January 2015 District Report

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 00:00

A NOTE FROM FREDDIE

Friends,

I hope the new year is treating you well. We have a number of exciting community events coming up in February that I hope you will take advantage of, beginning with a Covered California Enrollment Event on February 7th. With the financial aid application season upon us, I will be holding three Cash for College Workshops to offer assistance with filling out the FAFSA and identifying other financial aid opportunities. And on February 14th I will be working with the California Insurance Commissioner to offer a Low Cost Auto Insurance Workshop to bring you information about Affordable Auto Insurance options. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please RSVP by visiting my website or calling my district office at (909) 902-9606.

The legislative session kicked off on January 5th with the inauguration of Governor Jerry Brown for a historic fourth term in office.  I am pleased that Governor Brown highlighted improving our local roads and highways as one of his top priorities for California. I look forward to working with the governor to bring much needed infrastructure improvements to our community.

I have hit the ground running in Sacramento and have introduced ten bills so far for this session. You can read more about the bills I have authored in the Legislative Update section of this month’s newsletter.

As we continue our work in Sacramento, I want your help guiding my legislative priorities for this year. Earlier this month, I sent out an online survey to residents in our district asking for your input on the most important issues facing our community. To those of you who have completed the survey, I thank you. Your feedback is invaluable. Your responses have helped support the argument for local control of the Ontario Airport which I wrote about in the Daily Bulletin last Wednesday.

If you have not had a chance to take the survey yet, you may do so by visiting my website.

As always, my door is always open to you. If you have an idea for legislation or if you need help with any state related issue, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working together.

Best Wishes,


FREDDIE RODRIGUEZ
Assemblymember, 52nd District

IN THIS ISSUE:


ONTARIO AIRPORT

The Ontario Airport Saga has gone on long enough. It is time to regain control of this vital resource so our community can move forward. Below is an Op-Ed piece I wrote that was featured in the Daily Bulletin on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: 

TIME FOR LOCAL CONTROL OF ONTARIO AIRPORT

Last week, I asked neighbors in our district to weigh in on the issues that are most important to them to help guide my legislation in the new Assembly session.  In less than three days I received more than one hundred responses. Almost two-thirds of my constituents said creating local jobs was the most important issue to them.  The second most important issue is local control of Ontario International Airport.  

Our neighbors have said that local control of our airport is more important than public safety and improving our roads-both receiving 44%.  Why?  Is it simply a matter of local pride?  No. It is because the residents of the Inland Empire understand the relationship between local control of our airport and our economic development.

Nothing is more important than ensuring the economic recovery of our region.  We have world-class logistics, retail, and manufacturing sectors.   We have the terminals, runways, rental car and retail facilities at the Ontario Airport.  What we do not have is a world-class airport.

We were well on our way.  The Ontario Airport was once the gateway to the Inland Empire; a thriving transportation hub that boosted the local economy and served 7.2 million passengers at its height in 2007.  But Los Angeles World Airports-- the Los Angeles city department that runs both Ontario and LAX--gave up on Ontario.

Since 2007, airport traffic has declined to a low of 4 million passengers in 2014.  In contrast, LAX has had four record breaking years of passenger growth which culminated in 71.4 million passengers last year alone.  It is clear that Los Angeles has put all of their efforts into promoting LAX while ignoring Ontario.

And while Los Angeles is thriving, the facts show that our community is hurting.  The decline in passenger traffic at Ontario resulted in the loss of 10,700 jobs last year.  In an alarming report released last week it estimates that the decline of Ontario International Airport has resulted in a $2.6 billion loss to the region’s economy.

This is unacceptable.  It is time that we have local control over this key resource.

The Inland Empire has been one of the slowest regions in the state to recover from the recession. While other areas throughout California are thriving, the Inland Empire is struggling to get back on track.  I can’t help but wonder where we would be today if the Ontario Airport had been appropriately managed and we had $2.6 billion dollars in revenue to invest in moving our community forward.

A vibrant airport, connected by light rail lines that run east and west, is vital to our economy and will create thousands of jobs.  More flights and more passengers will help increase business opportunities in our region.

