Please read my April E-Newsletter to learn about what I'm doing on your behalf in the Capitol and at home in the 23rd Senate District.
In this issue
State Budget and Legislative Update
The state budget is making its way through the Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees with numerous hearings. There is continued concern about deeper program cuts we are faced with making this year, especially in education and human services programs. More on the state budget in the next newsletter as we get the revision to the numbers in the Governor's proposed budget based on state income tax and sales tax numbers. That will dictate much of what the legislature and Governor needs to do to continue reducing the state's budget deficit.
Legislative deadlines are approaching and there are a large number of bills moving through Senate and Assembly policy committees. A bill I authored (SB 955) encourages public pension fund boards (CalPERS and CalSTRS) to prioritize investments for California infrastructure projects over out-of-state projects. This proposal passed its first committee with unanimous, bipartisan support. California has 10.9% unemployment and critical unmet infrastructure needs. In these difficult times, it is important we do everything we can to create California jobs and revitalize our economy.
One of the bills I authored, SB 1054, also passed its first hearing. This bill would require notification of neighbors when the process of hydraulic fracturing, often called "fracking," is occurring near their property.
SB 1091 is a proposal I am carrying at the request of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office to help increase convictions of perpetrators against children. SB 1091 helps the traumatized victims testify without fear by providing them with up to two support persons, one of whom may accompany the witness to the witness stand. If you wish to see a full list of legislation I have authored this legislative session, please go to my State Senate website for more information: http://sd23.senate.ca.gov/legislation/2012-legislation.
Earth Day and Local Events
Please join me at the City of Calabasas Earth Day Celebration. The festival is a great opportunity to learn about sustainability, energy conservation and legislative efforts to create clean technology jobs. I will be hosting a booth on Saturday April 14th from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Stop-by and say hello!
On April 14, the City of Oxnard will be hosting their annual Earth Day Festival at Plaza Park in the heart of downtown Oxnard. This community event promotes environmental education and awareness in a fun and festive atmosphere.
Celebrate Earth Day 2012 in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market on Sunday, April 15 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Visit the 13th Annual Topanga Earth Day on April 21 & 22 from 10:00 a.m. to sunset at the Topanga Community House Fair Grounds. Listen to guest speakers and musical performances, meet with non-profits and learn what you can do in your community to improve your environment. http://www.topangaearthday.org/Welcome.html.
Another celebration is the Woodland Hills/Tarzana Chamber Earth Day on Sunday April 22, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will be at the Tarzana Community Cultural Center, 19130 Ventura Blvd. For more information call (818) 347-4737.
Join the City of Santa Monica on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, for the Santa Monica Bike Center Opening. Festivities, bike training, and a tour of the new facility will run from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. The bike center is located just west of Ocean Park Blvd. at the Santa Monica State Beach.
On Saturday, April 28 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., I will be going to the 15 year anniversary of the Conejo Arbor/ Earth Day celebration. I'll be there with more than 100 vendors and exhibitors, animal shows, children's hands-on activities, mobile marine lab, entertainment, eco-friendly vehicles. We'll be at Conejo Creek Park North, 1379 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks. Park at Conejo Creek South across the street from the library and take the shuttle to Conejo Creek North or park at library and walk on in. See you there!
Additional events in the 23rd District this month include:
The 14th Chumash Day Powwow and Inter-Tribal Gathering will be at the Malibu Bluffs Park (24250 Pacific Coast Highway) Saturday, April 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the Grand Entry at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, April 15, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the Grand Entry at 12 noon. Parking is located off site on the corner of Webb Way and Civic Center. Follow digital readout signs on PCH. Free shuttle service all day.
The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council presents the 9th Annual Day of the Horse Celebration on Sunday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Stoney Point Ranch. Learn about local history, enter the art contest and enjoy Chatsworth's rich equestrian legacy. For more information, call (818) 326-5772.
The Rotary club of Woodland Hills presents the Arts & Crafts Faire. The fair runs on the weekend of April 21-22 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Warner Center Park. Artists will display original works. The event will benefit the Woodland Hills Food Bank.
View an exhibit of twelve original paintings by local, Agoura Hills artist and world-famous horse painter, Fred Stone. Join the City of Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council on April 27 or 28 at the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery to enjoy this rare exhibit. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of the Los Angeles River will be hosting the Great LA River Cleanup on Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. - Noon. Volunteer at a location nearest you - there are 15 to choose from! To register, visit www.folar.org. For more information, call (323) 223-0585.
