April 2010 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011

TOWN HALL FORUMS

Here’s a quick update on the twin town halls I held earlier this month:

More than 120 people attended the town halls at San Jose State University and at the Willow Glen Community and Senior Center.

Joining me was Thad Kousser, a University of California-San Diego political science professor who is researching and analyzing constitutional reform as a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institute, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, both located at Stanford University.

The forums were wide-ranging, including discussions on taxes, the public’s conflicting visions of the state budget, and how the sluggish economy affects people’s perceptions of the Legislature’s and Governor’s approval ratings.

Some in attendance thought the meetings were informative and provided a refreshing opportunity for give-and-take during the question and answer sessions.

“I definitely do,’’ said Teresa Hanson, a San Jose State University graduate student, “because I write letters and call my local representatives; I know who they are. It’s nice to have a face-to-face conversation – that has value.’’


HELPING OUT BY EATING OUT

More than 23,000 people in the Bay Area’s nine counties have AIDS or have tested HIV positive. About 3,000 of them live in Santa Clara County. No cure has been discovered but treatment has prolonged the lives of many with the disease. Consequently, more people are facing the challenge of aging with HIV/AIDS.

The Health Trust’s AIDS services have helped many of them cope with the hurdles that confront them.

On Thursday, April 29, we can raise money for the Health Trust’s AIDS services by dining out at one of the participating restaurants in the South Bay.

Twenty-five percent of your food bill will be donated to the Health Trust to help fund case management services, food baskets, housing assistance, transportation, emergency support, and a wellness and prevention community center for people with HIV/AIDS.

On the evening of “Dining Out for Life,’’ I will be serving as an “ambassador’’ from about 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Mama Mia's Ristorante Italiano, 200 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell.

EXERCISING YOUR ARTISTIC LICENSE

California Arts License plate fees are now considered charitable deductions to the state of California, according to a clarification issued by the Franchise Tax Board.

Through the Arts License Plate program, Californians can contribute to and improve the state’s investment in arts education and the creative economy without tapping into the General Fund.

The Arts Plate, designed by California artist Wayne Thiebaud, first hit the roadways in 1994. It represents 60 percent of the current budget of the California Arts Council, the state agency that advances California through the arts and creativity. The arts council is working to encourage one million or more state motorists to apply for the Arts License Plate.

Information on the California Arts Plate and links to the DMV ordering page may be found on the California Arts Council’s homepage at www.cac.ca.gov. Business owners interested in investigating arts plates for their company fleets may contact the Arts Council staff directly: Mary Beth Barber at 916-322-6588 or mbarber@cac.ca.gov.