Latest E-Newsletter

May 1, 2024

Note from Toni

 

 

May is the month we celebrate Mother’s Day, and I am always filled with memories of the love our mother gave us and the sacrifices she made for us. Mom worked too hard and died too young, and trying to make life easier for women like her is a big part of why I do what I do. It’s why I’ve worked to develop programs like the California Earned Income Tax Credit, to expand access to health care and affordable housing, and to improve economic opportunities for women and mothers.

This month is also Military Appreciation month, and I know moms in military families have extra burdens. When I moved to San Diego to help care for my sister’s son while she served in the Navy, I saw firsthand how much she sacrificed in service to our nation and as a mother to a young child. We will end May by marking Memorial Day, which honors those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. In San Diego, which has such a strong military community, this is a particularly poignant and special day. 

Below, some folks on my staff share their own stories and reflections about Mother’s Day. I hope you enjoy reading them. I know many of us have lost our mothers and not everyone is able to have a good relationship with their mothers. I hope that regardless of your situation, you are able to spend time with someone you love this Mother’s Day. 

Reflections from my staff:

My mother was and continues to be a shining example of what can be overcome with love and belief. I miss her every day but especially on Mother’s Day.

  • John Casey, Chief of Staff

My mom is 100 pounds of unconditional love and selflessness. She is my favorite teacher and ultimate protector. I don’t know how she does it all. Happy Mother’s Day, Em-MA and to all the moms out there! Thank you!

  • Pam Ison, District Director

This will be the first year I experience Mother’s Day without my own mom. I lost my mom far too soon in October of 2023 to a battle with cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Having become a mother in the last two years myself, I now have a much deeper appreciation for all of the wonderful things my mom did for my sister and I growing up. Her unconditional love stays with me through our shared love of cooking and fresh cut flowers. 

  • Grace Davis, Director of Scheduling

This Mother’s Day, I celebrate all the mothers who open their hearts and homes to children who aren't their own. Your selfless love and nurturing make our world a better place. Thank you for being a guiding light and a source of strength for so many.

  • Haizen Poole, Legislative Aide

I am fortunate to have a mother who is 93 years old. As each year passes, I appreciate even more the life lessons she has taught me and her unconditional love and support.

  • Doug Case, District Communications Manager

Each year, I’m more and more grateful for my mother – for her nearly inexhaustible patience, for teaching me to appreciate and respect nature, and for her example of kindness and compassion towards everyone. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the moms out there – we wouldn’t be who we are today without you!

  • Kristen Millstein, Communications and Legislative Aide

Growing up, my favorite thing about Mother’s Day was getting to celebrate it twice! On May 10th, my dad would take us to go visit my grandma and my mom would call my grandma in CDMX. On the 2nd Sunday of May, I’d present my mom with the arts & crafts project we’d been working on in school that week.

  • Gonzalo Rocha-Vazquez, District Representative

My mom passed away when I was 24. Soon after she died I heard from several people who told me how sometimes when they were troubled they would call her late at night. She would make a cup of coffee and talk with them until they were better. Everyone from an elderly widow who missed her husband to a wild child college friend of mine needing help finding her way. Mom never mentioned these calls. Boy, the times I wish I could have called her. 

  • Dave Sebeck, Communications Consultant

I am grateful for Mom who instilled in me the power of giving back, and offering a helping hand. She also showed me that no matter your age it’s ok to be a little silly sometimes, and find joy in the little things.

  • Toni Duran, District Representative

Thank you for everything, Mom! All of the sacrifices you made raising Ashley and I mean the world to us.

  • Cole Reed, District Representative

Thank you to all the mothers and mother figures in our lives, thank you to our military members and their families, and thank YOU for reading!

Toni

 

Legislative and Budget Update

 

 

Last month, our policy committees kicked into high gear, hearing hundreds of Senate bills on numerous issues impacting our state. Our House of Origins deadline, the last day for the Senate and Assembly to vote on bills introduced in their house, is approaching on May 24th. We have a few more weeks to go, but I wanted to provide you with an update on my legislation!

Senate Bill 1213, which would expand access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment, passed the Senate Health Committee with bipartisan support and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. Read more about SB 1213 here.

