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The effects of COVID-19 continue to hurt many families. Up until recently, only rent relief has been available for California tenants. Now, help is here for homeowners too.

It’s heartbreaking to hear stories from mothers like Loren Lieb, who tried to sue the gun industry for a 1999 day care shooting that traumatized her young son. And because of a federal law that gives near immunity to firearms manufacturers and dealers, her civil lawsuit did not get far in U.S. courts.

I hope your holiday season has been joyful and festive. Can you believe it’s time to ring in 2022? With January 1st around the corner, I’m excited to tell you about some of my legislation becoming law.

A More Inclusive Economic Recovery

California’s economic recovery from the pandemic is going strong with another budget surplus forecasted in the next year. But not every resident is reaping the benefits of this upswing. As Assembly Budget Chair, I am working to make sure the state’s rebound touches more communities.

As we head into the holidays, I wanted to remind you that rent relief is still available for California residents, regardless of immigration status, if their income has been impacted by the pandemic. The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency is processing applications much faster after increasing staff.

Please attend this Saturday’s virtual town hall meeting to share your thoughts about the state of California. I will provide an update on the state budget and new laws that will go into effect in 2022.

Dear Friend,

Children aged 5 and up are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA, CDC and California’s own COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup found the vaccine safe and effective for this age group.

Kids are affected by COVID-19, so vaccination of children is a critical tool to keeping schools open, protecting immunocompromised kids and their families, and helping California continue on its path to normalcy.

I encourage you to attend my next virtual town hall meeting to hear updates on the budget and new laws that will go into effect now that we have finished our legislative year in Sacramento. Through the state budget, I was able to secure nearly $12 billion to fund homelessness programs, including measures to prevent homelessness in the first place; this includes $47 million for San Francisco and more than $4 million for San Mateo County.

With California home to so many leading tech companies, it’s hard to believe there are areas throughout the state struggling with internet access. The digital divide was painfully obvious when students had to go to school virtually and many of us had to rely on online shopping to avoid crowds during a portion of the pandemic.

It’s time to boost your immunity to avoid a “twindemic,” when both flu and COVID-19 simultaneously spike and overwhelm our health system. As winter looms, health experts are worried about the upcoming flu season, warning it could come roaring back after failing to materialize last year when we were shut down due to COVID-19. A flu shot can help protect you, and there are plenty of sites in our district to get one:

Over the past few weeks, I’ve highlighted the accomplishments of this year’s historic state budget that I negotiated and helped craft as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. I’m happy to report similar success on the legislative front with six bills signed into law, focusing on our health, environment and criminal justice system.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to increase awareness about signs of abusive behavior and to amplify survivors’ voices. In California, 34.9% of women and 31.1% of men experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many were unable to leave their homes and faced dangerous situations. Many of these situations are continuing today.

Dear Parents, 

So many students have faced setbacks during the pandemic; but struggling in high school during this difficult time shouldn’t negatively impact your child’s GPA, or jeopardize their chances to be admitted to college and qualify for financial aid.

I am proud to announce that my annual bike safety fair is returning after taking a year off due to the pandemic. This event, as in years past, will be held outside. We will be following COVID safety protocols. These include: requiring masks for all participants over the age of 2, requiring phone numbers of all attendees for potential contact tracing, and prohibiting those with COVID symptoms from attending the event 

Locking up non-violent incarcerated people and throwing away the key shouldn’t always be the answer to ensure public safety. But under California’s previous Three Strikes law, many of them are languishing in our prison system under old sentencing standards, even though they are rehabilitated and no longer pose a threat to society.