Heart of The Valley

September 17, 2021

Friday marked the last day of the 2021 legislative session. It was, as always, a whirlwind. We accomplished a lot, and I am excited to share exactly what we achieved for California and the Valley.

September 3, 2021

I cannot believe it is September, with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah just around the corner. When I reflect back on this season last year, time seems to have flown by.  Much has improved.  We have safe and effective vaccines.  Children have returned to in-person school. Stores, restaurants and amusements are open.

August 26, 2021

I have been running full-speed ahead since I returned to Sacramento from the District Work Period.  We are hurtling toward the end of session, and have so much critical work to complete by the deadline. There are never enough hours in each day, but I am following the advice I recently gave a group of newly elected and appointed officials, “Don't sleep. Just keep working and taking care of the public. We have big challenges.”

August 19, 2021

Among the many things I have missed during the pandemic is participating in community volunteer activities.  My calendar is usually full of events that feature neighbors helping neighbors.  That community and altruistic spirit is one of the things I love about our Valley.

August 12, 2021

While summer does not officially close until Sept. 22, this week marks the end of summer break for LAUSD students. The district work period for legislators also concludes this week, with Senators and Assemblymembers returning to Sacramento for the “end of session” push to finalize bills.

August 5, 2021

Many of you are preparing to send your children back to school, plan to attend college or university, or are readying your lesson plans for students. Parents and older students are rushing to buy school supplies and clothing, registering for classes and signing up for afterschool programs. Teachers are preparing to welcome students into their classrooms. Current plans for local schools and institutions of higher education are for fully in-person instruction, following a year and a half of remote learning, and partial school days. There will be some changes to routines, including masking, testing and vaccinations.  However, the goal is to resume as close to normal instruction as possible. Scroll down for more details to help you or your student prepare for going back to school.

July 29, 2021

Not all superheroes wear capes.  During the past year and a half, we have seen numerous average people do extraordinary things to help both friends and strangers.  Some rolled up their sleeves to participate in COVID-vaccine trials, while others volunteered at Grab ‘n Go food sites, to ensure that no child went hungry.  Still others delivered groceries to the elderly and immunocompromised. There were also teachers, who conducted remote classes, while having to care for their own children. Moreover, numerous doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, janitors and food service workers, among the many others who keep hospitals operational, put their lives at risk to treat COVID patients.

July 22, 2021

I believe in telling it straight.  I am as disappointed as you are that we must resume wearing masks indoors, even if fully vaccinated.  However, it is the correct call by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  Case numbers are up and the highly contagious Delta variant is now the dominant strain. Masking indoors is the least restrictive means to tamp down on further infections.  I know some of you are irritated that you followed the rules and got vaccinated, to ensure a return to ”normal” life, and feel “penalized” due to people who have refused the jab. I understand your emotions. 

July 15, 2021

I created a San Fernando Valley Wall of Fame in my office, dedicated to people from the Valley who have made their mark. Many are famous faces from the entertainment industry, such as Robert Redford, Marilyn Monroe, Paula Abdul and Ritchie Valens.  Others include a group of graffiti busters, a young student who created a COVID-19 memory quilt, and two deaf women who launched a podcast for the hearing impaired. 

July 8, 2021

I hope you and yours enjoyed commemorating Independence Day. I was thrilled to join the Valley Village Residents’ Association for their annual 4th of July food drive and parade. The spirit of the San Fernando Valley is neighbors helping neighbors.  Valley Village’s event reflects this sense of contributing to the community.