December 2013 Newsletter

December 11, 2013

I want to welcome you to my first Senate newsletter. This is one way in which I can stay connected with you and update you on the issues that I am working on, events that I am hosting and legislation I plan to champion. I hope you find the information useful and I hope you will continue to share with me your concerns, ideas and enthusiasm for the 26th Senate District.


Holly Mitchell
Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Covered California Town Hall

On November 2, 2013, I hosted a town hall to discuss Covered California and what it will mean for constituents in the district. Covered California Executive Director, Peter Lee, attended the event to pitch newly available healthcare coverage to nearly 200 people at Trinity Baptist Church. Counselors and onsite enrollers were also available at the event to answer additional questions and help enroll Californians into a health plan.

Access to health care for millions of the uninsured becomes available January 1st for those who enroll now. As Assemblymember and chair of the Assembly's Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, I initiated hearings more than a year ago to begin to ready the state's health care system to absorb new eligibles. We've expanded MediCal, commissioned Covered California to offer new options for care and mandated that insurance companies provide basic preventive and treatment benefits. Now it's time for those who need health care to step forth and claim it, especially families with children.

Mitchell opens South L.A. kiosk for state services & Covered California enrollments

On Wednesday, November 20th, I opened my Satellite District Office in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Mall. The office allows for visitors of the mall to access my staff for help with constituent services. Counselors are also available to help assist with counseling and enrollment in Covered California healthcare plans and state services. My Satellite Office hours are Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm.

New Year's Luncheon Celebration and District Office Open House

On December 27th, I will co-host a Black Eyed Peas Luncheon Celebration with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer. The offices are housed in the same Science Center complex in Exposition Park. This luncheon will be a great opportunity to celebrate the New Year, meet fellow constituents, lunch on Black Eyed Peas, a southern tradition known to bring good luck, and visit the 26th Senate District Office. We hope to see you.

Community Swearing-In Ceremony

Please join me on Saturday, January 11, 2014 for my Community Swearing-In ceremony. This will be an opportunity for constituents of the 26th Senate District to hear from me on my legislative plans for the New Year. The event will be held at SONY Studios, located at 10202 W. Washington Blvd., from Noon - 2pm. To RSVP for this event, please email: or call 323-469-8680 ext. 230.

FOX and the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) partner to host a screening of 12 Years A Slave

On October 25th, FOX Studios, in partnership with the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC), hosted a screening of the critically acclaimed film, 12 years A Slave. As CLBC Chair, I spoke to the importance of the entertainment community to the Los Angeles and state economy. The entertainment industry is an economic engine for many small and minority-owned businesses and is also a critical workforce pipeline.

A Timely Conversation on Common Core State Standards and Graduation Rates in Los Angeles

On October 15th, I hosted an education town hall at Virginia Road Elementary School to discuss the Common Core standards and other issues facing students and families in the Los Angeles Unified School District. We had a well-informed panel that generated plenty of discussion around how to improve graduation rates in Los Angeles.

96th Street Elementary School Receives a $5,000 Grant

Congratulations to the 96th Street Elementary School for recently being awarded a Barona Band of Mission Indians Education Grant for $5,000. This grant will allow the school to purchase much-needed supplies and computer applications to enhance student learning. I was thrilled to be able to present the award to Ms. Gwendolyn Terry, a teacher at 96th Street Elementary (who applied for the grant in partnership with me) for her commitment to students and education.

2013 Mural Design Contest

Calling all middle and high schools in the 26th Senate District! I recently moved into my new district office and I don't have a Senate Seal that represents this electric district. So, I need your help.

I am partnering with Fox Studios and together, we hope you will design a mural that does the following:

  • Interprets the Senate Seal of the State of California
  • Highlights landmarks, communities and industries critical to the 26th Senate District
  • Showcases vibrancy, creativity and your school spirit

This contest is all about arts, education, and civic engagement.
The winning design will be hung on a portable canvas in my district office for all to see.
(Contest ends on December 20, 2013)

A Rally Against Sex Trafficking

On November 21st, I was pleased to join Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and march against sex trafficking of children. The march took place at Palmer Ave. in Compton and ended at Carlin Ave. in Lynwood where I announced that my first two bills come January will deal with the issue of sex trafficking in the state of California.

