Dear Friend,

This summer has been one for the record books. July was the hottest month ever recorded in California, resulting in the warmest ocean temperatures to date off the coast of San Diego, and Death Valley experiencing the hottest month ever recorded on the planet.

We also witnessed devastating wildfires across the state, including the Mendocino Complex Fire which is now considered the largest in California’s history. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to help our state deal with the increasingly extreme weather and natural disasters caused by climate change.

August is the final month of this year’s legislative session, and I am very proud of the legislation we have worked-on in 2018, including bills I authored that promote public health, assist underserved communities, and further our energy policies and goals. This month we will conclude reviewing and voting on bills, and send those bills that pass on to the Governor for his consideration.

If you have any questions or need any support from my office, please e-mail or call my staff. We are here to help!


Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

Events Calendar
8/03: Press conference at Casa Familiar announcing $492,000 CARB grant for air monitoring program.
8/06: Legislature Reconvenes.
8/07: National Night Out.
8/17: Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills.

Floor Session only. No committees, other than Conference and Rules Committee may meet for any purpose.


Last day to amend on the floor.

8/31: Last day for each house to pass bills, except bills that take effect immediately or Extraordinary Session; Final Recess begins upon adjournment.
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

National Night Out 2018

National Night Out took place on August 7th, and communities throughout our district – and the nation – celebrated this annual family-friendly evening aimed at fostering positive community-law enforcement relations and promoting neighborhood safety. Our office participated in several events that took place in Senate District 40:


Most of us recall the tragic accident in October 2016 when a truck flipped over the barriers on the I-5 connector to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and landed in Chicano Park below, taking the lives of four innocent victims and leaving at least nine others injured. Following this horrific incident, I called for greater safety measures to be studied and implemented for the Coronado Bridge and Chicano Park.

In light of recent progress, I want to provide you with an update regarding safety measures being implemented:

     -     Caltrans recently completed work on a debris fence along the Interstate 5/State Route 75 interchange connectors to prevent trash, rocks and other debris from falling off the Bridge onto Chicano Park. This new debris fence is a crucial part of the safety measures that are being implemented for the Bridge and on-ramps, and it’s just the beginning.

     -     Caltrans has also installed new signage for reduced speed limits, and curve warning signs encouraging drivers to slow down around corners. Additional safety measures include: increased road sweeping by the I-5 connectors; new feedback signs with LED lighting, which have been highly effective at slowing drivers; and more CHP officers to patrol speed on the Bridge during special events.

     -     Additionally, the final Coronado Bridge Physical Suicide Deterrent System Feasibility Study Report was released last week, which determined that there are a number of physical suicide deterrent systems that could be suitable for the Bridge, including netting, fencing and glass barriers. For more information, and/or to read the full study, please visit: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/.

     -     The next steps will involve meetings with regulatory agencies who have jurisdiction over the Coronado Bridge to obtain the necessary environmental approvals and permits to build a permanent suicide barrier. In the meantime, Caltrans is pursuing an interim suicide prevention measure in the form of “bird spikes” along the majority of the Bridge, which may provide a deterrent that could result in enough delay to allow for intervention by first responders.

I remain committed to working to make the Coronado Bridge and Chicano Park safer for our residents and visitors, and will continue to update you on our progress.

2018 California Association for the Gifted (CAG) Distinguished Service Award


I am honored to have been selected by the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) as a winner of the organization’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award for my advocacy on behalf of underrepresented gifted children from the Palomar Region (San Diego and Imperial Counties).

CAG is an organization composed of educators, parents, and community members who advocate for gifted students by providing the resources to support understanding of appropriate developmental and differentiated identification and curriculum practices. It is important for California to develop the intellectual capacity and potential of our youth to ensure that our State continues to lead the nation. I applaud CAG’s work in embracing philosophies and practices that enrich the education of all students, and thank them for this humbling recognition.

“24th Annual Latina Action Day”


The 24th Annual Latina Action Day, hosted by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), took place in Sacramento on May 23. I was honored to speak at the event about the significance of civic participation, as well as meet with inspirational Latinas from my district and statewide.

