E-Newsletter

 
WELCOME

Dear Friend,

This month, we celebrate Women’s History Month in honor of all the incredible achievements of women around the world and throughout history in paving a way for a better tomorrow. At the California State Legislature’s annual Women of the Year ceremony, I recognized Rhonda Hunt Phillips as 40th Senate District Woman of the Year. Rhonda is a true asset to our district. Her endless professional accomplishments are matched by her myriad contributions to the community. Rhonda is a strong voice for diversity and women in leadership roles, and a role model and mentor for all who meet her.

This month, we also celebrate Cesar Chavez Day on March 31. This special holiday honors the legacy of the prominent civil rights and labor movement activist. I hope you will consider honoring Cesar Chavez's life and work by volunteering in the community this holiday.

As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions you may have about the legislative process or about the information that you find in this newsletter.

Sincerely,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

WELCOME
Events Calendar
03/08: International Women’s Day
03/10: Daylight Saving
03/17: St. Patrick’s Day
03/22 World Water Day
03/31 Cesar Chavez Day (observed on 3/29)
   
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

 

IN THE KNOW ...

40th Senate District Woman of the Year: Rhonda Hunt Phillips

The California State Legislature hosted its annual Woman of the Year ceremony on March 4 at the State Capitol in Sacramento as part of Women’s History Month. The ceremony honors women of all ages, backgrounds and interests who are passionate and committed to empowering and improving their communities. Our office recognized Rhonda Hunt Phillips as 2019 Woman of the Year for the 40th Senate District.

Rhonda is a true role model and leader in our community. She currently serves as Deputy Director of the Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Center (NATEC) Naval Air Systems Command, managing 400+ military service members, civilians and contractors at 18 sites worldwide.

Apart from her endless professional accolades, Rhonda is a strong voice in our community for diversity and women in leadership roles. She has been/is San Diego and Western Region Federally Employed Women (FEW) Inc. Diversity Chair; Blacks in Government (BIG) champion; and a member of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA), National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), California Leadership Council, and Society of Logistics Engineers (SOLE). She is also a member of the National Association for Female Executives and is listed in their 25th Anniversary Edition.

Rhonda was twice nominated for the San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business,” has been recognized by the California State Senate with a “Women in Government” award, and was saluted as “San Diego Military Spouse of the Year” winner, among numerous other city, state, and federal awards. She continues to be a national speaker, mentor, life coach and published author of technical competence for both federal and community-based organizations and the humanities, which include areas of motivation, innovation, diversity, women and leadership issues.

We are beyond grateful for everything that Rhonda Hunt Phillips has done, and continues to do, to strengthen our community here in the 40th Senate District. Please join me in congratulating Rhonda on this much-deserved award!

First Friday Chula Vista Chamber Breakfast



This month I had the opportunity to engage with local businesses and stakeholders by attending the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce’s monthly First Friday Breakfast. The members of the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce are key contributors to the local economy and have helped foster growth of new business and commerce throughout the region. Their significant contributions to Chula Vista assist in employing more than 30,000 individuals within the region, and promote our regional economy and the diverse community it serves.

Barrio Station 49th Anniversary Benefit Dinner



Barrio Station plays a critical role in improving the Barrio Logan area every day. The organization offers programs that assist disadvantaged youth in avoiding negative lifestyles, revitalize neighborhoods, and empower families and senior citizens. I enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments at the 49th Anniversary Benefit Dinner earlier this month. The annual event honors local leaders whose contributions to society empower people and communities to reach their fullest potential. Congratulations to all of the honorees, and thanks to Barrio Station for 49 years of service to our community!

Peace Officers Workers’ Compensation Legislation

Earlier this month, I joined officials from the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) at San Diego City College to announce the introduction of legislation to expand worker’s compensation coverage to all peace officers for specific categories of injuries that are presumed to be work-related.

