March 2014 District Report

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 00:00

A NOTE FROM FREDDIE

Friends,

In this month’s newsletter, you will read about what I am doing on your behalf in Sacramento and around the district. You will see an update on an important hearing I held last month regarding the shooting that occurred at LAX in November as well as updates on my legislation and the critical drought we are facing.

We had a great turnout for my Neighborhood Coffee Series. Over the past few months, coffee events were held in each city in our district. I was able to meet with many of my neighbors and talk with you one-on-one about important matters in the community and answer questions about what I am doing to represent you in Sacramento.

My top priority as your Assemblymember is making sure that I am accessible to you. You can contact me at any time for help with a state-related issue, to express your opinion on legislation, or to talk about important issues in our community. Your comments are important to me especially as the legislative session continues and I begin to vote on critical legislation. 

Our community is at its best when we work together.

Best Wishes,


FREDDIE RODRIGUEZ
Assemblymember, 52nd District

IN THIS ISSUE:


ACTIVE SHOOTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE

On February 28th, I convened the first hearing of the Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness. The topic of this informational hearing was Active Shooter Emergency Response: Lessons Learned from the LAX Shooting.

My goal in holding this hearing was to review the tragic shooting that occurred at LAX in November of last year, see what lessons were learned and how we can use those lessons to move forward and improve our emergency response systems throughout the state. The committee heard a lot of great testimony not only from LAX officials but also from first responding agencies throughout California. I was encouraged to see that many agencies have been hard at work drafting, implementing and practicing collaborative plans for how to deal with active shooting situations.

We also heard testimony, which was very disturbing, from some of the service workers who work at the airport on a daily basis as skycaps, baggage handlers and janitors.  They still have not been trained to help evacuate passengers in case of an emergency.  The service workers have produced an after action report which I will be reviewing closely. 
  
After listening to testimony at LAX, examining training programs being implemented by other local departments and having discussions with representatives of first responding agencies throughout California, I have introduced AB 1598 to require agencies to coordinate their training to more efficiently respond to active shooting scenarios.

Every emergency situation is different, but coordination and cooperation between our local agencies is an essential step in effectively responding to these situations. Having all agencies on the same page will save lives.

If you would like to watch the LAX hearing in its entirety, please click here.   

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WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Since 1987, the Legislative Women’s Caucus has honored extraordinary women of distinction throughout California during Women’s History Month by recognizing them with a ceremony on the Assembly Floor.

This year, I was pleased to recognize Carolyn Hemming as the Woman of the Year from the 52nd Assembly District. Carolyn is a life-long Pomona resident, owner of Antique Gallery in Downtown Pomona, and a loving mother of four adopted Children.

Carolyn’s passion for her community is undeniable. She is a fixture at city council meetings and can always be seen advocating for causes and projects for the betterment of Pomona. Countless community events like the Pomona Christmas Parade and Miss Pomona Scholarship Pageant, to name a few, have been organized by Carolyn.

In addition to her tireless advocacy, Carolyn finds time to serve as a board member for the Pomona Chamber of Commerce and the Pomona Valley YMCA. She is active in several non-profit organizations and has been an influential member of numerous local ad-hoc and advisory committees over the years.

Carolyn’s positive attitude and devotion to serving others has earned her the respect of local elected officials, city staff, her peers and the community. Pomona is a better place because of the work she has done.

Carolyn is one of many deserving women whose selfless commitment and dedication have made our community stronger. I look forward to recognizing all of these extraordinary women.

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COVERED CALIFORNIA

The deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan and avoid paying a penalty is March 31, 2014.

Last weekend, Senator Norma Torres and I partnered to offer a workshop with Covered California to provide information about the available health insurance options.  Workshop participants were able to make appointments with counselors to guide them through the enrollment process.  I was encouraged to see so many people come to the event and take an important step toward getting health coverage for their families. 

Financial assistance is available to qualified candidates who need help paying their health insurance premiums. Almost 50% of residents in our community could be eligible for low-cost or no-cost health insurance.

You can sign up for an insurance plan through Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace.  Covered California helps Californians obtain quality, affordable health insurance that cannot be denied or cancelled due to pre-existing conditions and allows individuals to compare and purchase insurance plans.