HOPE is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that empowers businesswomen, community leaders, and other Latinas throughout California to become more active in the political process. Each year, the organization hosts Latina Action Day, during which more than 500 Latinas statewide convene at the State Capitol to advocate for policies that impact Latinas in the areas of education, healthcare, economic and civic empowerment.


Citizen of the Month: Javier Gonzalez

Javier Gonzalez

Javier Gonzalez is well known around Calexico for always giving back to the community. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2015 from San Diego State University - IV Campus, and has put his education to great use supporting local initiatives and community activism.

Javier leads the Kennedy Gardens Neighborhood Watch, an organized group of civilians devoted to crime and vandalism prevention. Throughout the years, the group has organized graffiti removal events, as well as holds weekly park cleanups to ensure that the local parks are clean and well maintained so that families can enjoy a nice day outside. Additionally, alongside the Mas que Vencedores Christian church, Javier volunteers each month to help feed those in need around local parks in Calexico.

For the past two years, Javier has hosted Calexico’s Earth Arbor Day Celebration Fair in John F. Kennedy Park. The fair is centered around health, safety, and environmental programs that are available around the Imperial Valley. This year’s event included health screenings, safety exhibitions, meet and greets, and kids boxing against crime.

Through his volunteerism, Javier helps teach the residents of Calexico about the importance of voicing their opinions and concerns with what is happening around the city, so that they can be heard and know that their views are considered.

Thank you, Javier, for your tireless efforts on behalf of our district!

Business of the Month: Burly and the Bean

Burly and the Bean 1

Burly and the Bean is a coffee shop located in the community of City Heights within the neighborhood of Azalea Park. Husband-and-wife duo Justin and Vanessa Boone opened the small business in 2015. What started as a part-time, side operation grew into a flourishing business and neighborhood commodity. The shop was so popular that it outgrew its first location, and Justin and Vanessa were then able to create a unique outdoor café filled with art, antiques, books and furniture that were all donated by members of the community. The new space also allowed the couple to incorporate a garden with veggies to give back to the neighborhood.

In addition to his work at Burly and the Bean, Justin is also the president of the Azalea Park Neighborhood Association, and recently started a monthly community hike through the neighborhood canyons as a way to connect residents and show them the beauty of City Heights.

I commend Justin and Vanessa for their unique vision and commitment to community engagement, and wish them continued success in their future endeavors!


Southwestern College’s “My Pathway to College” Program


Southwestern College and the Southwestern College Foundation recently received a $20,000 donation from AT&T to implement a new "My Pathway to College" program, which will be a one-day, on-campus college experience for 9th and 10th graders and their parents. The program will include four learning components supporting a student's successful high school completion and college readiness.

The program will be available to 9th and 10th graders attending three underserved high schools located in the southern part of the City of San Diego and within the Sweetwater Union High School District. For more information, please contact Malia Flood, Ph.D, Dean of Student Services at (619) 482-6369 or mflood@swccd.edu.

Keep Your Home California Program: June 29 is Final Deadline to Apply for Assistance

I wanted to alert you to the fact that the federal government is ending a program established in 2010 that funded the California Housing Finance Agency’s (CalHFA) Keep Your Home California program, the state’s free foreclosure prevention program. If you know someone who is struggling with their mortgage payments due to a financial hardship, please encourage them to apply for Keep Your Home California assistance before the program is no longer available. All applications for assistance must be submitted on or before June 29, 2018 by 7 p.m.

Keep Your Home California is a valuable resource that has already helped many homeowners in our district avoid foreclosure. Unfortunately, the federal government is ending the program, and available funding provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund will soon be exhausted. We want to help as many homeowners as possible before the program ends. All homeowners who submit an application to Keep Your Home California by June 29, 2018 will have their files processed to a resolution. Closing the program to new applicants will not adversely affect applications in process.

To date, Keep Your Home California has provided more than $2 billion in assistance to more than 82,000 Californians. The program offers up to $100,000 per household.

For more information and/or to apply for assistance, please visit: http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org