Current law creates presumptions where specific injuries or illnesses are logically work-related, but generally affords these presumptions to peace officers based upon their employing agency rather than their status and duties as peace officers. Peace officers who are not currently afforded these presumptions are required to use their personal leave time and health benefits while undergoing treatment and recovery for the specified injuries and illnesses. This puts them in much greater risk of being separated from employment when their personal leave is exhausted, and of losing their healthcare - placing them and their families in severe financial hardship and placing their very lives in peril. Additionally, the agencies employing these peace officers struggle with recruitment and retention of quality personnel because they can simply decide to work for another agency with which the protections would apply.

My bill, SB 416, would rectify current inequities by including all individuals defined as California peace officers under the specified provisions of law. Our state’s peace officers work tirelessly to protect us and keep us safe - we owe it to these officers to, in turn, do what we can to protect them.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Citizen of the Month: Isaiah Irizarry

It is always encouraging to meet young individuals with a passion for public service and their community, which is why for March’s Citizen of the Month, I wanted to highlight Isaiah Irizarry and the amazing work he has done to serve his community and peers. As a senior in high school, Isaiah has been able to accomplish more than the average teenager.

A student of Bonita Vista High School, Isaiah has served as a Student Board Representative for the Sweetwater Union High School District where he was able to advocate on behalf of his fellow students. Isaiah was instrumental in increasing access to technology in SUHSD schools, in recent improvements to school safety policies, and in advocating for financial literacy standards to be implemented within the high school economics curriculum. Isaiah has also had the opportunity to serve as a California YMCA Youth and Government Delegate since 2015, and has since been appointed as one of two students to serve as a California YCMA Youth & Government Board Member. In addition, Isaiah serves as the News Copy Editor for the Bonita Vista High School Crusader Newspaper and is a member of the Bonita Vista High School Speech and Debate Team, all while maintaining a grade point average in the top 20% of his class. In an attempt to increase civic participation among his peers, Isaiah has also co-founded a voter registration organization on his campus that works to register his fellow classmates to vote and encourages greater civic engagement.

Thank you, Isaiah, for your passion and dedication to your community. We look forward to seeing all that you will achieve in the near future.

Team of the Month: Vincent Memorial Catholic High School Mock Trial Team

Congratulations to Vincent Memorial Catholic High School's Mock Trial team, which recently won first place at the Imperial County Mock Trial Competition and is headed to the California State Mock Trial Championship in Sacramento on March 22 - 24, 2019.

This marks the team’s second consecutive win as champions of the Imperial County Mock Trial Competition. Last year, they won the county championship for the first time in more than two decades and went on to place tenth in the statewide competition.

Mock trial is an exceptionally challenging and impressive activity for high school students. It is an intellectually stimulating program that rewards students both personally and professionally. At their young age, they are able to master the art of public speaking, understand complex legal concepts, and practice the art of trial law better than most law students. Their courtroom decorum is truly inexplicable for students of their age.

Please join me in congratulating the Vincent Memorial Catholic High School’s Mock Trial team and wishing them the best of luck as they represent Imperial County this weekend at the California State Mock Trial Championship!

Team Members:

Ana Davalos
Alexa De Anda
Manuel Estrella
Javier Gallego
Daniela Guillen
Denise Gonzalez
Melissa Gonzalez
Andrea Gutierrez

Kathia Lara
Emma Luque
José Navarro
Jeanett Ochoa
Barbara Pozo
Javier Santillan
Rodrigo Vela
Isabella Villegas

Coaches:

Mrs. Lourdes Ramirez, teacher at VMCHS (teacher coach)
Mario Vela, Esq., Imperial County Deputy District Attorney (attorney coach)

WHAT'S NEW ...

California’s Earned Income Tax Credit


With the April 15th tax filing deadline just around the corner, it is never too soon to make sure you have all of the resources available to complete your filing as thoroughly as possible. For this reason, I urge you to take a moment and check your eligibility for California’s Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). CalEITC is a cashback tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals. If you have turned 18 years or older at the end of the tax year, have lived in California for more than half of the tax year, and have earned income that falls between $16,750 and $24,950, you may be eligible for this tax credit depending on the number of qualifying children in your household. For more information regarding this tax credit and viewing eligibility requirements, please visit https://caleitc4me.org/

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