Friday, January 10, 2014

Sarah Boot Shows Early Strength in District 2

Shatters First-Time Candidate Fundraising Record

San Diego, CA – January 2014 – San Diego City Council District 2 candidate Sarah Boot announced today that her campaign fundraising has surpassed the $110,000 mark. This represents just a little over 4 months of activity on behalf of the Sarah Boot for City Council campaign and is the most ever raised during this period by a first-time candidate in a San Diego City Council race. Boot is running against City Councilmember Lorie Zapf in the newly drawn 2nd Council District.

Campaign finance reports to be released at the end of January will show Boot having raised over $110,000 from 527 individual donors. These impressive totals are indicative of the broad base of support that Boot enjoys.  "I'm proud that much of the support for my campaign has come from people who live in District 2 and who can vote for me in June,” she said.

“We’re raising money from throughout the district and across San Diego in small contributions. Lorie Zapf is raising money from special interests with business before the city. She is out of touch with the values of the hard working families of District 2. I believe it is time to send career politicians the message that we want our elected officials to represent us, not their wealthy special interest contributors.” 

She went on to say, “My donors share my message of reform and changing the way San Diego does business.  I am tired of seeing our city government dominated by a handful of downtown insiders. Like me, my donors feel the city is on the wrong track and want to see attention paid to our neighborhoods that have been neglected for far too long.”

Sarah Boot has been a federal prosecutor, community advocate, and public servant.  Her professional life has been distinguished by her commitment to making her community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.  Prior to serving San Diego as a prosecutor, she worked in a private law practice representing local technology and internet companies, as well as non-profit entities and foundations.  As a prosecutor and women’s rights advocate, she has a clear sense of right and wrong and believes this sensibility is needed as we work to restore the damaged reputation of City Hall.

Boot will fight against “business as usual” on the City Council and will make San Diego’s forgotten neighborhoods a priority.  She will be a fierce advocate for public safety - protecting our communities with more police on our streets and resources for our firefighters. She will also ensure that we guard the natural beauty of our city’s beaches, bays and parks. 

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s Statement to Gov. Brown’s 2014-15 Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO – (Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) made the following statement regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for 2014-15, which he unveiled at a press conference earlier today.

“I am most encouraged to see the $6 billion year-over-year increase to our K-12 schools, which were devastated by several years’ worth of deferred funding, as well as a 7 percent increase for community college funding. These alone are a huge boost to the future of the 80th Assembly District. I am also glad to see the Governor agrees with the Assembly Democrats’ wish to establish a ‘rainy day fund’ to prevent the kind of sharp cuts to vital state programs that we saw during down economic times in the past decade. Lastly, I am hopeful that, by the end of this process, more resources will be available for affordable quality child care and preschool for California’s working families.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents the 80th Assembly District, which includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights, Barrio Logan, Paradise Hills, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. To interview Assemblywoman Gonzalez, please contact Evan McLaughlin at (619) 850-2790 or (916) 319-2080. For more information, visit


Budget Subcommittee Chair Weber Responds to Governor’s Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No.1, which focuses on issues relating to Health and Human Services, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s Budget Proposal released this morning:

“I am largely pleased with what I heard today from the Governor regarding continued efforts to stabilize the state’s finances, decrease our debt, and focus on investing in opportunity, especially in the state’s K-12 and higher education systems.

“We have learned that unbridled spending and extreme austerity are not the answers to the state’s economic, educational, and healthcare challenges. Thoughtful, targeted investment of our resources towards jobs, education and infrastructure will be the approach will need to take if the state is to grow.

“My job as Chair of this important Subcommittee is to focus on investment in programs aimed at providing a safety net for our most vulnerable Californians, and efficiently and effectively moving people from poverty and dependence to self-sufficiency and independence. That means careful, deliberate examination of these existing programs to determine whether they deliver as advertised.”

Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber represents California’s 79th District.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Assemblymember Weber Introduces Mandatory Kindergarten Legislation

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) inaugurated the 2014 Legislative Session by introducing AB 1444, a measure requiring mandatory kindergarten for the state’s schoolchildren.

“We are building a lot of the state’s educational policy – pre-school, pre-K, transitional kindergarten - around the assumption that California’s children will attend kindergarten,” Weber said. “But a lot of Californians will be surprised to find out kindergarten is actually not mandatory in the state.”
Weber, a former San Diego City School Board trustee and president noted that the voluntary status of kindergarten allows parents to delay their child’s entrance into school, leaving students unprepared for the educational environment when they enroll in first grade and undermining their academic success in later grades.

“We’ve long known the benefits of early childhood education, including kindergarten, on later academic outcomes,” she said. “We are making a significant investment in the state’s K-12 system. It’s time we made kindergarten mandatory to ensure that investment in student success is maximized.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Proposes Campaign Fundraising Reform at School and College Districts in Wake of South Bay Scandals

Gonzalez’s First Act in 2014 Legislative Year is To Propose Ban on School & College Board Fundraising by District Superintendents & Administrators

SAN DIEGO – (Monday, Jan. 6, 2014) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will kick off the 2014 legislative session by introducing legislation to ban School and College District superintendents and administrators from raising campaign cash for the board members that they serve.

Under the legislation, administrators at California’s public school districts and community college districts would be prohibited from soliciting contributions on behalf of the campaigns and legal defense funds of candidates and incumbent board members that govern those districts. Violators would be subject to penalties assessed by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

That practice – alleged in several of the ongoing corruption cases involving officials at southern San Diego County’s Sweetwater Union High School District, San Ysidro School District and Southwestern College – created a troublesome dynamic between staff and board members at those districts. In the allegations, administrators raised money for their board members from contractors with business before their districts, allowing them to exert inappropriate influence over their own job security with the boards that hired them as well as the process for selecting contractors to rebuild and revamp the districts’ campuses.

“These corruption cases have become a huge distraction to our goal of improving public education opportunities in the South Bay, and the common thread in these cases is that administrators were improperly acting as political moneymen for board members’ campaigns,” Gonzalez said. “Besides the pay-to-play nature of the corruption allegations in the South Bay, it’s just as offensive that school and college board members could become so beholden to their own senior employees. The administrators are supposed to carry out the wishes of the board members, not the other way around.”

Assemblywoman Gonzalez made the announcement Monday as the California State Assembly was reconvening for the 2014 legislative session in the State Capitol.

“If we are going to advance the public education systems that our communities depend upon to teach California’s workforce of the future, than it’s my duty as a legislature to do what I can to make sure that remains the focus of these school and college districts.”

To interview Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, please contact Evan McLaughlin at (619) 850-2790 or (916) 319-2080.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents the 80th Assembly District, which includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights, Barrio Logan, Paradise Hills, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. For more information, visit