Last month, I walked you through some of the things I do at the State Capitol as an Assemblymember. If you haven't watched that video yet, be sure to head over to my YouTube channel and check it out.
With my district office now moved into a new office building in San Diego, I thought it would be a good time to go over what my district staff do to help constituents, including connecting them with local and state resources, and which areas of Assembly District 78 each person covers.
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Ensuring transparency in government is one of the most important things to keeping the public's trust. I recently introduced AB 302. This bill requires the California Department of Technology to conduct a comprehensive check of all high-risk automated-use systems being used by state agencies. Automated decision systems can be used to detect fraud, improve weather forecasting predictions or make more equitable reimbursements in welfare services and healthcare reimbursements. But if they are not designed or implemented correctly, they can create unfair or biased results. We need to ensure that California is harnessing the potential of these systems in a responsible way.
To give our teachers and administrators more tools to help students who are struggling with substance use addiction, I introduced AB 599. This bill takes a public health approach to substance use instead of a punitive one. Currently, most schools either suspend or expel students who are found to simply possess illicit drug paraphernalia on campus. In 2022, there were 3,200 drug-related suspensions, making up about 20% of all suspensions in California. AB 599 would allow school faculty to develop a plan to handle situations where students are found to possess drug paraphernalia and correct addiction issues without setting them back academically, while collaborating with local stakeholders like community-based organizations, educational agencies and treatment providers to ensure the school environment remains safe.
|BLACK HISTORY MONTH|
For Black History Month, my office is honoring Dr. J. Luke Wood. As the Vice President for Student Affairs & Campus Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University, he is committed to student success, while his research focuses on racial equity in education. Check out the video below to learn more.
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|OUT IN THE COMMUNITY|
From left to right:Top left: Assemblymember Ward speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Olive St. Park and San Diego's first AIDS memorial. Top right: Attending the San Diego Regional Chamber's 152nd Anniversary Celebration. Bottom left: Assemblymember Ward speaks at the Rally Against Hate to kick off the Lantern Parade for Inclusion. Bottom right: Consumer Attorneys of San Diego recognizes Assemblymember Ward as its "Legislator of the Year."
As always, I want to thank you for your support. I am humbled to be your representative and to work on these issues and more at the State Capitol. 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 during regular business hours and a staff member will return your call as soon as possible. I wish you, your family and your neighbors all the best.
Christopher M. Ward
Assemblymember, 78th District