A Message from Pat
The Christmas season is a time of hope, joy and giving, making it one of my favorite times of the year. Yet, recent violent events both abroad and at home have contributed to a sense of unease.
The terrible shooting earlier this month in San Bernardino that left 14 dead has underscored the threat that we face from radical Islamic terrorists. But I am reminded of one of the lessons that the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah teaches - the lights of hope are more enduring than the flames of evil.
While Americans of good faith may disagree on some of the solutions being proposed in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, we can honor the victims by treating one another with respect and seeking common ground. This will be at the top of my mind when the California Legislature reconvenes in January.
As we seek to make sense of what happened earlier this month, may we give thanks for the service of our first responders and the courageous actions of private citizens, as they remind us that there is still much good in the world. May we also give thanks for the blessings we do have as it is a time for our community to come together and serve others. Whether volunteering at a food bank or helping children in need, you can find volunteer opportunities by visiting www.CaliforniaVolunteers.org.
The holidays remind us what is truly important - family, friends and freedom. Christmas is about the birth of a new hope that good will ultimately triumph over evil. May we embody the Christmas spirit in all that we say and do.
From my 36th Senate District family, I wish you a Merry Christmas, the warmest of holiday seasons and bountiful blessings in the New Year.
Senator Bates visited Oceanside’s Federal Heath Sign Company in October to promote Manufacturing Day.
Each year, various advocacy groups release “report cards” ranking legislators on their votes on bills important to their membership. These report cards can inform the public on how a legislator stands on the issues.
I am pleased to report that I earned perfect and near perfect grades this year from respected nonpartisan organizations for my votes on bills affecting taxpayers and job creators. Here is a summary of the grades/scores I received this year:
- “A” grade from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, one of the state’s top watchdogs on tax and public finance issues;
- 100 percent score from the California Taxpayers Association, the state’s largest and oldest organization representing taxpayers;
- 100 percent score from the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, which represents the state’s manufacturing community;
- Near perfect score from the California Chamber of Commerce regarding bills affecting job creation.
These scores are just some of the many indicators of my commitment to protect taxpayers and create more economic opportunity for our state. I look forward to continuing my work on these issues in 2016.
Senator Bates co-hosted a flood preparation meeting of government agencies with Assembly Member Bill Brough in Rancho Santa Margarita on December 8.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, there is a 95 percent chance that El Niño - a weather pattern that could cause above average storms for California - will batter the state this winter.
It is important that we all take the necessary steps to protect our families and homes. I invite you to visit my “Be Storm Ready” page on my Senate website at www.senate.ca.gov/bates that contains links to helpful resources. You can also download a handy “Flood Preparation and Safety” brochure from the Federal Emergency Management Agency by clicking here.
While there may not be much rain now in our region, above average storms can quickly create dangerous conditions. That is why I co-hosted a meeting of government agencies with Assembly Member Bill Brough on December 8 to improve emergency response. Residents and their families should also do what they can to prepare.
It is never too early to plan ahead, so please take a few moments to visit my resource page.
The Senate sponsors the Senate Fellows Program that gives college graduates the opportunity to work as paid legislative staff for a year. Fellows do substantive work such as drafting policy analyses, writing speeches and conducting meetings with stakeholders.
In my first year in the Senate, I was pleased to have Sarah Couch serve as my 2014-15 Fellow. A Sacramento State graduate with a Master’s degree in English Literature, Sarah’s fabulous work for the 36th Senate District has helped her land a full-time staff job with Assembly Member Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale). She serves as the Assembly Member’s legislative assistant and scheduler.
Now, I am pleased to host Alex Khan as my 2015-16 Senate fellow in my Capitol office. As there are only 18 Senate fellows for 40 senators, the competition among senators to host a fellow was intense. A recent graduate of the University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Alex will help me analyze legislation, staff policy committees and communicate with constituents.
I highly recommend the Senate Fellows Program for those about to graduate from college or in mid-career. For complete information about the fellows program, please click here. The deadline to apply is February 8, 2016.
Located in San Diego’s beautiful North County, the City of Carlsbad is home to more than 110,000 people and is referred to as “The Village by the Sea” by its residents.
Carlsbad offers the charm of a European town with the conveniences of a large city. Home to LEGOLAND California, beautiful beaches and vibrant businesses, Carlsbad offers something for everybody.
The city is home to good local schools such as Carlsbad High School that recently earned a $100,000 grand prize check from State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive program. The school was one of 700 schools nationwide that competed for the top prize to help promote teen driver safety. You can read more about the award here from the Carlsbad Patch.
Here is a sampling of other good things happening in Carlsbad:
- The city is halfway through an $11 million library modernization project that will ensure it will be able to meet the community’s needs in our evolving digital age.
- The city is moving forward on a number of coastal improvement projects that will improve beach access, parking and traffic flow.
- A recent survey shows Carlsbad continues to get high marks from the community, with 91 percent satisfaction ratings for city services and 97 percent of residents saying their quality of life is good or excellent.
- The largest seawater desalination project in the Western Hemisphere officially opened this month to provide up to 10 percent of the region’s future water supply.
- The city will make improvements at three of its largest parks, including a new community center, gardens, a new dog park and an outdoor arena for sports.
- The city recently received an AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s, which recognized the city’s strong fiscal management and diverse economic base.
Photo Credit: Orange County Transportation Authority
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is proposing a plan for 2016 to add, increase, reduce and/or eliminate bus services in the region. You can view the proposed changes and learn more about the plan here.
If you use public transportation in Orange County or are simply concerned about the impact of potential changes in your neighborhood, this is your opportunity to make your voice heard.
