July 2017 Newsletter
I am pleased to report that we have 17 pieces of legislation that were heard in their respective committees and then were voted on by the full Assembly. These bills are now working their way through the Senate and soon to the Governor's desk. As I consider the bills that come before me, my staff keeps me up to date with the comments and concerns you send to my office. As before, my primary goals are to ensure that our voices are heard and that resources that had been absent from the district for many years, make their way back into our communities.
Mt. Vernon Bridge
Since arriving to the state Assembly, I have been fighting for funding for various projects around our district, chief among them is the Mt. Vernon bridge, which is a prime example of the deplorable state of transportation infrastructure. The Mt. Vernon bridge in San Bernardino serves as the main transportation artery between the westside and its neighbors. Like any artery, age has a way of taking something that was once beautiful and efficient and beating it down until it is either replaced or ceases to function. Luckily, this artery is slated for replacement and the $135 million project to replace the 1,106 foot long bridge that spans over 20 train tracks only needs $13 million to fully fund the project.
The Mt. Vernon bridge viewed from the ground and from above
The need is there. Built in 1934, the bridge has seen better days. Over and over again, this automobile viaduct has been declared "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete" by Caltrans when it received a score of 50 out of 100 by structural engineers checking for hazards. That was back in 1997, two full decades ago. The bridge has been closed off twice to traffic since 2004, when inspectors found cracks in its steel columns that support the bridge deck. These columns have been shored up in four seperate locations. In 2008, Caltrans again found cracks and, similar to the first time, the bridge was shored up in three additional locations.
The Mt. Vernon bridge and many other projects inside the district present a dire need for revitalization. I will continue to push for funds to address these needs. Over the coming months I look forward to community input on the projects and needs inside our communities that YOU find important. These can be the roads and paths that you take to work everyday, the parks your children play at or places you wish there were parks etc. Any ideas on how to better our communites and make a positive impact on the citizens of our district are more than welcome. Please don't hesitate to reach out to my capitol staff at (916) 319-2047 or district staff (909) 381-3238.
Veteran of the Year
On June 22, our capitol office welcomed Major (ret.) Don Larkin of Grand Terrace as part of the 10th annual Veterans of the Year Luncheon at the Sacramento Convention Center. Honorees spanned service in armed conflicts from World War II to current military personnel in armed conflicts in the Middle East and around the globe. Larkin served in the US Army from 1974 when he enlisted at the age of 18 in the Florida National Guard, all the way until 2015 when he retired as a Major in the US Army Reserve. During his time in service to our country, Maj. Larkin was assigned to positions in Germany, various positions stateside and active duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
District 47 Non-Profit of the Year
Our capitol office had the pleasure of welcoming representatives from the United Nations of Consciousness as our District 47 Non-Profit of the Year. United Nations of Consciousness is a community-based organization established in 2015 with headquarters in San Bernardino. Working to heal and unite our community, UNC serves as a liaison in the African American community, bringing businesses, religious organizations, and other community groups together, across demographics, to expand their network, resources and impact.
Left: Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes with Veteran of the Year honoree Don Larkin. Right: Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes with representatives from United Nations of Consciousness for Non-Profit of the Year.
I joined with my Assembly colleagues to stand up for California's values of opportunities and inclusion and justice as we voted for a responsible and balanced state budget. This budget upholds our commitment to a better California by investing in our senior citizens, middle class families, and students. With a national political conversation focused on blame and generating fear of the other, California can stand proud today proving it is our differences that bring us together to generate a responsible and forward thinking state budget.
This remains true for the 47th Assembly District where the new budget expands the state's Earned Income Tax Credit that thousands in our District took advantage of to get more money back on their taxes. The budget also continues developing long-term strategies for making progressive improvements such as combating poverty, lowering prison costs and eliminating dependence on student borrowing.
The new budget expands access to healthcare services for those who need it most, with funds from Prop 56 passed by voters last November.
