March 2016 Newsletter

April 04, 2016
March 2016 Newsletter




Every year, each state Senate District selects a Woman of the Year in recognition of her work to make our community a better place. Here in Silicon Valley, there are so many remarkable women in all walks of life that I find it impossible to single out only one person. So this year, I am breaking with tradition by selecting five women for their contributions to our region.

To honor them and in observance of Women's History Month, I am hosting a reception at my District Office. Please join us.

Celebrating the Women of Silicon Valley
Wednesday, March 23; 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
2105 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell

Light refreshments will be served. 
To RSVP, call the District Office staff, (408) 558-1295, or click here.

The honorees are:

  • Nancy Pyle, a former school teacher who stepped up and won elections to serve on the San Jose City Council as well as the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District Board.
  • Jenny Do, a Renaissance woman whose multi-faceted career as an attorney, artist, and an outspoken advocate for the Vietnamese community has won the admiration and respect of people throughout our valley and beyond.
  • Heidi Oatis, the owner of the Hair Extension Palace in Campbell, generously donates her skill, artistry, and time to create beautiful hair pieces for children, who suffer from cancer and alopecia, through a non-profit she founded, Hair We Are Kidz.
  • Teresa Castellanos, a member of the San Jose Unified School Board and also a services coordinator for the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations, has helped students and families forge paths toward better lives.
  • Melinda Chacon exemplifies a generation of energetic young leaders in San Jose. Chacon, who works at Joint Ventures Silicon Valley, has long been involved in community and civic activities, including coordinating the Cesar Chavez Memorial Walk and Festival.



One of the most satisfying votes I cast in the Senate last year was in support of the Fair Pay Act. This legislation ends the gender wage gap by making it illegal for an employer to pay a woman less than a man when they both do equal work at the same business.

Why was the legislation needed? Women in California earn 84 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This translates into women losing about $40 billion in income annually.

I raise this issue because March is Women's History Month is not only a time to reflect on what has been achieved but what must be achieved - such as eradicating domestic violence, ensuring women have the right to control their own bodies, and ending job discrimination that denies women employment and promotions.

If the driving principle of our country - that we are all created equal - is a hollow promise to half our population, we must not rest until that fundamental right becomes a reality for all.



Do you have questions or concerns about a state issue? Please join me in Cupertino for one of my community coffee meetings. These informal get-togethers allow you to meet with me for a one-on-one dialogue. Be aware that your time with me may be limited due to the number of people who come to speak to me.

My next community coffee is scheduled for:

Tuesday, March 22; 8:30 a.m.- 10 a.m.
Paris Baguette
20735 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino

To RSVP, click here.



As required by law, the members of the State Board of Equalization holds annual public hearings to listen to your suggestions, comments, and concerns regarding business and property taxes. The Business and Property Tax hearings are an opportunity for taxpayers to express their thoughts, ideas, and recommended changes to tax programs and laws administered by the board.

The board will be convening two Taxpayers' Bill of Rights public hearings. The hearings are scheduled at:

Culver City
Tuesday, April 26; 1:30 p.m.
5901 Green Valley Circle, second floor


Tuesday, May 24; 1:30 p.m.
450 N. Street; first floor, board room

To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the board cautions that a limited amount of time is available for each presentation. If you wish to submit a description of your issue or other documents to the board prior to the hearing, if you would like to be scheduled as a speaker, or if you have questions about the hearings, please contact the Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office.