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Videos shown on news outlets and social media have captured large groups of thieves stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise in a matter of minutes. This crime can be devastating to the business, traumatic for workers, and unsafe for shoppers. The loss often leads to higher prices for consumers.

To help crack down on these brazen smash-and-grabs, the state is stepping in with funding I championed with Governor Newsom. Nearly $270 million in grants have been made available to law enforcement, making this California’s largest single investment to combat organized retail crime.

Join me at my Community Breakfast at the California Academy of Sciences on Saturday, September 30, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. We’ll meet on the East Patio to discuss my recent legislation and the many highlights of this year’s state budget. For our district, I was able to secure $20 million for several community projects throughout San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.

In 2021, I successfully championed AB 1452, which allows San Francisco to pay lower-income jurors a higher stipend in criminal trials. The two-year pilot program is testing whether raising the daily rate from $15 to $100 would diversify juries. Studies show when juries are more reflective of the communities they serve, they spend more time in deliberations and are less likely to presume guilt, which help defendants get a fair trial.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Seventh Annual Richmond District Autumn Moon Festival last weekend, which I co-hosted with District One Supervisor Connie Chan! It was a great success, and I enjoyed bringing our community together.

My office is hosting many more Saturday events this fall, so we can discuss my work in Sacramento. Please visit my website to RSVP for any one or all of these events.

You may also click on each date below for more information and/or to sign up to attend.

September is Bay Area Transit Month, a time we celebrate the vital role public transportation has in our lives and our economy. I marked the occasion by joining San Francisco Transit Riders today for a ride-along on Muni from West Portal to Civic Center.

Bay Area Transit Month

As thousands of students settle in to college life, I marvel at how our recent state budget moves are paying off for California students at our public universities. More in-state students are attending because of funding increases to colleges, financial aid programs, and housing.

Please join me and District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, as we host the Seventh Annual Richmond District Autumn Moon Festival on Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It'll be held on Clement Street between Seventh and Tenth Avenues, which is accessible by Muni Bus routes 1, 28, 38, 38R, and 43.

San Mateo County leaders are looking for input on how to spend funds generated by Measure K, the half-cent sales tax extension approved by local voters. Listening sessions are underway, and I wanted to make sure your voice is heard, so that a variety of perspectives are considered.

Priority issues are in four key areas: children and families, housing and homelessness, emergency preparedness, and mental health.

While there are several meetings, two are specifically in our Assembly District:

School bells are ringing across our Assembly District again! As a father and Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I’m thrilled to see California continue to maintain historic funding levels for TK-12 public schools, despite a decline in state revenues.

Our per-pupil spending is nearly $24,000, which is slightly higher than last year and keeps us in the nation’s Top 20 in this category. The increase shows our commitment to transform public education. Just a decade ago, California ranked near the bottom.

Among this year’s other state budget highlights:

Early childhood experiences have important lifelong impacts. That’s why parents, educators, and state leaders strive to create educational environments where children can learn and thrive. As Assembly Budget Chair, I’m proud our latest state budget helps build these strong foundations, getting kids ready to excel in school and pursue their dreams.

Assembly District 19 has a new dental clinic that takes Medi-Cal patients! This week, I was honored to be part of the grand opening of another North East Medical Services (NEMS) location at 1033 Clement Street in San Francisco. I believe this site is a sign of greater things to come for the rest of the state, in terms of access to oral care, thanks to a recent move we’ve made in the state budget.

Grand Opening

The annual recruitment period for the California Climate Action Corps is underway! I am excited to see how the next group of young talent will transform our communities for the better. The program offers ways to collaborate with local organizations on cutting-edge environmental projects in urban greening, organic waste, wildfire recovery, and more.

California consistently falls short on housing. For decades, under-production and lack of dedicated resources have contributed to a supply and demand imbalance, leading to a statewide housing crisis. To address this, we must build more places to live to stabilize housing, and eventually lower prices for homebuyers and renters.

As your Assemblymember, affordable housing has always been one of my top priorities, and I will continue to prioritize housing production, as well as open more avenues for homeownership. Among the highlights in the 2023-24 state budget:

Some encouraging news from the California Department of Justice. Hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community decreased 43 percent in 2022. Some credit can be given to the API Equity Budget, which made historic state investments in the Asian community during the last couple of years and were aimed at stopping AAPI hate. However, despite the downward trend in numbers, we must continue this work, supporting programs that help victims and prevent violence.

Two of my bills from last year took effect this month, which I hope will have a positive impact on people’s lives. The first is relief from bridge toll penalties.

After toll takers were removed at the start of the pandemic, many drivers, especially unbanked individuals who can’t get FasTrak transponders, accumulated fines and late fees after crossing one of the Bay Area’s state-owned bridges. Some balances escalated to thousands of dollars.