This saga has gone on for far too long.  Our community cannot move forward to reach its potential and offer better opportunities for its residents until we regain Ontario International Airport.

It is time that all parties come together to find an equitable solution that will make Ontario Airport and the Inland Empire thrive once again.  I will continue to fight alongside my neighbors to regain control of this vital economic engine.


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

So far this year I have introduced ten bills for the 2015-16 legislative session. The bills I have introduced focus on improving public safety and creating good paying local jobs.

  • AB 22: Provides funding for fire departments to send personnel to training courses for Oil by Rail accident response. Many medium-and small-sized fire departments do not currently have the financial resources to send their personnel to these critical training programs.
  • AB 58: Improves school safety plans for California’s K-12 public schools by requiring schools to update their school safety plans to include training programs and procedures for individuals with guns and active shooting incidents on school campuses.
  • AB 69: Improves public safety and police-community relations by requiring police officers and sheriffs in California to wear body cameras when interacting with the public.
  • AB 71: Helps us to get a clearer picture, and accurate data, on the number of officer-involved shootings by requiring local law enforcement agencies to report incidents to the California Department of Justice. Agencies would be required to report any instance in which an officer is shot or an officer shoots a member of the public.
  • AB 102: Re-establishes the Railroad Accident Prevention and Immediate Deployment force (RAPID) program which allows us to quickly and effectively respond to hazardous materials spills.
  • AB 151: Creates local jobs by establishing the Youth Apprenticeship Tax Credit. Employers would be able to claim a tax credit of $2000 for any apprentice they hire and train who are between the ages of 16 and 25.
  • AB 162: Identifies safety measures that can help prevent wrong-way drivers from entering California’s freeways and highways and causing deadly collisions.
  • AB 172: Improves the safety of emergency room workers by increasing penalties for individuals who commit assault on emergency room personnel.
  • ACR 7: Encourages positive police-community partnerships by recognizing August 4th as National Night Out in California.
  • ACR 10: Honors Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers by establishing EMS Week in California from May 17th through May 23rd.

My staff and I are continuing to work on more ideas for legislation. Please check my website for updates on the bills I have introduced.


CASH FOR COLLEGE

If you are like many families in the Inland Empire, you may be worried about paying for your loved one’s higher education. Fortunately, there are many financial aid opportunities available that you may qualify for.

To help connect you with financial aid information and provide assistance with filling out the FAFSA, I will be hosting three free Cash for College workshops:

Friday, February 13, 20 and 27
3 – 6 pm

Ovitt Family Library
215 East “C” Street
Ontario, 91764

Volunteers will be on hand to help guide you through the application process.

Please bring your Social Security Number, Driver’s License if you have one, and income information, such as a W-2, for you and your parents.

To RSVP, please call my District Office.

Mt. San Antonio College will be hosting a similar Cash for College event where interested families can receive help filling out their FAFSAs:

Mt. San Antonio College
1100 North Grand Avenue Walnut, CA 91789
Saturday, February 21st!

 RSVP Required
http://www.mtsac.edu/financialaid/cashfair.html


BUDGET UPDATE

Governor Brown released his 2015-16 State Budget proposal this month and it brings good news for our community. Under the proposal, local public safety funding will increase by an estimated $128 million next year. Statewide, we are able to invest an additional $8 billion dollars in K-12 education and community colleges. That money will go straight to our classrooms and benefit our hardworking teachers and students.

Governor Brown’s proposal will keep California on the right track toward economic recovery. I am pleased that the Governor’s plan provides critical funding increases that will restore money to our classrooms, prevent unnecessary tuition increases, improve local roads and highways and fund public safety programs that empower and protect our communities.

The Governor's proposal on oil-by-rail is a good start. As the Chair of the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, one of my top priorities is ensuring that first responders are adequately prepared for any emergency. I introduced AB 102 that reestablishes the Railroad Accident Prevention and Immediate Deployment Force (RAPID) program. The RAPID program allows us to quickly and effectively respond to hazardous materials spills. I will work with the administration to ensure that first responders have the training and equipment necessary to protect our communities.


