I hope you're having a great summer and enjoying the fantastic cultural events and outdoor recreation our community has to offer.

NEWSLETTER

Dear Friend,

I hope you're having a great summer and enjoying the fantastic cultural events and outdoor recreation our community has to offer.  I'm glad to be spending a few weeks here at home during the legislature's brief summer recess.  It's been a busy and productive few months in the State Capitol, and in this newsletter I'll update you on some of the things we've been working on in Sacramento and here in the district.

Sincerely,
Senator Ben Allen
BEN ALLEN
Senator, 26th District
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Film and TV Jobs Returning to California
Walk of Fame
At the Walk of Fame ceremony with (top row) Will Arnett, Jennifer Aniston and me; (bottom row) Jeff Zarrinnam, Chairman of the Board of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, Jason Bateman and Leron Gubler, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

As chair of the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts, I recently held a hearing about the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program that helps to keep entertainment industry jobs in the state.  We learned that the program is succeeding, and has even enticed several shows to relocate to California.  Watch the hearing on our website.  I also enjoyed helping Jennifer Aniston, Will Arnett and others honor actor Jason Bateman as he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in July. You can watch a video of the ceremony here.

 
Protecting Our National Parks
Press Conference on the Capitol Grounds
We announced the Public Lands Protection Act and two other measures at a press conference in Capitol Park.

This year I'm authoring environmental legislation on climate change, renewable resources, coastal protection and natural resource preservation. One of the most far-reaching measures, the Public Lands Protection Act, SB 50, aims to keep federal lands like our National Parks in public hands.  This will protect them from being sold entirely, or leased for mineral extraction or coastal drilling, as was recently proposed by federal officials.  Watch our press conference about the bill on Facebook.

 
Who's Paying for Political Ads?
Voters Need to Know
Clean Money Award
Clean Money Award
Clean Money Award

No matter what your political views are, I think we can all agree that voters deserve to know who is paying for campaign advertisements.  I'm proud to be a principal coauthor of the DISCLOSE Act, AB 249, which will let voters know who's behind television, radio and print ads.  I've also authored a bill, SB 651, which will improve disclosure on initiatives measures so that when you are approached to sign a petition, it will be clear who is paying the signature gatherers.

 
Honoring Those Who Serve
Seven Seals
I was honored to receive the Seven Seals Award for my support of veterans and those serving in the military.

Senate District 26 is home to 40,000 veterans, the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration facility and Los Angeles Air Force Base.  I was truly honored to be recognized for my support of veterans and those serving in the armed forces with the Seven Seals Award (signifying the seven branches of the U.S. military) from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

I continue to serve as vice chair of the Select Committee on Defense and Aerospace. The aerospace industry provides thousands of high quality jobs in our region and is one of the state's most important economic sectors.  I am working with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi to pass legislation, AB 427, that will create a California Aerospace Commission to focus on policies that help keep these jobs here.

 
In the News

The Los Angeles Times editorialized in favor of a measure I'm carrying, SB 705, that would end the use of polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam) take-out food containers.  Read it here:

Editorial: Plastic waste has gotten out of hand. Ban plastic foam take-out boxes

Styrofoam on beach

The Times Editorial Board

Five years ago, a proposed law banning the use of polystyrene containers to serve burgers, salads and other prepared foods failed in the state Assembly after heavy opposition from the plastics industry and the Chamber of Commerce. The environmental hazards posed by this form of plastic foam haven't changed since then, but a lot of other things have.  …

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The Los Angeles Times also covered by proposal to help ease the burden of crushing student loan debt.  The article can be found here, or you can watch the press conference about it on Facebook.

Press conference
State Treasurer John Chiang and I unveiled our student loan refinancing proposal at a press conference in Sacramento.
 
Education Update
Graduation
I gave a graduation address to UCLA students completing the Underground Scholars Initiative, an special program that offers academic resources and support to students who were once incarcerated or affected by the criminal justice system.  They are an inspiring group of young men and women who have overcome adversity, and I wish them every success in the future.

I serve as chair of the Senate Education Committee which oversees state policy for K-12 education, higher education, and early childhood education.   It is one of the busiest committees of the legislature, acting on more than 400 bills each two-year session.  We've already held several informational hearings on critical issues, such as the teacher shortage, school accountability and college preparedness.  To watch these hearings, go to the committee's website.

The recently enacted state budget prioritized public education, spending a record amount on K-12 schools and raising per pupil spending to over $11,000 – the highest in California history. This is the sixth straight year we've increased school funding.  For more information, click here.

 
Upcoming events
Visit my website to get the details on upcoming events hosted by my office including a Hollywood Reservoir hike with Assemblymember Laura Friedman on Saturday, August 26, 2017; and a Runyon Canyon hike with Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and LA City Councilmember David Ryu on Saturday, September 9, 2017.
 
Photo Album

Community Hike

Hike
Hike with Asm Muratsuchi
We had a good turnout for our community hike at Forrestal Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Thank you to all who came out to enjoy the spring blooms and a little exercise with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and me.

July 4th Celebrations

July 4th
July 4th
July 4th
Waving the stars and stripes at July 4th celebrations with the Boy Scouts in Santa Monica, Kevin Nealon in Pacific Palisades, and Michael and Elena Allen in the parade.

Inconvenient Truth Sequel

With Vice President Al Gore
It was an honor to speak with former vice president Al Gore in Hollywood at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth Sequel:  Truth to Power.

 

Small Business Star

Cafe d'Etoile
Each year we select a Small Business of the Year for Senate District 26.  This year's awardee was Café D'Étoile and its owner Tom Doherty.  Café D'Étoile has been a gathering place and beloved fixture of the West Hollywood community since 1983, serving delicious French comfort food.

 

Remembering the Fallen

Memorial Day in Redondo Beach
Our community came out to pay tribute to those in military service who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  This photo is at the Redondo Beach Memorial Day Service with, from left, Assemblymember Al  Muratsuchi, Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand, and Supervisor Janice Hahn.

 

Welcoming Hadassah

Hadassah
On the floor of the state Senate, I welcomed women from the Hadassah organization who were advocating for stronger human trafficking prevention programs and gender equity in medical research.

 

Thank You to our Summer Interns

District Office Interns
Julianne Cravotto
Marisol Gonzalez
We had a fantastic group of interns in the district office and the state Capitol this summer. Thank you to our Capitol interns, Alex Kokka, Julianne Cravotto, Marisol Gonzalez, and Connor Reese, and to our district interns Helen Yu, Charlie Moore, Connor Reese, Courtney Bond, Debbie Lee, Boyang Liu, Kristina Hicks, Anam Khan and Brian See. We appreciate their service to the people of Senate District 26.

 

 
Contact my Office

If you need help with state government, or want to let me know your opinion about an issue, the best way to reach me is through my website. For more frequent updates, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

State Senator Ben Allen, SD 26
2512 Artesia Blvd #320
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
P: (310) 318-6994
F: (310) 318-6733
Email: Senator.Allen@senate.ca.gov

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