As we all reflect on 2022, I always come back to what really matters most…our families, our friends and our community.
From town halls to volunteer service events, I am so proud to have been able to team up with local nonprofits and civic organizations to strengthen our Orange County community. These partnerships helped shape the 2022-23 State Budget and directed funds to important local issues, including to wildfire mitigation, infrastructure improvements, and park modernization projects.
Here are some highlights of local activities!
New Firefighter Hand Crew Station
Last month, I joined Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessey to announce the allocation of $16.95 million in state funds for OCFA’s expanded Hand Crew facility. Strategically located in the region’s high fire severity zone, the Trabuco Canyon based station deploys personnel for fire suppression and wildfire mitigation efforts. The state funds awarded will allow the Hand Crew facility to double staffing levels and move into a larger, state-of-the-art facility that will house Hand Crew Firefighters and heavy equipment – ultimately transitioning what started as a pilot project to a permanent OCFA program.
The OCFA Hand Crew Program has grown from what was initially a single 20-member seasonal crew in 2010. With the additional funds, OCFA will expand the Program and increase the 10-member seasonal crew to a second 20-member year-round crew, with a full complement of Crew supervision.
Earth Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, and More!
When we work together, we can move mountains--especially mountains of trash that pollute our environment! From cleaning up over 26,000 lbs of trash from Orange County’s beaches, rivers, and creeks for Coastal Clean-Up Day, to partnering with local activists to help protect the environment, we broke records with the amount of garbage and debris we removed from our local beaches and waterways! Be sure to follow me on social media to learn more about how you can partner with my team to keep Orange County pristine.
For Earth Day, more than 13.2 tons of bulky waste were collected when my office partnered with the City of Lake Forest and Caltrans for the first statewide Dump Day collection event. Mattresses, couches, tables, and chairs were among the items collected. If you’ve got large and bulky items that you need to safely dispose of, join us for an upcoming Dump Day in Costa Mesa! Details available below.
Small Business of the Year:
A local staple and hometown favorite of Anaheim, it was my honor to recognize Bottle Logic as the 37th Senate District’s 2022 Small Business of the Year. Bottle Logic’s entrepreneurial spirit and grit are a testament to the limitless potential that comes with opening a small business in California. Thanks in part to the success and popularity of Bottle Logic Brewing, Orange County’s craft beer scene has become a premiere tourism draw, as well as become a well known beer on menu’s throughout the state. I am so proud to have business leaders like Bottle Logic here in California.
Nonprofit of the Year:
The Pacific Symphony has always served as a pillar of the arts here in Orange County but during the pandemic it dramatically increased its cultural and educational contributions to our community at a time when we needed it most. When we were able to celebrate the return of live music, I honored the Pacific Symphony as the 37th Senate District 2022 Nonprofit of the Year. It kept our spirits up and filled our hearts throughout the pandemic by holding virtual and outdoor performances, as well as remote educational opportunities over the past two years.
AAPI Empowerment Summit:
As Vice-Chair of the AAPI Caucus, I know how important it is to work together to build diverse, multicultural coalitions. This year, my office celebrated AAPI Heritage Month by hosting Orange County’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Empowerment Summit where we honored local industry and community leaders. I was incredibly proud to bring together so many AAPIs and allies making a difference right here in Orange County.
California has to do better at making our tax system fairer and less onerous, especially for the working families and small business owners. I am so grateful to have received the Rose Award from the Orange County Taxpayers Association for my work on behalf of OC taxpayers.
After the end of this year’s legislative session, many of you had questions about recently enacted legislation and the state budget. I was thrilled to be able to answer some of these questions via virtual and in-person Town Halls. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for information about my next in-person event and I look forward to seeing you!
Dump Day: This Saturday!
There are some easy, and helpful, things that we can do in the fight against climate change. We can take small local actions like redirecting our bulky items away from landfills to have them repurposed. I am proud to be partnering with Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, Caltrans, and the City of Costa Mesa for another Dump Day! Drop off your large and bulky items from 8:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturday November 19, 2022, at Sonora Elementary School, 966 Sonora Road in Costa Mesa.
SAVE THE DATE: Irvine Town Hall
I will host an in-person Town Hall in Irvine on January 28, 2022, at 9:30am. Stay tuned for more details on the location of the event in the coming weeks. Hope to see you there!