I want to wish you a joyous and happy holiday season!
As you may know, I recently returned to the Capitol for a short 1-day December session, where we swore in the newly elected (and re-elected) members of the California Legislature. Because I was elected in 2020, during the midst of the COVID pandemic, this was the first swearing-in ceremony I got to experience that was fully open to the public. I have to say, it was incredible seeing the pride and joy of the many family, friends, and community leaders that came out to see their Senators enter office, and a moving reminder of the immense privilege and honor we have in serving you in Sacramento.=
I am so grateful to be your Senator, representing the 37th Senate District and the cities of Anaheim Hills, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, and I will continue to do my best to be transparent, accessible, and to represent the values of our special community here in Orange County.
Other than the one day in December, the State Senate has been in recess since September. But our office has been busier than ever during this time. My Sacramento staff and I have been hard at work researching and preparing our legislative package for the new year. We’ve got a slew of great bills we’re looking to introduce in January, and I can’t wait to share these with you.
And here in Orange County, we’ve continued to work hard to represent the 37th Senate District, taking hundreds of meetings, holding two town halls, and learning more about the issues that are important to our constituents. Below are some highlights of what we’ve been up to over the past few months.
May the holidays and New Year bring us all warmth, love, and joy.
Your friend and employee in the California State Senate,
Senator, 37th Senate District
Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade
Move over Macy’s and Rose Parade, Laguna Niguel has something to say! I was so honored to participate in Laguna Niguel’s annual Holiday Parade. Regardless of how “ugly” my kids say my Christmas sweater vest looked, I had an amazing time out and amongst so many smiling faces down in South County OC.
Touring the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages
If you’ve been down to Crystal Cove State Park you’ve probably seen the historic cottages lining the coastline. When these homes fell into disrepair, the State of California stepped up and secured funding for the restoration of these local treasures.
Just this year, the Crystal Cove Conservancy was awarded $21 million by the State to restore the historic cottage homes in our State Park’s Historic District, based in Newport Beach. I was incredibly proud to support this investment that will ensure coastal access for generations to come.
Over half of these hidden gem cottages have already been fully restored and are open to the public! Book your overnight stay by visiting ReserveCalifornia.com!
Town Hall with the Costa Mesa Alliance For Better Streets
California has a long way to go to improve our active transportation projects throughout the state, but here in Costa Mesa, those efforts are well underway thanks to the Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets. A shout out to Costa Mesa City Councilmembers Arlis Reynolds and Andrea Marr for joining us, lots of great work ahead!
Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Open Spaces
Protecting Orange County’s environment and fragile ecosystem is vital to preserving our natural resources. As stewards of our open spaces, Irvine Ranch Conservancy works to restore degraded urban wildlands and hosts volunteer programs to enhance the resiliency of the landscape.
It was spectacular to see Irvine Ranch’s “mini” Grand Canyon known as “The Sinks” or Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Tours are open to the public on a recurring basis. Visit http://www.irconservancy.org/ to learn more about volunteering, and which days are available to come out to explore some of Southern California’s most vibrant backcountry.
COP 27: United Nations Conference of the Parties
In November, I was honored to join a delegation of my climate-conscious colleagues as a panelist at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference–better known as COP 27–in Egypt. We discussed the importance of spurring innovation, taking a diverse approach to renewables, and the importance of California taking the lead on climate action.
Helping constituents navigate state government is one of the most important parts of my job. For the second year, my team was able to provide resources, benefits, and real-time information to thousands of Orange County residents. Here’s a peek at some of the work we were able to accomplish for folks who encountered difficulties with EDD, DMV, and more.
My Bills Signed by the Governor in 2022
This year I had some huge legislative successes. Eight of my bills authored were signed by Governor Newsom, totaling 16 bills signed since I was first elected to office in November 2020.
Among these are measures to expand consumer protections, improve ridership safety on public transit, and secure a first in the nation prohibition on gun shows held on state owned properties.
My bills will also continue to position California at the leading edge of the technology sector through sustained funding for youth STEM programs at UC campuses and long term investments in the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
As the new incoming Vice Chair of the AAPI Caucus, I was proud to welcome our new AAPI Caucus Members (a historic number of AAPI women!) on their first day in Sacramento. California is home to the largest and most diverse AAPI population in the nation, and as our communities continue to grow, so too should our representation at the highest levels of state government.
Team Min: Onward to 2023!
Thank you to MoonGoat Coffee Roasters for helping kick off our annual Staff Retreat! As we look toward 2023, my team is hard at work researching and preparing the roll out of next year's bills (can’t wait to share what we have in store!). MoonGoat makes a great cup of joe and does it the socially responsible way! From ethically sourced beans to a zero emissions roasting process, MoonGoat is a perfect example of OC businesses putting our community’s future first.
Second Harvest Town Hall - Saturday January 28, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. RSVP here.
Dump Day in Costa Mesa
Track Your Middle Class Tax Refund $$$
This year, the State of California provided qualifying Californians with a Middle Class Tax Refund between $200 to $1,500, depending on your eligibility. Refunds are provided by direct deposit or on a state-issued debit card sent via mail. Track your refund by visiting the Franchise Tax Board website. If you have any issues with your debit card, visit mctrpayment.com or call 800-542-9332.
2023 Capital Fellows Application - Now Open!
Applications for the 2023-24 California Senate, Assembly, Executive and Judicial Fellowship programs are available. These fellowships provide college graduates with an opportunity to become full-time staff members in Sacramento for 11 months beginning in October 2023. Fellowships are jointly operated by the three branches of state government and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.
Fellows are paid a stipend of $3,253 per month plus health, vision, and dental benefits. They also earn six units of graduate credit from Cal State Sacramento for the academic portion of the program.
2023 COSMOS Applications - Open January 11, 2023!
Last year, Governor Newsom signed my bill SB 1299, which extends the COSMOS program–an University of California program offered to Middle and High School aged students with an aptitude for careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). A pipeline and career pathway for the next generation of industry leaders, UCI’s COSMOS program will begin to accept applications beginning January 11th! You can click HERE for more information on how to sign up and apply!
BOGO Gift Card Program in Lake Forest
The City's Shop & Dine Community Gift Card program is now live! Purchase a $25, $50, or $100 gift card from a participating local business, and the City of Lake Forest will provide a bonus gift card of equal value. Buy your gift card(s) at Buy a City of Lake Forest Gift Card today!
2023 Edison Scholars Application - Deadline January 9, 2023!
This year, Edison International will award $50,000 college scholarships to 30 high school seniors to help them follow their dreams in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). High school seniors can apply online to participate.