Senator Josh Becker’s November ’22 Newsletter
Senator Josh Becker’s November Newsletter
Hello and welcome to my monthly newsletter for November!
I trust everyone had a terrific Halloween and is looking forward to Thanksgiving, which will be here before you know it!
The most important thing I can remind everyone about at this moment is to make sure you take the time to vote in the November 8 election! By now you should have received your vote-by-mail ballot. Make sure you follow the instructions in filling out your ballot, put it in the envelope, and get it in the mailbox so it’s postmarked by Tuesday, November 8 to ensure it’s counted!
Haven’t registered to vote? Well, you can go to the county registrar of voters’ office or any polling location to register and fill out a ballot at the same time, even on Election Day. Prefer to vote in person? If you need help finding your polling location so you can vote or if you need to register and vote, you can contact the San Mateo County Elections Office or the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, depending on where you live, and they can help you. Or, you can always contact me at (650) 212-3313 or email@example.com.
Three days after Election Day, Friday, November 11, marks Veterans Day across our country when we remember and thank all of the men and women who served honorably in the military, during both wartime and in times of peace.
I’ll be marking the day by speaking to veterans and their families at the American Legion Post 105’s ceremony at Courthouse Square in Redwood City. The event starts at 11:00am and will include live music, a car show, and some light refreshments.
“There Oughta Be A Law”
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “There oughta be a law,” well, now is your chance to put an idea out there and get a law enacted to change how things are done in California. I’m now accepting submissions for my “There Oughta Be A Law” contest and with all of the smart, thoughtful, creative people in this district, I’m really looking forward to seeing some great ideas.
To see the rules for the contest and submit an idea, please just go to this online form and get started.
Java With Josh in Palo Alto 11/19
I'm hosting events around the peninsula this year where I can talk directly with folks to hear what’s on their minds and my next "Java with Josh" will be at King Plaza in Palo Alto on November 19th at 10:00am. These are very informal gatherings where I talk a little bit about what I’m working on, but they are really designed to give you a chance to share your thoughts with me.
Hope to see you there!
Chatting with folks at my last “Java with Josh” in Half Moon Bay.
Coat Drive in Partnership with Ecumenical Hunger Program
Do you have new or gently used coats that our neighbors in need could use this winter? I hope so, because for the second consecutive year, I’m partnering with the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto on a coat drive and we could sure use your help!
Please call my San Mateo office at (650) 212-3313 to arrange a drop-off time or you can reach out to the Ecumenical Hunger Program at (650) 323-7781 to drop off coats at their warehouse in East Palo Alto. They can provide you with a donation receipt for items dropped off at their facility, but unfortunately, we cannot do so at my San Mateo office.
Thank you in advance for supporting our neighbors!
Student Loan Forgiveness
If you’re dealing with student loan debt, you may have heard about President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program for people who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and families that earned less than $250,000 in those same years.
Pell Grant recipients could have up to $20,000 of their loans forgiven, while non-Pell Grant recipients can have up to $10,000 forgiven.
To apply, go to the Federal Student Aid website.
Flu Shots & COVID Boosters
Medical experts expect this to be one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, so please, take the time to get yourself and your loved ones a flu shot if you haven’t done so already.
While you’re at it, make sure you are up to date on your COVID booster shots. As we’ve seen over the last two years, COVID infections tend to spike up during the winter, which is why it’s so important to ensure you're boosted right now.
If you don’t know where to go for either the flu vaccine or the COVID booster, this website can help you get started
Around The Peninsula
As always, there is plenty of stuff happening here in San Mateo & Santa Clara counties.
North San Mateo County Economic Advancement Center (EAC)
I had an incredible moment last month presenting a $1 million check to the South San Francisco Mayor and City Council to support the City's new Economic Advancement Center. This put together one of my passions -- economic mobility -- with two of my favorite organizations, JobTrain and the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Add to that mix the vision of South San Francisco's leaders and it was a no brainer for me to advocate for and win this $1 million in the state budget for this new Center.
The money will be used to re-train workers and help create more small business opportunities, as well as help it expand services into Brisbane, Daly City, and other areas of north San Mateo County.
Presenting a $1 million check to South San Francisco Mayor Mark Nagales (to my left), Vice-Mayor Buenaflor Nicolas (holding check in front of me), Councilman Eddie Flores (to the Mayor’s left), Councilman James Coleman (third from right), and Councilman Mark Addiego (third from left).
Flood and Fire Preparation Town Hall
I hope you had a chance to see my virtual town hall last month, “Flood & Fire Insurance in the Time of Climate Change,” which brought together some experts to talk about the challenges associated with preparing for floods and fires in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. I was joined by California’s Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Edie Lohmann from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Becca Joyner of the California FireSafe Council.
If you missed it, the town hall is still available on my website. There you will also find links to some terrific resources in the event you want to get to work on making your home and community truly fire safe.
A huge thank you not just to the panelists who joined the discussion, but also to the more than 250 people who took part and asked some tremendously thoughtful questions.
Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project
The effort to rebuild the 72-year-old Anderson Dam is well underway. Anderson Dam is the valley’s biggest storage reservoir and after several studies showing the 240-foot high dam would likely not withstand an earthquake, plans were developed to rebuild the dam. The draining of Anderson Lake began in October 2020 and now it is at just 3% of capacity while the project to ensure residents downstream are not at risk of flooding should an earthquake hit. Once complete in 2031, the project will help protect our regional water supply, ensure public safety, and provide environmental benefits.
A look at work being done on the new tunnel portal entrance on the northwest side of Anderson Reservoir. When it's completed, the tunnel will allow for the controlled release of water to help prevent Anderson Dam and its banks from overflowing.
College Ridge Ribbon Cutting
College Ridge, Skyline College’s brand new 30-unit employee housing complex, opened last month with a bit of fanfare. The project will provide desperately needed below-market housing for Skyline and other employees of the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD).
On hand to celebrate the big day were, left to right, SMCCCD Chancellor Mike Clair, San Bruno Mayor Rico Medina, David McLain, SMCCCD Trustee Thomas Nuris, Professor Danielle Powell, Jonathan Wax, Jessica Marshall and Skyline College President Melissa Moreno.
I certainly hope everyone had as much fun marking Halloween as the folks at the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN) did!
For SVCN’s annual “Be Our Guest” fundraiser, local celebrities decorated pumpkins that were judged and auctioned off to benefit the organization. Folks sure turned in some mighty creative work!
How To Reach Me
Any time you’re having a problem with a state agency or need information about state programs or want to voice your opinion about bills and issues pending before the Legislature, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can reach me at (650) 212-3313 or firstname.lastname@example.org and you can always follow what I’m up to on Twitter at @SenJoshBecker.