Dear Friends and Neighbors,
What a month it has been!
We have finalized our legislative bill package for the year, passed a landmark package of bills to reduce teen smoking rates and save lives, sponsored a series of workshops in the community to help people find good-paying jobs, and my Select Committee on Children with Special Needs is off to a great start with its mission to improve coordination of care for children with special needs.
These next few months will be busy as we consider possible new laws and the 2017 state budget. I look forward to reporting back to you about bills I am working on to ensure our veterans know of their rights and benefits, reduce violent deaths in our state, save the lives of infants through better testing, and slash costly and repetitive red tape in our CalWORKS system.
For a full list of legislation that I have introduced this year, please go to: http://sd06.senate.ca.gov/2016
It is my pleasure and honor to serve you in the 6th Senate District. I am continually inspired by the people in our community who step up and make a difference. You may be aware that, last year, I began my Unsung Hero of the Month program to put the spotlight on a person in our community that is making a difference. If you know of anyone that fits the bill, please nominate them for the honor, here. My latest Unsung Hero, BreAnda Northcut, is highlighted in this newsletter. Prepare to be inspired!
As always, please feel free to contact my office if you want to voice your opinion about a bill or if you're having difficulties with a state agency. I value your opinion and I want to hear from you. Call me at (916) 262-2904 or email at Senator.Pan@senate.ca.gov.
Dr. Richard Pan, State Senator 6th District
The following are upcoming events you may want to attend:
April 2: How to Begin a Career in State Service
Want to learn more about how to begin a career in state service? Dr. Pan has hosted several neighborhood workshops designed to give you an overview of the entire process from beginning to end. Attendees will learn how to navigate the State Jobs website and how to apply for job vacancies. New Seasons Church, 6555 44th St, Sacramento, CA 95823 . Click here to RSVP.
April 1-3: Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair
Hundreds of talented students from the Sacramento region will compete at the Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair the weekend of April 1-3 at American River College. Entries will be on display for the public to view. The fair is hosted on by the NorCal STEM Education Foundation whose mission is to inspire students to become interested in scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) degrees and careers. For more information, go to: www.sacstemfair.org.
April 5: Helping Children with Special Needs and Families
Dr. Pan will hold the second informational hearing of his Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs which will be titled "Examining Interagency Care Coordination for Children and Youth with Special Needs in the State of California" on Tuesday, April 5 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the State Capital in Sacramento, California. For more information, go to: http://sd06.senate.ca.gov/video/2016-03-04-select-committee-children-special-needs.
April 2, 9 and 10: FREE in-person tax filing assistance
If you have an income of $54,000 or less, you can qualify for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). VITA volunteers will help prepare federal and state taxes. To make an appointment, please call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000. More information can be found here..
SB 977 Kicks Tobacco off our Fields, Courts and Bleachers!
WOn February 23rd, Dr. Pan joined the 8th grade class at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School in Elk Grove to announce the introduction of SB 977, which would ban tobacco products within 250 feet from a youth sporting event. The idea for the bill came from the 8th grade class and they are currently working to pass the bill through the committee process. To learn more, go to: www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article60747341.html
Throughout the Month of March, Dr. Pan held several community workshops to assist people as they consider and begin a career of state service. The complex and cumbersome process is often a turn-off to people who are excellent candidates for public service. Working in conjunction with the California Department of Human Resources, the Association of California State Employees and others, the workshops aim to demystify the application and testing process in hopes of creating a more rich and diverse public sector.
Hope for Families and Children with Special Needs
On March 1st, Dr. Pan joined with families of children with special needs, as well as health providers in our community to discuss the important work of his newly formed committee: the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs. Dr. Pan also released the committee's first report, calling for integrated systems of care. If you haven't already, please view this video which features the work of the committee.
Expanding the 'Every Woman Counts' Program
I was proud to join Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins and breast cancer survivors from the Susan G. Komen Foundation at a press conference in support of AB 1795, which I am co-sponsoring. AB 1795 would end arbitrary cutoffs of cancer treatment within the Every Woman Counts Program, and instead, treatment would follow the individual needs of the patient.
Dr. Pan was honored to share a very special moment with a local family when they were finally handed the keys to their new home, through the Habitat for Humanity program. Rina, a single mother, has worked tirelessly to care for her children on her own after her husband was murdered nine years ago. For the last three years, Rina has worked 500 hours to build her own home as well as homes for others in the Habitat for Humanity program. For ways that you can volunteer to support the hopes and dreams of local families in need, contact the Greater Sacramento Habitat for Humanity, here.
It was an inspiring and emotional moment as eight mothers were awarded their GED through the Saint John's Program for Real Change. Dr. Pan was proud to speak to the graduating class and congratulate each of them on their heroic journey, which often times involves homelessness, poverty, and/or abuse. With a stunning 95% job placement after graduation, it's a program that succeeds unlike any other in the country and involves intense wrap-around services. In addition, Saint John's operates the largest shelter in Sacramento County and the only one dedicated to serving women and children. To learn of ways you can help, go to: http://saintjohnsprogram.org.
Sacramento National Coalition of 100 Black Women
On March 14, Dr. Pan was honored to speak to Sacramento's Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (SacNCBW) Legislative Day. The mission of SacNCBW is to speak out on behalf of women of color, provide mentoring opportunities and advocate gender equity in health, education and economic development. The theme of the Legislative Day was "Black Women Deserve and Want Equitable Justice for All" and participants learned of ways they could assist in ending the Human Trafficking of Black Girls and Women. To learn more about SacNCBW, please visit: http://sacncbw.org
Elk Grove and Sacramento couldn't be prouder of Chigozie Maduchukwu, a junior at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove who won the 2016 state finals of the Poetry Out Loud contest. The contest encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Chigozie won the competition by reciting three poems: "Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop, "Let the Light Enter" by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and "The Bad Old Days" by Kenneth Rexroth. Chigozie will represent California in Washington, D.C. in the national finals in May. Read more at: http://arts.ca.gov/news/prdetail.php?id=226
Dr. Pan's Unsung Hero
February's Unsung Hero was BreAnda Northcutt, a resilient and tenacious West Sacramento foster mother who has committed herself to providing a loving and safe home to four amazing children who were in desperate need in her community. BreAnda's story started at the Woodland Community College Foster and Kinship Care Education program. You can read more about her beautiful family, here.
If you know of an unsung hero that should be highlighted, please take a moment to nominate them by sending an email to Senator.Pan@senate.ca.gov.