A Statewide Plan to Fight Youth Fentanyl Crisis



A Statewide Plan to Fight Youth Fentanyl Crisis 


Dear Neighbors,

The fentanyl crisis has had catastrophic and deadly effects on our youth.

As reported recently by The Mercury News, fentanyl poisoning was responsible for an astounding one in five youth deaths, ages 15-to-24, in California last year. Recent data shows fentanyl deaths amongst youth doubled in one year alone.

We cannot wait for this crisis to exacerbate further.

This upcoming legislative session, I will be introduction legislation that provides necessary intervention, increases accessibility to resources, and provides valuable education and training services to protect our youth.

Building on the work of Santa Clara County’s Fentanyl Working Group formed by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, and in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, my proposal will focus on awareness as well as access to lifesaving Naloxone (also known as Narcan) training and distribution at targeted locations with high populations of youth including our school campuses.

The County Fentanyl Working Group established by Supervisor Cindy Chavez and District Attorney Jeff Rosen last April has made great strides in supplying school districts with Narcan kits and training school staff members on how to administer Narcan, which in turn has already saved the lives of two high school students last month in San Jose.

Through prevention, education, and lifesaving treatment, we can combat the skyrocketing overdoses that have plagued youth statewide.

Learn more through recent news coverage:


Legislative Update - 12 Bills Signed into Law

I am proud to share that I authored 12 bills that were signed into law in 2022, including legislation focused on student and youth wellness, protecting our older adults and retirees, ensuring pay transparency and gender equity, addressing workplace violence, and promoting an open and accessible democratic process: 

  • SB 384 – Family Finding Protocols for Children
  • SB 649 – Tenant Preferences to Prevent Displacement
  • SB 692 – Special Education Inclusion & Equity
  • SB 707 – Protections for Continuing Care Residents
  • SB 868 – Equity & Stability for Retired Educators
  • SB 874 – Parity for Classified School Employees 
  • SB 1100 – Accessible, Safe & Democratic Public Meetings
  • SB 1126 & SB 1168 – Retirement Savings Program Expansion & Postretirement Equity
  • SB 1184 – Student Mental Health Support through School-Linked Services
  • SB 1294 – Worker Wellness in Response to the VTA Shooting
  • SB 1210 Preventing Online Sexual Exploitation

This upcoming legislative session, I will continue my focus on meeting the needs of our children and families, and I look forward to the work ahead of us.



The state is investing more than ever in housing production. And here locally, thanks to state funding made available through the Department of Housing & Community Development, the City of San Jose will receive $7.4 million from the Permanent Local Housing Allocation program while the Santa Clara County Housing Trust will receive $5 million from the Local Housing Trust Fund program.



SD 15 - In the Community

I was honored to earn United Way Bay Area’s Legislative Champion Award this year and to be a partner in their mission to end hunger and poverty in the Silicon Valley and across the greater region. Picture courtesy of United Way Bay Area


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I attended Hunger at Home’s 9th Annual Bridge the Gap Gala to address food insecurity in our communities. Picture courtesy of Hunger at Home



This Veterans Day, I saluted and thanked our veterans and their families. I was able to show gratitude and honor a Veteran in my life - my 90-year-old father, Dominic. We attended the Villages Veterans Club today and heard Major General Hillhouse speak. I also joined the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County at their annual parade. Thank you to all of our service members for their courage and sacrifice

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I joined in celebration of Santa Clara Family Health Plan’s 25th Anniversary!

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We recognized the Anniversary of the Founding of the Republic of China at a Double Tenth Day Flag Raising.

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Rod Diridon Sr.’s work to preserve our historic railroads was honored at History San Jose’s Valley of Heart’s Delight: Down by the Station fundraiser in support of educational and cultural programs.


Thank you to the Bay Area Lyme Foundation for pursuing a mission of preventing and treating Tick-borne Diseases including Lyme Disease through awareness, prevention and funding for a cure.

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I celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Thank you for the warm welcome.


