An Open Letter to Californians

Today marks the inauguration of a new president and we, as legislators in California, pause briefly to witness the event. While our goals differ from the incoming administration, we will waste no time in lament because we are intent upon our work for California.

Less than 20 miles from the State Capitol, the American Bald Eagle has been spotted in the wild. Its comeback from endangered status is symbolic, not only of California's commitment to the environment, but symbolic, too, of our commitment to continue the struggle against injustice. That's a struggle that began with the founding of the country that eagle represents.

Assemblymember Quirk is recognized by the California Small Business Association

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) was recognized by the California Small Business Association (CSBA) for his help and commitment to small business growth in California.

“Finding ways to help small businesses thrive has been a central component of my work since being elected,” Assemblymember Quirk stated upon learning of the recognition. “Small businesses are the backbone of California’s economy and are at the forefront of innovation. I thank CSBA for the recognition and look forward to continuing to help small businesses during the 2017 legislative session,” he concluded.

Assemblymember Quirk is named Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials

SACRAMENTO – California State Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) has been named Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials by Speaker Anthony Rendon.

“The bills I will review as chair will be vast and technical, but will also have a direct impact on the health and safety of Californians,” Assemblymember Quirk stated upon learning of his appointment. “I look forward to applying my scientific background towards resolving the critical issues that will come before me in this committee,” he concluded.

Wrong Number

For-profit prisoner calls on hold

Tom Gogola,

Former San Quentin inmate James "J.B." Bennett works a couple of days a week counseling the Bay Area's recently de-carcerated, helping them get back on their feet and acclimated to life beyond the bars.

When ex-convicts meet with Bennett, they're greeted by a bulletin board hanging in his workspace with some handy slogans on it, including one that reads, "Communication is to a relationship as breath is to life."

Assemblymember Quirk brings vision care services to Union City families

VSP 2016

HAYWARD – California State Assemblymember Bill Quirk, in partnership with Union City Kid Zone and VSP, provided over 50 vouchers for vison care services to children, seniors, and families in Union City.

“I am proud to once again partner with these great organizations. Bringing this service has been so critical to many families at Kid Zone,” said Assemblymember Quirk. “Vision directs everything we do and taking care of your vision and making sure our children have their visual needs met is vital for overall health,” he concluded.

California Public Parking Association Names Assemblymember Quirk “Legislator of the Year” for His Efforts to Decrease Store-Front Crashes

GARDEN GROVE – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) is named “Legislator of the Year” by the California Public Parking Association (CPPA). Ron Profeta, the 2016 President of CPPA made the announcement today at its 33rd Annual Conference.

Assemblymember Quirk was granted this award for his work on AB 2161, which provides for clearer codes statewide for safety barriers used in places such as parking lots (especially retail, and storefronts) and provides for insurers to give discounted rates to property owners and business owners who install approved protective devices.  “Saving lives, saving property, saving money -- how many times can you say those things about a single piece of legislation?” Proeta said.

Assemblymember Quirk Receives “Promoting Justice Award” for His Work to Recognize the Contributions of Muslim Americans

HAYWARD – Earlier this year Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) authored House Resolution 59 (HR 59) to recognize the month of August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

Assemblymember Quirk decided to introduce the resolution to take a stand against the anti-Muslim rhetoric – including the ban suggested by political leaders – respond to the hate crimes and the bullying against young Muslim-American students.

A reasonable bill on lane-splitting stresses safety

Just maybe, California may finally get sensible safety rules on lane-splitting, the highway maneuver – banned in every other state – that motorists hate but motorcyclists defend to the death. After far too many detours, it's about time, and it will make our roads safer for everyone.

The state Assembly has approved a bill that would officially authorize cyclists to scoot in between lanes of traffic. But they could only go 15 miles per hour faster than the cars they're passing, and they couldn't go more than 50 mph

Bill to Help Human Trafficking Victims Obtain T-visa is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 2027, a bill that will give victims of human trafficking a clearer path to obtaining a T-visa, was signed into law by Governor Brown. “Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery, in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life,” explained Assemblymember Bill Quirk.

Congress created the T-visa out of recognition that human trafficking victims – sexual and labor – without legal status may otherwise be reluctant to help in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity they were subjected to. Assemblymember Quirk decided to author AB 2027 after chairing an information hearing last year, “Human trafficking: Identifying the Scope of the Problem and Potential Solutions,” in which witnesses testified that labor trafficking victims have not been addressed with the same vigor – this is despite the abuse (both physical and psychological) is equally egregious.

Bill to Improve Sexual Assault Response Training on College Campuses is Vetoed

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Quirk authored Assembly Bill (AB) 1788, a bill to improve college and university staff training and response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. “Sexual violence against college students is a major concern, and the appropriate management and response is of utmost importance. We owe it to our students to feel safe and assured that all crimes will be properly handled,” he explained.

In June 2014, the California State Auditor released a report, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence:  California Universities Must Better Protect Students by Doing More to Prevent, Respond to, and Resolve Incidents, reviewing how California public institutions of higher learning were handling incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The State Auditor made a series of recommendations, including expanding staff training. “AB 1778 would have implemented one of the key recommendations of the audit,” Assemblymember Quirk stated.