February 2013 District Report

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 00:00

Dear Friend:

I am truly honored to serve as your representative for the Eighteenth Assembly District, which includes Alameda, Oakland, and San Leandro. As your Assemblymember, I am committed to advancing legislation that promotes better schools, safer streets, and more prosperous communities.

Below you will find a snapshot of the work being done and the progress being made on these important issues for the district.

HIGHLIGHTS

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in the State Capitol. It is a privilege to have this opportunity to serve my community, and I look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Rob Bonta
Assemblymember, 18th District


Assemblymember Rob Bonta and family during the swearing-in ceremony in Sacramento.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

Protecting School District Funding

I was proud to introduce my first measure in the Assembly to help ensure that all funding opportunities are available to local school districts still suffering from years of cuts. AB 59 clarifies existing revenue options for local school districts so they can continue providing educational opportunities in the face of ongoing state budget difficulties.

Prior to coming to the Assembly, I committed to championing the fight to fully fund our schools. This is my first measure of many others to ensure that schools have every option available to them to educate the children of California.

Standing Against Gun Violence


Assemblymember Rob Bonta during a press conference in support of AB 48 in Oakland.

While the tragic shootings that have recently occurred throughout the country shine an important spotlight on the issue of gun violence, Oakland is no stranger to these types of tragedies. Gun violence has been a devastating reality in our community for decades. Last year, Oakland had 131 victims of homicide; twelve of those victims were 18 or younger.

This rampant violence has to end. As part of a large-scale legislative effort to curb the ongoing epidemic of gun violence, I am promoting three important anti-gun measures – AB 48 (Skinner), AB 174 (Bonta), and AB 187 (Bonta).

I have introduced AB 187, which would place a tax on the sale of ammunition in California, with the proceeds going to a crime prevention fund for areas of the state suffering from violent crime. In communities like Oakland, parents are afraid to let their children play outside while gun violence ravages the streets. We must take swift action to get these communities the resources they need.

In addition, there are many legal anomalies in current law that allow persons to own dangerous assault weapons and large capacity magazines that are illegal to purchase and sell. AB 174 will closely examine these issues and get more dangerous guns off of the streets—doing what is right for the children of California.

AB 48, which I am coauthoring with Assemblymember Skinner, is also the right step toward limiting large purchases of ammunition and the use of large capacity magazines whose only purpose is to kill. It's simply unacceptable that a person can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition over a short period of time without being detected by law enforcement.

Contributions of Filipino Americans to the Farm Worker Movement in California

The names and historical significance of vastly influential Filipino leaders in the farm labor movement - such as Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz - are an untold part of California history. California's students should be learning about the pioneering efforts of Filipino farm in leading the 1965-1970 Delano Grape Strike, which helped launch the American farm labor movement. AB 123 would give students a more complete and inclusive account of California's farm labor movement and ensure that these important leaders are remembered by future generations of Californians.

Revitalizing the Economy

"I am committed to working with my colleagues to address the adverse economic impacts of military base closures in the 18th Assembly District and throughout the state of California," said Assemblymember Bonta. "As our country's economy begins to improve, it is time to help local governments revitalize their own fiscal health and create more jobs. The formation of infrastructure and revitalization financing districts will allow greater flexibility in using local limited resources to remedy blight, create affordable housing, and spur economic growth." To accomplish these goals, Bonta is proud to Principal Coauthor AB 229 (Speaker Perez), which authorizes a military base reuse authority to form an Infrastructure and Revitalization Financing District (IRFD), and AB 243 (Assemblymember Dickinson), which makes IRFDS more useful local tools for economic development, affordable housing, sustainable communities, military base re-use, and brownfields cleanup and mitigation.

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ASSIGNMENTS TO VITAL POLICY COMMITTEES

I am honored Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez appointed me to five Assembly committees of great importance to Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. In addition to Chairing the Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee, I will serve on the following committees: Health, Transportation, Banking and Finance, and Elections and Redistricting.

I am excited to serve on committees dealing with important issues facing the 18th District of California – from the pension system to implementing health care reform to strengthening our transportation system. I am ready to get to work and am looking forward to representing the District on these five influential committees.

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BUDGET UPDATE

On January 10th, Governor Brown proposed a state budget for 2013/2014. The proposed budget addresses many of the issues I know are important to you as Californians and as residents of the 18th Assembly District.

While the proposal is a reasonable starting point to close the gap between revenues and expenditures, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that education, health, job growth, and public safety remain our state's priorities.

I will continue to thoughtfully review the Governor's plan and share my ideas with him as the year moves forward and the proposal evolves. I am committed to providing children safe and strong public schools, protecting the safety net for the poor, and growing jobs and safe communities in California. It is in everyone's best interest that our state budget reflects these important goals.

As we continue to review the proposed budget, I want to hear from the most important stakeholder—YOU! Please contact my office if you have questions about the budget process or suggestions about the proposed budget.

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CONSTITUENT SERVICES

As your representative in the State Assembly, I am committed to providing the highest quality of public service possible. My staff and I have made constituent service a top priority and are eager to assist you with your needs and with navigating state bureaucracy.

Over the past month, our office has already helped families stay in their homes, individuals obtain unemployment benefits, and small business owners maintain their business. Additionally, we have supported local efforts to retain vital services in the district.

We welcome you to contact our district office at (510) 286-1670 to access legislative information or to receive assistance with a state-related matter. Bilingual interpreters are available.

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AROUND THE DISTRICT


Assemblymember Rob Bonta with guests at Assemblymember Bonta's Winter Open House Celebration and Charity Drive benefitting the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the East Bay Children's Book Project.

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"There Ought to be a Law" Legislative Contest

I am requesting submissions for my First Annual "There Ought to be a Law" Contest. High school students living in the 18th Assembly District are invited to submit a legislative proposal on school safety, no later than Friday, February 15, 2013. I will select at least one legislative proposal to be introduced as part of my official legislative package.

Students are encouraged to take this important opportunity to make positive change in California, learn about your government and the legislative process, and have your voice heard at the State Capitol. For an entry form, please visit www.asmdc.org/bonta or contact the District Office at (510) 286-1670.

Assemblymember Bonta in the Community


Assemblymember Rob Bonta with the Oakland Rotary in Oakland.


Assemblymember Rob Bonta with the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce in Oakland Chinatown.

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STAFF TO ASSEMBLYMEMBER ROB BONTA

Capitol Staff

Dean Grafilo, Chief of Staff
Amy Alley, Legislative Director
Karon Green, Committee Consultant
Max Mikalonis, Legislative Aide
An-Chi Tsou, Science and Technology Fellow
Leandra Mekata, Scheduler

District Staff

Jim Oddie, District Director
Jacqueline Orpilla, Senior Field Representative
Nyeisha DeWitt, Senior Field Representative
Diego Gonzalez, Field Representative
Mike McCormick, Field Representative
Charlene M. Quan, Office Assistant

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