Op-eds

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 09:45

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has reported that over 15,000 students have not been heard from since the March 16 closure of schools due to coronavirus concerns. An estimated 40,000 additional students fail to check-in daily.

Even as LAUSD leaders have been working diligently to accommodate the needs of teachers and students as it transitions to an all-digital distance learning format – student access to technology and understanding its use remains an issue.

A majority of the 560,000 students enrolled in LAUSD are from low-income families with limited access to computers, wireless technology and the internet. My district is home to the largest amount of LAUSD schools with 170.

This lack of access can be detrimental to the ability of a student to stay current with homework and assignments forcing them to play catch up when school resumes, or worse, experience exponential learning loss.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 09:45

El Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD) ha informado que no se ha tenido noticias de más de 15,000 estudiantes desde el cierre de las escuelas el 16 de marzo debido a preocupaciones de coronavirus. Se estima que 40,000 estudiantes adicionales no pueden registrarse diariamente.

A pesar de que los líderes del LAUSD han estado trabajando diligentemente para satisfacer las necesidades de los maestros y los estudiantes a medida que pasa a un formato de aprendizaje a distancia totalmente digital, el acceso de los estudiantes a la tecnología y la comprensión de su uso sigue siendo un problema.

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 14:30

As the Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, I have been working with Governor Newsom and my colleagues in the legislature to ensure proactive measures are being taken to protect the health and well-being of the residents of the 59th Assembly District (AD) and that of all Californians.

Working to re-open the St. Vincent Medical Center and provide the community immediate access to over 180 medical beds to help assess, treat and quarantine patients afflicted with the COVID-19 virus was a necessary step in providing more resources to residents. Our work resulted in the immediate funding and logistical coordination to bring St. Vincent’s back online after its closure in January within weeks.

Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 00:00

For nearly twenty years our children have dealt with unprecedented gun violence in our schools and communities. No other generation has had to live with the fear of getting slaughtered at school, waking up to gun fire or ducking for cover in the middle of the night the way that Millennials and the iGeneration (iGen) have endured.

“I was only 12 as I sat in math class on October 8th,2012. I remember the sounds and the screams of my classmates … then I look down to my feet and I see a bullet next to my pink vans… After that day, I struggle with PTSD and still struggle with being afraid,” said Anahi Ballesteros a junior at Franklin High School in Stockton, CA.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 00:00

Despite the cannabis market growing in 38 states, the federal government continues to assert its right to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.  This classification creates a very unique challenge for the industry to succeed and the ability to obtain banking services.

The Controlled Substances Act makes the illicit possession, production and distribution of cannabis and other scheduled substances a federal crime and it punishes those who knowingly facilitate the violations of this Act. It is illegal for financial institutions to take money that is derived from activity that is deemed illicit by the federal government. Financial institutions are also heavily regulated by the federal government and are subject to fines and civil penalties if they violate federal laws.

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 00:00

Thousands of California youth are incarcerated every year for low-level offenses. Our youth deserve a better approach, one that can have the added benefit of reducing the disproportionate impact the justice systems have on youth of color, children with disabilities, girls, LGBTQ youth, and foster children.

It is time we stop incarcerating our children and start investing in their future. I will be asking the state of California to establish The Youth Reinvestment Fund, which would add $100 million to the State’s budget to improve outcomes of vulnerable youth populations using trauma informed, community and health-based interventions in lieu of arrest, detention and incarceration.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 00:00

The Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the Act) has served consumers well, and ensures fair debt collection related to credit card debt.  However, the Act does not protect individuals who have unpaid parking tickets, storage and towing fees from receiving multiple calls in one night from a debt collector using profane and offensive language in pursuit of collecting delinquent payments.

 Nobody plans on accumulating more debt than can be easily paid.  Yet, many people find themselves with debts that may leave them subject to harassment. Unfortunately there are no protections that prevent the use of loan shark tactics by debt collectors.  That is why when the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) came to me describing instances where courts ruled that people with certain debts were not protected from bullying behavior, I knew I had to author Assembly Bill 2825 (AB 2825).