June 2016 Newsletter
A Time for Mourning and Pride
During last year’s Pride weekend in San Francisco, we celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. This year, we mourned the horrific mass shooting in Orlando – a reminder of how far we still have to go. At Sunday’s Pride parade, the Chiu Crew and I joined Equality California to stand with Orlando and spread the message that we need to disarm hate. I am also proud to say that we have made tremendous progress on a package of far-reaching gun safety measures in Sacramento this month, even as Congress fails to pass modest gun legislation.
This June, we also approved an on-time balanced budget for the State of California that invests in the success of all of our residents – especially the most vulnerable – while also setting funds aside for the future. We have more work to do on affordable housing, but those discussions with the Governor will continue this summer. Please read below for more on the budget and some of our key bills that are moving through the legislative process.
As always, I welcome hearing from you if there are issues that we can help with - please do not hesitate to contact my District Office. And I hope you can make it to one of our upcoming events.
Assemblymember - 17th Assembly District
In this newsletter:
- A Responsible Budget that Tackles Inequality
- Legislative Update: Accountability for Rape Kit Backlogs; Student Voting Act
- Honoring Community Housing Partnership
- Upcoming Events
This year, I once again served on the Assembly Budget Committee and I am pleased that the Legislature and Governor Brown worked together to pass the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget by the June 15th deadline. Among the many worthwhile appropriations in this year’s spending plan, I would like to highlight a few key investments:
Affordable Housing: Sets aside $400 million in one-time funding while we continue to deliberate on the Governor’s proposal to streamline local housing approvals. Even with this new funding, we need to do much more to reduce California’s unacceptable poverty rate, which is the highest in the nation when housing costs are included.
Child Care/Preschool: Increases child care and preschool funding by over $530 million, creating more slots and providing fair wages to child care workers.
Educational Opportunity: Includes $200 million to increase college eligibility and improve college preparedness for our state’s high school students, especially those who are low-income, English learners, and/or foster youth. The budget also increases California State University funding by $12.5 million per year and University of California funding by $18.5 million per year to enroll an additional 2,500 California students.
Maximum Family Grant (MFG) Repeal: Repeals the MFG at a total annual cost of about $230 million per year to make sure that low-income families are not penalized for having children.
One California: An additional $15 million will be invested to expand the One California program that I helped to start last year to assist individuals who are eligible for naturalization and the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs. This funding will help our immigrant communities continue to contribute to our state’s economy across industries and regions.
Acupuncture: Allocates at least $3.7 million per year to restore the Medi-Cal acupuncture benefit that was eliminated in 2009. Restoring acupuncture, an alternative health care service with roots in Chinese medicine, will ensure that those in the Medi-Cal system who seek care will have access to this low-cost, non-invasive service.
Exploratorium: Restores $3.5 million to Exploratorium on Pier 15 to provide teacher training to improve instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
Angel Island State Park: Nearly $3 million will be dedicated to renovating the Public Hospital building on the Angel Island State Park and turning it into the Pacific Coast Immigration Center. More than one million Pacific Coast immigrants from 82 countries were processed at the Angel Island Immigration Station, and this funding will help create a space to understand and celebrate the triumphs and tribulations of those who were held on Angel Island.
Accountability for Rape Kit Backlog
The widespread mismanagement of sexual assault evidence kits has resulted in a significant backlog of untested rape kits nationwide.
Survivors of sexual assault who submit sexual assault evidence kits have not received the answers they deserve. 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.
AB 1848, my bill to provide greater transparency for survivors, policymakers and the criminal justice system concerning sexual assault evidence kits, passed the Senate Public Safety Committee this month and now heads to Senate Appropriations.
AB 1848 will ensure we collect this data, as well as shed light on what areas of law enforcement need to change and whether or not they need more resources to get the job done. I’m glad to have the support of our sponsor, Attorney General Kamala Harris, as well as San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Junior League of San Francisco and many others as we move this important bill through the process.
Student Voting Act Advances
Earlier this year, I launched my first “There Ought To Be A Law” contest for our Assembly District. Our contest winners, Mission resident Paul Monge and his Berkeley law school classmate Cindy Dinh, identified a crucial hole in our democracy -- the youth vote. In the last general election, only 8 percent of California’s eligible 18-24 year olds turned out to the polls. On top of that, only half of all young people are registered to vote, compared to 70 percent among other age groups. Dismal numbers like these drove Paul and Cindy to look for solutions to mobilize their generation, so that more of their friends and colleagues will be registered to vote and educated about the process.
Paul and Cindy’s proposal became our AB 2455, the Student Voting Act. AB 2455 would connect online enrollment and voter registration for students in our public higher education system. It’s the first step towards the establishment of an automatic voter registration system for students. With the support of Secretary of State Alex Padilla, California Common Cause, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges and University of California Student Association, AB 2455 passed out of two Senate policy committees this month and is headed to Senate Appropriations.
It was an honor to recognize Community Housing Partnership (CHP) and its executive director, Gail Gilman, on California Nonprofits Day a few weeks ago.
Under Gail’s leadership, CHP is working to address homelessness by building and managing housing that also has all the services that people need to have a chance to succeed. CHP is spearheading the local and national conversation on shifting success measurements and outcomes in supportive housing.
An active resident of North Beach, Gail is extensively involved in regional and national public policy efforts, including most recently as Co-Chair of Proposition A, the largest housing bond in San Francisco’s history; she helped me to craft my first affordable housing bill -- an expansion of our state’s affordable housing tax credit -- which has become central to our Assembly Democratic housing budget plan.
Congratulations to Gail Gilman and all of her colleagues at CHP for all of your great work!
The annual Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast. Visitors can listen to live music from multiple stages, browse the offerings of over 12 blocks of fine art and crafts, and enjoy gourmet food and beverages.
July 2-3, 2016
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fillmore Street from Jackson Street to Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA
Please join the Chiu Crew and hundreds of San Franciscans for Sunday Streets in the Tenderloin as we transform a mile of pavement in the heart of the city into community space.
This neighborhood is home to the highest number of families with children, one of the highest rates of car-free households, and unfortunately, the least amount of park space per capita in San Francisco. Few neighborhoods make a better case for transforming streets into recreational space for playing and building community.
Sunday, July 10
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The route includes the following streets--Fulton St between Hyde and Larkin, Larkin to Ellis St, Ellis to Jones St, Jones to Golden Gate Ave, and Golden Gate Ave to Larkin St.
Join the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for a fun-filled day of games, face painting, and mobile recreation. Stop by the RPD table to learn more about the upcoming planning process for McLaren Park.
Saturday, July 23
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
McLaren Park Group Picnic Area
116 John F. Shelley Drive
I look forward to meeting with you at our July district office hours on Polk Street. Please email Jen Kwart at Jennifer.Kwart@asm.ca.gov if you plan to come by, since office hours occasionally need to be rescheduled.
Saturday, July 16
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
1755 Polk Street