Speaking out against a local threat to women’s rights

August 8, 2022

I just returned from a whirlwind campaign trip to Sacramento to meet with stakeholders and learn more about their issues.

Legislators are expected to pass laws affecting a wide variety of industries, but it’s impossible to be an expert in everything, so these meetings serve an important purpose.

This billboard in Rancho Mirage underscores our California state law. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images, via the Orange County Register.)

Sacramento bills I’m rooting for

In Sacramento, things are buzzing. The legislature is back for the final month of this year’s session, and here are a couple of bills that I hope will be signed into law.

Senate Bill 866, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act, will allow those 15 years of age and older to get vaccinated in a confidential setting. This includes all vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The bill’s author, State Senator Scott Wiener, explained, “Young people 12 and over are already allowed to make critical decisions about their bodies without parental consent, including getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B vaccines, accessing reproductive health care and mental health care, and other health services.”

Two recent cases in which women in California were prosecuted for miscarriages has prompted another important bill by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks – Assembly Bill 2223. It would ensure that no one in the state will be investigated, prosecuted or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss.

It’s lamentable that such a law is even necessary. But as recent cases illustrate, it is. Prosecutors, who have the full power of the state of California behind them, should not be able to bring criminal charges against women who miscarry or give birth to still borns or any number of other circumstances. 

One other related issue on the ballot this November that I encourage you to support is Prop. 1, which enshrines the right to abortion in the state Constitution.

I hope that voters send a strong message that the right to bodily autonomy and childbearing decisions is explicitly and without question up to the individual and not the government to dictate.

That resounding message from Kansas voters last week, who rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed their legislature to prohibit abortion, was reassuring to me.  

Senate passes the Inflation Reduction Act

Good news! Over the weekend, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which as the name suggests, will lower inflation and reduce the federal deficit. 

It includes $370 billion for climate programs like electric vehicles, efficient heat pumps, and home solar installation. It will also lower costs for prescription drugs and health insurance premiums for people who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The biggest debate was how to pay for everything. Some Senators had tried to extend the $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction, but in the end, they settled on a corporate minimum tax of 15%. The bill puts $300 billion towards deficit reduction, which means it pays for itself and then some.

Notably, every Republican senator voted against it. It’s another reminder that talk is cheap – results are what really matters.

It’s easy to complain about problems like inflation, but actually coming together to find consensus and passing a bill that improves lives and tackles societal problems like inflation, climate change, and prescription drug costs – that is what will actually make a genuine, positive difference in our lives.

San Clemente pulls abortion resolution in emergency meeting

This billboard in Rancho Mirage underscores our California state law. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images, via the Orange County Register.)

Recently, hundreds of pieces of legislation nationwide have been introduced which further restrict or even eliminate abortion rights. The closest one to us was in San Clemente, which sits just on the border of Senate District 38.

The San Clemente City Council was scheduled to vote August 16th on an outrageous resolution to make abortion illegal in the city, despite California law protecting the right to abortion. After a public outcry, an emergency 2-1/2-hour City Council meeting was held last Saturday.

Thanks to efforts from Planned Parenthood and San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan, along with 100+ members of the public who registered public comment, the resolution was pulled from Aug. 16th agenda by a vote of 3-1. 

Despite the positive outcome, this was truly alarming. It represents what can happen if we don’t elect pro-choice leaders to every level of government. 

A woman’s right to choose when, whether and with whom she has children is fundamental to all other aspects of her existence. This oppressive attempt was the latest iteration of an attempt to turn back the clock to a time when women did not have control of their fertility.

spoke out strongly against the resolution when the it was originally introduced, and I’ll continue to vehemently oppose any measure anywhere that limits a woman’s right to choose. 

This whole topic separates me from my Republican opponent in my state Senate campaign. While I am not afraid to say that I’m 100% pro-choice and express my support for legislation that protects a women’s right to choose, my opponent won’t even say what he thinks about the Supreme Court’s wrongly decided decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This November, only candidates who are 100% pro-choice should get 100% of your vote.

Mayors gather over the growing homelessness problem

Mayors from throughout San Diego county met at the San Diego Rescue Mission in downtown San Diego, where the Mission showcased their approach to helping people exit homelessness into stable lives with a full service, wrap around approach that includes dormitory-style sleeping rooms. 

I recently joined a dozen of my mayoral colleagues at a Mayors’ Symposium on Homelessness organized by the San Diego Rescue Mission

It was interesting to tour this faith-based and privately funded full service program that partners with the Lucky Duck Foundation to provide much needed help in San Diego County. Their drug and alcohol-free program lasts a year. 

Here’s an NBC 7 news piece on the meeting.

The El Portal Undercrossing is open to the public!

A resident walks her dog through the newly completed El Portal Undercrossing. (Photo by Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune.)

After a year and a half of construction, the El Portal undercrossing in Encinitas is finally complete! This is a major project and a very important one for residents who live along the railroad tracks. Without this undercrossing, there was a two-mile section of the railroad that had no safe and legal crossing, which was a problem that I’m proud to say now has a solution.

We clearly need more rail crossings throughout the corridor. This project is a reflection of the City Council’s commitment to improving mobility options for residents. We very much appreciate all the residents who rallied for this major improvement for many years. 

And as usual, the project was completed on time and within budget! There are so many residents in Old Encinitas who live near Paul Ecke Elementary School and will use this crossing to get their kids to school or to the Sunday farmer’s market hosted there. Countless others who have been impeded by the railroad tracks can now walk to the beach, nearby shops, or visit family and friends. 

SANDAG, the City of Encinitas, and our Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, who was a big supporter of this project when she was on the Encinitas City Council, will ceremonially cut the ribbon for the project next Sunday, August 14th at 10 AM. See you there!

Welcome to Encinitas Councilmember Hinze’s baby!

Encinitas’ newest resident: Lakie Shay Sadrpour!

And one final note of great news. Our City Council colleague Kellie Shay Hinze gave birth to a healthy baby! Last Saturday, Kellie and her spouse Nick Sadrpour celebrated the arrival of Lakie Shay Sadrpour into this world!

Kellie is well, and planning to take eight weeks away from City Council work to be with her baby full time, and she plans to return to City Council meetings in October. 

Congratulations to Kellie and Nick! It’s so exciting to have a wanted little one at City Hall. It’s also worth recognizing how rare it is for women to give birth while serving in elected office. Perhaps we’re looking at a future councilmember…

Finally, I hope you can make it to our Summer Celebration this Saturday at Carmel Creek Park. Your invitation is below!

In service,

You and your family are invited to our Summer Celebration on August 13! You can click the invitation above, or RSVP here!

Sorry, you are not in the 38th Senate District.
You are in the 38th Senate district!