The Toni Times | May 2022 – Toni Atkins

Posted By on May 2, 2022

Ive shared with you before how proud I am to come from a military family and to represent a district with such a strong military presence. Thats especially true every May, when we proudly pause to remember all those who gave their lives serving in our nations military. There is an old expression, All Gave Some. Some Gave All. That is so appropriate in honoring those who died wearing the uniform, and so poignant today as we watch the soldiers and residents of Ukraine fightwith so many people giving their own last full measure of devotion, as Abraham Lincoln once said.

Two practical pieces of legislation to help military families are currently working their way through the Legislature. One is my SB 1041, which makes permanent the sales tax exemption for organizations that provide assistance to members of the Armed Forces and their families. In our community, that includes the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which operates thrift stores on base and provides financial support to thousands of military families to help them make rent, cover medical expenses, pursue a college degree, and so much more. Im also pleased to be co-authoring SB 1311 with Senator Susan Eggman, a veteran from Stockton. SB 1311 increases consumer protections for members of the military, such as ensuring that servicemembers not be forced to sign away any legal rights in order to receive a military discount.

This month we also honor and celebrate Jewish American Heritage. This National Archives website has an outstanding collection of photos and documents and a list of events to mark almost 370 years of Jewish American History. May also marks Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage month, and the Archives also has a fascinating website where you can delve in to learn more about the contributions, struggles and triumphs of these vital communities.

As weve all seen, both members of AAPI communities and the Jewish community have been targeted in a disgusting and dangerous rise in hate crimes. As we celebrate these communities this month, we also need to recommit ourselves to stopping the hate and making sure people feel safe no matter who they are or where they live.

May 15th is the deadline for the Governor to release his revised 2022-23 budget priorities, taking into account the latest revenue projections following the April tax deadline. We expect more good news this month, but the Senate is continuing down the same responsible budget path weve been moving forward on for months (well years, actually!). That means putting Californias wealth to work for those who need it mostmiddle class families and those struggling to get by, and making important investments in schools and infrastructure, growing targeted tax credits, and restoring the California dreams of affordable housing and affordable college. More information on the Senates key budget values can be found here.

As we continue to help Californians, we also continue to hold in our hearts all those worldwide who are struggling, and those who continue to protect and preserve peace. The crisis may be global, but we are all in this together. A sentiment that was certainly held close by so many Americans who gave their all for all of us.

Local nurse shares her thoughts on SB 1375

Linda Rogers is a retired registered nurse who practiced in New York and California for nearly 20 years. She lives in San Diego.

I was a nursing student at the Roosevelt Hospital School of Nursing in the early 1970s when I saw firsthand how not having access to safe abortions can deeply impact women.Women came inwith fevers and sick due to botched procedures. Suffering from infection and pain. They were from all different backgrounds and walks of life rich to poor, young to middle-aged, all ethnicities. The day I saw a woman die of an infection due to a back-alley abortion has haunted me for the rest of my life, and ignited a lifelong desire to always stand up for womens rights and reproductive freedom.

With the Supreme Court preparing to decide whether to uphold Roe v. Wade a decision that came down while I was nearing the end of my training and many states effectively banning abortions, its become clear that, once again, were finding ourselves in a situation where womens lives and our bodies are at stake. But Im heartened that in California, we have abortion access included in our constitution, and that in San Diego, we have a leader like Senator Toni Atkins working to further protect and expand reproductive care.

Senator Atkinsnew bill, SB 1375, would give trained and qualified nurse practitioners the ability to provide reproductive care and first trimester abortions without the supervision of a doctor. As a retired registered nurse, I can tell you from experience nurses are excellent clinicians and many of them not only have the education and training to perform these procedures safely and legally, but they invest a great deal of time in their patients. They not only carefortheir patients, they careabouttheir patients.

All people deserve to have access to health care, whether you have five cents or five million dollars, and we desperately need more primary care providers. The Senators bill would ensure that patients havemore options to access to timely, safe care something that, like Roe, women cant afford to go without.

