Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Virtual Meeting via ZOOM
Present: Patti Arlt, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Michelle Decker, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lena Kent, Carol Kim, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, P.T. McEwen, Darcy McNaboe, John Mirau, Tomas Morales, Dan Murphy, Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Phil Southard, Sol Teh, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Kim Wilcox, Ray Wolfe, Marisa Yeager and Frank Zabaleta.
Guests: LaDonna DiCamillo, Mark Farouk, Juan Herrera, Sheriff John McMahon, Stephanie Medina and Todd Warden.
Announcements: 1) Chairman Lowell King expressed appreciation to Louis Goodwin who served as the Inland Action Chairman for the past two years. Louis was presented (virtually) an engraved crystal gavel from the Inland Action membership. 2) A public meeting regarding Bright Line West passenger rail service from Las Vegas to Apple Valley will be held on January 27th at 10:30 am in the Rancho Cucamonga Cultural Center (12505 Cultural Center Drive) with all social distancing protocols in place. They will offer a virtual connection to the meeting with the hopes of engaging as many people as possible. If you are able to join this important discussion, please rsvp to Anna Aldana firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, January 20th, 2021.
Lowell King, Chair, presiding.
Motion by B. Lemann/Second by K. Scott/Passed: Minutes from January 12, 2021.
Elizabeth Romero introduced California Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes who represents the 47th Assembly District, encompassing parts of the Inland Empire. She assumed office in December 2016 and serves as Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, and as a member of Committees including Aging and Long-Term Care, Budget, Judiciary, Utilities and Energy, as well as the Legislative Ethics Committee.
In December 2020 Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon named her Majority Leader. It is a big moment as she is not only the first Latina in the position but also the first person in recent memory from the Inland Empire to serve in the important rank. Fellow legislators must understand that when decisions are made in Sacramento it is important to understand that the Inland Empire region has a voice and perspective to share in policy making. She and the Inland Empire Caucus have all diligently worked to change the narrative in Sacramento and demonstrate that we are going to be at the table to represent the perspective of our region. Her position is an opportunity that may bring additional state resources and attention to the Inland Empire.
The Majority Leader represents the Speaker on the Floor, expedites Assembly Floor proceedings through parliamentary procedures such as motions and points of order. Additionally, the Majority Leader assists the overall strategy and direction of the Democratic Caucus and ensures that the business of the legislature is done in a transparent manor.
The current State priorities include:
- Covid vaccine-The vaccine must be rolled out quickly and efficiently with criteria based on equity, need and risk factors. San Bernardino County is working very hard to get as many residents as possible vaccinated.
- State budget- The pandemic has put tremendous pressure on our budget. We had been in a fairly good position compared to other states with a better reserve than many. However, there will be a number of cuts and she does not expect to bring direct funding to specific projects in the Inland Empire.
- Economic Opportunity-The damage to our small businesses and workers has been vast. She has and will continue to conduct town hall meetings specifically to provide information and opportunities for small business. Speakers have provided information on small business grants and the Insurance Commissioner will be addressing aspects that small business should be aware of as they struggle through this period. “We’ve asked small business to close, and we need to find ways to help them rebuild when it’s time to re-open.”
- Climate Change-There is great concern over the poor air quality in the Inland Empire and elsewhere. She will look at policies and investments to create green jobs and grow the green economy to help us meet our State environmental goals.
- Childcare and early learning-The pandemic has demonstrated how vital affordable childcare is for parents. Many essential workers and front-line workers have really struggled to find childcare. Her legislation AB 92 reforms fee structures for subsidized childcare. Costs and access to childcare are significant factors that put a severe strain on working families and their employment options.
- Needs of the community-Majority Leader Reyes stated that she wants to be sure that legislation has a positive impact on our communities in the Inland Empire.
Assembly Member Reyes expressed appreciation to Inland Action for leadership and continued engagement, advocating for the Inland Empire. She reminds us that we have a friend in Sacramento, and she looks forward to hearing from us about concerns, projects and specific opportunities which she can champion.
A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:52 a.m.