Latest E-Newsletter

September 1, 2023

A Note from Toni


I want to begin this month’s note by thanking everyone who helped San Diego and our neighbors make it through Tropical Storm Hilary. There was flooding, property damage, and plenty of stress, but we also witnessed heroism, smart preparation, and people just doing the right thing and taking care of each other. Once again, as we have in the past with wildfires and other disasters, we owe a special debt of thanks to our first responders and all the emergency and medical personnel, civilian and military, who came to our region’s aid during this unprecedented storm.

Those personnel go right to the top of the list when it comes to the working people I want to honor this month as we celebrate Labor Day in America. It is important to remember Labor Day doesn’t just celebrate our workers, but also the unions that put workers’ best interests at heart and help them be strong in good times and bad. You’ve heard me say my parents were the hardest working people I’ve ever known. That is true, and their sacrifices inspire me to do the work I do and try and make life better for working people and their families.

Earlier this summer, I got the chance to meet with Chris Hannan, the new President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. His dad grew up in the Pennsylvania coal country that makes up part of Appalachia, so we had a nice bonding moment over that.  Not to put too much pressure on him, but President Hannan reminded me a little of the legendary labor leader Richard Trumka, who I got to know and respected very much.  I’m sure President Hannan will do a great job on behalf of the nearly half a million Californians he represents—workers who are vital to building and improving California’s infrastructure, including the jobs we need done to rebuild from, and prepare for, disasters in our climate-changing world.

Of course, September also marks the end of the 2023 legislative session, and the Senate still has hundreds of bills left to consider. I’ll be sure to give you a full report about the important bills that passed, and what work we will be continuing in January, when we talk again next month.

Thank you for reading.  And thanks again to everyone who was here for San Diego communities during the storm. You can never be too grateful for good neighbors.


End of Session Approaching



The 2023 Legislative session is nearing its end, and legislators are now working to evaluate bills, determine fiscal impacts, and prepare to send legislation to the Governor for his signature after final passage later this month.

Legislation that I have authored, including bills to strengthen and expand protections for abortion access and providers, expand inclusion for LGBTQ+ individuals across the country, and promote safety and transparency in county detention facilities across our state, continue to make their way through the process. I look forward to updating you on their outcomes in the October edition of the newsletter!

Be sure to follow my accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to receive updates as we move through our busy end-of-session season!


Be Fire Ready, San Diego!


Here in San Diego County, we are no strangers to the devastating impacts of wildfires. Recent fires in the Mojave National Preserve and the Bunnie Fire in eastern San Diego County are reminders that last year’s wet winter doesn’t mean we can be any less vigilant about fire safety this fall.

Maintaining 100 feet of defensible spaces around your property helps to make it more fire resilient, and provides access for firefighters. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County offers a number of helpful resources, including a defensible space assistance program for senior citizens and disabled residents, and community workshops. I encourage everyone to take action and make sure your home or business are fire safe. That includes ensuring that evacuation plans are current and that each member of your household, or employee at work, knows how to get to a safe location.

Reflections on Maui

Thinking about fire risk and the devastation that wildfires have on our communities is a stark reminder of the devastation and loss of life on Maui last month. It was a truly horrific tragedy, and brings back vivid memories of the wildfires that we have endured here in San Diego and throughout our state. As a San Diegan and Californian, my heart is with the residents of Maui and their loved ones as they mourn those lost, and begin the process of rebuilding.


Women’s Equality Day


Women’s Equality Day is a day to celebrate the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and an opportunity to reinforce the continued need to protect and advance women’s rights.  As we honored that important victory during a panel discussion at the Women’s Museum of California’s annual Women’s Equality Day Celebration on August 26th and recognized that the fight for suffrage did not end with the 19th Amendment for women of color.

This Women’s Equality Day, it’s important to reflect on all that the state of California has done to improve and advance the lives of women – from protecting access to reproductive health care to bolstering workplace equality and economic parity – and what remaining challenges we need to address. I remember watching my own mother “doing her figures” in the evening after a long day working as a seamstress, calculating if we’d have enough to make ends meet. My mother worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known but she couldn’t work her way out of poverty.

Decades have passed, but still there are so many women and mothers struggling. Helping improve their lives, and upholding their rights, is my unwavering goal this Women’s Equality Day, and every day.


Around the District




Our home care and childcare workers are essential to keeping our communities safe, healthy, and strong. This month, I spoke with leaders from UDW, AFSCME, and AFSCME District Council 36 about the Legislature’s work toward solutions for the immediate needs of care providers, and looking ahead to the future. We must staff and protect the front lines!




    Our 2023-24 state budget included numerous investments for San Diego! I joined Assemblymember Chris Ward, Assemblymember Akilah Weber, Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, and Assemblymember David Alvarez, as well as Mayor Todd Gloria in Balboa Park to highlight the community projects and programs in the San Diego region that will benefit from these investments, which totals nearly $25 million for the City of San Diego, and about $60 million for the San Diego region.



      In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, I joined the Women's Museum of California to discuss gender equality and voting rights with Lori Thiel, Vice President of the League of Women Voters of San Diego, Stephanie Malyn from the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and Jaclyn Reinhart from the Lawyers Club of San Diego. It’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come, and look ahead to the work that still needs to be done.



      California’s life sciences sector greatly impacts our economy, producing $472 billion and supporting more than one million jobs. For San Diego, this translates to about $69 billion for our economy and more than 58,500 jobs. Nonprofit organization California Life Sciences and its members help bolster California’s strong presence in the life sciences research field.



        Team Toni attended the ribbon cutting for Union Grantville, a newly completed residential complex. This collaboration between the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and Greystar Apartments will provide 250 affordable housing units for students, which are just steps away from public transit!



          Team Toni attended HRC San Diego’s annual dinner, supporting the important work the Human Rights Campaign does to ensure equality for LGBTQ+ folks across the country. Thanks to HRC President Kelley Robinson, Wilson Phillips, Dana Goldberg, and Dylan Mulvaney for joining us in San Diego.

          d Greystar Apartments will provide 250 affordable housing units for students, which are just steps away from public transit!



            For 50 years, the San Diego County Archaeological Society has promoted public understanding of archaeology, while encouraging the preservation and appreciation of San Diego County’s cultural resources. Congratulations on this milestone!


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