Celebrating Small Businesses

Each May, we recognize small businesses and celebrate the industry of the over 4 million mom-and-pop shops that call our state home and make our communities so unique. Small businesses are a critical piece of Californias robust economy, employ nearly half of Californias private sector workers, and make up over 95 percent of businesses here in San Diego. California small businesses are leaders working to shape the future of their fields and have helped propel our state to the status of the fifth largest economy in the world. Thats why we sought to help businesses bounce back with $1.5 billion in small business and non-profit grants, and $400 million in additional support and tax credits in the 2021-2022 state budget. During these challenging times, I remain committed to helping both small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed for years to come.

Expanding the San Diego River Conservancy

For more than two decades, the San Diego River Conservancy (SDRC) has protected nearly 90 percent of our San Diego River watershed, as well as managed and restored the natural habitat along the river. The Conservancy also has protected the extensive historic sites in the area safeguarding the vital ecosystems and cultural heritage sites along the San Diego River.

Recently, I introduced SB 1027 to expand the jurisdiction of the SDRC so that it would include the entire watershed in its stewardship efforts. The legislation, which was passed in a bipartisan vote by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, would eliminate confusion over the Conservancys authority and would follow natures lead in taking a holistic approach to managing this ecosystem as a whole.

Applauding Justice Guerreros Historic Appointment

Last Month, Justice Patricia Guerrero was sworn in as a California Supreme Court Justice, taking her place on the bench and in California history as the first Latina to serve on our states highest court.

Justice Guerreros appointment is an inspiration to women of color within the legal community and to all Californians looking to break barriers through a combination of hard work, tenacity, and perseverance. We live in the most diverse state in the nation and it is important that the benches of our courts reflect thatand that they reflect us.

As the daughter of immigrants, Justice Guerrero has overcome challenges that are all too familiar for many Californians. Her tremendous legal experience at the state and federal level, including her time as a judge on the San Diego Superior Court, combined with her legendary work ethic and judicial temperament, will be incredibly valuable as we navigate the many challenges facing our state.

A Day for Moms of All Kinds

Although I lost my mom, Betty Davis Atkins, in 1994, hardly a day goes by that I dont think about her. She was a remarkable woman who endured many hardships she raised four children, cared for my father, worked her fingers to the bone as a seamstress, and kept our house running. Like so many mothers, she was the heart and soul of our family. On May 8th, Ill be thinking of her and all that she gave to me a work ethic, a love of reading, and the directive to be kind in this world.

Happy Mothers Day to all of the incredible moms, mothers-in-law, grandmas, aunts, stepmoms, sisters, devoted friends, and chosen moms who show us unconditional love and support, and who keep our world turning!

Jen and I danced the night away at the Diversionary Theatre Disco Ball on April 2! It was a groovy way to celebrate the third-oldest LGBTQ+ theater in the U.S. and to honor our friend, Christine Kehoe.

Opening Day at Petco Park was a grand slam! With a new season underway, its the Padres Time To Shine!

For 59 years, San Diego women and families have counted on the wide array of incredible health care services provided by Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. It was a pleasure to join their CEO and President, Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson, (on left) and their many supporters in celebration of the organizations legacy.

On April 15, I had the honor of swearing in Dr. Darshana Patel to the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs. Dr. Patel is a trusted leader and a tireless advocate for quality education in California. I have no doubt she will be an excellent addition to the Commission.

In honor of Earth Day, Assemblymember Chris Ward and I joined the California State Parks Foundation and a group of dedicated volunteers on April 16 for a beach cleanup at Silver Strand State Beach.

Jen and I are huge womens soccer fansour first date was actually at a San Diego Spirit season opener! We are beyond excited that a new team has made San Diego their home. Well be cheering on the San Diego Wave this season.

It was great to be back in-person for the Linda Vista Multicultural Fair and Parade for the first time since 2019! The rich diversity in this community (there are over 27 languages spoken in the neighborhood!) plays a huge role in making San Diego so great.

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The Toni Times | May 2022 - Toni Atkins

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