Power Lunch With Dorsey High School at Stanley Mosk Courthouse

The Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA) sponsors a program called "Power Lunch" with the LA Superior Court, which introduces high school kids to our judicial system. Hosted this year at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, I was invited and gave an empowering talk to students in attendance. I shared my story of growing up in Los Angeles and making it to the State Senate.

Over $12 million in tax credits awarded for Affordable Housing in the 26th District

The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee recently awarded over $12 million of federal tax credits to acquire and rehabilitate affordable housing at Turner Apartments and Crenshaw Family Apartments in Los Angeles. Over 60 low-income families will benefit from the units made available from these tax credits.

Office of Traffic Safety Offers Grants

Traffic Safety grants are available now through the Office of Traffic Safety. Organizations who offer traffic safety programs that target issues such as older drivers, teen driving, alcohol impaired driving and more, may be eligible for grants. To find out more, please contact 916-509-3030.

Walk & Talk Sessions

I am kicking off the first in a series of Walk & Talk sessions in the community on Saturday, December 7th at 9:30am in Kenneth Hahn Park. This is a great chance to get some exercise, enjoy the parks and neighborhoods the 26th Senate District has to offer, and discuss issues of community concern.

Many in the community are striving to live healthier lifestyles and I recently resolved to get active. Hosting these Walk & Talk sessions are a great way to encourage my constituents to get active with me and to hear from them directly.

Staff Volunteer in the Community

On October 16th, my District Office staff volunteered at the Culver City Senior Center and helped serve a healthy meal to nearly 150 seniors.

My staff also volunteered at the new No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) pet adoption center in West Los Angeles. NKLA is an initiative of Best Friends Animal Society, bringing together passionate individuals, city shelters and an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of healthy and treatable pets in city shelters in Los Angeles by the year 2017. More information about NKLA is available here

Efforts Around Homeless Encampments

My District Office staff has been working alongside Rosa Parks Villas, Los Angeles City Council District 10, community and homeless services organizations, local businesses, and various state and city agencies to address the homeless encampment at the Crenshaw Boulevard on- and off-ramps to the Santa Monica (10) Freeway here in Los Angeles. It is the location of panhandling, concealing brush, crime, sanitation issues, graffiti and littering. These issues pose a health and safety threat to residents, pedestrians and drivers traveling through the area. All stakeholders are working to address the health, safety, and loitering concerns, but also taking steps to ensure that the homeless residents have access to shelter, food, and health resources. We will continue to work with the community to devise a comprehensive, collaborative, coordinated, and long-term strategy to address the issues at this particular location and throughout the district.

New House, New Digs!

Come on by and visit my new offices. My district office is located between the California Science Center and the California of African American Museum.

District Office
Administrative West Offices
700 State Dr., Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4028
916-651-4028 (office)
916-651-4128 (fax)
When you have an opportunity, please stop by and meet my staff.
Sydney Kamlager - District Director -
Charles Stewart - Communication Director -
*Sonia Lopez - District Office Manager/Scheduler -
Joy Masha - Field Representative -
Ellen Moy - Field Representative -

*Please note the email address change
Tiffani Alvidrez - Chief of Staff -
Tracey Hurd-Parker - Capitol Scheduler -
Elise Gyore - Legislative Director -
John Skoglund - Legislative Aide -
Nancy Strohl - Consultant -
Alana Troutt - Consultant -


Need College Credits? Our District Office is in search of interns for this upcoming year. If you know of any student or are interested yourself, please contact Sonia Lopez to obtain additional information.

Ring in the New Year with Reusable Bags

2014 will ring in with a new ordinance for many constituents of Los Angeles and Culver City. Starting January 1, stores in Los Angeles that sell perishable goods will be prohibited from handing out plastic grocery bags and paper bags will bear a 10 cent surcharge. Culver City has also recently enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags.

In Los Angeles County, more than 6 billion single-use plastic bags are used each year, which averages out to more than four bags per day per household, with only 5% being recycled.

So, save your cents as well as the environment and don't forget to use your reusable bags.