(Sacramento) – A very significant piece of history regarding California’s farm labor and civil rights movement has mysteriously been missing from our state’s public school history books for decades. California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) wants to give voice where there is currently silence on the role of Filipino-Americans in the struggle for civil rights and equity in California’s agricultural fields. That’s why he authored Assembly Bill 7. If enacted, AB 7 would establish October 25th of every year as “Larry Itliong Day.” Many of us have never heard of Itliong, who joined with Cesar Chavez and other leaders to ultimately create what is known today as the United Farm Workers’ union. Watch this Assembly Access Video to learn more about this unsung American hero.
(Sacramento) – On the day before the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) took part in a news conference on the State Capitol steps to discuss legislation aimed at increasing voter turnout, protecting California’s voters and its election process. Assemblymember Bonta co-authored Assembly Bill 182. It expands the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 to allow challenges to district-based elections. “The California Voting Rights Act of 2001 was intended to protect the right of every Californian to elect a candidate of his or her choice,” said Assemblymember Bonta. “Oftentimes, when cities implement district-based elections, those elections dilute the voting strength of minorities and frustrate the purpose of the Act.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) – With a single piece of legislation, AB 1240, state legislators took a bold step today to boost academic performance, revitalize California’s limited school breakfast program and more effectively manage existing funding. AB 1240, introduced by Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), calls for practical fixes to improve access to the school breakfast program and ensure more students start their school day well-nourished and ready to learn.
“Even students with the best teachers and curriculum will struggle to learn if they come to school hungry,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta. “Research has consistently shown that hungry kids can’t focus at school, making it difficult for them to be productive and engaged students. By giving students the basic opportunity to nourish themselves and thrive in a positive educational environment, AB 1240 offers a simple solution to help address California’s achievement gap.”
(Sacramento) – At a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol Assembly Health Committee Chair Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernández (D-Azusa) joined health care providers, patients and advocates to announce legislation (AB 366 and SB 243) to restore a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement and require that Medi-Cal payments to providers be on par with what Medicare pays for the same services. “I believe health care should be a right and not a privilege,” said Assemblymember Bonta. “ AB 366 and SB 243 are critical steps toward ensuring that the health care coverage millions have signed up for is meaningful and actually provides real access to quality health care.”
(Sacramento) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) was joined by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), representing the California Legislative Black Caucus; Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), representing the California Latino Legislative Caucus; former Assemblymember Mike Eng; and Members of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus, as he unveiled his Assembly Bill 176, the Accounting for Health and Education in API Demographics, or the AHEAD Act, to require institutions of higher learning and health agencies to disaggregate data for specified ethnic subgroups. “The population of California is uniquely diverse, especially within the API community. And it’s so important that our policy leaders understand this diversity and are sensitive to the fact that APIs are not all the same. While we share some of the same challenges, such as language access issues, racial discrimination, and obstacles born of immigration, each of our diverse communities has different social, economic and educational outcomes that need to be addressed appropriately,” explained Bonta. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Evan Low(D-San Francisco), and Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) welcomed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define America, Jose Antonio Vargas, to the State Capitol for a news conference to highlight why the Safe and Responsible Driver Act (AB 60) and the President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action are important to the Asian Pacific Islander community. “Immigration is not just a Latino issue. It’s not just an API issue. It’s not just a Black or White issue. It’s an issue that’s as diverse as our state,” explained Assemblymember Bonta. Jose Antonio Vargas, who passed the California driving test a few days ago, spoke about the great impact AB 60 has made on his own life. “Thousands of undocumented residents are getting this license because we are a part of this community. The farmworkers, the day laborers, the home care workers, the students---we are all part of this community. This is our home. I cannot overstate the value of this piece of paper and what it means to me, my family, and my friends.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
(Oakland) - The California State Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay, chaired by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), brought together students, officials and experts to discuss the complex forms of community violence related post-traumatic stress disorder affecting Oakland youth. The hearing, titled Resiliency of East Oakland’s Youth in the Face of Neighborhood Violence: Addressing the Complexities of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Community, was an emotion filled afternoon discussing successful models for improving the health and well-being of youth affected by trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Watch the entire hearing in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) -- California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) rose on the Floor of the Assembly to adjourn in memory of cartoonist, Morris "Morrie" Turner. Born and raised in Oakland, Morrie Turner created Wee Pals in 1965 - a groundbreaking comic strip that reflected his own racially and ethnically diverse upbringing in Oakland. Each week, readers would bear witness to his unique ability to address racial and social justice issues with a playful and lighthearted finesse. Turner was the first African American cartoonist to have a nationally syndicated comic and will have a long-lasting impact on California through his insightful teachings of tolerance and acceptance.
(Sacramento) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Chair of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee, and Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and have announced they will push to implement a long-term solution to the funding shortfall in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) this year. Assemblymember Bonta noted his committee would begin holding hearings in February. “I am eager to begin this process and confident that an equitable and permanent solution can and will be found to the CalSTRS funding problem. Ensuring the long term financial security of California's hardworking and dedicated teachers is a goal we are hopeful we can achieve this year,” Assemblymember Bonta said. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) found Governor Jerry Brown’s State of the State Address to be uplifting as the Governor celebrated California’s successes that include job creation, drivers licenses for immigrants, budget surpluses, increased minimum wage and the list goes on. At the same time, Assemblymember Bonta was grateful that the governor acknowledged the ongoing challenges that we face as a state. Bonta says he is committed to working with the governor as he tackles infrastructure needs, pension costs, climate change and the rainy day fund. Watch this Assembly Access Video to hear Assemblymember Bonta’s entire response to the governor’s speech.