Through San Jose Water, “Operation Gobble” brought us together this Thanksgiving season to create a wave of generosity that will uplift the non-profits serving our community. I was proud to recognize the work of Empower & Excel, a local nonprofit that empowers youth to give back to their local communities. Empower & Excel is making a difference by engaging our youth and providing them the tools to becoming lifelong public servants.

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In partnership with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and San Jose State University’s Lurie College of Education, I joined a panel to engage in a conversation on how we can recruit and retain a diverse educator workforce.





Student Debt Relief

In August, President Biden announced the Federal Student Debt Relief program, a one-time debt-relief program that will help cancel student debt for low- to middle-income borrowers [link]. The student-debt relief portal is now live [link]. Applications can be submitted in English [link] and Spanish [link], and must be submitted by December 31, 2023.

A post-high school education should be a ticket to the middle-class. But the cost of college has skyrocketed. Giving debt relief to borrowers as they start to repay their loans will give people the breathing room they need to be able to invest in buying homes and starting businesses. Go to studentaid.gov and apply today.

In case you missed it, check out my recent webinar where we learned about Student Borrower Rights, the different types of student loans, and how to apply for the limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver. Topics included updates on the Biden- Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan and the final extension of the student loan repayment pause.


Property Tax Deferment & Earthquake Readiness

With the rising cost of living in the Golden State, and the lasting impacts of the pandemic, everyone knows someone who is struggling to make ends meet. The challenge can be greatest for retirees on a fixed income and people with a disability that prevents them from working. California offers property tax deferment for some of these vulnerable homeowners.

State Controller Betty T. Yee administers the Property Tax Postponement (PTP) Program to allow homeowners who are seniors – or who are blind or have a disability – to defer payment of residential property taxes. Applicants must meet income, equity, and other requirements. These deferred taxes accrue simple interest at a rate of 5 percent a year and become due if the homeowner moves or sells the property, transfers title, refinances, dies, obtains a reverse mortgage, or defaults on a senior lien. A lien will be placed on the property. For manufactured homes, a security agreement will be filed with the Department of Housing and Community Development. A lien or security agreement remains in effect until the account is paid in full.

PTP participants must reapply each year to demonstrate they continue to meet eligibility requirements. The application filing period for the 2022-23 tax year runs October 1, 2022, through February 10, 2023. Funds are limited, and applications will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Last year alone, California homeowners were able to postpone approximately $4.5 million in tax payments with the assistance of the state’s PTP program.

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from the PTP program, visit ptp.sco.ca.gov, call (800) 952-5661, or email postponement@sco.ca.gov for more information.

In addition, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program can homeowners prepare for an earthquake, by offering up to $3,000 toward a code-compliant seismic retrofit for houses that qualify. Learn more about opportunities to retrofit your home at EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.


State Initiative Addressing Mental Health

In case you missed it, I hosted a Town Hall regarding a new state initiative to provide individuals with mental health and substance use disorders the care and services they need to get healthy called “CARE Court”. We heard from the Honorable Judge Stephen Manley from the Superior Court of Santa Clara County and Uday Kapoor from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Watch the recording of the informative event at this link. 


Holiday Food & Toy Drive!

Join me and Hot San Jose Nights for their 5th annual Toy and Food Drive on Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 9:30 am - 1:30pm!

WHERE: Cambrian Park Plaza Shopping Center at the Corner of Union & Camden

14900 Camden Ave, San Jose 95124

WHEN: Sunday, December 11th, 2022, from 9:30am - 1:30pm

DONATIONS: New unwrapped toys, canned and sturdily packaged foods (no glass)

DONATIONS BENEFIT: Lord's Pantry in San Jose


State Resources on My Website

State resources and services available are posted on my new website: sd15.sen.ca.gov. Get connected to some of the most frequently used state resources, including resources for businesses and employers, students, those in need of housing and financial assistance, and more.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns. I can be reached at senator.cortese@sen.ca.gov.

Thank you,
Dave Cortese


SD 15