Latest E-Newsletter

October 02, 2020

Dear neighbor,

As chair of the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response, I will be hosting several oversight hearings over the next few months on our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past we have addressed key issues such as testing and contact tracing efforts, skilled nursing facility concerns and the impact of COVID-19 at the California border region. Moving forward, we will be conducting oversight hearings on the state’s management of workplace health and safety, and the inequities that exist in our education system including distance-learning disparities for our most vulnerable students and lack of internet access. 

These hearings are coming up soon. I highly recommend you explore our Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response  website to get familiar with the hearing process, view agendas and download background information about each of the topics we will be tackling. To stream the hearing live on the day of the hearing, please visit the senate website.

With the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacting our everyday lives, my work as Chair continues beyond the legislative session for the people of California and Senate District 33, and I want to invite you to have a front seat at the table. I hope you will join me for all of our hearings. If there is anything you would like to share or if you have any questions or concerns as we launch for the season, please contact my office at (562) 256-7921.

P.S. If you haven’t yet completed your census, there is still time. Act now. To complete the census visit my2020census.gov, call 844-330-2020 or mail back your completed questionnaire.

 

All my best,
Lena Gonzalez
33rd State Senate District

September 15, 2020

Dear neighbor,

On Tuesday, September 1, 2020 the California Legislature adjourned its two-year session, bringing a constitutionally mandated close to a historic and unprecedented legislative session. Despite facing a number of unique and extraordinary challenges, the Legislature continued to work throughout the year to serve the people of California. Legislation focused primarily on topics that would better address the immediate health and safety impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the subsequent economic repercussions. An on-time and balanced budget was passed in June and this month the Legislature concluded its work by sending over 400 bills to the Governor’s desk that will help our neighborhoods thrive in the face of this shared adversity.

As part of the legislative year, I continued to fight for the deployment of broadband infrastructure to close the digital divide through SB 1130 and passed SB 1255 through both houses to end discriminatory practices that allow insurance companies to deny life and disability income insurance policies to HIV positive Californians. Major proposals the Legislature passed, and I supported this year include:

  • AB 3088 – Signed into law, this measure creates a set of temporary protections designed to prevent loss of housing caused by evictions and foreclosures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  To learn more about these protections and other resources, please visit the Housing is Key website.
  • SB 793 – Signed into law on August 28, 2020, to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes in California to fight against youth tobacco use here in California. As a coauthor of this measure, I am proud this critical public health measure is now law and look forward to seeing its impact on the fight against youth tobacco use.
  • AB 685– This bill will require employers to notify employees of COVID-19 exposures at their worksites and to report outbreaks to health authorities to ensure worker safety.  
  • AB 1460- Signed into law, this measure requires the California State University (CSU), to provide courses in ethnic studies at each CSU campus and requires starting with students graduating in the 2024-25 academic year, the completion of at least one course in ethnic studies.
  • AB 331 – This timely bill will finally require California students to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies in order to graduate from high school.
  • SB 1383 – This bill will expand the California Family Rights Act to allow employees to use unpaid job protected leave to care for a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition such as COVID-19.
  • SB 1447- Signed into law, this measure provides a hiring tax credit for small businesses that have lost more than half of their gross income because of COVID-19. This tax credit is designed to help businesses with 100 employees or less retain their employees and keep their doors open.

As Governor Newsom begins reviewing pending measures, the Legislature will continue to work on behalf of the people of California. With dozens of active wildfires burning across the state, the widening COVID-19 public health crisis, and families and businesses struggling to make ends meet in a stressed economy, it is evident that there is still much work left to be done. Further, as the Chair of the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response, I will continue to have oversight hearings and engage with various stakeholders, including the Governor’s administration to ensure our state is able to tackle and respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the coming months as we prepare for the next legislative cycle, my office will continue to fight to expand broadband in unserved areas to help bridge the digital divide; push for the expansion of affordable housing; advocate for struggling renters, homeowners, and small businesses; and pursue dialogue and community conversation on racial justice issues. I encourage you to reach out to my office with ideas or suggestions for policy or law changes that are important to you via my website or by calling my Capitol office at (916) 651-4033.

 

All my best,
Lena Gonzalez
33rd State Senate District

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Legislative Priorities

As the pandemic has shifted schools and work online, it has placed a spotlight on the breadth and severity of the digital divide that exists in our state. My Senate Bill (SB) 1130 sought to update and reform the California Advanced Services Fund to better address the state’s broadband infrastructure needs in order to bridge the digital divide in unserved areas. While consensus couldn’t be reached between the houses of the Legislature on the final form of SB 1130, I am committed to reintroducing this legislation next year and working with our coalition of more than 50 organizations to finally tackle this and make “Broadband for All” a reality.

