Bonnie Lowenthal’s Notes from the Capitol
2011-12-01 · By Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal
Now that I chair the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, I’m constantly thinking of preparedness. That’s why I’ve met with California firefighters, who were happy to show me their aging air fleet. The helicopters may be old – some of them are Vietnam-era machines – but the men and women at CalFire are doing a great job of keeping them flying. They are an important tool during fire season.
That’s also why I authored a bill to make sure that our county can adopt a new state-of-the-art radio system to that first-responders can hear each other in a disaster. The best part is that the federal government is picking up the tab for making us safer.
Where Rubber Meets Road
You may have seen news reports recently about an inspector working for CalTrans who allegedly falsified some of his reports. As chair of the Transportation Committee, I take this very seriously, and have already made clear to CalTrans that motorists deserve to know just exactly what is being done to keep them safe on the road. At issue this time is a series of tests conducted on the new Bay Bridge to San Francisco. I intend to find out what CalTrans has done to safeguard its inspections, and how we can restore confidence in this massive, landmark structure.
Helping Children Everywhere
There is a Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Sacramento that helps young people in a million ways. The doctors there recently performed a series of operations to young children from Kenya who suffered terrible injuries when a fuel tanker burst into flames.
I was happy to welcome a few of the children from Kenya, along with their families and supporters, for a visit in my Capitol office. They were a long way from home, and, as you know, a friendly greeting and a word of encouragement can go a long way. I can’t say what our time meant to them, but to me it validated my belief in the power of people who want to help each other.
Celebrating Italian Heritage
If you’ve ever visited our Capitol, you know that a highlight of every tour is the rotunda, the circular space beneath the great dome. It is here that celebrations are announced, where children’s choirs sing, where governors have celebrated their inaugurations, and where, this month, we are celebrating the many contributions that people of Italian heritage have made to the state.
Whether it’s under the dome or closer to home, I hope to see you soon.