Certified enrollment counselors are available to assist you.  Contact a Covered California counselor by:

To sign up for a health insurance plan, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • Social Security Number for each person
  • Employment and income information for each person
  • Your Federal Tax Return
  • Information about healthcare available through your employer (if applicable)

If you have any questions or need assistance, please click here or call my district office at (909) 902-9606

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DROUGHT UPDATE

Despite the recent storms, California is in the throes of what has the potential to be the worst drought in our state’s history.  Many, especially those in the agriculture industry, are already feeling its effects.  I was pleased to join with my colleagues and pass legislation to immediately help communities deal with the devastating dry conditions affecting our state and provide funding to increase local water supplies.

The Governor signed Senate Bills (SB) 103 and 104 provide $687.4 million to support relief efforts, including money for immediate housing and food for workers directly impacted by the drought.  Under the legislation, every drought-affected area of the state is slated to receive aid, with more available as grants that communities can apply for in the coming months to assist in their recovery. 

As the drought continues, we all need to do our part to conserve water. The Governor has asked that all Californians reduce their water use by twenty percent. For information on ways you can conserve water, please visit http://www.saveourh2o.org.

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

I am proud that the legislation I have introduced this year is focused on benefitting our community, promoting job creation and improving our state’s emergency management systems.

I am working on Assembly Bill 2574 which will authorize the extension of the Metro Gold Line to the Ontario Airport. Under current law, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority is only permitted to extend the Gold Line to Montclair.

I have introduced Assembly Bill 1569 The Youth Apprenticeship Tax Credit Program to allow employers to claim a tax credit for each registered apprentice they train. AB 1569 would ease the school-to-work transition and expand job training opportunities available to our youth.
 
My background as an emergency medical technician has led me to draft several bills that will improve the efficiency of emergency response systems. In addition to AB 1598 which arose after the shooting at LAX, I have also authored AB 2406 which would identify programs that have been useful in cutting down the abuse and misuse of the 9-1-1 system.

Follow all of my legislation by visiting legislation section of my website.

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CESAR CHAVEZ DAY

Cesar Chavez’s legacy is commemorated by observing a day in his honor each year to coincide with the labor leader’s birthday. This year’s celebration will take place on March 31, Chavez’s actual birthday.  

An inspiration for many, Chavez organized the United Farm Workers Union, the first successful farm workers union in the United States. He was a tireless advocate for the dignity and rights of farm workers and a strong believer in non-violence. The impact he had on the lives of not just farm workers, but all Californians, is tremendous. His legacy will live on and continue to inspire others.

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AROUND THE DISTRICT & CAPITOL


I gained a new appreciation for what our heroes in the fire department do on a daily basis by participating in the California Professional Firefighter’s ‘Fire Ops 101: Take The Heat’ demonstration outside of the Capitol.


Bright young students from Cal Poly Pomona came by my Sacramento office to talk about the importance of keeping higher education affordable.


I was happy to be on hand at the opening of the renovated Chino Basin Water Conservation District facility and garden. The facility does a wonderful job educating the community on the importance of water conservation.


California Conservation Corps members from Pomona were in Sacramento for the Corps' Government Education Day. They came by my office to talk about the great work these young men and their colleagues are doing to help our local schools become energy efficient by performing energy surveys at school sites throughout the Inland Empire.


With Carolyn Hemming, our 2014 Woman of the Year from the 52nd Assembly District and Speaker-elect Toni Atkins.


It was great talking with so many friends and neighbors at my Neighborhood Coffee series. I am glad that so many of you came out to talk one-on-one about important issues affecting our community.


I was happy to welcome 4th graders from Howard Cattle Elementary School in Chino, their teachers and their parents in my Sacramento office and introduce them on the Assembly Floor. They asked me what I like best about Sacramento and suggested we pass a law so that kids don’t have to eat vegetables!


I discussed the drought and our water needs with representatives from the Metropolitan Water District in my District Office.


I met with the California Small Business Association to talk about how we can work together to help small businesses succeed in our community.


Inspiring students from Chaffey College were in my Sacramento office to discuss educational opportunities at community colleges.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

March 31- Deadline to Enroll in Covered California
March 31- Cesar Chavez Day
April 5th, 12th and 19th-
City of Ontario Community Emergency Response Team training.
Ontario Convention Center
2000 E. Convention Center Way
9:00 am to 6:00 pm
April 15- Deadline to file income taxes
April 20- Easter
April 22- Earth Day

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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