Last week was Wine Week in San Diego County, a celebration of the contributions our local vintners make to our economy and lifestyle. As a member of the Assembly Select Committee on Wine, I do all I can to support this vital part of San Diego’s agricultural industry, sustaining San Diego County’s position as the 19th largest farm economy in the United States.  San Diego County has a well-established history in the wine industry. The first vineyards in California were planted by the Friars at Mission San Diego de Alcala in 1769. In 2022, County wineries generated about $49.1 million in gross… read more
On Tuesday, May 9th, we recognized National Fentanyl Awareness Day.  Each month, fentanyl claims the lives of 500 Californians and nationally, fentanyl overdose deaths more than tripled over the past few years. I serve on the state’s first Select Committee on Fentanyl, Opioid Addiction, and Overdose Prevention. I intend to bring attention to the fentanyl trafficked through the Southern Border, mostly through our district, and the thousands of lives lost in San Diego County, many from accidental overdoses. We are looking forward to our first hearing this month. We need to focus on… read more
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing well over 90% of California’s workers. As a small business owner, my experience coping with overbearing bureaucracy and unnecessary regulations were some of the main reasons I first ran for public office. Obviously, California should do more to encourage small business formation and their ongoing success, including removing unnecessary barriers. That’s why I supported AB 626 in 2018. This bipartisan bill authorized Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs), allowing people to sell “cottage food” from their homes. MEHKOs… read more
Millions of Californians live in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), many located in rural parts of the state, like in my district. Improving access to healthcare for those living in underserved areas has been a major focus for me in Sacramento. The California Health Foundation notes that rural residents including tribal lands, are often confronted with serious obstacles when trying to access healthcare. These include provider shortages, hospital closures, higher maternal morbidity and mortality rates, and limited access to treatments for opioid disorders. Several areas in San Diego… read more
One of my passions in public service is encouraging young women to fulfill their life’s potential by taking full advantage of available educational opportunities. As a member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, I am happy to spread the word about the Minerva Scholarship program. Now in its fourth year, the scholarship was established by the Women in California Leadership Foundation to educate, support and empower young women and girls. The Foundation is committed to providing select young women of good character and demonstrated accomplishments with scholarships to help them achieve their… read more
California has long been recognized for its unfriendly business climate. During the pandemic, a bad situation got worse when the state forced thousands of mostly small businesses to shut down, driving many companies into bankruptcy and forcing layoffs for thousands of workers. The last thing we need now are more laws imposing greater burdens on the businesses that survived, and in many cases are still trying to recover. Unfortunately, some in Sacramento don’t get that, and apparently want to make matters worse. The California Chamber of Commerce has just come out with this year’s “Job Killer… read more
On March 28th,  the Native American Caucus held a hearing in Sacramento to discuss fentanyl’s impact on tribal communities and to raise awareness along with identifying solutions to the crisis.  As a member of the Caucus, I was extremely honored to take part in this eye-opening discussion. Participants included representatives from reservations throughout California, including the Pala Band of Indians and the Manzanita Band, both from San Diego County. Healthcare providers, law enforcement and other tribal officials attended. A few sobering statistics from Northern California were provided… read more
Ensuring the well-being of our pets and wildlife is one of my big priorities in Sacramento. I am a trained Project Wildlife Native Songbird Rehabilitator, and 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. For example, my legislation created the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Fund, allowing taxpayers to check off contributions on their tax returns to support injured or sick wildlife. Another bill prohibits… read more
There are over 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. About 5,100 babies are born with Down syndrome each year, about one in every 772 births, making it the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. In 1866, an English doctor named John Langdon Down published a scholarly work describing persons with Down syndrome, which earned him recognition as the syndrome’s “father.” Later research determined that the syndrome is caused by a full or partial copy of chromosome 21, which alters the course of the person’s development. Discoveries about the chromosomal causes of… read more
California is the country’s leading agricultural state, followed by Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas. This year, March 21st was declared AG Day in the State Capitol to help recognize the vital contributions of agriculture to the state’s economy. According to the Department of Agriculture, California has 69,000 farms. Those farms lead the nation in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches and strawberries, and only Florida produces more oranges. After Texas, we are the second-largest producer of livestock products Much of that bounty lies right here in the 75th Assembly… read more