You’ve seen the big Peace Pagoda when visiting or driving by Japantown. A complete redesign and renovation of the surrounding plaza is planned, thanks to San Francisco’s 2020 voter-approved Health and Recovery Bond. But unexpected costs threaten to impact the project.

This week, I announced $6 million in state funding to make sure the work gets done as envisioned. As Assembly Budget Chair, I was determined to fight for this allocation in Sacramento because the state should be a partner in such efforts to make things right.

Happy College Savings Month! To celebrate, ScholarShare529, a state-sponsored college savings plan, is offering a $100 bonus when you open an account by the end of September with an initial deposit of $1,000 or more. Anyone can contribute thereafter. Watch earnings grow, then when it’s time, withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses are tax-free at both the federal and state level. 

California continues to be at the center of the MPX (formerly known as monkeypox) outbreak with 4,140 reported cases, roughly 20% of the nation’s total. San Francisco has the state’s second highest number of reported cases in our state, with the tally at 763 as of September 9, 2022. It may be higher because many cases do not get reported.

It’s hard to believe Fall is just about here. I have scheduled two events that I hope you can attend. It’ll give us a chance to catch up on what I’ve recently accomplished in Sacramento.

I strongly encourage you to take public transit, walk or bike to these events.

Richmond District Autumn Moon Festival

As Assembly Budget Chair, I’m committed to ensuring the state continues investing in California’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As part of that pledge, I announced $3.2 million in state funding today to help implement the Safe Routes to School program in Daly City. Located in our district, about 60% of its population is AAPI, with the majority identifying as Filipino or Chinese.

With many more Californians back on their pre-pandemic commutes, we are reminded of how crucial it is to have sustainable and reliable transportation options to move us between home, work, school and leisure. As the Assembly Budget Chair, I helped to secure billions for our state’s transportation infrastructure in the 2022-23 spending plan, improving and expanding how we get around.

With fall classes beginning for many college students this week, I’m reflecting on how our recent budget actions have opened doors to brighter futures. Every Californian deserves access to affordable and quality higher education.

The new school year is here! As a father of two and Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I’m happy to report the days of California’s low ranking for public education spending are over. Our latest state budget boosts TK-12 funding by a record 15%, propelling us into the top 15 nationwide for per-pupil spending – now nearing $23,000. As recently as 2011, we were 50th, spending less than $9,000 on a per-student basis.

Among the other highlights in this year’s budget:

Small businesses and nonprofits are still struggling as we continue to face new COVID-19 variants and increased costs due to inflation. Under the recently-adopted state budget, California has allocated $2.3 billion to help them stay afloat.

Small Biz

Among the highlights of the relief package:

With COVID-19 still persisting, millions of Californians remain reliant on social services and other assistance to help meet their basic needs. As Assembly Budget Chair, I’m happy to share the latest state budget has strengthened many of its safety net programs.

Our climate crisis is in need of young leaders ready to take action. I’m excited to see recruiting efforts ramp up for the California Climate Action Corps, a program that puts people to work in communities to support key projects in urban greening, organic waste, edible food recovery, and wildfire recovery.

For their eleven-month commitment beginning next month, Climate Action Corps Fellows receive a $30,000 living allowance and $10,000 in education awards that can be put towards college.

As Assembly Budget Chair, it’s been gratifying to see the state finally invest in the Asian American Pacific Islander community, addressing their needs through increased resources and neighborhood improvements. My latest efforts resulted in even more funding - some of which will benefit San Francisco.

Last week I announced that I secured $4 million from the state budget to help with the redesign of Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square.

Buffalo. Uvalde. Highland Park. The mass shootings over the last few months have been tough.

I know many of you are hurting because the dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to these days. From gasoline to groceries, global inflation is taking a toll on the cost of living.

As Assembly Budget Chair, I’m proud to announce some relief is on the way to most Californians, thanks to the state budget just enacted.


After a two-year hiatus, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is returning next month. Please join me in this joyous celebration of the LGBTQ community, as we march together in the parade on Sunday, June 26, 2022.