June 2021 Newsletter

Submitted by piperch on Wed, 06/30/2021 - 15:11

Dr. Akilah Weber's Assembly News

Please click the June 2021 Newsletter link above to view the full newsletter

Wellness Tip of the Month

Water is an essential part of our physical makeup, but we often may not drink as much as our body needs. Lack of water consumption can make us feel fatigued, our skin can lose elasticity, and it can cause headaches. You can improve your wellness by drinking more water!

 Upcoming Calendar:

  • July 4 Independence Day
  • July 12 Virtual Back to School Forum with School District Superintendents
  • July 14 Last day for policy committees to meet and reports bills (J.R. 61(a)(11)).
  • July 16 Summer Recess begins upon adjournment, provided Budget Bill has been passed (J.R. 51(a)(3)).

Legislative Updates

Stepping into this position has been very fast-paced, but I am adapting quickly as the California Legislature is in the essential part of the Legislative Session. This month, we voted on the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget and completed bills in the house of origin. I had the honor of passing my first three bills out of the Assembly and on to the Senate. You may read more about each of them below:

AB 1207 - Would establish the "Pathway through Pandemics Task Force," which will collect and analyze California's COVID-19 data and develop a response plan for future pandemics.

AB 914 - Would require the California State University (CSU) to annually report data that will assist in determining how to improve college-readiness programs, how English and Math preparedness varies across the CSU system, and how campuses plan to close equity gaps that may exist.

AB 1156 - Would amend the Business and Professions Code to decrease the negative impact on access to care for physician and surgeon license participants. This bill seeks to eliminate multiple barriers for residents, including the ability to work outside residency programs, obtaining a Drug Enforcement Administration Waiver, and the inconsistencies with family and medical leave policies.

A critical piece of my job as a legislator is the state budget and bringing resources back to my district. Yesterday, my legislative colleagues and I passed AB 129, the budget bill which includes significant investments in areas that are crucial to our efforts to reopen California. From record investments in our K-12 education system to additional funding for our small business owners, AB 129 will provide much-needed relief for many San Diegans. I am especially proud to have secured $2.3 million for several local community projects that will help improve safety and expand access to some of our district's most beloved recreational spaces. Below are a few of the budget items we were able to get for the 79th Assembly District:

Home of La Mesa's only community center, recreational center, cottage, and municipal pool, MacArthur Park was allocated $150,000 for an environmental impact report to assess opportunities for future community uses and benefits. There was also $230,000 for La Mesa's oldest park, Collier Park, which will improve the park drainage system, visibility, and ADA accessibility because everyone deserves to enjoy the great amenities of the park safely.

The historic Kuhlken Field in La Mesa will receive $230,000 to construct a restroom facility, and the City of Lemon Grove's Berry Street Park will receive $400,000 to build new restrooms facilities as well.

The City of San Diego will be allocated $424,000 for Chollas Lake, located in the Oak Park community, to upgrade electrical services and security lighting fixtures. And lastly, the City of San Diego will also receive $823,000 for the construction of a pedestrian path on Woodman Street in the Encanto and Skyline neighborhoods, streetlights on Reo Drive in the Paradise Hills community, traffic calming devices in Rolando Park, and a pedestrian path on 54th Street in Encanto to create safe, walkable spaces for constituents.

This bold, yet balanced budget will help the 79th in remarkable ways. While we rebuild our communities, outdoor recreation and health will continue to be part of my focus for improving constituents' wellbeing across the district.

Virtual Back to School Forum

Join us! On Monday, July 12, we will be hosting a Virtual Back to School Forum featuring school district superintendents. During the forum, you’ll learn more about each district’s plans for returning to in-person learning. There will also be live Spanish interpretation available during the event. To RSVP and submit a question to Superintendents, visit https://a79.asmdc.org/virtual-back-school-forum.

Pride Month

The month of June celebrated and uplifted the diversity, strength and resilience of our LGBTQ+ community. We must strive to collectively advocate, act, and organize to create an inclusive and intersectional legacy for everyone. This month, we honor and embrace the profound effect that LGBTQ+ people, activists, and allies have had on history in the United States and around the world.

Juneteenth Celebration

This month, Juneteenth became a Federal Holiday and was commemorated by the State of California. Celebrating Juneteenth is a reminder that freedom was not granted to everyone when the United States gained its independence. We honor the resilience of Black Americans who have enriched society through their sacrifices and struggle to achieve freedom.

EDD Scams

My District Office has been working hard to assist those experiencing difficulties reaching the California Employment Development Department to resolve Unemployment Insurance issues. The agency has warned Californians to be on alert for scammers who pretend to be the EDD or Bank of America in order to scam constituents into giving up personal information by text message. For more information and examples of EDD scams, please click here.

In addition, we are aware that constituents have paid for third-party services to get in contact with EDD. We understand how challenging it is to contact EDD and resolve issues of unpaid benefits, but please know that our office is here to help. If you need assistance with your unemployment claim, do not hesitate to reach out to our office at (619) 531-7913 or complete our EDD Assistance Form here: https://a79.asmdc.org/edd-assistance-form.

REAL ID

If you received a driver’s license or ID over the pandemic and did not receive the California REAL ID, The Department of Motor Vehicles invites all eligible Californians to upgrade now for no additional cost. This offer is set to expire at the end of the year.

The California REAL ID is a driver license or ID card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles that meets federal identification standards established by Congress to make our country safer. The REAL ID is a new form of state driver license or identification card that requires stricter documentation to guarantee the identity of the person who has one.

You will need a REAL ID (or another federally issued, compliant ID—like a passport) to fly, enter a military base or a federal building as of May 3, 2023. You can start the application online, but you need to complete the process in-person at the DMV.

In the Spotlight

Employee Highlights: Moana Cabiles

As a Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders community leader in San Diego, Moana is passionate about servant leadership. She is a San Diego native who has come to recognize the need to amplify the various communities that contribute to the diversity of San Diego. Moana is proud to call San Diego her home, and is happy to serve the 79th Assembly District!

Areas: Greater Skyline Hills, Paradise Hills/Bay Terraces, Lomita Village, Jamacha, Alta Vista, Bonita/Otay Mesa, College Area, and Linda Vista. 

Policy issues: DMV, Seniors, Disabilities, Insurance, Small Business, Chambers of Commerce, Franchise Tax Board, Art/Cultural, Parks and Recreation, and Dept. of Consumer Affairs

Non-Profit of the Year 2021: Multicultural Health Foundation

The Multicultural Health Foundation (MHF) is working hard to bring health, justice and wellness to the multicultural communities of San Diego County. Established in 2012, this community-based coalition sought to advocate and help implement policies and effective strategies to address the disproportionate negative impact of COVID-19 on under-served communities of color.

MHF was founded and is led by Dr. Rodney Hood, Dr. Robert Gillespie, and Dr. Suzanne Afflalo. They achieve so much success through developing strong trusted professional and personal relationships with community leaders and addressing the health and socio-economic challenges experienced by the Black community. Together, they connect the community with accurate information about COVID-19 prevention, testing sites, vaccines, and health resources.

This type of outreach is vital throughout the 79th Assembly District. We are so appreciative of the tireless efforts of the MHF team, and honor them for their hard work!