SB 1342, which would streamline two energy and water projects in the San Diego region, passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee with bipartisan support and also awaits consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 1428, which would prevent gaps in health insurance coverage by allowing individuals with qualifying life events to sign up for a new health insurance plan 60 days before or 60 days after that event, passed the Senate unanimously and has moved on to the Assembly.

The Legislature is also hard at work tackling the state’s budget deficit. Last month, Senate and Assembly leadership and the Governor came to an agreement on a package of early budget actions that will reduce the deficit by $17.3 billion. In mid-April, one part of this proposal totaling $1.6 billion in deficit reduction was passed and signed into law. We have more work to do, but this is a step in the right direction as we prepare for a challenging budget year. We will continue to work collaboratively to develop a balanced budget that addresses the needs of Californians and shrinks the budget shortfall.

  

Supporting Our Small Businesses!

 

May is Small Business Month! There are over 4.2 million small businesses in California, employing over half of the private sector workforce. Nearly two-thirds of all new jobs are created by small businesses.

California leads the nation in business startups, and this entrepreneurial spirit drives the world’s fifth largest economy. A growing number of these companies are being started by women, people of color, and immigrants.

I support the state’s efforts to promote small businesses so they can thrive and prosper. Small businesses are critical to the economic well-being of the Golden State because they create employment opportunities and bring new and innovative services and products to the marketplace.

This month, and every month, let’s support our small businesses!

 

Celebrating AAPI Heritage

 

 

Each May, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is celebrated across the country. The AAPI community is a significant part of the fabric of California and the San Diego region.

One in six California residents are of AAPI heritage (a total of six million people), representing a third of the nation’s AAPI population. Of those, approximately 425,000 live in San Diego County. Further, the state’s AAPI population grew more than 25% since the last Census – the largest percent increase of any major racial or ethnic group.

Although AAPI residents may share a common ancestry from a broad region of the world, they are a very diverse community representing over 50 ethnicities, 60 nationalities, and speaking over 100 languages. AAPI Heritage Month is an opportunity to explore and celebrate this rich cultural diversity.

We also recognize that throughout our history, including recently, AAPI communities have been the target of harassment, discrimination, and violence. As we take time to celebrate their many contributions to our state, we also redouble our efforts to confront and eradicate racism and create a more equitable future for all Californians.

 

Around the District

 

 

For 61 years, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest has provided comprehensive and accessible medical services – including reproductive health care - to individuals and families in the communities of San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties. I am grateful for the work they do and their partnership with our State Legislature.

 

 

As part of an expanding network, the UC San Diego Labor Center will educate the next generation of leaders by studying the economic and social impacts of labor and employment issues, while conducting groundbreaking research to inform policymakers. I’m working towards a future where all workers will earn enough to meet the financial needs of their families; have adequate health, retirement, and childcare benefits; that workplaces will be safe, comfortable and free of harassment; and everyone has equal opportunities for career advancement. The UCSD Labor Center will help to transform these aspirations into blueprints for action.

 

 

The San Diego Community College District serves 80,000 students throughout San Diego annually at San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, as well as seven San Diego College of Continuing Education campuses. Chancellor Greg Smith, President Ricky Shabazz, Vice Chancellor of Development and Entrepreneurship Laurie Coskey, Trustees Bernie Rhinerson and Craig Milgrim and I met to discuss issues important to SDCCD including their legislative priorities.

 

 

UNAC/UHCP represents 35,000 registered nurses and health care workers who are united to build a better workplace and healthier communities. It was great to meet with them to discuss their legislative and budget priorities for the year.

 

 

Congratulations to the South Bay Youth Center on their 5th Anniversary in Chula Vista! They offer free resources and services to LGBTQ+ youth and their families while providing a supportive and inclusive space.

 

 

Team Toni partnered with the Fleet Science Center for the partial solar eclipse viewing in San Diego!

 

 

Since 1921, 193 Caltrans employees have lost their lives in the line of duty. Team Toni joined Caltrans District 11 in San Diego at the annual Highway Worker Memorial ceremony to honor fallen workers. We all share the responsibility to practice road safety and save lives.

 

 

Team Toni joined the LGBTQ+ community and allies to celebrate of the 20th Annual Transgender Day of Empowerment. Thanks to generous donations from supporters, organizers were able to award 23 scholarships to trans and non-binary college students.

 

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