As we celebrate the Day of the Teacher throughout California, I want to let teachers know that YOU are my heroes. There is no industry that is more important than public education and no profession that is more important than teaching. You prepare our children to be the workers, leaders, and innovators of future generations. You believe in them when no one else does. You give them a future.
Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy and the real engine of our economy. California is the home of the aerospace industry, technology, bio-technology, and information technology and many other industries because our parents and grandparents had the courage to make significant investments in our schools, colleges, and universities, even in times of great economic stress.
I ask that all of us renew our commitment to public education. If past generations were willing to spend more money on education and expand opportunity during times of war and great financial hardship, surely we can do the same for our children and grandchildren.
I urge others to join me today in celebrating our teachers and recognizing the tremendous work they do every day to inspire our children and youth to reach their full potential. I also urge you to take a few minutes to reflect on the special teachers who have made a difference in your lives or the lives of your children and say thank you.
Wednesday May 15th, at 1:00 PM
1500 St. Marys Rd.
Friday May 17th, at 10:00 AM
Walnut Creek Senior Center
Wednesday May 29th, at 10:00 AM
Walnut Creek Library
1644 N. Broadway
Friday, May 31, at 9:30 AM
John Muir Women's Health Center
1656 N. California Blvd, #100
The California Highway Patrol will be presenting Age Well, Drive Smart at 4 locations in the district in May/June. The 2 hour program is designed for those who have been driving for many years to fine tune their driving skills and to refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road. The goal of these classes is to reduce motor vehicle collision and pedestrian deaths and injuries experienced by older Californians and to increase seniors' alternate transportation options when driving is no longer an option. There is no need to RSVP to participate in this free class sponsored by the CHP and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
California Democratic Assemblymembers have announced numerous measures to help curb the ongoing epidemic of gun violence, and pledged to work with the State Senate and Governor to enact new weapons safety legislation. To learn more about the various measures introduced in the Assembly, click here.
Nelly Cesana was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1935. She was only four years old when Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Poland. At that time, Nelly and her mother and father were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. Her brother Marian, who was 13 at the start of the war, was able to attain papers with a false name that listed him as a Christian. He was able to live outside of the ghetto in Warsaw.
Starvation and disease was rampant inside of the ghetto. There were close to 500,000 people in a little over a square mile of land. Rations were limited to 150 calories a day and typhus was widespread. Nelly describes living in the ghetto as "hell." Furthermore, the Nazi soldiers would come unannounced day or night and set-up blockades. The blockades forced the residents to stop everything they were doing and run toward the train station. At the station, they were lined up and forced onto trains going to concentration camps. Nelly says that it was only by the grace of God that she and her mother were always able to escape being forced onto a train. Nelly's father was not as fortunate; during one blockade, when Nelly and her mother were hiding in her father's workshop, they heard the Nazi soldiers take him away. She never saw her father again.
In 1943, Nelly's brother, Marian, was able to secure fake papers for herself and her mother as Christians. He also hired smugglers to get them both out of the ghetto. Nelly faced guns firing at her as she escaped over the ghetto wall. Despite the extreme dangers, both Nelly and her mother made it out of the ghetto alive and restarted their lives under false names as Christians. Marian told them the only way to survive was to "go into the Lion's den," meaning go to Germany to work. Nelly and her mother were uncommonly able to secure work permits for Germany only because her mother spoke perfect German. They were sent to a farm outside of Berlin in 1943 where they worked as slave laborers, never receiving wages, until Allied Forces came in 1945.
Six months after Nelly and her mother moved to Germany, her brother Marian was killed in Warsaw by Nazi forces. Marian was a member of the Polish Underground and dedicated his life to fighting the Nazis. He was killed when he was only 17. He is buried in a Catholic Cemetery under his assumed name. Nelly says, "He is a hero." If not for Marian, Nelly and her mother would never have survived; they were the only members of their entire family to survive the Holocaust.
After the war ended, Nelly and her mother returned to Poland for five years before moving to Israel. In Israel, Nelly studied and became a nurse. She moved to California with her husband in the 1960s. Nelly now lives in Walnut Creek and is grandmother to three beautiful children.
SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), chair of the Assembly Education Committee announced today the introduction of two pieces of legislation designed to protect and ensure the safety of our children: AB 375 Teacher Discipline and Dismissal and
AB 1338 Mandated Reporting of Child and Sexual Abuse.
Assemblymember Buchanan stated, “Our children are our future. It is critically important that they attend schools that are safe and where all adults who work with them understand their responsibilities to keep them safe. We have been debating these issues long enough and have too many examples of where the current system has broken down.”