Additionally, I am proud to share that my SB 1255 –The Equal Insurance HIV Act, has made it to the Governor’s desk, where I am hopeful, he will sign this critical equal rights legislation. SB 1255 will delete all references in existing law to outdated HIV tests and prohibit discrimination when insurance companies write life and disability income insurance policies for HIV positive Californians. This measure is an important step in the fight for justice and equality for the 135,000 Californians currently living with HIV.

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Important Legislation

My colleagues in the Legislature passed a number of important measures that I was proud to support, manage on the floor, advocate for, and even coauthor. I was a very proud to coauthor SB 793 to ban the sale of flavored tobacco here in California, which was just signed into law by Governor Newsom. I was also proud to support legislation that will require the completion of a semester-long course in ethnic studies in order to graduate from high school.

We also passed a number of bills seeking to protect essential workers who are exposed and impacted by the COVID-19 virus. I was proud to floor manage my colleagues’ measure that would require employers to provide a notice to employees of COVID-19 exposures at their worksites, require employers to report cases to health authorities, and empower the state’s worker safety agencies to intervene in unsafe work environments.

We are also providing relief to small businesses that have been hit hard financially by the pandemic. Small businesses that have lost more than half of their gross income because of COVID-19 are now eligible for a small business tax credit. This $100 million hiring tax credit is designed to help businesses with 100 employees or less retain their employees and keep their doors open. Small businesses are the lifeline of California’s economy and it’s critical we provide the support they need.

Finally, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed, AB 3088 (Chiu), which creates a set of temporary measures designed to prevent widespread loss of housing through evictions and foreclosures. As more and more Californians are out of work and financially struggling it is critical that we keep people housed and safe, and this legislation will provide a temporary stop gap to prevent a wave of homelessness in the middle of a public health crisis.

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Legislative Oversight of Pandemic Emergency Response

While the Legislature has concluded its policy review work for the year there is still much work to do in its oversight capacity of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As Chair of the Senate’s Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response, I will continue the work of the Legislature in investigating and reviewing the State’s response to this public health crisis.

We have held oversight hearings at the Capitol investigating the State’s testing response, the unique impacts and problems faced by skilled-nursing facilities, and reviewing the response in especially hard-hit areas of California near the US Mexico Border. We will continue to hold hearings in the coming weeks and months as our state works to overcome this challenging crisis. To learn more about this work please visit the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response website.

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Thank you and Looking Forward

In closing, I’d like to thank the first responders and essential workers who day in and day out, show up to work and keep the critical functions of our state running. Whether it be healthcare workers providing critical care, firefighters on the frontlines, teachers delivering distance learning, parents pulling double duty with kids at home, farmworkers harvesting food for our tables, or truck drivers making sure store shelves are stocked with needed supplies, these essential workers are true heroes. While the Legislature will continue to work to help guide our state through these difficult times, it’s clear that the resiliency of our communities and the spirit and grit of our neighbors is the real reason we will overcome the challenges we face.

As we look forward to a new two-year session beginning in January of 2021, I encourage you to reach out to my office with ideas or suggestions for policy or law changes that are important to you, your family, and your community. As your representative in the State Senate, I want to pursue legislation that is meaningful and impactful to the communities I represent.

For news from the 33rd Senate District, you can read the latest on 2020 legislation here and the latest press releases here.

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August 20, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

As a result of COVID-19 many aspects of work, school, healthcare, and even family time, have moved online. Getting connected to the internet has never been more important than it is today, and this in turn calls for immediate attention to the issue of the digital divide in our state. The internet access inequity that exists today means that not everyone has the high-speed broadband they need to meet the demands of current day-to-day life. Nearly one in five students in California couldn’t connect to the internet at the start of the pandemic, and that number becomes even higher in Latino, African American, rural and low-income communities.

Historic neglect of our most vulnerable communities has left too many people behind: that’s why I am working on legislation to deploy high-speed internet through future-proof broadband infrastructure that will help close the digital divide for good. My bill, SB 1130, will invest in future-proof broadband for high-need areas that will last for decades to come to help every Californian-whether they are a student doing coursework online, a grandparent in need of tele-health services or an employee working from home-have access to the high speed internet they need.

In addition to state-wide legislation, my office has also created a list of resources that offer free or low-cost devices and internet services to help you get connected.

