Pat's Perspective: March 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

Throughout the year I sponsor and attend numerous community events on state issues important to our community, where people can ask questions. Constituents can also contact my Laguna Hills or Encinitas offices via phone or e-mail if they would like to schedule a meeting or need assistance with state government.

Most recently, I attended a coffee event in Mission Viejo that was open to the public. I shared a legislative update with attendees and they had an opportunity to ask me questions. As I plan future events, I focus on issues facing the State of California, such as sober living homes and programs for seniors and veterans.

I am sponsoring two events in March that are free and open to all: South Orange County Senior Day on March 10 and the Veterans Resource Fair on March 25.

Many constituents in the 36th Senate District have contacted me requesting that I support or oppose presidential nominees. For issues concerning the federal government (such as presidential nominations and executive orders), I recommend contacting U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. They are in the best position to listen to concerns as they vote on nominations and federal legislation.

If you are not sure where to go for help, feel free to ask my office. We are here to serve you and can refer you to the appropriate government agency. Contact my office and we will help you figure it out.


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Legislative Update

California State Senate Chambers
California State Senate Chambers

Last month marked the official deadline to introduce most legislation for 2017. There are currently 872 Senate bills and 1,751 Assembly bills. I have introduced 18 of those bills, including Senate Bill 75 to reclassify heinous crimes as legally “violent.”

Another bill I have introduced is SB 337. This bill (which is co-authored by Senator Janet Nguyen) could help fund California’s transportation infrastructure with foreign earnings from U.S.-based multinational corporations. SB 337 embraces a similar idea supported by both major presidential candidates last year.

Legislative committee hearings are ramping up as it begins to review the more than 2,600 bills introduced this year. Stay tuned for future updates on some of the more high-profile bills.

To see my 2017 legislation, click here.

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“Sanctuary State” Bill

California State Capitol
California State Capitol

As you may have heard in the news, the Senate is considering Senate Bill 54 (de León), which would make California a “sanctuary state.”

Specifically, SB 54 would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using any of their resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes. The bill appears to specifically prohibit almost all cooperation and communication with immigration authorities unless the federal government first issues a warrant.

As a descendant of immigrants, I have compassion for immigrants who want to make a better life for themselves and their families. Fundamentally, the federal government must address our broken immigration system, which is why I voted for Senate Joint Resolution 2 (Vidak) in March 2015. However, bills such as SB 54 would make it more difficult for the federal government to deport those who truly pose a danger to all Californians.

The Legislature should not pass bills that would limit law enforcement’s ability to keep all Californians safe. That is why I take seriously the opposition to SB 54 by groups such as the California State Sheriffs’ Association, who said, “We believe it is inappropriate for the state to tell a local agency that it cannot respond to a request for information from the federal government.”

I agree and I hope the Senate listens to the majority of Californians who have expressed deep concerns about the public safety implications of SB 54.

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Free Tax Preparation

Image of tax form

With tax season heating up, free tax return preparation is available for qualifying taxpayers.

IRS-certified volunteers can help people with household incomes of $54,000 or less prepare and electronically file a basic tax return for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. To find a VITA site near you, visit

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Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California logo

Keep Your Home California is a free service for homeowners who have suffered a financial hardship, to help them stay in their homes, maintain an affordable mortgage payment and avoid foreclosure.

Since the program’s inception in February 2011, Keep Your Home California has provided $1.6 billion in assistance to 70,000 California households (including more than 2,000 households in the 36th Senate District).

Homeowners seeking more information about the program should call 1.888.954.5337 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, or visit

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State Capitol Art Contest

Keep Your Home California logo

I am seeking local entries for the California State Senate art collection, which features artwork from every region of California. I get to select one entry that best represents the district, which covers South Orange and North San Diego Counties.

The winning entry will be displayed at the Capitol from May 2017 to September 2018. Learn more at this link.

