Salute To Veterans
As Americans around the country pause next week to honor those who have bravely served our nation, we all should remember that Veterans Day is not just another day to display the American flag. It is a day that has special meaning to every citizen, not just those who proudly wore the uniform of our country.
Veterans Day may just be the most important secular holiday we recognize each year. For without the sacrifices made by every man and woman who has protected our country, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that are the hallmark of this great nation.
Veterans Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to all of those individuals who have served or are currently serving in the military, often in the face of extreme danger around the world. They demonstrate extraordinary courage and dedication while they honor America and its people.
To all of you who served, I salute you and wish God’s blessings upon you.
California Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Senator Gaines speaks at the 30th anniversary of the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento.
It was a great honor to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial and to pay respects to the heroes of the Vietnam War. The warriors who served in Vietnam fought against one of the greatest threats to American freedom in the 20th century. This powerful memorial is a lasting tribute to all who served with such valor, to those who carry the wounds of battle to this day, to those who lost their lives and to those missing in action and POWs. This memorial sits on a foundation of deep respect for those heroes.
Hearing On DMV Customer Wait Times
Last month, I attended the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Informational Hearing regarding the Department of Motor Vehicles customer wait times, where I made the following comments:
“I am speaking for my constituents and everyone who has wasted hours and hours at a DMV when I say ‘It’s about time.’
“The legislature had a chance to address this issue months ago and should have agreed to a full audit of DMV. It‘s a shame that only repeated bad press has shamed government into finally acting. We owe our citizens more than that.
“The legislature wasted two months where they could have set the wheels in motion and worked to fix DMV’s problems. During that period people up and down the state have continued to suffer through brutal, unacceptable wait times.
“This is a perfect example of why we need more people in government who have run a business, who have felt the pressure of competition, who have fought against other businesses to provide a better, less expensive product, who have stayed up at night thinking ‘how can I make my customers happier so they will stay with me?’
“DMV doesn’t have to think about any of that. If people have to wait five hours, seven hours or nine hours or can’t get an appointment for weeks, that’s just too bad. The people have nowhere else to go.
“Would the DMV survive in the private sector?
“We need to get to the bottom of why this one state department stands out among all other state departments for its inability to do its job efficiently. The State Auditor should be two months into this issue right now and the Legislature did the public a huge disservice by voting down the initial audit request.
“Californians pay some of the highest taxes and fees in the country but they are not getting any value for that money. Instead, they are wasting away in endless DMV lines, driving on the worst roads, and sending their kids to some of the worst schools.
“That’s something that has to change and I hope this hearing is the first step in getting Californians the quality government they pay for and deserve.”
Let’s Make California Wildfire Safe
I’m talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of California’s wildfire bill in my latest video. The bottom line is that we need to be doing much more to solve our massive wildfire crisis.
Honored As “Champion Of Manufacturing”
I was recently named a “Champion of Manufacturing” by the California Manufacturing & Technology Association (CMTA) on their 2018 Manufacturing Vote Record. CMTA represents 400 businesses from the entire manufacturing community – an economic sector that generates more than $230 billion every year and employs more than 1.2 million Californians.
I have been a long-time champion of California’s manufacturing industry and am proud to have earned this important designation. For many manufacturers, it’s become increasingly difficult to do business in California. I’ve carried and supported numerous bills that would let businesses keep more of their money so they can reinvest it back into their businesses, create more jobs and boost the economy, instead of handing it over to the government. They should be rewarded for their contributions to our state, not continually penalized at every turn. I remain committed to fighting on their behalf.
The Vote Record looked at legislators’ floor votes in the Assembly and Senate on 12 key bills impacting California manufacturers and technology companies. The results showed that only 46 out of 120 legislators supported California manufacturers at least 70 percent of the time, receiving the “Champion of Manufacturing” designation.
Touring Acres Of Hope
Senator Gaines tours Acres of Hope with Executive Director, Lisa Risdal (left) and Family Services Director, Christie Griffith (right).
I had the opportunity to tour Acres of Hope, a non-profit organization serving homeless women with children. Located in the Sierra Foothills, Acres of Hope allows residents to live onsite for up to two years while staff and volunteers help them by providing encouragement, practical life-skills training, job skills, mentoring and more. They are doing very important work within our community by breaking the cycle of homelessness for women and children. For more information, visit https://www.acresofhopeonline.org/.
Strong Workforce Stars Recognition
Senator Gaines presents a Senate Resolution to President of Sierra College, William Duncan and the Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, Nancy James.
Congratulations to three colleges in my Senate District on earning the prestigious Strong Workforce Stars recognition for their outstanding programs: College of the Siskiyous (COS) for their Emergency Medical Services Paramedic program and LVN to RN Step-Up program; Shasta College for their Fire Technology program; and Sierra College for their Registered Nursing program.
If you are looking to start a rewarding career, explore these Gold #StrongWorkforceStar programs for helping students gain the skills they need for employment in growing regional industries.
November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This is a cause that hits close to home as my youngest daughter is living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin – a hormone essential to digestion. An estimated 40,000 people will be newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this year. The good news is that there are ways to take charge of your type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a longer, healthier life.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) holds more than 200 walks nationally every year. These walks connect an extensive community of families, volunteers and donors who are committed to fighting this serious disease. For more information, visit https://www.jdrf.org/norcal/.
Don’t Forget To Vote November 6
On Tuesday, November 6th, Californians will again have the opportunity to make their voices heard. I encourage every eligible Californian to participate in this election for the health and future of our democracy. Visit your nearest polling station before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day to make your vote count!
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook! It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on my activities at the Capitol and around the First Senate District