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End of Year 2023 Newsletter


Hello, Assembly District 78! I'm your representative Chris Ward and I want to bring you up to date on everything that has happened in the last couple of months.

Now that legislative session has wrapped up and I am back in the district, I wanted to share some new leadership updates, a recap on some of my bills signed by the Governor, and some of the work we have been doing across the district this fall.

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Just before Thanksgiving, Speaker Robert Rivas released his new appointments for next year's committee leadership, and I am honored to be tapped as the new chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. Making housing more affordable and providing support for housing and homelessness solutions is one of our most important issues facing Californians today and into the future. While the problems have been the result of decades of neglect, I am ready to help lead some honest and bold initiatives to turn these trends around. Some of my guiding principles include seeking solutions that will result in a wider array of housing production for the middle-class; facilitating partnerships with local governments to meet our shared goals; strengthening accountability for state-funded homelessness programs; supporting community facility and infrastructure investments, as well as supporting renters who are struggling to keep up. I look forward to the impact our committee can make through our hard work ahead.


bills signed into law ad78 ward

In total, the governor signed nine of my bills into law this year, covering a wide range of issue areas. Here are a few highlights.

State agencies are currently using artificial intelligence in decision-making systems (ADS) in various ways, including to detect fraud in unemployment and tax filings, and speed up document processing. Technology can be helpful, but can also have unintended consequences. AB 302 directs the California Department of Technology to conduct a comprehensive inventory of all high-risk ADS systems in use by the state now and going forward, so we can better check the outcomes of this technology for fair treatment for all Californians.

California has the most pedestrian fatalities in the nation. With vehicles steadily increasing in size and weight, AB 251 directs the California Transportation Commission to investigate the relationship between vehicle size and injuries to vulnerable road users, as well as evaluate the costs and benefits of imposing a vehicle weight fee, which could be used to invest in safety features for our roads.

Student school board members have a critical role representing their peers and sharing their voice with board of education members. However, despite this important work, they are not compensated for their time, which includes long hours attending board meetings and voting in the student body's interests for full one-year terms. AB 275 gives school district boards and county boards of education the option to compensate student board members for their work.

At a time when many of our public documents have become digitized and easily accessible by the public, the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, AB 223 will allow transgender youth the ability to share their personal information with whoever they wish when they are ready to disclose it. Transgender youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their cisgender peers, and more likely to experience violence victimization, substance use and depression.

Atmospheric river patterns can help scientists better understand climate change and the environmental implications too much or too little water can have in California. AB 30 broadens the research conducted through the Department of Water Resources to connect reservoir and flood control operations with best practices in prediction modeling to optimize water management, increase storage, and reduce flood risk. 

Finally, ACA 13 will let voters weigh in next November on the Constitutional issue of fairness in the initiative process. It ensures a simple majority vote remains the threshold for a ballot measure to pass, while also requiring any statewide initiative seeking to increase a threshold to also be approved by the same higher threshold it is proposing.


community coffees ad78 ward

I recently held two community coffee town hall events to discuss my legislative package and hear directly from Assembly District 78 constituents. Both events were well attended, and I appreciated the thoughtful and productive dialogue from community members who took the time to engage with me on a number of issue areas, including housing, energy, homelessness and climate. I want to thank everyone who came out - discussions like these help me get a sense of priorities for the legislative session when we return to the Capitol in January, but they aren't the only way to provide your input—more on that in a minute.


Thank You!

Being back in San Diego during this legislative break, I've had to opportunity to meet with several community groups and discuss this year's work, as well as goals for next year. While my staff keeps me up to date on what's happening in Assembly District 78 attending community group meetings while I'm physically in Sacramento, it's nice to be able to directly meet and discuss the various issues that are important to community members in my district. A sample of the meetings I've recently attended include the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Clairemont Town Council, San Diego Community College District, San Diego Labor Council, and San Carlos Area Council. Thank you all for your time and valuable feedback!


gun violence reduction Summit ad78 ward

Back in October, I moderated and participated in a Gun Violence Reduction Summit with Attorney General Rob Bonta, San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, City Attorney Mara Elliott, and other advocates. It was a great opportunity to share ideas and collaborate on how all levels of government can hold the gun industry accountable for its contributions to the gun violence crisis. The Legislature passed several bills this year to help curb gun violence, including SB 2 and AB 28, which were signed into law. I look forward to continuing the advancement of California's efforts to prevent gun violence and save lives.




From left to right: Top left: Assemblymember Ward volunteers with Elderhelp San Diego to bring holiday cheer to seniors in Assembly District 78. Top right: Speaking with Clairemont Town Council to discuss priority issues and swear in the newly elected board members. Bottom left: Giving an update to the San Diego Community College District on the past legislative session and goals for next year. Bottom right: Meeting with the 4th grade class at Birney Elementary to talk about how state government works.


We are returning in January to work on housing, energy, insurance, and many other priority subjects facing our community. Here's how to you can suggest a legislative proposal to my office for consideration…

First, visit my official website by clicking here. At the top of the page, you will see a heading where you can submit a bill idea. Once you click on it, you will be taken to a page where you will be prompted to provide your contact information, as well as some commonly asked questions my staff uses to vet any proposal that comes to my office. Once you have filled in all of you information, click on the blue submit bar at the bottom to send in your idea.

The proposal will then be forwarded to my legislative staff in the Capitol office where it will be reviewed. We can't promise that your proposal will move forward, but we do review every one that is sent in. Whether or not we decide to move forward on it, someone will get back to you to let you know the outcome. We look forward to reading through your submissions.


As always, I want to thank you for your support. I'm grateful to be your representative and work on these issues and more. One of the best ways to stay informed is to follow my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads where you can know in real time what developments are happening or what I'm working on every day.

And if you need assistance, please know that my district office staff is available and ready to serve or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out to the contact information at the end of this segment, and a staff member will connect with you as soon as possible. I wish you, your family and your neighbors happy holidays and I will see you next year!



signature of Christopher M. Ward
Christopher M. Ward
Assemblymember, 78th District