outreach and education pilot programs to reduce new HIV infections for uninsured and underinsured at-risk individuals who are in communities experiencing significant increases in new HIV infections. Modern medicine has made tremendous strides in the treatment and prevention of HIV, and this vital investment will help protect the health of the residents.
Assemblymember Chiu welcomes Teresa Goines, Founder and CEO of Old Skool Café and its employees.
I was honored to recognize Bayview’s Old Skool Café as our Small Business of the Year. Not only is Old Skool Café one of my favorite destinations to take my wife out to dinner, but it is an organization with a mission to empower young people from challenged backgrounds. Since its opening, this 1940s-styled supper club has been run by at-risk, formerly incarcerated and foster youth, providing job training and a variety of career opportunities while serving up great food and live musical entertainment. Teresa Goines, a former corrections officer who is Old Skool’s founder, has had an amazing vision that has changed the lives of so many talented young people. I was honored to present her and her team with this recognition.
Veteran Garrett Deese, alongside his family, is honored by Assemblymember Chiu for his work to help lift up other veterans in the community.
San Franciscan Garrett Deese was recognized as my Assembly District'vs 2015 Veteran of the Year. A decorated Air Force Staff Sergeant who served from 2004-2011, Garrett now dedicates his time to supporting his fellow veterans by serving as a mentor with VetsInTech.co to help Bay Area vets learn to transfer their military experience and technical training into successful 21st century careers. Thank you Garrett for your service and for your tireless work to improve the lives of those in your community.
I look forward to meeting with you at our monthly district office hours, this month in Bernal Heights. Please email Jen Kwart at Jennifer.Kwart@asm.ca.gov if you plan to come by, since office hours occasionally need to be rescheduled.
Date: Saturday, August 15
Location: Bernie's, 3966 24th Street