COVERED CALIFORNIA

You only have until February 15, 2015 to enroll for health care through Covered California.
Through Covered California, you can compare brand name, affordable, high quality health insurance plans and choose one that’s best for you and your family. Depending on your annual income, you may be eligible for low or no-cost Medi-Cal or Federal Premium Assistance.

To assist you with the enrollment process, I will be holding a free Covered California enrollment event:

Saturday, February 7th
Ganesha Park
1575 N. White Avenue
Pomona, 91768
10 am – 12 pm

If you need help enrolling, assistance is available at NO COST. Visit Covered CA online or call (800) 300-1506 to find help near you! Assistance is offered in a variety of languages.

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. To avoid facing a penalty, don’t wait – get covered today!

To find FREE and confidential help near your home, on how to obtain coverage visit CoveredCA.com or call my district office at 909-902-9606.


AMERICAN HEART MONTH

Heart disease is the number-one killer of Americans. To promote heart health and focus attention on risk factors associated with heart disease, the American Heart Association sponsors American Heart Month each February. Even though great strides have been made in cardiovascular research, there is still a lot to be learned. Studies have shown that early identification of risk factors can prevent the likelihood of developing heart disease and reduce the chances of experiencing a heart attack. Abstaining from smoking, controlling cholesterol levels and staying physically active are just some of the ways you can take steps to reduce your risks of heart disease. I encourage you to consult your physician and discuss how you can keep your heart healthy.  

Knowing the risk factors of heart disease is equally as important as knowing how to react if someone you love experiences a sudden health emergency. One of the most important skills to have is knowledge of how to perform CPR. Studies have shown that immediate CPR performed on a person experiencing cardiac arrest can double or triple their chances of survival. It is estimated that 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home, however over 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act because they do not know CPR or are out of practice. Becoming certified in CPR is quick and simple and can enable you to save someone’s life. Contact the American Heart Association for information on a CPR course near you. 


AROUND THE DISTRICT

American Medical Response and Girl Scouts Troop #5234 helped me distribute toys to deserving families. I am glad they helped us to ensure a happy holiday season for some families in our community.

I enjoyed meeting 4th grade students from Chino’s Oxford Preparatory Academy. The students and their parents were visiting Sacramento and taking a tour of the State Capitol.

As Chair of the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to prepare for the next big earthquake. It was a pleasure meeting with LA City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch Englander to talk about how we can work together to minimize the damage when the big one hits.

I am grateful to have a strong relationship with our local public safety officials. I held a meeting with leaders of our local fire and law enforcement agencies to talk about what I can do in Sacramento to help them protect our communities.

Dr. King's legacy continues to be an inspiration to so many. The Pomona Inland Valley MLK. Jr. Project honored several outstanding young adults with the Social Justice Award for their service to our community. Congratulations!

I had a productive meeting with City Managers from Chino, Ontario, Montclair and Pomona. We shared some great ideas on how we can work together to make our communities thrive.

It was great talking with San Bernardino County Supervisors James Ramos and Robert Lovingood in Sacramento. We discussed ways we can improve public safety in our communities and encourage more local economic development.


UPCOMING EVENTS

February 13 – Cash for College Workshop, Ovitt Family Library, 215 East “C” Street
Ontario, 91764, 3 – 6 pm
February 15- Covered California Open Enrollment Ends
February 16- Presidents Day
February 20- Cash for College Workshop, Ovitt Family Library, 215 East “C” Street
Ontario, 91764, 3 – 6 pm
February 21- Mt. SAC Cash For College Workshop, Mt. San Antonio College, 1100 North Grand Avenue Walnut, CA 91789
February 27- Cash for College Workshop, Ovitt Family Library, 215 East “C” Street
Ontario, 91764, 3 – 6 pm


CONTACT ME

My District Office is open and ready to serve you. Contact my office if you need help with any state related matter.

District Office
13160 7th Street
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 902-9606

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