  • ConnectedLB: This platform is an online tool that helps Long Beach residents search for low-cost computers and internet services in their neighborhood by zip code and some may qualify for low-cost computers based on income. To find low cost internet options and computers in your area click here.
     
  • Human I-T: A nonprofit organization that provides low-income individuals and nonprofits with technology, internet, and digital training. The organization helps families find low-cost internet ranging from $10-$25 per month for their home with no contract including options that offer a free chrome-book. For those who are on-the-go and would benefit more from a mobile service, the organization can assist in identifying available, low cost hot-spot options. Click here for more information.
     
  • SCDC (Southeast Community Development Corporation): A nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting community health, education, and safety, providing economic development, and improving the standard of living for residents of Southeast Los Angeles. As part of their work, they help families find inexpensive wi-fi options starting at $10 per month, visit SCDC’s website here for more information.  
     
  • Everyoneon: A nonprofit dedicated to creating social and economic opportunity by connecting low-income families to affordable internet service and computers and delivering digital skills trainings. Their comprehensive online tool identifies low cost internet and device offers as well as digital literacy training locations.  For more information, visit their website here.

If you have any questions on how to acquire devices or internet services, please contact my office at (562) 256-7921.

All my best,

Lena

State Senator, District 33

July 20, 2020

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently announced the extension of driver licenses for drivers with soon to expire licenses and have several options available for you to complete other essential services as needed. To help you get started completing your essential DMV tasks my office has compiled information about available online services, how to get your REAL ID and how the DMV is helping with the select service needs that must be done in a DMV field office during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to renew your driver’s license or need any other DMV service, please read the information provided by clicking the links below.

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Driver license extensions

Currently the DMV is providing an automatic one-year extension of noncommercial driver licenses to Californians age 70 and older if their license has an expiration date between March 1 and December 31, 2020. For the automatic extension, you will not receive a new card or paper extension in the mail because no documentation is needed, but you can request a free temporary paper extension online through the DMV’s Virtual Field Office here.  Keep in mind that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts driver licenses for one year after the expiration date.

Other age groups are also receiving extensions or expanded eligibility to renew their driver licenses online. See the chart below for a quick breakdown of the different extensions being issued.

   Expiration month                         Status

Age 70 & older (noncommercial)

March-December 2020

  • Extended one year from original expiration date
     

Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)

March-July 2020

  • Extended to July 31, 2020
  • Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail
     

Commercial (all ages)

March-September 2020

  • Extended to 
    September 30, 2020
     

Learner’s permits

March-August 2020

  • Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application

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Online services

The DMV offers many services that can be completed fully online from start to finish, they call these “self-serve” and other services are “assisted”or in other words you will get help from a DMV representative. For a complete list of all available self-serve and assisted services visit https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv-online/.

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Field office services

The DMV has reopened its field offices to assist customers that have existing appointments and transactions that can only be completed in a DMV field office. No new appointments are available at this time; however, the DMV has already begun rescheduling appointments that were canceled during the temporary closure and notifying customers of their new dates. Once the DMV has accommodated those customers, they will begin offering a limited number of new appointments. If you visit a field office, the DMV may offer same-day appointments for a qualifying critical service, however you will only be served if the office can maintain physical distancing and public health guidelines. If offices become too crowded, you might be asked to try visiting at another time. Customers are encouraged to complete their transaction online, if possible. The limited critical transactions that require an in-person visit to a field office include:

  • Paying registration for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
  • Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
  • Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
  • Processing commercial driver license transactions
  • Applying for a disabled person parking placards (this can also be done by mail)
  • Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
  • Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus
  • Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow
  • Vehicle verifications

To stay up to date about the field office re-openings and frequently asked questions click here.

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REAL ID

In response to COVID-19 the federal government extended the REAL ID enforcement date to October 1, 2021, meaning you still have time to apply! You will need to apply online and gather all your necessary documents before you can visit a DMV office to finalize your transaction. As a reminder, REAL ID transactions will be possible only if space and time allow to ensure offices can maintain physical distancing and public health guidelines. For a step-by-step guide visit the DMV online portal.

If you have any other questions regarding DMV transactions, please reach out to my office at (562) 256-7921.


All my best,
Lena
State Senator, District 33

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July 13, 2020

Dear neighbor,

We are living a moment in history that is unlike any other. We are grappling with a global pandemic and nationwide unemployment, which brings with them widespread healthcare and economic challenges for all our communities. Amidst these challenges, something else has happened. Voices from all over the nation and the world are coming together to stand up for the rights of Black Americans through the advancement of justice and pathways that lead to success and equity for all.

