Minutes from January 10, 2017 Open Board Meeting-Assemblyman Marc Steinorth

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Roman Nava, Cid Pinedo, Michael Rivera, Khalil Saba, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Hassan Webb and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Ted Alejandre, Soccoro Pantaleon, Heather Rouhana and Arnold San Miguel.

Announcements: 1) The dates for the Washington, D.C. advocacy trip are Sunday, March 19 thru Wednesday, March 22, 2017.  A reservation form will be distributed this week via e-mail.  Members are highly encouraged to book their own air travel for the members’ convenience.  We plan to reserve the Palomar Hotel in DuPont Circle for our stay. 2) Lou Monville and Elizabeth Sanchez Monville will be honored by Cal State San Bernardino at the annual President’s Showcase on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.  The gala, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will celebrate their remarkable leadership. 3) Inland Action has sent a letter of support to Transportation Secretary Foxx in support of a Fast Lane Grant application which would help provide a critical linkage between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the nation.

M/S/P: Minutes from December 20, 2016.

Khalil Saba introduced Assemblyman Marc Steinorth.

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth was elected to the California State Legislature in 2014 and re-elected in 2016 to represent the 40th Assembly District. This was his first re-election and was a rough and difficult battle.  The race was extremely close and his opponents spent some $4M to replace him with a progressive democrat.   The Assemblyman and his team watched results closely and found that a unusually high amount of provisional ballots had been cast.  These ballots totaling 13,498 flooded the registrar’s office even though they have historically been seen as reserved for the small number of people whose eligibility to vote can’t be immediately confirmed by a poll worker. Unlike vote by mail, provisional ballots have a different set of rules.   The Assemblyman and his team questioned/challenged the process and watched as poll workers processed the provisional ballots going through the four different passes/verifications within the Registrar’s office.  They observed that many were not eligible to vote as their home address was not in his district.  The challenge likely changed the outcome of the election and he won by 1,948 votes.

He will continue to focus on market rate housing as many push for government subsidy affordable housing. Homeownership is key for stability and re-investment in our communities.  The Assemblyman plans to re-introduce a homeownership savings account AB 53 for first-time buyers.  The savings account would give youth and displaced persons a pathway to home ownership by allowing up to $10,000 per year to be set aside tax free for the purpose of a down payment.

The passage of Prop 57, in addition to AB 109, has had a substantial impact on property crime. Mail fraud and “porch pirates” continue to grow.  With little deterrent for crimes totaling $950.00 or less (tickets are issued as a penalty) residents could use some help.  He authored AB 54 Protect Our Homes Act that will allow Californians to claim up to $500 in state income tax deductions for the cost of installing security alarms, fences, and surveillance systems.  He stated that although not a solution it is a start.

The Republican Caucus has already identified some $5B of waste in Caltrans funding. He would like to red line some of this waste and reinvest rather than increase taxes.  If there is a tax increase, he will push to assure that the funds are dedicated, rather than allowed to go to the State’s General Fund.

As a form of support for many low income workers that receive 1099’s (like Uber drivers) he favors the California earned income tax credit (EITC) be made available to them.

There is a growing list of government agencies that have been sued or threatened with lawsuits under the   California Voting Rights Act which allows members of ethnic, racial and language groups in California to more easily challenge a government agency on the basis that their votes are diluted in at-large elections. Making a change to a by-district election is the most common remedy for a city facing litigation.  Assemblyman Steinorth expressed that although the Act is intended to protect minorities, breaking cities into districts creates fiefdoms and often polarizes a city rather than bringing citizens together.

As member of the super-minority he stated that he is encouraged by previous leaders who, when in the same position, felt they were still able to get things accomplished. He will not be an obstructionist but if he casts a “no” vote he will state why and attempt to propose an alternative.

The Assemblyman stated that we all have much in common when “labels” are dropped.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:31 a.m.