Urban Gardens Stand to Flourish With Property Owner Incentive

Assemblymember Ting legislation would allow lower taxes

Sacramento – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) received overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Assembly for AB 551, legislation that would authorize cities and counties to create urban agriculture incentive zones, and allow for potentially reduced property assessments when a landowner allows small-scale food production on their land. The vote was 64 to 0.

Ting/Gomez Legislation to Strengthen California's Firearm Child Access Prevention Laws Passes Assembly

Goal of AB 231 is to limit a child’s access to guns

Sacramento – Legislation authored by Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D – Los Angeles) to strengthen penalties for the preventable tragedy of gun injuries involving children passed the California Assembly yesterday. AB 231 would make the act of leaving or storing a loaded firearm in a location where a child is likely to gain access a misdemeanor.

Assemblymember Ting Continues Series of Recognition Events to Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

Applauds great work of China SF, Chamber to attract Chinese companies to San Francisco

San Francisco – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) continued his series of recognition events to highlight May as Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. Today he acknowledged the great work of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, China SF, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and two of the many Chinese companies that have started or relocated to San Francisco.

“San Francisco is a city of bridges, including the one that links the two biggest economies in the world,” Ting, founder of ChinaSF and co-chair of its San Francisco Advisory Board, said at the event. “The United States and China realized they need partnerships at the city level, as cities hold the key to implementing bold business plans. San Francisco is perfectly positioned, and has the right systems in place to grow our region’s economy by facilitating business opportunities between the countries.”

San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the China SF initiative and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce work toward the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco. Representatives from the organizations were recognized by Assemblymember Ting for that effort. In attendance were Executive Director ChinaSF Darlene Chiu Bryant, and San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Linscheid.

ChinaSF is involved with many aspects of San Francisco’s development beyond the core industries - including seeking investment for capital infrastructure, attracting Chinese business to set up their North America headquarters in San Francisco, and supporting San Francisco’s institutions of higher education and their opportunities in China. But their expertise in International business attraction and retention is what brings many companies to San Francisco, including GCL Solar and Asian Pacific International Capital. Executives from those companies also attended the Ting event.

“GCL Solar’s CEO Peter Xie, its president Yumin Liu, and Wilson Chen, president of Asian Pacific International Capital are here today because they are the pioneers forging a global economy,” Ting said. “The presence and growth of Chinese companies in San Francisco will contribute to the economic well-being of our City and lead to a healthy economic future for our partners. There is no limit to the business we can do together.”

Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.

California Legislature Celebrates Asian & Pacific Islander American Heritage MonthWith Notable Accomplishment Awards

Assemblymember Phil Ting Congratulates Distinguished APIA Honoree andSan Franciscan, Chancellor Frank Wu

San Francisco – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-SF) highlighted May as Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Heritage Month today by acknowledging Frank Wu, a distinguishedrecipient of this year’s California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Awards. Wu is the Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings School of Law in San Francisco.

“My friend Frank Wu is the son of immigrants who has risen to the pinnacles of American higher education leadership,” Ting said. “He is dedicated to civic engagement and volunteer service, and his writings and influence have made a difference in countless APIA communities as they struggle for equality. Dear to my heart is his intellectual pursuit of civil justice issues and his advocacy for constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China.”

Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, which received a major grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. He was appointed by the federal Department of Education to its National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the administration on higher education accreditation, and by the Defense Department to the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, which submitted to Congress the report “From Representation to Inclusion”. He also served as a trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the world dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing persons, and he served on the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund. Chancellor Wu is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

“The APIA community, San Francisco and California are fortunate to have such an eminent scholar in our midst,” added Ting. “I’m a proud member of the California State Legislature’s APIA Caucus, and our selection of Frank Wu as a distinguished honoree could not be more appropriate. He now officially has an esteemed place in California history.”

The California State Assembly celebrates May as APIA Heritage Month by commending California’s Asian & Pacific Islander American community for their notable accomplishments and outstanding service to the state. Awards are presented to distinguished APIAs during a special floor ceremony dedicated to honoring leaders who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of public service, mental health, higher education, journalism, ethnic studies, culinary arts, and civil rights. This year’s award recipients are:

Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez, Leadership and Vision Award; Associate Justice Goodwin Liu, California State Supreme Court, Excellence in Law; Chancellor and Dean Frank Wu, UC Hastings School of Law, Excellence in Education; Acting Director Sharon Hoshida, UC Santa Barbara Women’s Center, Excellence in Public Service; Legislative Director Angie Wei, California Federation of Labor, Excellence in Labor; Sammy Lee, U.S. Olympic double gold medalist in diving, Excellence in Sports.

Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.

Assemblymember Ting Applauds Los Angeles City Council Support for Same-Sex Tax Fairness

City Adopts Resolution to Support AB 362

Sacramento – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) applauded action taken this week by the Los Angeles City Council, whose members voted unanimously to adopt Resolution (Rosendahl-Wesson-Zine) in support of AB 362, Ting’s legislation to exempt from state taxation compensation provided by California employers to employees in same-sex partnerships.

