May 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

May has been an especially busy month in both San Francisco and Sacramento. Based on a housing budget proposal I put together with a dozen colleagues, I am happy to report that last week, the Assembly Budget Committee voted to invest $650 million in affordable housing -- a substantial investment that would help families struggling to keep up with skyrocketing rents and home prices in California.

On another crucial issue, I joined Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and others in announcing an aggressive gun control legislative package leading up to National Gun Violence Awareness Day. If you would like to join the movement, please wear orange on June 2 and post on social media with the hashtag #WearOrange. I hope you’ll read more about this below.

We also celebrated San Francisco’s Bike to Work Day this month - although my ride to work had fewer hills in Sacramento.  

bike to work

As always, I would love to hear from you if there are issues that we can help with-- please don’t hesitate to contact my District Office!  I hope you can make it to one of the exciting events we have this month.

In this newsletter:

  • Update on Affordable Housing Budget Proposal
  • AB 2819 - Tenant Protection Bill Passes Assembly
  • HR 52 - National Gun Violence Awareness Day
  • 2016 Small Business of the Year -- Cliff’s Variety
  • Upcoming Events
    • Summer Fest
    • Pride Parade
    • Glen Park Office Hours





Assemblymember - 17th Assembly District

Update: Affordable Housing Funding Advances

Last month, as chairman of the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee, I was joined by a dozen of my Democratic colleagues to propose more than $1.3 billion in funding for affordable housing in the state budget. We all know that San Francisco has been experiencing a severe housing affordability crisis for years, but the problem is increasingly being felt throughout the Golden State. While we’re the eighth largest economy in the world, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation when housing costs are included - and the state must play a role to change that reality.

That’s why I’m heartened by last week’s vote by the Assembly Budget Committee to invest $650 million in affordable housing programs. This funding would be the most significant state investment in affordable housing since the elimination of redevelopment agencies and the loss of billions of crucial dollars each year. Funding affordable housing will help us address poverty in California, which is the highest in the nation when housing costs are included. It’s heartening to see that so many of my colleagues, including Speaker Anthony Rendon, Budget Chairman Phil Ting and Budget Subcommittee Chairman Adrin Nazarian, are committed to the state’s vital role in building housing that is affordable to our lowest income working families. Let’s #BringCAHome!

Now that the Assembly Budget Committee has voted for the $650 million in affordable housing, the Assembly and the Senate will now negotiate the final budget with the governor in advance of the June 15 budget passage deadline.

Bring CA home

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Tenant Protection Bill Passes Assembly

This month, AB 2819, my bill to protect tenants facing evictions around California, passed out of the Assembly and is now headed to the Senate.  This bill would protect tenants from unfairly being placed on “tenant blacklists,” jeopardizing their credit and ability to obtain housing. Currently, court records in eviction lawsuits (known as “unlawful detainers” or “UDs”) become public within 60 days, unless the tenant wins before the deadline. UDs are supposed to be heard within 20 days of filing; however, following severe budget cuts and court closures following the recent recession, statewide delays in the judicial system now commonly push these hearings past the 60-day mark. In San Francisco alone, as many as 500 eviction lawsuits a year may not be heard until after the 60-day mark has passed.  AB 2819 would keep tenants’ court records private unless the landlord prevails in a UD, and ensures that tenants and their families continue to have access to secure, safe, and affordable housing while maintaining access for landlords to timely and accurate information regarding prospective tenants.

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National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2

Gun violence awareness

A few weeks ago, my Assembly colleagues and I rallied in support of a wide-ranging package of gun safety legislation, to be considered in the days leading up to National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2. National Gun Violence Awareness Day started in 2015 on what would have been the 18th birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from Chicago who was shot and killed in 2013 one week after performing at President Barack Obama's second inauguration. My colleagues and I wore the color orange out of solidarity with a simple call to action started by Hadiya’s friends who asked classmates to honor their murdered friend by wearing orange. Hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others, and wearing orange as the symbol of gun safety has grown into a national movement. #WearOrange on June 2!

In addition to raising awareness about June 2, my Assembly colleagues and I rallied support for a wide-ranging package of gun safety legislation, which I am proud to be co-authoring. Though California has long been a leader on sensible gun legislation, we must do more to protect lives in our communities.

no more victims gif

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2016 Small Business of the Year -- Cliff's Variety

We all have favorite stores in San Francisco - places that create community even as they sell us what we need. That’s why I honored Cliff’s Variety, the iconic Castro District institution that is so much more than a hardware store, as California Small Business of the Year 2016 for our 17th Assembly District at an awards ceremony organized by the California Small Business Association. Terry Asten Bennett, general manager of Cliff’s and a great-great-granddaughter of the store’s founder, Hilario DeBaca, came up to Sacramento to accept the award.

Cliff’s Variety first opened in 1936 in Eureka Valley and was run by DeBaca and his granddaughter Lorraine. Since then, the store has moved, expanded, and become an integral part of what is now the Castro. Cliff’s was the first straight-owned business in the Castro to hire LGBT staff during the demographic changes of the 1970s and they have championed equality and inclusion ever since. The store is also well-known for its quality of service and its eye-catching window displays. Happy 80th to Cliff’s!

small biz of the year

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Upcoming Events

Annual Fillmore Summer Fest Kick Off

The annual Fillmore Summer Fest Kick-Off is a free blues concert and family BBQ celebrating the start of summer events in the Fillmore District and summer enrichment programs for Western Addition youth.   Bring your family, a big appetite, a blanket and prepare yourself for a day of community connectedness.

Saturday, June 11
12 – 5 p.m.
Hamilton Recreation Center
1900 Geary Street

For more information, please email Genesis Garcia at for more information or if you plan to attend.

Pride Parade

June marks one of the most exciting times in San Francisco--Pride Month!  Please join our office, LGBTQ activists, community leaders and many more as we march in the 2016 Pride Parade.

Saturday, June 26
10:30 a.m.

The Pride Parade kicks off at Market Street & Beale Street and ends at Market Street & 8th Street.  Please email Catie Arbona at if you want to join our parade contingent.

pride parade

Glen Park Office Hours

I look forward to meeting with you at our June district office hours in Glen Park. Please email Jen Kwart at if you plan to come by, since office hours occasionally need to be rescheduled.

Saturday, June 11
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Bello Coffee & Tea
2885 Diamond Street
San Francisco, CA

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