This article appeared in the Bakersfield Californian on January 18, 2017.
California is an increasingly expensive place to live. Housing and taxes, in general, are higher here than any other state.
Sadly, health care coverage is also on that list of high cost items. Many California families are experiencing more costly coverage as Covered California premiums increased on average by double-digits this year. In Kern County, families pay an average of 12.2 percent more for those premiums.
Our country has a unique opportunity now to improve our health care system and help families. I commend our congressman, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, for giving our state the opportunity to provide input as Congress seeks to fix our nation’s health care system.
In a letter to the nation’s governors, Congressman McCarthy rightly articulates the “shared goal of enacting health care reforms that lower costs, improve quality, empower states and individuals, and bring our health care system into the 21st Century.” California state officials have a choice - voice ideas so Californians get better health care coverage or bury their heads in the sand.
We must take advantage of the opportunity to play a constructive role and ensure all Californians have access to more affordable and higher quality health care. This includes examining how more flexibility from federal government regulations might provide additional tools for our state and local governments, along with health care providers, to seek innovations and efficiencies in improving health care for local communities.
A more sustainable health care system benefits all Californians. This includes families that are struggling with California’s increasingly high cost of living, lower-income residents who rely on the government’s social safety net, small businesses that want to hire more workers, and local industries that are already overburdened with expensive federal and state regulations.
I offered Gov. Jerry Brown my help to facilitate a constructive dialogue between Sacramento and California Republican policymakers in Washington, whom I have a strong, working relationship with. More importantly, I want to listen and convey your ideas for a better health care system to state and federal leaders.
Please share your thoughts and ideas with me at Senator.Fuller@sen.ca.gov. Together, we can find a better way to deliver affordable, high-quality health care to all Californians.
I have introduced a Senate Concurrent Resolution 17 recognizing January 30th - February 5th as California Girls and Women in Sports Week.
This week acknowledges contributions made by female athletes, coaches, officials and administrators. It also highlights the benefits that participation in sports can have an individual’s health and development.
Below is the text of SCR 17.
This measure would recognize female athletes, coaches, officials, and sports administrators for their important contributions in promoting the value of sports in the achievement of full human potential and would proclaim January 30, 2017, to February 5, 2017, inclusive, as California Girls and Women in Sports Week.
WHEREAS, By an act of the United States Congress, February 4, 1987, was proclaimed as the first National Girls and Women in Sports Day in honor of Flo Hyman, a volleyball legend whose efforts to promote equality in sports were cut short by her untimely and tragic death; and
WHEREAS, Since that time, women have made considerable advances in professional, collegiate, club, intramural, masters, high school, junior high school, youth, and recreational sports; and
WHEREAS, Many female athletes have distinguished themselves as representatives of California and the nation in international competition and the Olympic games; and
WHEREAS, Participation in sports is acknowledged as a positive force in developing and promoting physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being; and it is well established that participation in athletics builds self-esteem, communication skills, discipline, and perseverance, all qualities that make a positive and significant difference in the quality of life and in the level of accomplishment; and
WHEREAS, We need to encourage women of all ages to compete and contribute to sports at all levels of competition and recreation to help prepare the next generation of female athletes and sports leaders; and
WHEREAS, The combined efforts of many organizations including the Women’s Sports Foundation, the California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the California National Organization for Women, have served to bring needed information and important recognition of this day, as well as furthered the dreams and inspired today’s female athletes; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes female athletes, coaches, officials, and sports administrators for their important contributions in promoting the value of sports in the achievement of full human potential and hereby proclaims January 30, 2017, to February 5, 2017, inclusive, as California Girls and Women in Sports Week; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
One Sight Vision Clinic
Team Fuller joined volunteers at the One Sight Vision clinic in Bakersfield. This yearly event brings together volunteers and eye care professionals to provide eye exams and glasses to over 2000 school children. Thank you to local optometrist Dr. Dang for his efforts to coordinate this fantastic event.