In the past few weeks, the Legislature has passed legislation to allow voters to decide this November whether affirmative action should be restored in California, whether voting rights should be restored to parolees, and legislation requiring ethnic studies in college education requirements at California State University campuses. In recent weeks, members of the California Legislature have also introduced a number of bills that seek to pursue important reforms and protect the voices of the media and the public who participate in peaceful public discourse.

Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States has also issued decisions upholding the rights of the LGBTQ community in the workplace and helping protect the DACA program that allows thousands of workers to continue living in and contributing to our nation. There is much more that needs to be done in this state and nation and we can do it together because we all hold the power to make a difference. If you want to learn more about how you can make a difference today, please see the information below.

All the best,

Lena Gonzalez

33rd Senate District

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Complete the Census  

Spend a few minutes online today to impact the next 10 years of funding for healthcare, infrastructure, and education. If our communities are not accurately counted, the health programs that provide health coverage to families, seniors, and people with disabilities during this Covid-19 Pandemic will not receive their fair share of critical funding. Food assistance programs like SNAP and the National School Lunch Program also use census data to determine funding. Your data is protected and it’s confidential. Federal law protects your responses, which cannot be shared with law enforcement, immigration agencies, or housing authorities. Go to my2020Census.gov and respond today to make your community's tomorrow brighter.

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Register to vote

Don’t know if you’re registered to vote? Start by checking on the CA Secretary of State’s website here: Voter Registration Verification

By checking whether you are registered to vote, you will be able to do the following:

  • Check where you are registered to vote
  • Check your political party preference
  • Check your language preference for election materials
  • Check the status of your vote-by-mail or provisional ballot
  • Find your polling place
  • Find information for upcoming local and state elections
  • Find contact information for your county elections office
  • Choose how you want to receive your state and county voter guides

If you still need to register to vote you can do it here: voter registration

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Learn about the state legislative process

In addition to staying up to date with the news, it is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with how the state legislative process works. The legislative process starts with an idea for a needed change in California’s laws, and these ideas can come from anyone in the public. A member of either the California State Senate or the California State Assembly can take these ideas to the Office of Legislative Counsel, where they can be drafted into a bill. If the legislator decided to introduce the bill it will be reviewed by other members of the legislature in a policy committee and any member of the public or interested organization can voice their support or concerns about the bill. Should the bill pass out of the policy committee, it may need to be reviewed before a fiscal committee where the fiscal impact of the bill on the state’s budget is evaluated. If the bill moves out of the fiscal committee it is presented for a vote in its house of origin (the Senate or the Assembly) and if the bill passes in its house of origin the same process starts over again in the other house of the Legislature. If the bill passes both houses, it goes to the Governor’s desk where the Governor can choose to sign the bill into law or veto it.

To learn in more detail about how a bill becomes a law visit the CA Senate website here: legislative process. You will find great recommendations and tips on how to stay informed about a bill and how to provide your input along the way to ensure that bills reflect your community’s needs and priorities.

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Find your representative

To find your State Senate and Assembly representatives, all you need is your California address on this online tool:  find your California representative. Once you know who your state representatives are, you can directly connect with your representative’s district offices to provide input on existing bills or ideas for new bills, or for help regarding other local issues you may want support with.

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Follow introduced legislation

Is there any particular bill you are interested in reading more about? You can search online by key words, status, author, dates and more with the California Legislative Information website.

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Wear a Mask

Finally, contributing to the health and safety of our community in these uncertain times can be as simple as wearing a mask or face covering. You can make a difference by following best practices such as, wearing a facemask, washing your hands and staying at home when sick. Wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of infectious particles into the air. Wearing a face covering also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others. Public health officials now require Californians to wear masks or cloth face coverings in most settings outside the home. And workers in certain industries are required wear a mask or respirator while on the job.

To learn more please click here.

For news from the 33rd Senate District, you can read the latest on 2020 legislation here and the latest press releases here.

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July 10, 2020

Dear neighbor,

We are living a moment in history that is unlike any other. We are grappling with a global pandemic and nationwide unemployment, which brings with them widespread healthcare and economic challenges for all our communities. Amidst these challenges, something else has happened. Voices from all over the nation and the world are coming together to stand up for the rights of Black Americans through the advancement of justice and pathways that lead to success and equity for all.

In the past few weeks, the Legislature has passed legislation to allow voters to decide this November whether affirmative action should be restored in California, whether voting rights should be restored to parolees, and legislation requiring ethnic studies in college education requirements at California State University campuses. In recent weeks, members of the California Legislature have also introduced a number of bills that seek to pursue important reforms and protect the voices of the media and the public who participate in peaceful public discourse.

Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States has also issued decisions upholding the rights of the LGBTQ community in the workplace and helping protect the DACA program that allows thousands of workers to continue living in and contributing to our nation. There is much more that needs to be done in this state and nation and we can do it together because we all hold the power to make a difference. If you want to learn more about how you can make a difference today, please see the information below.

All the best,

Lena Gonzalez

33rd Senate District

Complete the Census

Register to vote

Learn about the state legislative process

Find your representative

Follow introduced legislation

Wear a Mask

Complete the Census 

Spend a few minutes online today to impact the next 10 years of funding for healthcare, infrastructure, and education. If our communities are not accurately counted, the health programs that provide health coverage to families, seniors, and people with disabilities during this Covid-19 Pandemic will not receive their fair share of critical funding. Food assistance programs like SNAP and the National School Lunch Program also use census data to determine funding. Your data is protected and it’s confidential. Federal law protects your responses, which cannot be shared with law enforcement, immigration agencies, or housing authorities. Go to my2020Census.gov and respond today to make your community's tomorrow brighter.

Register to vote

Don’t know if you’re registered to vote? Start by checking on the CA Secretary of State’s website here: Voter Registration Verification

By checking whether you are registered to vote, you will be able to do the following:

  • Check where you are registered to vote
  • Check your political party preference
  • Check your language preference for election materials
  • Check the status of your vote-by-mail or provisional ballot
  • Find your polling place
  • Find information for upcoming local and state elections
  • Find contact information for your county elections office
  • Choose how you want to receive your state and county voter guides

If you still need to register to vote you can do it here: voter registration

Learn about the state legislative process

In addition to staying up to date with the news, it is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with how the state legislative process works. The legislative process starts with an idea for a needed change in California’s laws, and these ideas can come from anyone in the public. A member of either the California State Senate or the California State Assembly can take these ideas to the Office of Legislative Counsel, where they can be drafted into a bill. If the legislator decided to introduce the bill it will be reviewed by other members of the legislature in a policy committee and any member of the public or interested organization can voice their support or concerns about the bill. Should the bill pass out of the policy committee, it may need to be reviewed before a fiscal committee where the fiscal impact of the bill on the state’s budget is evaluated. If the bill moves out of the fiscal committee it is presented for a vote in its house of origin (the Senate or the Assembly) and if the bill passes in its house of origin the same process starts over again in the other house of the Legislature. If the bill passes both houses, it goes to the Governor’s desk where the Governor can choose to sign the bill into law or veto it.

To learn in more detail about how a bill becomes a law visit the CA Senate website here: legislative process. You will find great recommendations and tips on how to stay informed about a bill and how to provide your input along the way to ensure that bills reflect your community’s needs and priorities.

Find your representative

To find your State Senate and Assembly representatives, all you need is your California address on this online tool:  find your California representative. Once you know who your state representatives are, you can directly connect with your representative’s district offices to provide input on existing bills or ideas for new bills, or for help regarding other local issues you may want support with.

Follow introduced legislation

Is there any particular bill you are interested in reading more about? You can search online by key words, status, author, dates and more with the California Legislative Information website.

Wear a Mask

Finally, contributing to the health and safety of our community in these uncertain times can be as simple as wearing a mask or face covering. You can make a difference by following best practices such as, wearing a facemask, washing your hands and staying at home when sick. Wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of infectious particles into the air. Wearing a face covering also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others. Public health officials now require Californians to wear masks or cloth face coverings in most settings outside the home. And workers in certain industries are required wear a mask or respirator while on the job.

To learn more please click here.

For news from the 33rd Senate District, you can read the latest on 2020 legislation here and the latest press releases here.

June 06, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Over the past few days we have seen demonstrations unfold across our nation as a result of the unjust and tragic death of George Floyd. I am deeply saddened and outraged that systemic racism, implicit bias and discriminatory practices continue to allow the needless loss of innocent Black American lives year after year. This is not the first time we hear the vehement outcry of our entire country collectively mourning and denouncing this horrible injustice. Change is long overdue. We must take strong actions to stop history from repeating itself.  

To each and every person calling for the change we need, you have my support. If you are calling for an end to the inequities that permeate our societal structures—an end to housing discrimination, gentrification, lack of healthcare access, and lack of job access—you have my support. We must continue to work alongside each other toward a future of greater opportunity for all. I invite everyone to learn together from the events that have transpired and to work meaningfully toward the advancements that will provide equitable access to all Californians regardless of race, color or ethnicity.

