Updates Council on accomplishments and goals
On June 6, California Assemblymember Mia Bonta updated City Council on her legislative accomplishments of the past year and agenda for 2023. She said her primary goals are to uplift collective community challenges and the state’s most vulnerable through legislation that supports gun violence prevention, digital equity, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, cradle-to-career approaches to supporting youth, and affordable housing. She also discussed her specific work on behalf of Alameda.
Partnering with the City of Alameda
Bonta, a 20-year Alameda resident, noted that since starting as an Assemblymember in 2021, she has worked alongside City Councilmembers to develop projects. She particularly applauded the recent opening of Dignity Village, a transitional housing facility, saying it speaks to what happens when local and state leaders convene with intentionality and urgency.
She said she also appreciated partnering with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce and visiting companies headquartered in the City that lead in biotech, green energy, and sustainability. She noted that she looks forward to uplifting Alameda’s community-based organizations, such as Alameda Family Services, which will be honored at the State Capitol for its decades-long work supporting newborns, childcare, family wellness, and working with the Alameda Fire Department to develop the CARE program to address mental health crises.
Bonta noted that 2022 accomplishments included establishing an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, launching an It Takes a Village program to implement cradle-to-career approaches to supporting youth, and passing Assembly Bill (AB) 2465 to support literacy across California, where 60% of children are dual language learners.
In an age when health services and education rely heavily on internet connectivity, Assemblymember Bonta authored a state Digital Equity Plan to identify and address barriers to digital equity. She moved legislation addressing women’s reproductive rights, specifically AB 2091, which safeguards the right to make reproductive health decisions by protecting medical privacy.
Bonta strove to address gaps in California’s criminal justice system by authoring AB 1706, which allows those convicted under overturned cannabis laws to have their convictions reduced or dismissed and their record sealed. Further, she authored AB 2361, which requires courts to find convincing evidence that a minor is not amenable to rehabilitation before transferring them from juvenile court to adult court in cases where the minor allegedly committed a felony.
For Alameda, she introduced legislation to address housing, transit, and the hospital. She provided an exemption for Alameda Point from the Surplus Land Act to make housing more affordable and provided the ability to extend a seismic safety deadline for Alameda Hospital to protect Alameda’s sole emergency medical resource. She supported Alameda’s ferries with AB 2807, which helps fund zero- and near-zero-emission commercial harbor craft.
2023 achievements and plans
For 2023, Mia Bonta continues the legacy of County Supervisor Wilma Chan by introducing a Food as Medicine Bill, which would require medical plans to offer medically supportive food and nutrition as a covered benefit.
She introduced AB 793 to protect the privacy of people seeking reproductive and gender-affirming care by prohibiting geofencing and keyword warrants. Regarding affordable housing, she introduced AB 846, which seeks to cap rent increases on units funded by the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
In public safety, Bonta introduced AB 1104, the Rehabilitation Works Bill, noting that of $14.5 billion spent on the state’s prison system, less than 1% is spent on rehabilitative programs. In line with Governor Newsom’s efforts to move the state’s prison system closer to the Norwegian model of corrections, the bill aims for a more humane prison system with the idea that investing in rehabilitation is an investment in California’s future.
At the request of the City of Alameda, Bonta authored AB 1706 to facilitate a multi-party land swap to increase public access to the coastline at Encinal Terminal.
State budget deficit
Lastly, Mia Bonta discussed the state’s $30 billion budget deficit, stating that she is working to protect critical community programs. Her focus is ensuring that public transit, including BART and AC Transit, remains available. For Alameda, she is working to preserve funding to address high-injury corridors and to support the Village of Love Day Center and Safe Overnight Parking Program. Visit Assemblymember Bonta’s website for more information.
Contributing writer Karin K. Jensen covers boards and commissions for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at https://linktr.ee/karinkjensen and https://alamedapost.com/Karin-K-Jensen.