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.