February Celebrations and Updates
Black History Month is a celebration of the contributions Black Americans have made in creating our nation from its inception to the present day. It is also a time of reflection when we remember the history of suffering Black Americans have endured and the continuing battle for equal treatment and equality under the law and in society.
This month I recognized a community leader whose work has improved the lives of many in South Los Angeles and presented the Unsung Heroes Award to that individual. See the Dr. Griffith story below for more details.
I also joined my colleagues in the California Black Legislative Caucus in authoring an open letter to the National Football League on its hiring practices when it comes to Blacks and other minority groups. The letter was published in the Los Angeles Times on Super Bowl Sunday and can be read by clicking on the link provided below.
My office participated in several community events, including the homeless count that had been postponed for a year due to COVID and welcoming the Los Angeles Rams to the 59th Assembly District as they celebrated their Super Bowl victory with a parade that ended in Exposition Park.
Finally, I remain committed to public safety matters, my constituents, and all Californians and have introduced legislation to protect their safety and provide greater opportunities for successful living. See my legislative updates below.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions, and my office is here to assist with all state matters. You can reach my office at (213) 744-2111.
Representative, 59th Assembly District
Chair, Public Safety Committee
Unsung Heroes Award
I am pleased to recognize the work of a great community leader with the 2022 59th Assembly District's Unsung Heroes Award - Dr. John Griffith, president, and CEO of the Kedren Community Health Center.
A visionary who has the pulse of the community, Dr. Griffith was instrumental in ensuring continued medical and mental health care during the pandemic. Dr. Griffith's advocacy and promotion of the vaccine within the Black and Latino communities, two of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to COVID, helped save hundreds of lives.
Finally, understanding the growing need for additional services to support the residents of South Los Angeles and surrounding communities, Dr. Griffith has led the charge to raise funds for new facility construction and renovations of existing buildings at Kedren. To date, Kedren is on track to begin a two phase $120 million build in South Los Angeles.
Youth Leadership Program
Every year my office hosts two cohorts of high school students as participants in my Youth Leadership Program.
Students learn about the legislative process, how to become an effective public servant, and have the opportunity to meet industry and community leaders to learn about their successful work endeavors.
Upon completion of the program students have the opportunity to travel to the State Capitol and be recognized in the Assembly Chamber with a certificate.
For more details on the program and for sign-up opportunities for the next round, please call my office at (213) 744-2111.
Open Letter to the NFL
On Super Bowl Sunday the Los Angeles Times published an open letter to the National Football League that criticized the hiring practices of the league when it comes to minorities - Black Americans in particular.
The letter was signed by me and my colleagues in the Assembly that comprise the California Black Legislative Caucus.
I advocated to have this letter sent to the NFL because the league has operated with indifference at best, and bias at worst to the employment of the Black and Latino staff in leadership roles.
You can read the entire letter on my website at https://a59.asmdc.org/news
Start of Session
Since session began on January 6, I have been hard at work introducing my legislative package. Here are just some of the bills I have introduced.
AB 1655 - Recognizes Juneteenth (June 19th) as a State Holiday
AB 1766 - Provides immigrant and disabled communities who have no access to personal transportation or any other form of legally recognized identification, the opportunity to apply for and obtain a California Identification. This will assist with applying for an apartment, obtaining a bank account, home rental, and other basic life needs.
>AB 1782 - Ensures that law enforcement and prison guards are not misusing funds intended for the safety and education of those who are incarcerated.
AB 2043 - Set standards for those currently acting as, and those wishing to become, bounty hunters by requiring a license.
AB 2294 - Addresses retail theft by giving law enforcement the ability to arrest an individual alleged to have participated in an organized retail theft (smash-and-grab) on the spot rather than citing and releasing the individual.
Here to Help
As tax season gets underway, we are reminded that we need to collect all necessary paperwork, receipts, and forms.
Sometimes, however, some things get lost, misplaced, or forgotten. For some Californians who have either moved or are unable to be located by certain institutions, property and funds are sent to the State's Controllers Office.
The State of California has a department devoted to holding unclaimed property including tax refunds, bank account funds if the banking institution is not able to locate the account holder, and real property.
To find out if you have unclaimed property, visit the California State Controllers Office at SCO | Unclaimed Property (ca.gov)
California's SMARTER Plan - Moving Forward
Governor Newsom unveiled our state's SMARTER Plan to move California from a pandemic stage to an endemic stage.
Learn what the process is to bring us closer to a return to a normal state of living.
Shots, Masks, Awareness, Readiness, Testing, Education, Rx = SMARTER
To learn more about the plan, please visit SMARTER Plan - Coronavirus COVID-19 Response (ca.gov)