Minutes from November 7, 2017 Open Board Meeting-Senator Connie Leyva

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Open Board of Directors Meeting

Norton Event Center
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Dick Hart, Fran Inman, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Dan Murphy, Vikki Ostermann, Brian Reider, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff and Ray Wolfe. 

Guests: Henry Castillo, Adam Eventov, Jake Orta, Arnold San Miguel, David VanVoorhis, Todd Warden and Frank Zabaleta. 

Announcements: 1) Mike Burrows has been nominated to receive the IEEP Red Tape to Red Carpet Award.  Members are encouraged to write letters of support to Paul Granillo.  Contact information will be e-mailed to the membership. 2) Members were asked to support the Inland Empire Children’s Book Project by donating a new or gently used book appropriate for children up to 18 years old.  Collection bins will be accessible at the meetings thru the holiday season.   

M/S/P: Minutes of October 24, 2017. Ray Wolfe abstained.

Kevin Dyerly introduced Senator Connie Leyva. She serves as Democratic Caucus Chair of the California State Senate, as well as on the Education, Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Health, Public Employment and Retirement and Rules committees.

Senator Leyva stated that Sacramento can be a difficult place but she is happy to represent the 20th district. Since elected in 2014 she has encouraged relationships on both sides of the aisle.  These relationships and her focus on integrity have played a part in her successfully having 9 bills sent to and signed by the governor, in addition to securing $50M for after school funding.  One of her passions is the environment and she got $30M for clean trucks.  Although the air quality in Southern California is much improved, particulates are smaller and continue to be a big concern.  The Senator expressed that mobile home ownership is one of the few options for affordable home ownership and they have their own set of challenges. She has worked to secure $30M to address some of these challenges and continues to address many issues, including financing and space fees.

Last year she was successful in the passage of SB 813 which ends the statute of limitations on rape. This year she has introduced SB 500 that criminalizes sexual extortion and protects minors, young women and others from further harm from perpetrators. Recent events have brought the culture of sexual harassment to the forefront and the Senator wants Sacramento to change and become the example for others.

Bringing good jobs to the community, and keeping them, is very important. She would encourage growth in the medical and bio tech fields rather than warehouse/distribution centers that do not give workers a living wage and frequently are temporary or part time positions without benefits.  We can train and create the labor pool needed today for tomorrow’s jobs.

Mental health has been defunded over time but now there is a dedicated funding stream from the MCO tax package. Since enactment just over a year ago $500M has been collected.

Medical funding is unsure, but Senator Leyva believes healthcare is a right not a privilege. She indicated that there is bi-partisan support to keep the ACA intact.  Discussions of single payer healthcare continue but she believes it will be years in the making as it is very complex and needs a $400B funding mechanism.

The press has highlighted fights and extremes but the Senator, a progressive democrat, sees that both parties have more in common than what is perceived. The Senator feels her strong leadership skills would make a difference and she is running for Senate President Pro Tempore.

A Q & A period followed.

The meeting adjourned at 8:28 am.