This budget also signals our commitment to ensure that our children get a start on their success with greater funding for childcare resources and an increase in the full-day state preschool slots.
At the same time, the budget increases funding for K-12 education, community colleges, the UC and CSU. The budget increases college affordability by maintaining the middle-class scholarship and creating more pathways for students to obtain degrees. These investments include $5 million for the creation of a Bilingual Teacher Development Program, that I have championed. This funding will go a long way to addressing the state's teacher shortage and ensuring students are adequately served in our state's diverse classrooms.
The investments in this year's budget are complemented by the legislature's responsible commitment to plan for the future by growing the reserve, or rainy day fund to $9.9 billion by 2020-21.
This budget brings vital resources back to the 47th Assembly District. These include bringing more judges to San Bernardino County, funding for the completion of the Rosa Parks statue outside of the San Bernardino State Building, and regional specific investments in public safety.
This budget is only the beginning of my efforts to make sure the Inland Empire is represented in Sacramento, and I look forward to continuing to ensure that we get our fair share.
Assemblymember Reyes on the Move
The foundation of our democracy is built on the engagement of our communities. I am proud to share with you the strength of community engagement in the 47th Assembly District. Every weekend I attend a variety of community events held by our local government and non-profit sectors. I look forward to continuing to participate and support the various organizations that are working diligently to create a better quality of life for all of us. Below are a few events that I attended. In the coming weeks you can keep track of the events I attend via our website at www.asmdc.org/reyes or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AsmReyes/.
Historic Mexican@ and Latin@ Summit on the Strategic Response to Trump's Presidential Policies, at the University of California, Riverside.
California State Student Association (CSSA) dinner honoring those committed to supporting higher education.
Women's Empowerment Day at Werner Elementary School in Rialto.
Free Grant Writing Workshop at the Inland Empire Job Corps Center in partnership with Senator Connie Leyva and California Consulting.
2017 Chaffey College 3rd Annual Black African American Graduation Celebration.
Libreria Del Pueblo Grand Opening and 32 year anniversary.
Inaugural Veteran of the Year Award Ceremony for the 47th Assembly District.
Young Legislators Corner
Our Young Legislators have been working hard in the 47th Assembly District by volunteering their time at events that are hosted by my office and other community partners. Their dedication and hard work continues to impress me. I look forward to the future professional leaders they will become. For more information about our Young Legislators Program contact Maha Rizvi at my district office at (909) 381-3238.
Assemblywoman Reyes Selects the 2017 Honorees for 30 Under 30
On July 22 my office will honor 30 young men and women under the age of 30 who exemplify dedication, innovation and service in the 47th Assembly District at our 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony and Art Showcase. I am excited to announce the name of the 30 individuals chosen for the 30 Under 30 Award:
Alejandro Gutierrez Chavez
Asia La Pham
Rick Cordova, Jr.
Notice - Satellite Office Hours
Our office is partnering with the city of Fontana to host satellite office hours on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 2 to 6 p.m. at Fontana City Hall, 8353 Sierra Ave., Fontana, CA 92335. Please call Maha Rizvi at (909) 381-3238 for appointments.
Our office is partnering with the city of Rialto to host satellite office hours on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Rialto Resource Center, 141 S Riverside Ave., Rialto, CA 92376. Please call Daniel Peeden at (909) 381-3238 for appointments.
District Events Coming Up In July!
The Senior Scam Stopper Workshop
Who: Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes
Where: Ahepa Apartments
377 E. Gilbert St.
San Bernardino, CA 92404
When: Friday, July 21, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Justice in July Jamboree with Time for Change Foundation
Who: Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, Senator Connie M. Leyva, city of Rialto and Time for Change Foundation
Where: Rialto City Hall
150 S. Palm Ave.
When: Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
30 Under 30 Award Ceremony and Art Showcase
Who: Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes & staff
Where: The Garcia for the Arts Center
536 W. 11th St.
San Bernardino, CA 92410
When: Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.