On January 12, 2017, Team Fuller joined community leaders and Chamber of Commerce members to welcome the 2017 Chairman of the Board, Derek Abbott of Tejon Ranch Company, and the newly installed board members. The Chamber also presented awards to the Chamber Ambassador of the Year, Advocacy Partner of the Year and Chamber Champion of the Year. The Chamber’s Mission Statement is to “Provide Leadership for a Healthy Business Community”.
Congratulations to the new 2017 Tehachapi Association of Realtors (TAAR) Board of Directors. Romeo Agbalog with Team Fuller presented Senate Certificates of Recognition from to both incoming and outgoing Presidents and Directors at TAAR’S 30th Anniversary Awards and Installation Gala. Additionally, congratulations to Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors incoming President Lanetta Ashmore.
Team Fuller and other local elected leaders presented a Certificate of Recognition to Dr. Kegley and CSUB to honor the grand opening of the Kegley Center for Student Success. The Center is located on the campus of CSUB and is utilized by all student athletes to maximize their success in their sport as well as their academic career.
Team Fuller’s Jim Schooler attended the Open House at the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation’s plant in Lucerne Valley. The team of experts who participated in drafting of the Environmental Impact Report for their proposed South Quarry Project were on hand to explain the project and answer questions. The proposed project will help meet the demand for high grade limestone for the next 120 years of cement production.
Pita Paradise is one of the many new food trucks servicing Bakersfield in the ever-growing downtown revitalization project. Team Fuller presented a Certificate of Recognition to the owners of Pita Paradise recognizing their one year anniversary!
On January 23, Team Fuller attended the grand opening for the new Wesley Head Start Child Development Center. Community Action Partnership and the Wesley United Methodist Church partnered to create the center. It currently serves 60 children at the center.
Magdalene Hope is going into the coffee business! Rescue Grounds Coffee Company is Magdalene Hope’s latest venture into raising awareness of human trafficking and for making the ability to earn a dignified living possible for sex-trafficked survivors. All proceeds will go towards combating human trafficking, offset the daily expenses of our women’s safe shelter, Restoration Ranch, and actively aiding victims and survivors of human trafficking in the four regions that we are currently ministering in.
Our vision is to empower women escaping the commercial sex industry by offering them employment in a safe, healthy environment after graduation from our one-year, academic program at Restoration Ranch. We empower women by teaching them job skills, building their confidence, and giving them hope while restoring their self-worth through unconditional love. MH has been blessed with a new corporate partner: Dignity Health Bakersfield.
Two years ago, Dignity Health introduced an initiative in their hospital emergency rooms focused on educating staff on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and protect victims and vulnerable populations. Through their mission of Humankindness Mercy and Memorial Hospitals and Dignity Health have a strong desire to see women set free from human trafficking. Together, Rescue Grounds Coffee Company and Memorial Hospital will bring change to Bakersfield.
On Friday January 27, 2017 Rescue Grounds Coffee Company opened at Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield. Our first two employees that we hired are “Angelica” who graduated from Magdalene Hope’s Safe Shelter, Restoration Ranch, from their One Year Program in October 2014 and “Candice” who graduated in May 2016. Angelica lives here in Bakersfield and has accepted a position with us and Candice has moved from the high desert to join our team. Both have been model citizens and both ladies went on to graduate from Summit Bible College with their associates degrees in Biblical Studies and are excited and ready to work at Rescue Grounds.
Thank you to Doug Bennett of Magdalene Hope for providing this description of their efforts to aid the victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Mobile Office hours are held to facilitate communication between my office and the communities we serve. The following is a list of Mobile Office locations for the month of December. Hope you can find the time to stop by!
Barstow Visitor’s Center at the Harvey House
Frazier Mountain Communities Family Resource Center
Tulare Chamber of Commerce
Ridgecrest City Hall
Kern River Valley County Admin. Building
Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce
To schedule an appointment with a member of the staff, please call the District Office at (661) 323-0443.