Heart of The Valley

May 13, 2022

Last week, we featured an event, Burbank Opera Talk, which is near and dear to me. My eldest son David is a Julliard-trained, award winning opera composer. As you can imagine, it swelled this father’s heart when David was hailed as “opulently gifted” by Opera News and “utterly original” by The New York Times. David’s interest and success reminded me of the role the Valley has played in performing arts and music.

May 6, 2022

I am furious that the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) plans to reverse Roe v. Wade. While we have long known that this was a possibility, the stark reality of seeing a draft decision that takes away the healthcare rights of women is horrifying.  Make no mistake abortion is healthcare. Patients and the doctors who they trust should make medical decisions, unfettered by outsiders.

April 29, 2022

Thirty years ago today, a jury in Simi Valley acquitted the four Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with brutalizing Rodney King. Shortly thereafter, civil unrest erupted throughout Los Angeles, including in parts of the Valley. While violence and destruction are never appropriate responses, very real pent-up frustrations made the ground fertile for the insurrection.

April 22, 2022

Happy Earth Day! As I stated while participating in November’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), there is no Planet B. We must do everything in our power to reduce the carbon emissions that cause pollution and increase temperatures, protect our natural resources, and restore destroyed habitats.

April 15, 2022

Unlike during the past two spring holiday seasons, there are many reasons to be grateful this year as families gather for Ramadan Iftar meals, Passover Seders and Easter brunches. We now navigate fewer Covid-related restrictions and the widely available vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness. While there is cause to celebrate this shift, we must remain vigilant to ensure we prevent another spike in COVID infections.

April 8, 2022

Last Sunday, we woke to devastatingly all-too familiar news: yet another mass shooting in America. This tragedy struck close to home and our hearts. It happened just blocks from the California State Capitol. Six people were killed and 12 others injured in the shooting, making it the worst mass shooting in Sacramento history and the worst mass shooting nationally this year. I am deeply saddened by this senseless violence and angry at this needless loss of life. We must take action to stop gun violence.

April 1, 2022

Springtime in the Capitol means committee season is well underway. Days in Sacramento include many committee hearings – presenting bills and listening to colleagues discuss their legislative proposals. Several of my bills started their legislative journeys with their first committee votes this week, including legislation on critical issues such as safe drinking water, clean energy infrastructure, innovative technology in government, and expanding access to affordable health coverage. I will continue to share updates with you as these bills advance.

March 25, 2022

Last Friday, I joined Valley taxpayers, including Rose Liebermann, and her daughter Natasha Gershon, outside the Los Angeles County Assessor Office demanding that the Assessor act on delayed Proposition 19 claims.  As you may recall, Proposition 19 was passed by voters to protect seniors from huge property tax increases should they move to a new residence. The law also applies to those with disabilities, and people displaced by wildfires or other natural disasters

March 18, 2022

We see and feel the impact of climate change daily. California is in its worst drought in 1,200 years. On top of that, our new reality includes extreme swings in weather, record heat and a near-constant wildfire season. The time to act is now. That is why I am introducing legislation to protect our state's most vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change, while also creating green jobs. This bill will create a new grant program to help arm communities on the front lines of climate change by funding local climate resiliency projects. These projects will prioritize affordable housing, urban greening, parks improvements, water capture and reuse, public transit, and electric vehicle technologies – all done with a focus on underserved communities and creating jobs.

March 11, 2022

March is Women’s History Month and earlier this week, on International Women’s Day, I named Janet Marinaccio, the President and CEO of MEND, the San Fernando Valley Woman of the Year. Janet provides impeccable leadership at MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity); touching countless lives and making the Valley a better place to live. For 50 years, MEND has continuously served the most vulnerable in the San Fernando Valley, including those who are homeless, unemployed/under-employed, very low income, and older adults. Throughout the pandemic, MEND has been a key linchpin of delivery of COVID vaccines, food and services to our struggling neighbors. Janet represents the very best of the Valley.  Learn more about her here.