Friday, June 30, 2017

The stroke of Gov. Jerry Brown’s pen this week put a planned Chicano art museum in Riverside a third of the way toward a $3 million fundraising goal.

The state budget Brown signed on Tuesday, June 27, included $1 million for creating the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry. Supporters say the money will make it easier to raise the rest.

Getting a significant contribution six weeks after the Riverside City Council signed off on the museum idea “is just a huge endorsement of the project. It’s showing that people want this,” Riverside Art Museum Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge said.

The downtown museum is a partner on the project and would run the Marin center.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Riverside, Calif. – Efforts to raise money for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in downtown Riverside got a huge boost today when Gov. Brown signed off on the state budget, which includes a $1 million allocation for the center.

Assemblymember Jose Medina of Riverside led the effort to set aside the state funds, which was applauded by the three entities bringing the Cheech Marin Center to fruition: the City of Riverside, the Riverside Art Museum (RAM), and the noted entertainer/art collector. The funding will make a significant dent in the $3 million that must be raised by the end of February under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) approved by the Riverside City Council in May.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Much attention has been paid to the recent state audit of the University of California Office of the President. Throughout those discussions, there has remained a broad consensus about the University of California’s value to the state. During the recent legislative hearings on the new state budget, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, stated the UC is “one of the best things the state has ever done in our history.”

That sentiment also rings true for the Riverside campus and its relationship to Inland Southern California. Since 1990, UCR nearly tripled student enrollment to approximately 23,000 students today. Altogether, we’ve brought more than 100,000 students to the region, many of whom have chosen to stay and work in Riverside and the surrounding areas.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 1 was a good day in California. The Internet For All Now Act, a bipartisan bill that will close the digital divide in California, sailed through the state Assembly on a 67-5 vote — thanks to co-authorship from 23 Republicans and Democrats, including Inland Empire Assembly members Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella; Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia; Eloise Gomez Reyes, D-San Bernardino; Jose Medina, R-Riverside; Sabrina Cervantes, D-Corona, and Freddie Rodriguez, D-Chino.

Bipartisan lawmaking is fairly rare in the Capitol. The reason is that the Internet For All Now Act (Assembly Bill 1665) is an economic development no-brainer. It extends an already working program with no new taxes that has funded 58 high-speed internet (“broadband”) infrastructure projects connecting over 100,000 households to the digital economy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On the eve of a special meeting of the University of California regents, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) voiced frustration Wednesday with how UC President Janet Napolitano has dealt with a scathing audit of her office.

Rendon, who is an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents, said he and Assembly Higher Education Committee Chairman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) had tried to help Napolitano deal with lawmakers' concerns before the audit was released last month.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Suzanne Coppel’s life story includes daring escapes, the fear and panic of living underground and the loss of family members torn from loving arms never to be seen again.

Her biography also includes a move to New York from France at 16, a marriage to husband Werner, the love of her life, and the rearing of her two sons, Gary and Steven.

The longtime Riverside resident has shared her story of surviving the Holocaust locally, but she recently received statewide recognition from Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, at the California State Assembly’s Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Some high-profile California politicians from both political parties are angrily asking the University of California to block or reverse its recent decision to increase student tuition after scathing revelations in an audit of the UC Office of the President were released this week.

Among the troubling findings, the audit, made public on Tuesday and disputed by UC President Janet Napolitano, called into question the UC system administrator’s spending on salaries and benefits to administrators, and tens of millions of dollars in reserve funds that state auditor Elaine Howle said the office kept hidden from public view.