Latest E-Newsletter

November 30, 2018

A Note from Toni



Voting is a fundamental right of citizenship in our great country.

In California, we believe that democracy works best when all voices are heard and every vote is counted. In recent years, we’ve worked hard to make voting as easy and accessible as possible.

We’ve taken steps to increase voter participation by allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote; automatically registering eligible voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles; allowing voters to register online until 15 days prior to an election, even allowing same-day registration and provisional ballots for those who miss the voter-registration deadline. And, starting in 2020, all mail-in ballots will be postage-paid, because no one should have to pay to have their vote counted.

The California Voter’s Choice Act of 2016, authored by my colleague, Senator Ben Allen, created a pilot program to open one-stop Vote Centers in seven counties across the state. At any vote center in a participating county, voters can now:

  • Vote in-person
  • Drop off their ballot
  • Get a replacement ballot
  • Vote using an accessible voting machine; and
  • Get help and voting material in multiple languages

All of these steps have paid off in a big way, as Californians registered to vote in record numbers and, last month, produced the highest turnout in recent memory for a non-presidential election. Roughly 12.8 million Californians cast a ballot on November 6, or 65 percent of the 19.7 million registered voters in the state. According to the Secretary of State, more Californians voted early this year than in any previous midterm election.

We still have a long way to go to make sure every eligible voter can have their voice heard. But rest assured, we want to hear you, and we will continue to break down barriers to voting, because it’s your right as an American.


Senate Delegation Visits India and Bhutan

In November, I led a delegation of eight senators on a visit to India and Bhutan. Our trip helped strengthen California’s ties with two of the fastest growing economies on the planet and will pave the way for future collaboration on a wide range of policy issues, from infrastructure to economic development and environmental protection. Check back next month for my takeaways, including how we can apply lessons learned from India and Bhutan to make the Golden State a better place to live, work and do business.


Sound Off - Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time


On November 6, California voters approved Proposition 7 by a wide margin – 60 percent to 40 percent. In doing so, they expressed their collective desire to switch to year-round Daylight Savings Time (DST). In San Diego County, the vote was even more decisive, with nearly 69 percent of voters favoring the switch.

This doesn’t mean California will make the change. It’s not that simple. Federal law doesn’t allow states to unilaterally shift to permanent DST. In order to do so, states must undergo a three-step process.

First, voters must weigh in – which was done. Second, the Legislature must pass – with a two-thirds, super-majority vote – and the Governor must sign, a bill that establishes year-round DST. Third, Congress must pass, and the President must sign, a bill allowing California to make the switch.

Given the voters’ wishes, I expect my colleague, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, to introduce a bill soon after the next legislative session begins on December 3, 2018.

But I want to know more. I’d like to drill down and learn why you favor the switch to year-round DST, if you do, or why you would like to keep it the way it is, if that’s your preference.

Please give me your thoughts via email at or by calling my office at 619-645-3133. You may also look for this conversation on Twitter (@SenToniAtkins) or Facebook ( Thank you!


Where to Find Dog Parks Around the Region

San Diego Dog Parks
I found this map of local dog parks, produced by the San Diego Humane Society and San Diego Magazine, very helpful, and I know Haley and Joey will appreciate it! 
Download the map


Haley and Joey


Operation Gobble

Operation Gobble

One of my favorite community-outreach events each year is Operation Gobble. Thanks to the generosity of California American Water, on November 20, we were able to donate hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys to 13 local nonprofits who help families in need throughout San Diego. In turn, the organizations distributed the turkeys to the families they serve.

Collectively, these groups help veterans, active-duty military, people experiencing homelessness, people living with HIV/AIDS and cancer, youth who are survivors of human trafficking and individuals struggling with addiction. I am so grateful for everything these incredible organizations do to help San Diegans in need.


Please Come to Our Holiday Party!

Holiday Party Flyer
Download the flyer





My Staff at Your Service

My district staff is always available to help constituents navigate a complex web of state agencies. If you’re having trouble working out an issue with any state agency, please call my office at 619-645-3133, and my staff will do everything in their power to help.

My District Staff
Pamela Ison: District Director
Deanna Spehn: Policy Director
Jason Weisz: Senior Field Representative
Toni Duran: Field Representative
Chevelle Tate: Field Representative
Ryan Trabuco: Field Representative
Tylisa Suseberry: Executive Assistant / Scheduler
David Rolland: Director of Media and Editorial

Where to Find Me Online
Twitter: @SenToniAtkins


My district office is located at 1350 Front St., Room 4061, San Diego, CA 92101.

Around the District

Coronado Optimist Club
Met with the Optimist Club of Coronado in early November. I appreciate the work they do to bolster youth services and activities.


Serra Mesa
Great to see Marquise Jackson and Maria Hughes and talk with business owners at the San Diego and Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center’s Connecting with Capital Expo in Serra Mesa.