My Priorities and Record of Accomplishments

Since joining the legislature in 2018, I have been working for you.

And a just new world.

My aim is to help create good jobs and to nurture talent in the people who want those jobs.

As your Assemblymember, I prioritize the expansion of vocational, career, and technical education programs that furnish the skills needed to develop career goals and score high-wage jobs.

For our district to thrive in the rapidly changing global economy, we need to cultivate new industries (technology, clean energy) and invigorate the existing ones (sports, entertainment, transportation). For that reason, I authored Assembly Bill 987 (signed into law) to help build the new state-of-the-art Los Angeles Clippers sports arena in the City of Inglewood, creating thousands of jobs and generating millions in public revenue for vital services for our region.

I worked to ensure the budget extends California’s earned income tax credit—a cash rebate to low-income workers—and increases free childcare and preschool slots for working families.

I’ve partnered with the MTA on an expansion of the Metro Crenshaw Line to bring greater public transportation access and quality jobs to our district.

“My aim is to help create jobs.”

In this time of global climate crisis, we need to take steps, guided by science, to preserve those basic rights and to reduce human impact on our environment. We must reshape how we work, live, consume, produce, and recycle. We must reimagine land use in urban settings and embrace its ability to sustain us in new ways. We must be bold.

I’m proud to serve as a member of the Environmental Caucus, as well as on the Committee on Coastal Protection and Access to Natural Resources.

As your Assemblymember, I champion laws that establish groundbreaking environmental protection standards.

I introduced AB 1100 (signed into law), to increase parking infrastructure for electric-vehicle charging, and AB 987, the bill that delivers the new Clippers stadium to Inglewood and which requires the arena and associated developments to meet a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions standard.

I co-authored SB 54 and AB 1080, forward-thinking policies to reduce pollution from plastic packaging and products, including single-use plastic straws.

One of my signature initiatives is “54 in the 54th,” an urban farming project designed to identify and develop 54 urban farms throughout the 54th District.

A society’s humanity can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable, including animals. We must treat all sentient beings with compassion and dignity. These beliefs push me to carry animal rights legislation each year.

In 2019, I authored AB 2054 (signed into law) which would ban the trophy hunting of bobcats in the state of California. I have supported bills that ban the sale of fur and the use of rodenticide in public spaces.

For 2020, have authored a bill to ban the testing of chemicals and toxins on dogs.

Access, equity, and justice should be the foundations of government and business. They should also form the basis of how we treat our neighbors. And yet, discrimination and bias creep into behavior, systems, and policies at alarming rates. A just society will exist when we eliminate the pervasive harms that thwart our ability to co-exist.

As a Black woman who is the product of an interracial marriage, where my parents suffered from discriminatory policies because of their union, I believe in the power of speaking truth to power when it comes to racism, discrimination, and bias.

That is why in my first year in office, I introduced three bills (AB 241, 242, 243) that require mandatory training on implicit bias for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, judges, and trial lawyers. Two of these bills were signed into law by the Governor.

I co-authored SB 188 (the Crown Act) to end discrimination based on a person’s natural hairstyle, a law intended to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior traits. This bill was signed into law by the Governor.

Our nation jails more of its people than virtually any other in the world. Evidence confirms that mass incarceration emerged as a byproduct of the Jim Crow laws of racial segregation. Women are now the largest growing prison population.

Knowing all of this, the most vulnerable among us—the poor, people of color, young people, women—are still most at risk of being arrested and entering our criminal justice system. 

We can do better.

As Chair of the Select Committee on Incarcerated Women and as a member on the Assembly Committees on:

1. Public Safety, overseeing the California Penal Code;
2. Community and Law Enforcement Relations and Responsibilities; and
3. Ending the School to Prison Pipeline.

I am fighting for change.

We need to ensure due process and equal treatment, starting even before someone enters the system. We must open the door for real conversations about how our law enforcement is overworked and over-traumatized, and how they can rebuild the trust of the communities they are tasked to protect.

Now is the time to create ways to train and sustain impartiality, evolve the practices of our law enforcement, judges and prosecutors, and replace the “us versus them” paradigm with a “we” mindset.

