March 2018 District Report
This month marks the start of spring, which represents growth and presents us with an excellent opportunity to reflect on our progress as a community. Over the past year, we’ve made meaningful progress in a number of areas, including wildfire recovery, but there is still much to be done. That is why I’m advancing proposals for new fire prevention safeguards by utilities, insurance reforms, emergency alerts, increased mutual aid, and additional state support for impacted communities. At the same time we must continue to improve our education system, and provide every Californian with access to preschool, and I have authored a bill to help accomplish that.
March is also Women’s History Month, which is a time to reflect on the immense contributions of women. It’s also a time to reflect on the need to end discrimination, harassment, and income inequality. I’ve authored legislation promoting pay equity, and I am committed to fighting for women’s rights.
In this Issue:
- Universal Early Childhood Education
- Legislative Update
- Women's History Month - Fire Chief Shana Jones named Woman of the Year
- Free Tax Help/Earned Income Tax Credit
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.
Senator, 3rd District
Early Childhood Education: Closing the Word Gap
This month marks the start of spring, which embodies new growth and presents us with an excellent opportunity to reflect on our growth as a community. Over the last year, we’ve been able to make meaningful progress in California in a number of areas, including creating some of the toughest equal pay laws in the country and supporting education, but there is still much work to be done. As I look ahead, I see closing the word gap as one of our greatest challenges and greatest opportunities.
Studies have shown that when a child enters kindergarten knowing 20,000 words, their odds of academic success and high school graduation are significantly improved. Unfortunately, children coming from low-income households are likely to know only about 2,000 words and will have heard a staggering 30 million fewer words by the time they reach kindergarten. This disparity is what’s known as the word gap.
Access to early childhood education can help close the word gap, and the associated achievement gap. That’s why I’ve authored legislation to ensure that every California child has access to high-quality early childhood education. You can learn more about the bill.
Legislative Update/In The News
While California has made meaningful progress in a number of areas over the last several years, there is still much work to be done in a number of critical areas. Of particular importance, we must ensure that California maintains and expands our progress towards educational opportunity, affordable healthcare coverage for all, environmental stewardship, and protections for hardworking immigrants.
Here is some news updates on legislation and state issues impacting our district. As always, please contact my office if you have any questions about state policy or if you want to express your position or ideas for legislation.
- Are California agencies prepared to fight year-round wildfires?
- Senator Announces Strongest Net Neutrality Policy Proposal in the Country
- Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Water-Shutoff Bill
- Dodd bill about problem gambling passes California Senate
- Parent group at Sonoma Developmental Center Honors Senators Dodd and McGuire
- Officials hopeful for highway funding
- State Senator Dodd helps promote free tax prep assistance
- Lawmaker: California has ignored school lock problem for too long
- Council to consider support for Senator Bill Dodd’s anti-pollution bill
Women's History Month - Woman of the Year Shana Jones
March is National Women’s History Month, an ideal time for us to collectively acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of women in shaping our nation. National Women’s History Month has its roots in our Senate District, dating back to 1978 when the principal groups that make up the National Women’s History Project began working with the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women.
As part of this month’s activities, I have the privilege of honoring some of the incredible women that make our district such a special place to live. We are so lucky to have such amazing, caring women contribute to our communities. Shana Jones was named Woman of the Year for our Senate district.
"I truly love working for CAL FIRE, and I am blessed that I am able to serve my communities working alongside so many dedicated first responders and public servants every single day," said Shana.
CAL FIRE Unit Chief Shana Jones has a long history of serving the public in forest management and fire protection. Shana is responsible for overseeing all CAL FIRE functions within Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Colusa, Yolo, and Solano Counties. Most recently, she served as the Agency Administrator overseeing three CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams that orchestrated the response to the October 2017 wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Solano Counties. She leads by example and is truly an inspiration – you can read more about Shana.
Free Tax Help/Earned Income Tax Credit
Tax Day, April 17th, is fast approaching. You may qualify for tax credits or free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs, which are supported by the Franchise Tax Board.
You may qualify for tax credits. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program will benefit millions of low income working families and can result in thousands of dollars for qualifying families. I helped champion the creation of California's EITC, which provides even more money to working families. Each year millions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed, so see if you’re eligible.
Find a list of upcoming workshops. I urge you to call the contact numbers listed to verify your eligibility, make appointments, and to learn what documentation may be required.