Senator Josh Becker's January ‘23 Newsletter
Happy New Year and welcome to my January newsletter!
As we turn the calendar to 2023, it's a time to reflect on where we succeeded in 2022, where we need to improve in 2023, and to look ahead to the challenges and possibilities we will all face in the new year.
I hope you were able to enjoy plenty of quality time with family and friends during the holiday season and are ready to dive right into 2023 like I am!
Storm Damage Assistance
The pounding storms over the past couple of weeks have clearly done some damage here on the Peninsula. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, food, clothing, or any other type of assistance, here is where you can go:
In San Mateo, the best place to start is the county's website at https://www.smcgov.org. To receive emergency notifications about flood conditions and road closures, subscribe to SMCAlert by registering at https://www.smcgov.org/ceo/smc-alert.
In Santa Clara, call the "Here 4 You Call Center Hotline" at (408) 385-2400. To get emergency notifications about flood conditions and road closures, subscribe to AlertSCC by registering at https://emergencymanagement.sccgov.org/AlertSCC.
If you have trouble getting through or can't find what you're in need of, please contact my office at (650) 212-3313.
Around The Peninsula
Winter has clearly arrived, but that hasn't slowed down the number of things happening here in San Mateo & Santa Clara counties.
Holiday Coat Drive
Thanks to the support from so many generous people around the Peninsula, the Ecumenical Hunger Program's (EHP) Holiday Coat Drive was a huge success! EHP collected well over 100 jackets and coats for our neighbors in need, including more than 50 the San Mateo Adult School worked with my office to collect and deliver to support this critical program.
Thank you again to those of you who gave so much this holiday season!
Come Join My Climate Action Boot Camp!
Are you or do you know a teenager or young adult who loves environmental issues and wants to get involved in fighting climate change? I'm looking for about 15 high school or college-aged folks who want to take part in my second annual Climate Action Boot Camp! Attendees will spend 60-90 minutes a week for eight weeks talking with climate and natural resources groups to learn more about the issue and how they can get involved in what I believe is the most important challenge our community and our planet faces today.
One of my first boot camp graduates, Homestead High School's (Cupertino) Elisa Ford, spent her time getting immersed in the work of resource conservation districts (RCD) - so much so that she entered the statewide RCD High School Speak-Off Contest and won second place for the Central Coast/San Mateo RCD!
Elisa's topic was "How California's long-term drought affects our region and what our local RCDs can do to help." Congratulations, Elisa!
Affordable Housing Project
Alta Housing officially cut the ribbon in December to open its brand new Wilton Court housing project in Palo Alto. The project includes 59 affordable homes that are all-electric.
Tunitas Creek County Beach
Congratulations to the San Mateo County Parks Department and the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) on breaking ground at the Tunitas Creek County Park at the southern end of Tunitas Creek Beach, the first county-owned and operated beach!
Situated along a bluff at the mouth of Tunitas Creek, the site had been used for centuries as an Ohlone seasonal village and was a stopping point on the Spanish Portola Expedition.
The new park will include renovations to preserve the natural state of the beach while providing visitors with access to a 2-mile loop trail, multiple points that overlook the beach, a ranger station, restrooms, a picnic area, a paved parking lot for 65 cars and bike parking.
Providing Services To Farmworkers
There were many unsung heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including farmworkers who helped keep grocery stores stocked with food even as the farmworker community was one of the hardest hit by the disease. These workers also face many other challenges, including limited access to health care, mental health services, technology, and much more.
To help solve this problem, health care workers from the nonprofit Ayudando Latinos a Soņar (Helping Latinos to Dream), or ALAS, will begin visiting farms this month in the new Farmworker Equity Express bus.
The bus is a mobile resource center that will provide a variety of services to farm workers such as tele-health, mental health, wellness, virtual counseling, appointments with health care providers, and even some general education and art classes. ALAS is partnering with San Mateo County officials and area colleges to provide the resources and the plan is for the bus to travel five days a week, making regular stops at farms from Pescadero to Pacifica.
Returning To Sacramento
The Legislature Is Back In Business
The 2023-24 legislative session officially opened on December 5 and I took the opportunity to introduce two bills continuing my work on a subject I'm very passionate about - climate change. SB 48 will set performance standards to make buildings more energy efficient, while SB 49 will create incentives to build "solar canopies" in parking lots statewide.
I expect to introduce 15-20 bills in all this year before the mid-February deadline to do so, including one from the winner of my "There Oughta Be A Law" contest, which I will announce next month.
If you have an idea for a new law or want to get rid of one you think California doesn't need, you can see the rules for the contest and submit an idea by using this online form.
How To Reach Me
Whenever you're having a problem with a state agency, need information about state programs or want to voice your opinion about bills and issues pending before the Legislature, please don't hesitate to contact me. You can reach me at (650) 212-3313 or firstname.lastname@example.org and you can always check out what I'm up to on Twitter at @SenJoshBecker and on Facebook at Senator Josh Becker.
Fax: (916) 651-4913