Thousands of activists have gathered peacefully over the last few days to take a powerful stance against injustice, and that is how we can make a difference, in unity, without causing harm to our fellow citizens. My sincerest appreciation goes out to those who have gathered in the aftermath of the demonstrations to help clean up our cities and local businesses.

I know we are a strong and resilient people and that in unity we will walk together toward the future we want to see. With this said, I encourage you to reach out to my office with any ideas or comments on the changes you want to see for your community and how we can achieve those goals. If you or someone you know needs help during these difficult times, please give us a call, and see the resource information below.

Information and Resources:

In community,

Lena Gonzalez
33rd Senate District

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Tips for staying safe during protests and civil unrest 

  • Make sure you have all the supplies you need to be prepared for a long day if you plan to be out a long time. You may consider the following list: plenty of water; face mask; sun protection; snacks; hand sanitizer; good walking shoes; a copy of emergency phone numbers and a card with necessary medical information that someone may need to know if you have a medical emergency.
  • Stay up to date with the news. Check the news frequently if possible so you can stay aware of your surroundings.
  • If you are concerned about the safety of the protest, make your way out calmly to go home. Look at traffic activity and search for alternate routes before you start driving to get home.

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What can I do if I was a victim of police brutality at a protest?

  • You must first make a report to the sheriff, police department or district attorney.
  • Next, if you need to escalate the matter you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office using the form at this link.
  • What information will I need?
    • Your contact information
    • The law enforcement agency or employee information
    • Specific description of the incident
    • Other remedies sought and copies of agency responses (for Attorney General complaint)

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What can I do if I was victim of a crime during and at the location of a protest?

Contact the California Victim Compensation Board. The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) can help pay bills and expenses that result from violent crime. Victims of crime who have been injured or have been threatened with injury may be eligible for help. CalVCB Helpline: 1-800-777-9229 (Phone) | 1-866-902-8669 (Fax). For victim assistance in your area, find your local Victim Witness Assistance Center here.  Additional local resources for victims in Los Angeles County can also be found here.

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What will happen if my child was arrested during the protests?

If your child is arrested, a few different scenarios may take place. The police can:

  • Make a record of the arrest and let your child go home.
  • Send your child to an agency that will shelter, care for, or counsel your child.
  • Make your child come back to the police station. This is called being “cited back.”
  • Give you and your child a Notice to Appear. Read the notice and do what it says.
  • Put your child in juvenile hall (this is called “detention”). Your child can make at least 2 phone calls within 1 hour of being arrested. One call must be to a parent, guardian, relative, or boss. The other call must be to a lawyer.

If the police want to talk to your child about what happened, the police must tell your child about his or her legal rights (called “Miranda rights”), which are:

  • Your child has the right to remain silent.
  • Anything your child says will be used against him or her in court.
  • Your child has the right to a lawyer. If you or your child cannot pay for one, the court will appoint one.

Children who are 15-years-old or younger must be allowed to talk to a lawyer before they talk to the police or give up their Miranda rights.

Your child has the right to a lawyer who is effective and prepared. If you cannot pay for a lawyer, the court will get a lawyer for your child. If your child does not have a lawyer, talk to the public defender or another lawyer for advice.

To find the public defender in your county or find a lawyer, please visit the California Courts and Judicial Branch Website.  

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What can I do if my business property was damaged?

  • To help California business owners understand some of the key insurance issues relating to civil unrest, the Insurance Commissioner’s office created a factsheet that is intended to present a general overview of relevant insurance coverages and some important tips to consider. Although the information serves as an overview, policyholders are strongly encouraged to read the terms of the policy purchased, as terms and definitions can vary from one policy to another.

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FAQs on curfews

 

Is anyone exempt from the curfew? Yes. The countywide curfew does not apply to the following: voters and poll workers; peace officers; firefighters; National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area; emergency medical services personnel; individuals traveling to and from work; individuals working on a public work of improvement construction project; credentialed media representatives involved in news gathering; people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter; and individuals seeking medical treatment.

Are sweeping services or other city services affected by this curfew? It depends on what city you live in. Please check with your local government authority to learn about city services and hours during this time.

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Emergency crisis help amidst protests

There is a PD advisory to only call if there is a life-threatening emergency in an effort to avoid burdening 911 phone lines. Here are other resources we can share to help in different emergency situations.

211 LA County:

211 LA County: Dial 2-1-1 within Los Angeles County 211 LA County is the hub for all types of health, human and social services in Los Angeles County, providing callers with information and referrals to the services that best meet their needs.