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Scholarship Opportunities

Graduation cap and money stock photo

Many professional associations provide scholarship resources to students interested in pursuing related careers. For example, CalCPA has developed a resource guide that links to numerous scholarship opportunities.

With so much information about private scholarships available on the internet, it is wise for students and parents to carefully study opportunities. The federal government has a website you can visit to learn more about finding and applying for scholarships.

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Congrats to Carlsbad High!

Carlsbad High School's Lancer Dancers)
Carlsbad High School’s Lancer Dancers. Photo Credit: Lancer Dancers’ Facebook page.

Congratulations to Carlsbad High School’s Lancer Dancers! They recently claimed the Universal Dance Association (UDA) national championship at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The Lancer Dancers have long been a dancing powerhouse, winning nine UDA national titles, two USA Dance championships and one world title since 2001.

I am proud of their fantastic achievement and wish them all the best!

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Community Spotlight: Camp Pendleton

Photo of Camp Pendleton's 75th Anniversary Logo.
Camp Pendleton’s 75th Anniversary Logo.
Image Credit: Camp Pendleton Facebook page.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout 2017.

President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated Camp Pendleton in honor of Major General Joseph H. Pendleton on September 25, 1942. The base is the Marine Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility, encompassing more than 125,000 acres of Southern California terrain.

Located approximately 38 miles from downtown San Diego in North County and 82 miles south of Los Angeles, Camp Pendleton has been the largest employer in North San Diego County for more than 60 years. The base also contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California. More than 38,000 military family members occupy base housing complexes and many more connected to the base live in nearby communities.

To honor its 75th anniversary, Camp Pendleton is inviting the public to a number of events throughout the year. Learn more about these events and Camp Pendleton at

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Upcoming Events

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?

Camp Pendleton: Battle Color Ceremony

Date: Thursday, March 9
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: 11 Area Football Field
About: The Drum & Bugle Corps, Silent Drill Platoon, and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps tour across the United States to demonstrate discipline, professionalism, and “Esprit de Corps” of the United States Marines.

Dana Point: Earth Day

Date: Saturday, March 11 and 12
Time: All day
Location: Dana Point Harbor (24650 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: The Dana Point Festival of Whales celebrates the annual migration of the California Gray Whale with family-friendly activities and events.

Lake Forest: South County Pet Expo and Dog-a-Palooza!

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Lake Forest Sports Park & Recreation Center (28000 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630)
About: The event will feature canine demonstrations, food trucks, music and much more for families and pets.

Oceanside: Western Surfing Association Championship Tour

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Oceanside Harbor South Jetty
About: This is a surfing competition to qualify competitors to the West Coast Championships, U.S. Championships, Prime Events, and any World Team Events. Sponsored by Western Surfing Association.

San Clemente: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Location: 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA 92672
About: Sponsored by the Exchange Club in partnership with the City of San Clemente to benefit local charities.

Laguna Niguel: High School Job & College Fair

Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Laguna Niguel City Hall Community Room (30111 Crown Valley Parkway Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Representatives from local businesses as well as local colleges, universities, and trade schools will be in attendance to share information regarding their institutes of higher learning, job opportunities, career pathways, and internships. This is an excellent opportunity for teens to explore specific career paths and options for college, and to gain insight into the workforce.

Del Mar: San Diego Women’s Week - Opening Day

Date: Monday, March 20
Time: 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Wyland Center (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014)
About: Sponsored by the North San Diego Business Chamber, the Women’s Week Opening Day event offers dynamic speakers, breakout sessions and more. Opening Day is free to the public.

Encinitas: Garden-Friendly Plant Fair

Date: Saturday, March 25
Time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: 1001 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
About: Join local water agencies for a fun, festive morning filled with music, a children’s craft activity, and great deals on over 20 varieties of water-wise plants.

San Juan Capistrano: 59th Swallows Day Parade & Mercado Street Faire

Date: Saturday, March 25
Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Downtown San Juan Capistrano
About: The Swallows’ Day Parade is the nation’s largest non-motorized parade. It is organized and presented by the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association and takes place right in down-town San Juan Capistrano.

