February 2011 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011


On Saturday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., I’ll be at the Cup and Saucer, 1375 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, to meet one-on-one with Assembly District 24 residents to listen to their concerns and answer questions about state issues.


Our public universities have helped position California to be the world’s eighth biggest economy.  They serve as the backbone for our state’s growth during the past 70 years in industries such as aerospace, aeronautics, telecommunications, high tech, biomed, and clean tech.

Today, our universities are battling to maintain their competitive edge in the midst of a tenacious recession and multi-billion dollar state budget deficits.

I have introduced legislation to help them and secure California's leadership in new technology development.

Assembly Bill 79 generates private funding for the University of California’s Science Institutes for Science and Innovation to finance research of emerging technologies that have high job growth potential.

In exchange, the private investors can claim tax credits for their donations to specified fields including clean tech, bio and nano technology.

The institutes, created under the Gray Davis administration, have several goals including:

  • Expanding our state economy.
  • Increasing our capacity for creating new knowledge.
  • Increasing the number of highly skilled people to drive entrepreneurial business growth.

The tough economy has made it difficult for research for new technologies and innovations to get off the ground because of underfunding.  The lack of venture capital is stalling these technologies and the growth of new companies and jobs.

AB 79 addresses this problem by generating more private sector funding for the institutes by providing a tax credit incentive.

The tax credits would be available to private investors who fund clean tech, nano tech and bio tech research and development at the institutes. The credit would be equal to 50 percent of the amount deposited in the University Venture Development Fund.

This legislation enables the University of California system to continue its leading role in cutting-edge research and also rewards investors. It serves as an incentive to keep companies in California that have an impact on domestic and international markets.


The deadline for college-bound students to be considered for a Cal Grant is March 2.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA, and the student’s verified grade-point average must be submitted by March 2 in order for a student to become eligible for a Cal Grant.

Cal Grants offer up to $11,124 a year for college expenses at any qualifying state college, university or career or technical school in California.  The grant is funded by the state and does not have to be paid back.

To learn more about Cal Grants and eligibility requirements, visit the Cal Grant website.


Every year, each Assembly District selects a worthy man or woman who has served in the armed forces to honor as Veteran of the Year.  If you know of a veteran who lives in Assembly District 24 and whom you believe would be an excellent candidate for the honor please let me know.

To nominate a veteran, click here. Include a brief description of the veteran’s accomplishments. Please include contact information – phone number and email address -- for the nominee, too.


It has been one of my priorities to increase awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit and to ensure low-income Californians, who qualify for the tax credit, take advantage of it. To learn more, visit the Internal Revenue Service’s site on this important tax credit.


February is Black History Month, a time to recall and reflect on the African Americans experience.

This month, San Jose’s Martin Luther King Public Library continues its celebration of Dr. King’s 82nd birthday anniversary with a series of events that bring to life the Nobel Prize-winning civil rights leader’s legacy. Visit the library’s website for more information.


The Silicon Valley Independent Living Center is expanding its youth outreach program to include self-advocacy training for children with disabilities age 13 and younger. Partners in the program include Kids As Self-Advocates and the California Health Incentives Improvement Project.

The first self-advocacy training will be on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at SVILC, 2202 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95131. The day’s activities will include “kid –friendly” strategies to talk about disability pride, how to deal with teasing and bullying and other disability related situations at school, on the playground and in the home. All SVILC workshops and trainings are free.

For more information about the upcoming event, contact Eliza Riley at elizar@svilc.org or call 408-894-9041 (voice), 866-945-2205 (TTY), 408-457-8359 (Video Phone).