I have been busy on this issue. I have fought for:

  • Prohibiting 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried as adults and sent to adult prison;
  • Eliminating the discriminatory cash bail system for those awaiting trial on misdemeanors;
  • Allowing for public access to peace officers’ personnel records; and
  • the California Act to Save Lives (AB 392), a common-sense bill mandating that police officers should only use deadly force when necessary.

I aim to permanently close private prisons.

I’ve challenged the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to adhere to standards established by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and improve its role in ensuring fair and thorough investigations of CDCR staff misconduct.

I’ve confronted CDCR on its decision to decline participation in a first-of-its-kind study (Johns Hopkins University, March 2019) about incarcerated women who are pregnant and what happens to their babies.

I coauthored ACA 6, which grants parolees the right to vote, and AB 2448, which guarantees youth in foster care and juvenile facilities reasonable access to computer technology and the internet.

I have asked the State Auditor Department to audit the Sheriff’s Departments of Los Angeles, Fresno, and Alameda counties. These audits will reveal how realignment funds have been spent in each of these counties and provide the first step in demanding accountability and transparency within those departments.

I will spend the next two years reviewing the entire penal code  as a member of the Penal Code Revision Committee.

I have authored a bill to limit time on probation and to pilot a community policing program.

In the early days of my career, as an advocate at Crystal Stairs, a nonprofit providing childcare and early learning to Los Angeles County children, including those in foster care, I saw firsthand how high-quality, early childhood education improves the lives of families.

As your Assemblymember, I fought for the budget that affords free public preschool for all 4-year-olds living in neighborhoods where most school children are low income. It’s a step toward my long-term objective to implement free, universal preschool throughout our state.

Informed in part by the time I spent on the Los Angeles Community College Board, I remain committed to finding a way to fund free education for a student’s complete path from early childhood through higher education, including college.

In 2018 and 2019, we increased the state budget to provide two years of free community college tuition for first-time, full-time students. We also passed a tuition freeze and increased enrollment slots at University of California and Cal State University systems for 2019-2020.

I coauthored AB 2735, which ensures English learners are not denied enrollment in core curriculum courses required for high school graduation.

I’m proud to represent the many institutions of higher learning in the district, including UCLA and West Los Angeles Community College.

We must stop the gun epidemic that is taking so many lives. How we address this crisis has a lot to do with who we see as the culprit.

As your Assemblymember, I have taken a fresh approach to tackling the gun violence epidemic by authoring ACR 115, a resolution that places shared responsibility of financial institutions that lend money to gun manufacturers.

So often, we focus on the gun dealers and owners. I urge us to go deeper and follow the money.

I serve as a member of the Women’s Caucus and the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health, fighting for laws that improve the lives of women, children, and families.

I support a woman’s fundamental right to control her own reproductive decisions, and access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including the services provided by Planned Parenthood.

I continue to fight for affordable access to quality health care for everyone.

As your Assemblymember, I authored AB 1973 to prevent insurance companies from imposing cost-prohibitive co-pays and deductibles for reproductive health procedures.

I also authored AB 2600, which prohibits the denial of medical treatment for non-clinical reasons.

The cost of housing in California has skyrocketed. The lack of affordable housing places families in increasingly unstable living situations and is one of the causes of the homelessness crisis. People should be able to afford to live here without it costing three-quarters of their income.

I helped pass the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2019.

I fought for a budget that assists low-income families with paying for housing, food, and other necessities. The budget earmarks $675 million in funding for the construction and expansion of emergency shelters and navigation centers, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and innovative projects like hotel and motel conversions. These funds go to cities and counties and will have accountability measures attached, including required reporting on how dollars will be spent to meet the goal of moving the homeless into permanent housing.

I authored AB 1745 to protect tenants from having evictions added to their credit report.

I will continue to make affordable housing a top priority.

California can pave the way to quality, affordable healthcare for all, which includes real cost controls on pharmaceutical drug prices and hospitalization costs. Though the Trump administration is chipping away at both women’s reproductive rights and the Affordable Care Act, I’m determined to fight the dangerous policies that erode the progress we’ve made.

I fought for a budget that preserves health coverage protections for Californians and includes policies that lead the nation in reducing health care costs and increasing access for women, families, and seniors.

I look forward to working with Governor Newsom on finding an achievable path to universal healthcare in California with guaranteed funding to support its longevity.