“Whenever California’s biggest city weighs in on a statewide issue, Sacramento listens,” said Ting. “So it is very important for the momentum of AB 362 that the City of Los Angeles understands our legislation is a matter of fairness, and stands in solidarity with the LGBT community.”

Under existing law, employer sponsored health insurance provided to the partners and children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees in same-sex partnerships does not qualify for federal tax exemptions. As a result, same-sex couples incur on average an extra $1,069 in taxes per year. In response to this excessive tax burden, California employers have started to adopt policies to compensate their LGBT employees for this federal tax expense. However, under existing law, these reimbursements are subject to state income taxes. AB 362 would exempt these compensations from state taxation.

“Assemblymember Ting’s legislation is a fair approach for one of the 1,100 federal benefits offered to opposite sex couples only. So, until DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is deemed unconstitutional, we’ll just chip away at it,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, an author of the resolution. “A growing number of employers are recognizing the injustice of laws that deny federal marriage benefits to same sex partnerships. They should not be penalized for providing a benefit to all their employees.”

DOMA, enacted September 21, 1996, is a federal law that restricts federal marriage benefits and inter-state marriage recognition to opposite sex marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal to overturn DOMA with United States v. Windsor oral arguments on March 27, 2013. Their decision is expected in June.

“We know that discrimination can negatively impact the health of LGBT individuals and their families, so healthcare is paramount,” said Ting. “Treating healthcare coverage as some sort of luxury benefit is simply offensive. We’ll change that when AB 362 becomes law.”

AB 362 is sponsored by Equity California and supported by a number of organizations including, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Facebook, and several labor and health organizations.

Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.

Ting/Gomez Legislation to Strengthen California’s Firearm Child Access Prevention Laws Advances

Goal of AB 231 is to limit a child’s access to guns

Sacramento – Legislation authored by Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D – Los Angeles) to strengthen remedies for the preventable tragedy of gun accidents among children passed the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. Their legislation, AB 231, would help ensure child safety and responsible ownership of guns by strengthening California’s existing firearm Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws AB 231 would make the act of leaving or storing a loaded firearm in a location where a child is likely to gain access a misdemeanor.

“California is one of the nation’s leaders in strict gun-law legislation. But those laws deal with after-the-tragedy consequences,” Ting said. “AB 231 focuses on preventing these tragedies by increasing the duty of care by gun owners, and imposing penalties when they do not do so.”

"Senior" Pedestrian Signs Promoted in Ting Legislation


Members of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Walks, and Californians for Disability Rights traveled to Sacramento to lobby for AB 707 (Ting).

Sacramento - Working to protect senior pedestrians, Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) presented legislation yesterday that would encourage local transportation agencies to install “senior” pedestrian warning signs for at-risk sites such as senior centers and senior living complexes. AB 707, which authorizes local jurisdictions to request grant funding from California’s Pedestrian Safety Account to cover the costs of the pedestrian warning signs, passed the Assembly Transportation Committee on a unanimous vote.

"We owe our seniors the freedom to move about without the fear of being hit by fast-moving traffic," Ting said. "AB 707 will provide added safety to those areas where seniors congregate. By giving motorists a heads up with additional signage warning of senior pedestrians in close range, the number of accidents will be reduced."

Ting Legislation for Transparency in Property Tax Notices Clears Committee

AB 920 would require line-item invoice of how counties spend property tax dollars

Sacramento - Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) stood up again for government transparency by presenting AB 920 to the Assembly Revenue and Tax Committee. The legislation would establish the Property Tax Transparency and Accountability Program, a pilot program for participating counties that would establish new and more detailed information on county property tax bills.

“When I go to the grocery store, I get an itemized receipt. I can look at the per-pound cost of those locally grown strawberries, and I understand the tab. The same should be true with a property tax bill,” Ting explained.  “Every property tax bill should list the top-ten expenditures, which is why I want to pilot it in three counties.  If we can collect $48 billion in property taxes, we should be able to provide a receipt to every taxpayer.”

Ting Legislation to Encourage Urban Farms Passes Committee

AB 551 would set the table for new resources for fresh food


Nik Reed, board member, The Greenhouse Project and COO, Ravel Law Inc. and Eli Zigas, food systems and urban agriculture program manager, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) in Sacramento to testify to the Assembly Committee on Local Government on behalf of AB 551.

Sacramento – Assemblyman Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) championed beauty over blight yesterday by securing passage of his legislation, AB 551, from the Assembly Local Government Committee. The Ting legislation would authorize cities and counties to create urban agriculture incentive zones, and allow reduced property assessments when a landowner allows small-scale food production on their land.

“We want to encourage small farms on vacant and blighted inner-city properties and make it easier for them to flourish,” Ting said.  “By creating a tax incentive for property owners to dedicate the property for urban farming, we are offering them a creative option for their unused land, and providing the community a new source of locally grown, fresh food.”

AB 551 is sponsored by San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance, and has the support of San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu, Little City Gardens, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), Mission Pie, and dozens of community-based farming organizations throughout the state.