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Senator Ben Hueso

January 2015 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor,

We closed 2014 delivering well over 1,000 turkeys to needy families throughout our district. These spirited community celebrations are always an invigorating endeavor, fueling my drive to continue to work hard to support local organizations and our communities.

Looking to 2015, we are in the final phases of completing our legislative packet. We are currently considering policy ideas in economic development, education, environment, health, human services, labor, local government, public safety, transportation and veterans' affairs. Now is a good time to participate in the process and provide us with your ideas. Please e-mail my office via our website at with any ideas you have for a change in law or a new law that you think might help our district.

With regard to the Governor's recent budget proposal, I am excited to see significant reinvestment in education and dedicated funding for adult education. In terms of fiscal responsibility, this budget continues to pay down state debts and increase reserves for the "rainy day fund." Lastly, I am looking forward to supporting the State's leadership on combating climate change and developing our low-carbon economy. Overall, the proposed budget is a good starting point for the Senate to engage the administration, and I am ready to work with the Governor and my colleagues on these and other issues to further strengthen California's economy.

Lastly, in addition to our monthly Community Spotlight, this year I am introducing a Business of the Month segment to our newsletter, where local businesses that work with and support our community will be highlighted. Our first business to kick off the year is Sister Peewee's Soul Food Restaurant. This family-run establishment is owned by Barbara "Pee Wee" Harris. Ms. Harris raised eight kids and her grandson while working the counter during the day and as a nurse during the night. This restaurant is a staple in our community and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in Logan Heights.

In closing, we continue our Community Spotlight series and shine a bright light on Laura Paniagua! For the past 13 years, Ms. Paniagua has served as a Care Advocate for the Family Resource Center at the San Ysidro Health Center. This demanding job requires great knowledge of community and clinic resources, as well as patience and understanding to effectively serve local families. Laura works hard to provide the community of San Ysidro with the tools they need to access care and address their immediate social needs. Please join me in thanking Laura for her impressive and tireless service to our district!

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


Events Calendar

January Events

January 5 -Legislature reconvenes
January 10 -Budget must be submitted by Governor (on or before this date)
January 19 -Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (observed)
January 24 -Cash for College: FAFSA & Dream Act Workshops

Imperial Valley College, 380 East Aten Road, Imperial CA 92251

Lincoln High School, 4777 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

San Ysidro High School, 5353 Airway Road, San Diego, CA 92154

For more information on the Cash for College Workshops, please visit our website at:

See more legislative dates at:


Laura Paniagua

For the past 13 years, Laura Paniagua has served as a Care Advocate for the Family Resource Center at the San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC). This demanding job requires great knowledge of community and clinic resources, as well as patience and understanding to effectively serve local families. Laura works hard to provide the community of San Ysidro with the tools they need to access care and address their immediate social needs.

Ms. Paniagua works with patients that need vital assistance such as food, housing, and/or domestic shelter. She is quick to rise to the occasion and go above and beyond for any employee, patient, or community member in need assistance. One such example is when, on her way to work, she encountered an elderly man with blistered hands using a manual wheelchair. After a quick evaluation, she noted that the man was homeless. Putting her problem solving skills into action, she used the SYHC clinic address to get him a motor scooter.

Laura first became acquainted with SYHC 22 years ago when she arrived as a patient with her three children. Pleased with the excellent medical care her children were receiving, Laura channeled her desire to help the community by volunteering in the social service department. This opportunity allowed her to work in the various clinic sites, including the nationally recognized Maya project within the dental department. Please join me in thanking Laura for her impressive work in serving our community!

BUSINESS OF THE MONTH: Sister Peewee's Soul Food

Sister Peewee's RestaurantBarbara 'Pee Wee' Harris

Sister Peewee's Soul Food is a family-run restaurant owned by Barbara "Pee Wee" Harris, located at 2902 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92102. Mrs. Harris learned to cook at the age of eight. Her father worked as a hunter, trapper and fisherman. Her mother was a baker. This left Barbara with the task of cooking for her family at a young age while her parents worked. Over time she perfected her cooking. In the 1960s, she started a family of her own and they loved her down-home Southern cooking. Her eldest son, barely five years-old at the time, suggested she open a restaurant, and here she is, 50 years later, still a pillar of the Logan Heights community.

The food is delicious, authentic soul food. "I buy what I cook, and I cook what I buy," Sister Pee Wee says. The walls behind the counter are plastered with bumper sticker philosophy and she will make you feel right at home. She'll call you "baby" and "sweetheart" as she feeds you generous portions of the days' sides - greens, rice, or perhaps mac'n'cheese. The restaurant is open from dawn to dusk, Monday through Saturday and it is run by Sister Pee Wee and her ten children, as well as her grandchildren.

Sister Pee Wee believes that most folks just need an opportunity. She seized hers and worked hard for 30 years to give her kids a chance to succeed. She is now the mother of, among others, an engineer, a store manager and a Navy chaplain. With her kids grown and making their own way, she has realized her main goal. Congratulations and thank you, Sister Pee Wee, for keeping our community well fed!

Gold Discovered in California, January 24, 1848

While many people in California figured that gold was somewhere in the state's mountains, it was James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848, who first discovered gold when he saw something shiny in Sutter Creek near Coloma, California. He discovered gold unexpectedly while overseeing construction of a sawmill on the American River.

Read more about an important date in California's history at:

Responsible Recycling

Before tossing that item in the trash, here is a list of five common items that can be recycled:

Paper: Most paper, either through curbside programs or local drop-off centers, can be readily recycled. Foil or metallic paper is not recyclable, but you can use it for other purposes like packaging or craft material.

Cardboard: Most curbside recycling programs collect cardboard, but if your hauler does not, make sure to check for the location of your nearest recycling drop-off center. Additionally, to save space in your bin, break down the boxes so that they become flat. The cardboard boxes you recycle will one day turn into paper bags, paperboard packaging and new cardboard boxes.

Foam Packaging, Cups, and Food Containers (commonly mistaken as Styrofoam): Polystyrene foam can be identified by a #6 - PS symbol, often found at the bottom of the material. It has a wide variety of uses, from the large molded blocks used to package electronics, such as TVs and computers, to food service packaging, including foam cups, bowls, egg cartons and "clamshell" take-out containers. Not all cities in California accept foam in their curbside recycling bins or at neighborhood drop-off facilities, but many have been adding it, so check with your city to see if it is accepted where you live.

It is important to remember that when it comes to recycling, every community is different, so please take a moment to help the environment by recycling all of the holiday materials accepted in your community.

Check with your local solid waste and recycling office about your neighborhood's recycling options. If items are not accepted in your community, then look online to find companies that will take your items.

California State Senator Ben Hueso - Fortieth Senate District
Representing portions of San Diego County and all of Imperial County.
Web site:
Contact: Senator Ben Hueso
Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
Chula Vista Office
303 H Street., Suite 200
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone: (619) 409-7690
Fax: (619) 409-7688
El Centro
1224 State Street, Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: (760) 335-3442
Fax: (760) 335-3444

California State Senate Majority Caucus (c) 2017 California State Senate