Mental health crisis:

  • FOR 24/7 HELP, PLEASE CALL LA County HELP LINE AT (800) 854-7771
  • The Department of Mental Health Help Line serves as the primary entry point for mental health services with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Services provided by include: Mental health screening and assessment, referral to a service provider, crisis counseling, mobilizing field response teams, linkages to other resources.
  • The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) website also has mental health resources.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text LA to 741741
    Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free crisis support via text message.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(800) 273-8255
    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects you with a crisis center closest to your location. Your call will be answered confidentially by a trained crisis worker who will listen empathetically, work to ensure that you feel safe, and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area.
    • Disaster Distress Helpline(800) 985-5990
      The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
    • Trevor Project Lifeline(800) 788-7386
      The TrevorLifeline provides support to LGBTQ youths and allies in crisis or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk.
    • Substance Abuse Service Helpline(844) 804-7500
      Operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, this hotline provides screening, resources and service referrals regarding substance use disorders.

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February 24, 2020

Message from Senator Lena Gonzalez

As the Senator representing the 33rd Senate District, I am proud to share with you our latest e-newsletter that highlights the legislative updates and community engagement in early 2020. I invite you to stay engaged with our newsletters, as they offer an effective way to keep you informed about the work we do in Sacramento and upcoming issues affecting all our cities: Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, and Vernon.

 

2020 Legislative Update

Last week, I was thrilled to introduce my first bill, the Equal Insurance HIV Act (SB 961). The bill, co-sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Equality California, will help end discrimination against HIV-positive Californians who are denied life and disability income insurance coverage based solely on their HIV status.

 

Senator Gonzalez formally submitting her first bill, the Equal Insurance HIV Act (SB 961)

 

Senate District 33 faces high rates of HIV, and the bill aims to help the 135,000 residents statewide who live with HIV but are unable to receive insurance coverage. Thanks to advances in modern medicine, a person who is HIV positive and undergoing treatment can live a long, healthy life. The Equal Insurance HIV Act will require insurance companies to consider HIV as they would any other treatable chronic condition.

 

Senator Gonzalez with (left to right) Dr. Tasnim Khan, Chief Medical Officer of One Community Health; Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur; and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara at the press conference for the Equal Insurance HIV Act

 

I was also elected to serve on the board of directors for the Equality California Institute, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. As part of a larger package of health-related legislation to support LGBTQ+ community members, I co-authored SB 932 with my colleague Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to provide easier access to rapid STI testing, which will increase the number of people getting tests and prevent the transmission of STIs statewide.

Additionally, we revived the Senate Select Committee on Ports & Goods Movement. Trade and transportation are crucial to Senate District 33, which includes numerous Gateway Cities along the I-710 corridor and the Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest port in the country. As Chair of the Select Committee, I will ensure that the Senate works closely with our communities to address environmental sustainability, infrastructure needs, and the future of work in this vital industry.

Stay tuned as we finalize my entire legislative package for this year. We will keep you updated and continue to engage with stakeholders and constituents about the top priorities for our district.

 

Community Round-Up

This year, my district team and I have participated in a number of community events and have provided legislative updates throughout Senate District 33. We have also toured incredible facilities in the district like our local healthcare centers, small businesses, and innovative aerospace companies.

My team has been working with local, state, and federal leadership to ensure residents affected by the unfortunate Delta Airlines fuel release incident get access to the healthcare services they need. The Federal Aviation Administration will deliver their investigation in the coming weeks, and we will provide information to stakeholders as soon as it becomes available. Please share your experiences with us, so that my office can help facilitate services or provide answers to your questions.

 

Senator Gonzalez addressing constituents impacted by the Delta jet fuel release at a community town hall in Cudahy

 

This month, I had the pleasure of serving as keynote speaker at several women empowerment events, including a conversation with students at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy about what it means to be a female leader. I also joined Speaker Anthony Rendon for the inaugural Young Women’s Conference, where I spoke with aspiring young female professionals, and I participated in a women’s forum with Hispanas Organized for Political Equality in Long Beach. I was thrilled to hear from the future generation of community leaders, policymakers, and visionaries!

 

Senator Gonzalez visiting Memorial Care Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Long Beach

Senator Gonzalez with Senator Connie Leyva and future female policymakers with the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

 

2020 Census Update

The 2020 Census is just around the corner, and we have been actively engaged in community outreach and planning efforts with our local partners. The Census determines the number of Congressional members we have, and it directs federal funding to our communities for vital social services, infrastructure, and public safety. We will continue to participate in regional Census efforts, to ensure we get a complete count in Senate District 33 and the state. For more information about the Census, check out the California Census website.