Senator Bates on KOCT’s “Journalist Roundtable”
On November 5, I appeared on KOCT-TV Oceanside’s “Journalist Roundtable” for a half hour interview with host Kent Davy, KPBS’ Alison St John and The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Logan Jenkins. We talked about my work in the Senate and the issues facing California. You can watch the interview here (I appear at the 33:30 mark).
In addition, The San Diego Union-Tribune on November 12 published a commentary I wrote on high-speed rail, a project that continues to rise in cost. You can read my full commentary here.
The events below are just a sample of what’s happening in our beautiful district. Do you have an event that you would like me to include in my newsletter? Please let me know by sending me a message on my website. In addition, you can find more events in your community by visiting these links:
- Aliso Viejo
- Dana Point
- Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel
- Mission Viejo
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- San Clemente
- San Juan Capistrano
Carlsbad: Kids’ New Years Eve
Date: Thursday, December 31
Time: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Legoland - 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
About: “Midnight” comes early for families at LEGOLAND California Resort celebrating the New Year together without missing their bedtimes. LEGOLAND California re-creates the Times Square ball drop with a giant LEGO brick falling 22 feet in the air. Grammy-nominated artists will lead the countdown for San Diego’s largest Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party!
Rancho Santa Margarita: New Year’s Eve
Date: Thursday, December 31
Time: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Civic Plaza (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: The mission of the Annual New Year’s Eve Celebrating Family and Friends event is to provide a safe and fun event that brings the community together in an alcohol-free setting. The event is intended to build community spirit and inspire hope for the future through the broadening and deepening public appreciation of the arts from our community.
San Clemente: Sunset Networking Mixer - San Clemente Rotary Club
Date: Thursday, January 7
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: San Clemente Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center (150 E. Avenida Magdalena San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: A great way to learn about local organizations, meet prospective clients and build relationships with business people from small, mid-size and large San Clemente companies.
San Juan Capistrano: Farmers Market
Date: Wednesday, January 13
Time: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Yorba Street between El Camino Real and Camino Capistrano
About: The Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products to the citizens of San Juan Capistrano and adds a vibrant community event to the city’s historic downtown.
Vista: Chamber Business Mixer
Date: Wednesday, January 13
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Hyatt Place (2645 S Melrose Drive, Vista, CA 92081)
About: The Vista Chamber of Commerce and Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club invite you to join them at Hyatt Place for an evening of networking, food, fun and music.
Encinitas: Dog Adoption & Pet Faire
Date: Saturday, January 23
Time: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: San Dieguito Heritage Museum (450 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: Meet your new best friend at this family and pet friendly event! Bring the kids and make cozy, no-sew pet beds and fun toys for the shelter animals. Check out pet merchandise and services at the various vendor booths.
Laguna Niguel: Parenting in the Digital Age: A Closer Look into “Social” Media
Date: Thursday, January 28
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: City Hall (30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Join Cyber Safety Cop Clayton Cranford as he discusses social media and how to maintain cyber safety. Cranford will discuss cyberbullying, online predators, sexting, monitoring online activity, and also what information is public versus what information is private.
Oceanside: Heart Screening
Date: Sunday, January 31
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: El Camino High School (400 Rancho Del Oro Drive, Oceanside, CA 92057)
About: The Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation is offering free cardiac screenings for teenagers. Screenings takes less than 30 minutes (wait times may vary) and include review of a health history questionnaire, an EKG, and if indicated, an echocardiogram. The entire process is non-invasive - no needles or x-ray exposure - and the foundation assures each teen’s privacy is protected.
Note: While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, events are subject to change by the organizers/sponsors.
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:
- Participated in the dedication of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant - the largest in the U.S. It will produce 50 million gallons of potable water daily for the San Diego region.
- Hosted a public open house at my San Diego County District Office in Encinitas.
- Discussed ways to protect emergency health care in San Clemente with Assemblyman Bill Brough and others at a panel hosted by the city.
- Spoke at the San Clemente Exchange Club’s luncheon honoring local public safety personnel. We honored Deputy Randy Morphew, Deputy of the Year; Kirk Tobiassen, Career Firefighter of the Year; and Travis Bourassa, Fire Employee of the Year.
- Hosted a breakfast roundtable in Laguna Hills with Chamber of Commerce chairs and government affairs representatives from South Orange County and listened to their concerns facing small business.
- Spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Dana Point’s Lantern District, which will help re-energize the area. I am shown with Dana Point Council Member Carlos N. Olvera at the plaque commemorating the district.
- Delivered remarks at the opening of the San Clemente Outlets, which will provide more jobs and economic revenue for our district.
- Delivered legislative updates to the city councils of Mission Viejo (pictured below), San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Santa Margarita and Aliso Viejo. My goal is to deliver updates to every city council in the 36th Senate District, so I still have a ways to go!
- Participated in the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade.
On my behalf, my office staff also:
- Participated in a lunch tour of Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine to enhance ongoing community efforts to provide food to those in need. Kristy Khachigian, my Orange County field representative (fifth from left) represented me on the tour.
- Attended the Dana Point Historical Society’s dedication of the plaque for the Richard Henry Dana bicentennial monument.
- Participated in the ribbon cutting of the Junior Seau Foundation Urgent Care Center in Oceanside.
- Attended the memorial service of former San Diego Sheriff William B. Kolender.
- Participated in an El Niño preparedness meeting in La Jolla.
- Attended a meeting of the North San Diego Business Chamber.
- Presented certificates to students at a Rising Stars Breakfast in Vista.
- Met with the government affairs staff of UC Irvine.
- Attended Assemblyman Bill Brough’s Holiday Open House in San Juan Capistrano.
- Participated in the ribbon cuttings of new businesses in Orange and San Diego counties.
- And much more!
To contact me, you can send a message on my website or mail a letter to:
Senator Patricia Bates
State Capitol, Room 4048
Sacramento, California 95814