Op-Eds

November is Native American Heritage Month, a national celebration recognizing Tribal history and sovereignty.  San Diego County is home to more Indian reservations than any other county in the United States. These sovereign tribal governments all lie within the 75th Assembly District, and as their representative in Sacramento, the commemoration has special significance for me. Self-government is essential so that tribes can protect their unique cultures and identities to enrich the economic, cultural and social fabric of our state and nation. History has not been easy on Native Americans,… read more
Thanks to support from voters like you, I have been re-elected to serve the people of San Diego County’s 75th Assembly District. The boundary lines have changed and I have many new constituents along with many continuing constituents. The district now includes most of rural northern and eastern San Diego County, along with the cities of Poway and Santee, and the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego. I am honored by your support and look forward to serving you. The 75th Assembly District is one of the most geographically diverse areas in the state. We have subtropical valleys filled with… read more
Redistricting has changed electoral boundaries throughout California, I regret to say that I will no longer be serving you as Temecula’s representative in the California State Assembly. I love Temecula and its people; you have a great city with lots of good things happening.  You have honored me with your support for the past ten years. I am deeply grateful, and more than a little sad. I will continue to represent the 75th Assembly District, which is now located entirely within San Diego County. The district includes the eastern two-thirds of San Diego County, and stretches from the… read more
Redistricting has rearranged legislative boundaries throughout California, including the 75th Assembly District that I have represented for the past 10 years. The current district includes the cities of Escondido, San Marcos and Temecula, along with Bonsall, Fallbrook, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley and Valley Center. But that’s changing. Escondido and San Marcos will now be located in the 76th Assembly District, and Temecula will be in the 71st. The 75th has been expanded to the east, now taking in most of rural northern and eastern San Diego County from the Riverside County line to the… read more
When the Legislature convenes for the 2023-2024 session December 5th, some big issues will be waiting for us. They include crime, the cost of living, water supply  – these problems and many more need immediate attention. According to a recent report from the Attorney General’s office, violent crime increased by 6.7% from 2020 to 2021. Property crimes increased 3%, the total arrest rate decreased 7.3%, adults on probation are at the lowest level since 1980, and the total number of full-time criminal justice personnel decreased by 2.7%. So crime rose, but law enforcement personnel, arrests and… read more
The current legislative session ended on August 31st. In normal times, no more business would be conducted by the Legislature in Sacramento until the next session officially begins on December 5th. But these are far from normal times. Violent crime is exploding and the homelessness crisis is worsening.  Gas prices are approaching $7 a gallon, and families are being forced to choose between paying the rent, buying food or putting gas in the car. The Legislature needs to take immediate action, We should pass legislation suspending our state’s gasoline tax, the nation’s highest. This could be… read more
Fentanyl is taking it’s deadly toll on our state and nation. According to a recent press release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 5,091 pounds of fentanyl in Imperial and San Diego Counties during the first 9 months of Fiscal Year 2022. That’s 60 percent of the 8,425 pounds seized in the entire country. Drug precursors are typically manufactured in China, then processed in Mexico and smuggled into the U.S. by cartels across our increasingly wide-open southern border. According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner, fentanyl related overdose deaths increased 2,375 percent in San… read more
As a trained Project Wildlife Native Songbird Rehabilitator, my experience raising orphaned and injured songbirds and returning them to the wild has guided me in legislation I introduce and support. I’m happy to report that most of that legislation has been signed into law. The “Beagle Freedom Bill,” which I co-authored, requires research institutions that use dogs or cats to offer those animals for adoption. I also co-authored legislation that indemnifies good Samaritans who break into hot cars to rescue trapped animals, and I supported a bill that bans puppy mills and encourages adoption… read more
As any Economics 101 student knows, when the federal government creates billions/trillions of dollars out of thin air, the result is massive inflation. That inflation has now reached a 40-year high, and those with low and moderate incomes are bearing the heaviest burden. Even so, Californians pay more. Compared to national averages, Californians pay a 46% premium for gasoline, (now approaching $7 a gallon) a 37.4% premium for diesel fuel, a 73% premium on residential electricity, and nearly a 50% premium for natural gas. 47% of all Californians and 61% of renters report that housing costs… read more
In 2020, there were just under 46,000 suicides in the United States, making it the nation’s 12th-leading cause of death. California’s suicide rate is 10.7 per 100,000, compared to 13.4 nationally. Suicide rates across the United States have been increasing, and are now double homicide rates. Obviously, more can be done to end this ongoing tragedy. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and this session I co-authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 37, declaring September 5 through September 11 Suicide Prevention Week in California. To view ACR 37, please click here. While suicide… read more