California Teen Safe Driving Week
Local law enforcement, school officials from Las Virgenes Unified School District and the City of Calabasas teen driver safety press conference.
The first week of April has been designated California Teen Safe Driving Week which coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. I supported Senate Concurrent Resolution 60 (SCR 60), which created California Teen Safe Driving Week.
To raise awareness for safe driving habits, local law enforcement and officials from the Las Virgenes Unified School District and the City of Calabasas gathered at Calabasas High School for a press conference. Immediately following the press conference, students at the school participated in the Every 15 Minutes program. This program cautions students against the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as distracted driving using a real-life simulation of a car accident. The sobering program is one that many students say affected their future decisions while driving.
Please talk with your teen drivers to be sure they understand the responsibility that comes with the car keys. Here's more information from CHP to help you start this conversation with your teen: http://www.chp.ca.gov/community/startsmart.html.
Seaside Lunch Honors Local Elected Women
Sen. Pavley was joined by local female elected officials and previous Women of the Year.
In honor of Women's History Month, I hosted a luncheon at Duke's of Malibu that brought together some of the most dynamic and interesting women of the 23rd Senate District and adjacent communities together for lively conversation and good food.
The event took the place of the annual Woman of the Year luncheon in which one woman from the district is honored. I decided to do something different this year and honor all of our hard-working female elected officials, as well as past Women of the Year honorees. Because the district is so large, many of these women had not met before. Everyone had a unique and interesting story to share and it was inspiring listening to the good work which is happening in our local communities.
There's been a sharp decline in female elected officials. According to California Women Lead, 20 years ago there was an influx of women seeking public office. Since then, the number of elected women in state and federal office has either remained stagnant or decreased. Women now make up less than 30 percent of the policy-making bodies in California. It is my hope that bringing these women together we will foster mentorship for higher elected office. Thank you to all for your service!
Saying Goodbye to Superintendent Smeck
Woody Smeck receives farewell gift from Louise Rishoff, District Director for Assemblymember Brownley, and Sen. Pavley at King Gillette Ranch.
On March 30th, I joined friends and dignitaries to say farewell to Woody Smeck and honor his distinguished service and numerous accomplishments as the National Park Service's Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). Woody has worked in SMMNRA for 20 years and was Superintendent for 11 of those years.
His tenure is marked by a cutting edge cooperative park management model that has received national attention and admiration. Woody presided over 85,000 acres of land acquisitions, the establishment of wildlife corridors, consistent growth in park visitation and the cohesion of a team that includes federal, state and local agencies. Moreover, Woody brought integrity, intelligence and a soft spoken determination to the job that was appreciated by the entire community.
Woody began his new post as Deputy Superintendent at Yosemite National Park on April 2. I will miss his leadership, but wish him well in his new endeavor. Lorenza Fong will serve as Acting Superintendent of SMMNRA.
Tour of Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
State Parks volunteer and Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains members led Sen. Pavley on tour of Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park.
I had the opportunity to tour both the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park in Chatsworth and the community's Historical Society. As you may know, the park was slated to be closed last year in response to our state's economic hardships. However, California State Parks volunteers have given countless hours to keep the park open to the public.
Sen. Pavley with volunteer costumed interpreters at the Chatsworth Historical Society.
The tour also included a trip to the Chatsworth Historical Society. I was greeted by costumed interpreters in pioneer dresses and given a wonderful presentation on the rich history of Chatsworth since it was founded in 1888. The tour of these Valley treasures was a great opportunity to connect with our past and future.
Canoga Park Centennial Celebration
Canoga Park had its 100th birthday on March 30, 2012. The community has come a long way since its founding as an agricultural town named Owensmouth. My staff joined community members for a celebration hosted by the Canoga Owensmouth Historical Society. In honor of the celebration, residents enjoyed a program sharing the historical highlights of the "2005 All American City."
The Historical Society honored three organizations that have been with Canoga Park since the beginning: Canoga Park/West Hills Chamber of Commerce and the First United Methodist Church both founded in 1912; and the Canoga Park Women's Club founded in 1914. Congratulations to these organizations and to the Canoga Park community!
Bike Routes in Ventura County? There's an App for That!
