March Newsletter

March 06, 2018


When I’m not working at the State Capitol, I make it a priority to stay in touch with residents of Senate District 15. In the weeks ahead, I will be holding three events where you can meet me.

Women of the Year Celebration
Every year, I select dedicated women who have made Silicon Valley a better place. On Friday, March 9, I will be honoring six women for their work and civic involvement. My annual Women of the Year celebration will be held at 2105 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell. The event is scheduled from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

The honorees are:

  • Lifetime Achievement: The Reverend Sharon Hare
    As the pastor of First Presbyterian Church San Jose, her leadership led the church to start the Bag Lunch Program, which feeds people who are homeless, and Lifted Spirits, a drop-in center for at-risk women.
  • Community Service: Laurel Perusa
    Her community service in Saratoga is focused on increasing awareness about human trafficking in Santa Clara County. Persua, a retired teacher, is also active in several local organizations, including the Village Gardeners, a group of volunteers who maintain Big Basin Way’s flower pots, urns, and street tree wells that line downtown Saratoga’s business district.
  • Mentorship: Maria Marcelo
    She has been instrumental in her downtown San Jose neighborhood, working to unify the community and divert children from violence and crime. Through her volunteerism, Marcelo resurrected the Guadalupe Washington Neighborhood Association and worked to establish Madre a Madre to bring the mothers of Washington Elementary School students together to discuss how they can relieve their children’s stress and raise their self-esteem.
  • Trailblazer: Deb Kramer
    Kramer’s devotion to environmentalism led her to found Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful. In the wake of the Coyote Creek flood last year, she recruited 1.200 volunteers over eight days to assist residents who were affected.
  • Business Leader: Jessica Carreira 
    An accomplished chef who has worked at restaurants in Lisbon, Carreira returned to San Jose, where she grew up, to become the co-head chef of Adega, helping to create the city’s only Michelin-rated restaurant.
  • Rising Star: Erin Salazar
    The San Jose State arts degree graduate’s audacious idea to turn blank downtown walls into canvases for colorful murals of public art has become a vibrant reality. In 2014, Salazar started the Exhibition District by cobbling together various grants to keep local artists employed by creating murals that brighten downtown.

Education Town Hall
You’re invited to my Education Town Hall on Saturday, March 17, at the Cypress Community Center, 403 Cypress Ave., San Jose. The town hall begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. The future of K-12 education is the main topic. An expert on education funding from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office will be joining us. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered and meet local education leaders, too. RSVP for the event.

Community Coffee
Come to my community coffee on Friday, April 6, and discuss your ideas, questions, or concerns about legislative issues with me face-to-face. The coffee will be at the Tully Branch Library’s community room, 880 Tully Road, San Jose, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The individual meetings with me are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that the duration of your meeting with me can be limited by the number of people who wish to meet with me.


California’s shortage of housing has placed a premium on housing, running home prices and rents to record highs. It has also triggered a wave of homelessness that has overwhelmed the resources of cities and counties.

To quickly provide help for people who are homeless and provide them with shelter, I have introduced Senate Bill 912, a proposal to allocate $2 billion funding to house and help the homeless and families with low and moderate incomes. Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is joining me as an author of SB 912.

There is no better investment than to immediately put those dollars to work to shelter the homeless, seniors, and children.

The $2 billion would come from this year’s higher than anticipated state revenue as a one-time investment to cope with homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing.

The bill calls for the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide funds to cities and counties for homeless and affordable housing programs.

SB 912 fills a void created by the Trump Administration’s action to defund affordable housing tax credits and eliminate Community Development Blocks, two federal programs that have historically supported the creation of homes and apartments throughout the states.

The reduction in federal tax credits is projected to cut the number of California housing units that can be created by SB 3, a $4 billion affordable housing bond measure I successfully authored last year, and Senate Bill 2, which raises $250 million annually for housing, from about 70,000 units to 45,000.

This is why California needs SB 912 -- to backfill the sudden loss of federal dollars so we can continue to build more affordable housing.

Senators Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo; Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens;  Anthony J. Portantino,  D-La Cañada Flintridge; and Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, are co-authors of SB 912.



The California Senior Legislature, established by the Legislature, has improved the lives of seniors since 1981. This nonpartisan organization has sponsored over 200 new laws helping seniors with financial abuse, health care, the Silver Alert program, and more.

During this tax season, you can support the work of the California Senior Legislature by making a donation via the California State Voluntary Contribution Form on your state Income Tax Return Form 540.

Learn more.