Mission Viejo: College Considerations Workshop

Date: Sunday, March 26
Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Saddleback Room at City Hall (200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92691)
About: A consultant will help students understand their personality type and identify college major and career matches based upon their personality type.

Carlsbad 5000

Date: April 1 and 2
Time: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Saturday) and 6:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Sunday)
Location: The Village of Carlsbad, Roosevelt, between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue
About: Experience the “World’s Fastest 5K” race. The event also features an expo packed with samples, food and health information.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Interviewing and Resumes for Success (for High School Students)

Date: Monday, April 3
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Orange County Public Library (30902 La Promesa, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: The Write Direction is hosting a free workshop for high school students who are looking for a summer job or internship or who need to prepare for college and scholarship interviews. Students will learn tips on how to ace interviews and write a winning student resume.

Laguna Hills: Volunteer Connection Day

Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Make a difference in your community this April by participating in the City of Laguna Hills annual Volunteer Connection Day. Join your neighbors for a day of community spirit, projects include city-wide trail clean up and tree planting ceremony in recognition of Arbor Day. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.

Vista: Earth Day Festival

Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Alta Vista Gardens in Brengle Terrace Park (1270 Vale Terrace Drive Vista, CA 92084)
About: Vendors will offer crafts for sale and share earth-friendly ideas. Event for all ages is free.

San Clemente: Earth Day

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Parque Del Mar (622 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: Join the City of San Clemente and the Watershed Task Force as they organize a day of educational information about how everyone can make a difference in reducing litter, and pollutants which end up in our streets, storm drains, and eventually our beaches, and ocean! This free community event features live music, kid’s arts and crafts, educational displays, demonstrations and artists.

Aliso Viejo: Soka University International Festival

Date: Saturday, May 6
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Soka University (1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656)
About: Enjoy 900 musicians and dancers performing on four stages, and over 250 non-profit, craft and business exhibitors. Free admission.

Note: While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, events are subject to change by the organizers/sponsors.

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36th District Highlights

In addition to many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:

  • Attended the North San Diego Business Chamber’s State of the Region event

Image from Highlights 1

  • Appeared on “California Edition” with Brad Pomerance to discuss my SB 75 to strengthen the definition of “violent” crimes and SB 69 to increase penalties for sex offenders who cut off their GPS bracelets.

Image from Highlights 2

  • Delivered a legislative update and answered questions at Alzheimer’s Orange County’s coffee event in Mission Viejo.

Image from Highlights 3

  • Watched a 3D printing demonstration at the California Manufacturers & Technology Association’s open house in Sacramento.

Image from Highlights 5

  • Met with representatives from the California Society of Public Accountants (CalCPA).

Image from Highlights 6

  • Wore red in the Senate Chambers to help raise awareness that heart disease is the nation’s top health threat.

Image from Highlights 7

  • Served as master of ceremonies for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and awards event. See event photos from the San Clemente Times here.
  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Attended a ceremony designating the City of San Diego as an official Coast Guard city.

Image from Highlights 8

  • Commemorated the opening of Southland Physical Therapy in Mission Viejo. Rhonda Reardon of my office presents a certificate to owners Jason Lee and Jason Park,

Image from Highlights 9

  • Participated in the grand opening of the Heroes Hall Veterans Museum in Costa Mesa. Gary Strachan represented me at the event.

Image from Highlights 10

  • Attended a board meeting of the South Orange County Community College District. Rhonda Reardon (4th from right) delivered remarks on my behalf underscoring the importance of community colleges in our communities.

Image from Highlights 11

  • Toured the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which is being decommissioned. Information about public tours can be found at
  • Attended the Mission Viejo Public Safety Town Hall.
  • And more!

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Connect on Social Media

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To learn more about my work in the Senate, please “follow” me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook.

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

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