August 2020 District Report

A Message from Bill Dodd

Dear Neighbor,

It will be a school year like never before as students begin online-only classes this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Distance learning is a necessary step to curb the infection rate and prevent further loss of life. To help you navigate this new reality, the state Department of Education offers resources for parents and teachers included below.

Peak wildfire season is upon us so please follow guidelines to protect your family. In the Capitol, I will be finalizing my bills on the subject, including one authorizing the use of “hi-lo” evacuation alerts in emergency vehicles and another to streamline disaster insurance claims. A legislative update is also in this month’s newsletter.

In this Issue:

Please feel free to reach out to me with your suggestions or concerns. As always, my office is available to help you with a state agency or answer any questions you might have. You can contact me by visiting my website.


Bill Dodd
Senator, 3rd District

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Wildfire Safety & Preparedness

Our region has been hit hard by wildfires. This year is no exception. This month, firefighters have responded to numerous destructive blazes across the district and state.

There are things you can do to protect yourself:

Pack a go-bag with essential items to take if you’re told to evacuate.

Get out immediately when you are told to leave. Do not wait!

Stay informed about developing emergencies. Some resources are here:

Cal Fire public information line: 707-967-4207

Cal Fire on Twitter @Cal_Fire; on Facebook

Sign up for Nixle alerts at

To learn more about wildfire preparedness visit:

Ensuring fire victims recover and that our state is better prepared to prevent and respond to future wildfires is a top priority for me. For information on how to protect your home from wildfires, please visit my website.

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Distance Learning During the Pandemic

In normal times, kids are returning to school in August. But of course, 2020 is not a normal year. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is essential for everyone to stay home and continue social distancing. That means campuses will be closed and students will instead attend classes online or through video conferencing.

To assist in this new approach to learning, the California Department of Education has put together a long list of resources for parents, students and teachers. Topics run the gamut including online assistance with math, reading, science and learning English as a second language. Free lesson plans are available for downloading here.

In addition, your county office of education offers resources as well as updates on school closures. Please visit the links to county offices below.

Contra Costa County

Napa County

Sacramento County

Solano County

Sonoma County

Yolo County

I hope all students and parents in my district have a happy and successful school year. 

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Legislative Update

Like most things this year, the legislative session has been affected by the coronavirus. However, I’m proud of the work my team has done under difficult circumstances. Here are some of the highlights of my bill package, which we expect will go to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature:

  • SB 872 Disaster Insurance Claim Streamlining  – Sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, this expands the definition of additional living expenses that must be paid to homeowners for losses incurred in a state of emergency such as a wildfire. Upon submission of a claim, it requires an advance payment of no less than four months for costs such as housing, furniture rental and transportation. Also, it mandates an advance payment of no less than 25 percent of a policy limit for lost contents without submission of an inventory form.
  • SB 884: School Power Shutoff Protection – California public school funding is based on average daily attendance, reported three times a year by school districts. Under current law, if schools are forced to close because of a public safety power shutoff, such as those across the North Bay last year, they could lose part of their expected allocation.  This bill changes that, explicitly authorizing the state to backfill average daily attendance money.
  • SB 909:  “Hi-Lo” Emergency Alerts – Existing law restricts the use of hi-lo sirens. However, a pilot program last year in Napa County showed the warning popularized in England would be highly effective in getting people to flee encroaching wildfires. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office also successfully deployed the technique during the Kincaid Fire. This bill allows all public safety agencies to use hi-lo warnings for evacuation purposes.
  • SB 1237: Maternity Care, Equity Access – This bill will improve access to high-quality maternity treatment in California while also addressing disparities in outcomes for Black women and infants. It will counter the obstetrician shortage – projected to be critical in some counties by 2025 – by expanding access to midwives.

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New Dawn Vallejo is Nonprofit of the Year

Pastor Quick and "Summer of Success" program children.

This summer I named New Dawn Vallejo Corporation as my Nonprofit of the Year. They are a great organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for low- to moderate-income families in Vallejo and Solano County.

The Rev. Dr. Dante Quick, president of the New Dawn board and pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, hopes to “change our city and county, one youth at a time, one family at a time and one community for all.”

 “Whether it is youth internships, math programs, free summer camps, trauma-informed Pre-K programs, Black infant health partnerships or late-night basketball, we are indebted to our partners who enable a holistic approach,” Pastor Quick said.

New Dawn Vallejo, founded in 2013, provides a wide array of services to children and families as well as other organizations that serve them. Since its inception, the nonprofit has helped hundreds with youth mentoring, summer academic and lunch programs and seasonal food giveaways. It also offers financial literacy and debt-relief training. It has partnered with local law enforcement to improve community relations, launching a popular late-night basketball program.

New Dawn Vallejo continues to offer community support and referral services by phone and through online hosting sites during the coronavirus pandemic but is eager to return to regular programming, said Sundria Sam, New Dawn Vallejo executive director.  

Please join me in congratulating New Dawn Vallejo. They have stepped up in a community with great need, helping families receive critical services. They are a major asset to Vallejo and a model for other nonprofits to follow. I’m proud to give them this well-earned recognition.

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In the News

Here is some of the latest news coverage in the district that may be of interest to you. As always, please contact my office if you have any questions about state policy or want to express your position or ideas for legislation.

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