We are only a month away until we welcome 2018. In the meantime, there are presents to wrap and holiday plans to make with our families and loved ones.
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I encourage you to take a moment to see how I have been keeping busy this past month with lots of events and activities including touring the Maple Elementary School in Shafter to find out how I can help school officials secure state funds to rebuild the school, hosting a Senior Scam Stopper Workshop in Hanford to empower seniors to fight fraud, attending the unveiling of a sign for California Highway Patrol Officer Gerald E. Dormaier Memorial Interchange in Bakersfield, and participating in multiple coat drive events for children as well as distributing Thanksgiving turkeys to local families.
Please do not forget to visit my website for legislative updates, a list of upcoming events, and information on state resources and services available to you. I hope you find this information helpful, and will forward it to friends and family so they can sign up as well.
Assemblymember, 32nd District
In this issue:
Hanford Senior Scam Stopper Workshop
Bakersfield Recycling Day
Annual Kings County Winter Coat Drive
CHP Officer Gerald E. Dormaier Memorial Interchange Dedication Ceremony
Independent Living Center of Kern County BBQ
Water Association of Kern County 62nd Annual Meeting
On November 11, we commemorated Veterans Day to honor the bravery and sacrifice of current and past military service members. Every day that we enjoy the freedom and safety our military provides to all Americans is a reminder of our indebtedness to the selfless service of our nation’s heroic veterans. To all veterans and those currently serving, thank you for your service!
Annual Vet Fest at Bakersfield College
The Bakersfield College Veterans Club held their fourth annual Vet Fest to honor and show appreciation to current and past members of the Armed Forces for defending our country. Organizations that participated included The Wounded Heroes Fund, the Bakersfield Vet Center, the Kern County Veterans Service Office, Employment Development Office, Bakersfield College Disable Student Programs and Services, and more.
Veterans Day Parade
As an ardent supporter of veterans and military families, I was honored to walk with the Kern River Blue Star Moms in the annual Veterans Day parade in Bakersfield, which has been sponsored by American Legion Post 26 every year since 1919. In honor of Blue Star Moms, military families, and the service members they support or have tragically lost, this year I authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 79 to recognize May 2017 as Blue Star Mothers of America Month and ACR 120, which recognized September 24, 2017 as Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day.
In partnership with the California Contractors State License Board, I hosted our fifth Senior Scam Stopper Workshop of the year in Hanford. One in five seniors has been a victim of fraud and they are the most targeted group. I want to thank all of the experts that came out to help elders and their loved ones protect themselves from different types of fraud and scams, like identity theft, elder financial abuse, and insurance fraud.
Each year, millions of Americans celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15th. This year, I partnered with community organizations for a “Bakersfield Recycling Day” event where folks were able to clean out old, unwanted belongings in an environmentally friendly way that will help keep our communities clean. Lots of people came by to safely dispose of electronic waste like old TVs, cell phones and laptops, along with mattresses, batteries, and construction materials.
Recycling reduces waste, prevents pollution, conserves natural resources, saves energy, and creates green jobs!
When we come together as a community, we can make a difference! Because of our collaboration, hundreds of children will have coats this winter. This could not have happened without all the partners who volunteered their time, resources and energy to help hundreds of kids stay warm and dry this winter. Big thanks to the Professional Latin American Association (PLAA), Kings County Community Action Organization (KCAO) and Southern California Gas who made it all happen.
I was proud to team up with Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle and local boxing hero Jose Ramirez to tackle hunger with "Operation Gobble," a program which provides Thanksgiving turkeys to local families in need. Approximately 675 turkeys were distributed to families in Corcoran, Home Garden, Kettleman City and Avenal.
In 2015, I authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 78 designating the interchange at the junction of State Routes 99 and 166 in Kern County as the CHP Officer Gerald E. Dormaier Memorial Interchange. The sign honoring Officer Dormaier was officially unveiled at the dedication ceremony this past month.
Officer Dormaier was tragically killed in the line of duty on Christmas Day, 1980. A graduate of Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College, Dormaier was a hardworking, dedicated officer and a loving father.
The Independent Living Center of Kern County (ILCKC) is one of the state’s 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) that provide critical services to over 100,000 individuals with disabilities each year, including employment, housing, technology, and advocacy services.
For the last two years, I successfully fought to restore funding in the state budget for three ILCs – including Kern County – that were not receiving the state minimum base grant that is currently available to the other 25 ILCs.
I truly enjoyed spending time with staff and families that attended the BBQ. I would also like to thank Knights Pumping and Portable Services for sponsoring this event.
Earlier this month, I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Water Association of Kern County’s annual meeting to share the work the Legislature accomplished this year to improve water quality and water access in the Central Valley and across the state.
Some of the highlights from the year included Assembly Bill (AB) 560, which I authored in partnership with the Community Water Center to keep drinking water safe and affordable in severely disadvantaged communities and securing $4 million in the state budget for the Friant-Kern Canal Project that will increase water supply and accessibility for agricultural and urban customers in the Central Valley.
In order to better address issues and challenges that our communities face, I frequently visit and tour small businesses, nonprofits, schools, prisons, and more to listen and learn from the people shaping our region.
Alianza Recycling and Recovery in Bakersfield
I visited and spoke with the hardworking folks at Alianza Recycling and Recovery who are using innovative solutions to help tackle the increasing e-waste recycling problem in an environmentally friendly way.
First 5 Kern Buttonwillow Community Resource Center, Preschool & Buttonwillow Elementary School
In Buttonwillow, I met with First 5 Kern and visited their facilities to learn more about how they are supporting and improving child development programs throughout Kern County.
I also visited with teachers and students at Buttonwillow Elementary School and saw some of the fun and exciting projects they are working on to help keep students engaged and learning!
Maple Elementary School in Shafter
I want to thank the staff, teachers and students of Maple Elementary School in Shafter for the warm welcome and tour of the campus.
We had a great time touring the school and learning from teachers and students about the needs and challenges they face in providing a safe learning environment for students.
Minter Field Air Museum in Shafter
One of the most interesting tours this month was the tour of the Minter Field Air Museum, which was originally used as an Army air base, where World War II pilots were trained.
During the tour, I learned that, besides being a functioning airfield, the Minter Field Museum, housed in its original 1941 fire station, features a large collection of artifacts that include military uniforms, radio equipment, medals, patches, models of aircraft and military vehicles, in addition to photographs of the men and women who were stationed there.