 

 

Quarterly: Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Fridays

Senator Gonzalez office will be participating in the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement District First Friday’s each quarter starting March 6, 2020. Please stop by and enjoy entertainment from local DJs and learn more about how our office can assist you.

 

 

To stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding our community outreach and legislation, please visit my website and social media accounts. Thank you!

 

December 20, 2019

Message from Senator Lena Gonzalez: 2019 Wrap-Up

As the Senator representing the 33rd district, I am proud to share with you our latest e-newsletter that highlights the hard work accomplished in my first 6 months of office. I invite you to stay engaged in our quarterly newsletters as they will offer an effective way to keep you informed about the work we do in Sacramento and upcoming issues affecting all our cities—Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, and Vernon.

Last June, I was sworn-in to represent the 33rd Senate District in the California State Senate. I am honored to work on your behalf to support families, fight for our environment, and ensure everyone in the district has economic opportunities to thrive.


Senator Gonzalez being sworn into office by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, with her husband Adam and son Zorion.

In my first six months in office, my team and I have worked tirelessly to address constituent concerns and advance community priorities in the district, and I voted on key legislation that will have a positive impact on our residents. I am excited to introduce new legislation and organize community events in the coming year.

 

Legislative Update

One of my first acts as Senator was to join my colleagues in voting on the State Budget, bringing critical resources to the state and district. We secured $2.4 billion for housing & homeless services, $1 billion for emergency preparedness, a $600 million expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, and almost a half-billion dollars toward early childhood education—all while retaining nearly $20 billion in reserves for the future.

Additionally, as a member of three important Committees—Judiciary, Health, and Joint Legislative Audit—I was proud to support monumental pieces of Legislation that will expand access to free community college throughout the state, provide more Medi-Cal coverage for our residents who need it most, and protect families and small business owners from predatory loans.

 

In the Community

While we have been busy with legislation in the Capitol, we have been equally active throughout the district resolving constituent issues, meeting with local groups, and helping organize events to assist constituents in every community districtwide.

Here are a few highlights from the district events and programs that my office has proudly hosted and attended this year:

We hosted the 6th Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration in the city of Long Beach, an event I started while Councilwoman for Long Beach’s 1st District. Hundreds of community members came out to enjoy the altars, entertainment, and vendors.



 



As a mom of three boys, one of my top legislative priorities is to advocate for women and children. I partnered with ReadyNation, First 5 LA, and the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce on an event connecting business leaders with early childhood education providers, and I will continue to support educational and childcare resources for our community members.


Senator Gonzalez meeting with early childhood education providers.


Senator Gonzalez presenting certificates to graduates from the Parent Leadership Academy.

Additionally, through partnerships with the State Treasurer, local Chambers of Commerce, and City leaders, I have had the opportunity to meet with dozens of small business owners, to hear firsthand how we can support their efforts and grow our local and regional economies.


Senator Gonzalez with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, Paramount Mayor Tom Hansen, Paramount Councilwoman Brenda Olmos, and leaders from the Paramount Chamber of Commerce.


Senator Gonzalez with State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

Over the past six months in office, we have toured amazing health centers throughout the district; celebrated the groundbreaking of many public art projects, parks, libraries, and school facilities; and met with countless community leaders and organizations. Every meeting, event, and tour fills me with pride to represent the great 33rd Senate District, and we will continue to plan signature events to strengthen community ties in the 33rd Senate District.


Senator Gonzalez with local artists and education leaders for the unveiling of a new mural at Washington Middle School.


Senator Gonzalez reading to a student at the Escalante Early Education Center in Cudahy.

 

2020 Vision & Upcoming Meetings

In addition to our community outreach, I have had the privilege of meeting with our local leaders and organizations to discuss the legislative needs and priorities of the district. I convened a meeting with our City Managers where we talked in depth about the need for strong leadership on the issues of housing and homelessness, and we have been working closely with our organizational partners in the area to lead on the issues of trade & transportation, sustainability, early childhood development, and public health.

As we look to the next Legislative year, please join my District team at the following community meetings to get more information about my legislation and policy priorities:

  • Tuesday, January 7: Coffee with the Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro
  • Wednesday, January 8: Bixby Knolls Neighborhood Association Meeting
  • Wednesday, January 15: Willmore Neighborhood Association Meeting
  • Stay tuned for our District Office Open House early next year…

I am very excited about what Team Gonzalez is planning for 2020, and I look forward to continuing to work on your behalf in the California State Senate. Please check my website and social media accounts to stay up-to-date on what we are planning for the coming Legislative year!

Thank you, and have a great holiday season!