The Ventura County Transportation Commission launched a new smartphone application offering cyclists a sleek, convenient way to navigate the 350-plus miles of bike lanes in Ventura County.
Available as a free iPhone and Android download, the Bikeways App displays a scalable map of designated pedaling paths in Ventura County. The GPS-based program pinpoints the lane nearest your location and guides you to your destination in real-time. It can also provide summary details of your trip, such as length and speed. Other handy features include safety tips, bike laws, and color-coded path descriptions.
Download the free smartphone application by either scanning the QR code on the new VCTC Bikeways Map, or visiting www.goventura.org and clicking the link to the iPhone App Store or Android Market. You can request a copy of the new map: (800) 438-1112.
Encino Youth Named Volunteer of the Year
I'm proud to announce that Cecilia Cassini of Encino has been named one of the top two youth volunteers in California for 2012 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
At age 8, Cecilia, now a seventh-grader at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, began sewing dresses for girls at a homeless center. Two years later, she partnered with a clothing boutique to host a trunk sale featuring her designs. Over 50 dresses were sold, and the proceeds were donated to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Cecilia has since spoken to hundreds of children at schools, hospitals and shelters to encourage them to find their passions and follow their dreams - just like she did.
As a State Honoree, Cecilia will join other honorees in Washington, D.C., for a week of national recognition events. Ten of the state honorees will be named America's top youth volunteers for 2012. Congratulations, Cecilia, and best of luck!
Meet a Member of my District Staff
Sarah Tamor is a District Representative, with joint responsibilities for administration, field representation and meeting with constituents throughout the district as needed.
A longtime constituent of Senate District 23, Sarah's involvement in local government has included her experience as a founding member of the Santa Monica Arts Commission, during which time she spearheaded the creation of the City's public art program. Sarah's passion for civic engagement led her to create the program Vote@18, which she developed as both an online program and a series of presentations to high school seniors through which she and other volunteers personally registered more than 1,000 students to vote.
An enthusiastic supporter of renewable energy, Sarah has volunteered for GRID Alternatives, helping to install solar panels on homes in low-income communities. I'm proud to say that GRID's Solar Affordable Housing Program is funded in part by a requirement in a law I authored, AB 2723, where a percentage of funds from the California Solar Initiative provide solar energy to low-income homes. An avid biker, Sarah graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a B.A. in English Literature.
Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley Turns 20
The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since 1992, this organization has served youth in the West San Fernando Valley. They have given children from every background the opportunity to participate in afterschool programs including academic tutoring, sports activities and assistance in applying to colleges. They have positively influenced thousands of underprivileged youth from the area.
The organization recently announced their 20th Anniversary Honorary Committee, which I am very proud to have joined. If you would like to learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, or their 20th Anniversary Gala on July 27, 2012, please visit their website at: www.wvbgc.org.
Mariposa School of Global Education sixth-grade students and Principal Jeff Lough show off their Sustainability Award from Senator Fran Pavley.
Each month I recognize a business, person or organization in my district dedicated to preserving our environment by living and working responsibly. This month I'm proud to announce that the students and staff of the Mariposa School of Global Education received the April Sustainability Award. The unique school, which shares a campus with Sumac Elementary in Agoura Hills, has done a remarkable job fostering a keen sense of environmental awareness in its students.
From beach cleanups and outdoor programs, to a trash-free lunch policy, to recycling and composting, the school works on the fine details of sustainability and respect for the earth. Mariposa also partners with the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority to bring in naturalists once a month to teach hands-on lessons about nature and the environment, followed by hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Thank you to Mariposa School for educating students on sustainability which helps develop students into good citizens, stewards of the earth and critical thinkers.
Connecting with Constituents
Sen. Pavley with Mark Gold, Associate Director at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) and Joanne MacDonald at a recent IoES fundraiser.
Sen. Pavley staffer, Sarah Tamor, with Monica Dallalzadeh, VP, Retail Banking Manager, at the grand opening of the OpusBank Encino Branch.
Sen. Pavley met with Dan Akerson, Chairman & CEO of General Motors. Mr. Akerson spoke at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in March about the resurgence of GM and the critical role clean, fuel efficient vehicles have played in driving GM back to the top.
Sen. Pavley staffer, Max Reyes, with Art Sherman, Chairman, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Wings Over Wendy's, a veterans' group that meets in the West Hills Wendy's restaurant.