November 2016 Medina Report
The 2017 legislative session is fast approaching. While looking forward to the new session and the new year, I wanted to share some of our accomplishments in the past year with you. My hope through this newsletter is to also keep you informed of past, present, and future community events happening in our district.
As always, if you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office. It is a privilege to be your representative in the 61st Assembly District.
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Legislative Update
- Community Calendar of Events
- Legislative Hearings
- Governor's Appointments
- Businesses in the District
- Around the District
Assemblymember, 61st District
Assembly District 61 Highlights
Business: I continued to vote for legislation to protect small business from frivolous lawsuits. I also supported policies that would remove doctors convicted of felonies from the worker's compensation system. Small businesses are a cornerstone of our economy that I am proud to support.
Environment: This year, the California League of Conservation Voters gave me an 82% score for my support of environmental issues. I supported policies to extend California's greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and strengthen legislative oversight of the Air Resources Board. I also joined with Riverside colleagues to promote the California Air Resource Board's relocation to the Inland Empire. I am hopeful that this relocation, combined with recent policies, will open new opportunities for education and innovation in our community.
Higher Education: As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, I continue to fiercely advocate for both California's students and educators. During the past session, I spearheaded first-in-the nation laws to provide employment stability for part-time faculty at California Community Colleges. I also fought for policies to provide critical assistance for students defrauded by the illegal practices of Corinthian Colleges.
Worker's Rights: A longtime wrong was finally righted with the enactment of the farmworker's overtime bill, which I strongly supported. Under this law, farmworkers will be granted overtime pay, just like the vast majority of California's workers.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
November 25 – Free passes to California State Parks
Please go to www.greenfriday.org to get more information and obtain a free day-use parking pass to our wonderful state parks, including two in our district.
December 2 – Holiday Open House and Book Drive
In University Village
1223 University Ave, Suite 230
Riverside, CA 92507.
Please bring a book to donate if you can!
On September 22, 2016, the Assembly Higher Education Committee held a hearing at the University of California,Riverside.
In September, I was joined by my Inland Empire colleagues in the Assembly to discuss the college readiness of our students. The Inland Empire has a significantly lower college attainment rate and lower college readiness among its high school graduates compared to the rest of California.
While there is still work to do, significant progress has been made. The University of California, Riverside (UCR) raised its graduation rate by 10% in the last three years, and is among the ten finalists for the national Project Degree Completion Award. Additionally, UCR started a program to boost college readiness for advanced placement high school students in local districts. Overall, the event was well received and had over 100 people in attendance.
On October 6, 2016, the Assembly Higher Education Committee joined with the Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance for a hearing at San Jose State University.
In October, I joined my Assembly colleagues to discuss faculty diversity at California institutions of higher education. Many studies have shown that a diverse campus environment has educational benefits, such as closing educational gaps and improving campus climate. While the number of underrepresented minority students has increased, the number of female and underrepresented minority faculty remains low. Recently, the Assembly pushed for $6 million to support efforts to improve the racial/ethnic and gender composition of faculty. Powerful testimony from faculty witnesses discussed the importance of a balanced hiring team when evaluating potential candidates and training to address implicit biases. I hope that these important conversations will work towards improving faculty diversity in higher education.
On November 1, 2016, the Legislature held a hearing at San Diego City College.
In November, I joined my colleagues in the State Senate to discuss the expansion of four year degrees at California Community Colleges. Our hope is to continuously work on policies that improve access and affordability of higher education in California.
Miguel Garcia was recently appointed by Governor Brown to the State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
On Wednesday, November 9, Governor Brown announced several appointments to the State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This board promotes effective policies and programs to enhance the quality of life for California youth. I am very proud to announce that Miguel Garcia was appointed to this advisory board. Miguel was an intern in my office and is currently a student at the University of California, Riverside majoring in Political Science and International Relations. He was a very talented staff member, and I wish him all the best on his very bright future.
BUSINESSES IN THE DISTRICT
I had a great visit to CR&R Incorporated's Anaerobic Digestion facility in Perris, which provides an environmentally-friendly way to dispose of organic waste and produce renewable natural gas. CR&R's facility will have multiple benefits on the local economy, transportation, and environmental quality. It will also help California shift the traditional way we think about waste management
I look forward to visiting the many businesses that continue to provide our community with meaningful jobs.
AROUND THE DISTRICT
On October 27, 2016, I presented Dell Roberts and Linda Sanchez-Martinez with Assembly Resolutions to honor their tireless efforts on behalf of Riverside Unified School District's students.
We had a great turnout for the Senior Center Pancake Breakfast in October to discuss applying for the CalFresh food program and other issues in the community.