LOS ANGELES – Helping consumers become much smarter and more efficient about energy savings, Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is pleased to announce today a $1 million smart grid research grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
The grant comes from the CEC’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The Commission's funding is a contribution to LADWP’s $60.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The total cost of the smart grid project is $120.6 million.
“A smarter grid means less power consumption and less use of dirty fuels. This matters in my district, which suffers from a disproportionate concentration of pollution resulting in unnecessary suffering by the children and families I serve,” said Senator De León. “We must do more with what we have and this helps execute implementation of technology to achieve that.”
Sen. De Leòn’s SB 1234 Offers Portability, Reliability, Guaranteed Lifetime Income
SACRAMENTO, CA – According to a poll being released today by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), California’s small business owners overwhelmingly support a proposal for a new retirement plan that would offer the seven million workers without access to a plan at work, one that is portable, reliable and guaranteed. The poll shows that 71% of small business owners favor a plan like the one proposed in Senator Kevin de Leòn’s (D-Los Angeles) Senate Bill 1234 – The California Retirement Savings Plan, co-authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).
L.A. District Attorney Overstepped his Bounds
Los Angeles – Today Attorney General Kamala Harris released an 18-page opinion that a police department can establish guidelines allowing an impounded vehicle to be released in less than 30 days. In February, the Los Angeles Police Commission approved a measure allowing the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to release the impounded vehicles of an unlicensed driver, when another licensed driver or the registered owner is available, rather than holding the vehicle for the full 30 days. The Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley then interjected his office into the Commission’s decision-making process by issuing an opinion arguing that such a policy would be illegal under state law.
“The District Attorney’s meddling into the internal policy making at LAPD was inappropriate and his conclusions were wrong,” emphasized Senator De León. “As a result I had to ask the State’s top cop and lawyer to weigh in and settle the dispute between the City and the District Attorney. I hope that the opinion will put this to rest so the City can move forward.”
The Bracero Program Taught in School Curriculum
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Senate Education Committee
John L. Burton Hearing Room 4203
California State Capitol, Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, CA – A group of veteran Braceros from Los Angeles will join Senator De León Leon at the Senate Education Committee Hearing on Wednesday to call on school districts to include instruction on The Bracero Program in School Curriculum.
Cites New Wealth/Health Study by Univ. of Wisconsin as Proof of Need
Los Angeles - A recently released University of Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson study that ranked U.S. counties’ health found there was a strong parallel between wealth and health. Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of 2007’s Assembly Bill (AB) 31, which is the source of park grants that were awarded this week to some of Los Angeles County’s poorest communities, cited the study as further proof that we must do more to provide disadvantaged neighborhoods with greater access to recreational opportunities.
“This study just identified what we already know,” emphasized Senator De León. “Without parks or other recreational amenities, the people of LA’s poorest communities are further challenged to live healthier, more prosperous lives. I am so happy to see AB 31 benefiting disadvantaged communities. All children regardless of where they live or where their parents come from deserve green parks and open space. A family’s financial wherewithal should not dictate a child's access to nature."
AB 31 (Community and Neighborhood Park Revitalization Act of 2007) created guidelines and criteria for Proposition 84 park funds, which targeted underserved communities suffering from significant park poverty. These communities, largely disadvantaged, suffer from higher rates of crime, unemployment, poverty, school drop-outs, and health ailments, including obesity and asthma.
"Senator De León has been a leader on urban environmental issues since he came to the legislature in 2006. As author of AB 31, he immediately saw the dire need for green spaces and places to play in under-served communities in California. AB 31 not only will provide recreational opportunities within walking distance for millions of Californians, but additional economic, health and environmental benefits as well,” said Sam Hodder, California Director for The Trust for Public Land.
Between both rounds of Proposition 84 funding, 103 new parks will be created and 23 existing parks will be expanded or substantially improved for a total of 126 projects.
Reports Note that Potential Voter Fraud Occurring
Sacramento, CA – In response to numerous reports that there may be voter fraud occurring in the city of Vernon, Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement:
“This is the last stand of the old guard in Vernon and if they think they can steal an election they’re badly mistaken. Old habits die hard, but this investigation demonstrates that the necessary safeguards are in place to root out corruption and fraud wherever it rears its head.”
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Letter Cites Need for “Shared Sacrifice” and Negative Impact on Student Access
SACRAMENTO – In a scathing response to the California State University Trustees, Senator Kevin de León today released a letter he submitted to the board about their March 20 action that raised campus president salaries while the institution simultaneously froze student enrollment.
“Your vote yesterday sent the message that you are willing to put the needs of CSU presidents above the needs of students and their families,” wrote Senator de León. “The decision was callous and oblivious to CSU’s responsibility to ensure that higher education opportunities are available and affordable for low- and middle-income families across our state.”
The full letter is available as a PDF below.