One of the most fundamental responsibilities of society is to protect our children. Our schools must be safe and secure places where children thrive, learn, and grow. Sadly, this was not the case on December 14th when a severely disturbed young man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 beautiful young children and six brave adults before killing himself. My heart aches for the pain the families and community feel, and I continue to keep the children, staff, and families in my prayers.
All of us must ask what we can do to keep our children safe. California has already enacted stricter protections against gun violence than the federal government, but there is more we must do. I do not believe our founding fathers ever envisioned 6-year olds needing to defend themselves from assault weapons when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, nor did they imagine children dying daily on the streets of our inner cities, nor our public safety officers having less fire power than criminals. I simply do not see the need for citizens to own assault weapons or high capacity magazines. Additionally, requiring background checks before all gun sales is a reasonable step to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.
To do this we must come together to reform our laws and, at the same time, ensure diagnostic services and treatment for mental illness are accessible to everyone who needs care.
Some have suggested that we train and provide school personnel with weapons or have armed law enforcement personnel at every school. While I support school resource officers, because of the wide range of services they provide, I do not believe these suggestions are wise or constructive. Weapons do not belong on our school campuses.
California has been proactive with respect to school safety plans. Every district and every school must have an Emergency Preparedness Plan that includes actions to be taken if an intruder is on campus. The plans include coordination with local public safety agencies. As new classrooms are built and existing classrooms are modernized, doors are required to have interior locks. As we plan for the next statewide facilities bond, we will look to experts to determine if there is more we can do to keep our schools physically safe.
Finally, I am committed to working with my colleagues, at the local, state and federal levels, to pass laws that promote responsible gun ownership and to assure the safety of our communities, schools, and children.
(Sacramento, CA)— Speaker John A. Pérez has named Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education. The Speaker announced yesterday changes to his leadership team and appointed new committee chairs. The changes take effect this Friday, August 10th.
“I am honored that the Speaker has chosen me for this position,” said Buchanan. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and with stakeholders in the education community on legislation that will make the best use of our resources to benefit California’s students.”
Assemblymember Buchanan and former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Eastin, talk with math teacher, Mr. Spicer, during an October 17th visit to SIATech School for Integrated Academics & Technologies on Treasure Island. SIATech, a drop-out recovery school, operates in partnership with Job Corps to serve students aged 16 -24. Most students live on campus and all participate in rigorous vocational, life skills and job-readiness training, as well as an academic program that provides an opportunity for students to earn their high school diploma and become college and career ready. For more information on this school, CLICK HERE.
Alamo resident Nancy Dommes was recognized by the Rotary Club of Alamo as Citizen of the Year at the Alamo Wine and Music Festival in August. Assemblymember Buchanan additionally recognized her at a Rotary meeting.
Sisters Maggie and Jessica Steffens were recognized by the Town of Danville for their contributions to the Olympic Gold Medal winning US Water Polo Team. They each received keys to the town and signed autographs for their many fans. Mariya Koroleva and Melissa Seidemann were honored by the City of Walnut Creek for their Olympic performances. Melissa was also a member of the Olympic Gold Medal winning US Water Polo Team. Mariya competed on the US Synchronized Swimming Team.
Assemblymember Buchanan speaks to the Intelligent Transportation Society of California at their annual conference in Sacramento. Joan spoke about the need for a comprehensive state-wide master plan for transportation that integrates local, regional, and statewide transportation needs.
Save Mount Diablo held its 11th Annual recognition dinner and Mountain Star Alliance award ceremony on the mountain in September. Assemblymember Buchanan was there to help with the awards. The City of Concord was honored for its leadership with respect to the reuse plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Former Save Mount Diablo Board member and Chairman of the Stewardship committee, Dave Sargent, was also honored for his thousands of hours of hard labor and for his significant contributions to the ecological health of Mount Diablo.
On behalf of the Barona Band of Indians, Assemblymember Buchanan presented a check for $5,000 to 6th Grade Science Teacher, Debra Irvin, at Pine Valley Middle School on 9/10/12. Ms. Irvin had applied for a grant to purchase hands-on science equipment for her students, including stream tables, stereomicroscopes, and sedimentator kits so that students can explore erosion as it happens, rather than look at pictures in a textbook. Funding will also go towards a class set of stereoscope glasses and maps so that students can experience three-dimensional landforms that are caused by erosion, deposition, glaciation and plate tectonic forces.
According to Ms. Irvin, "Scientific content knowledge is often abstract and complex. Examining and manipulating objects make this abstract knowledge more concrete and clear. When students have the materials to do hands-on science, they remember concepts better and can transfer their experience to other learning situations. Furthermore, students with learning disabilities or a lack of motivation are more likely to participate, engage, and retain knowledge. With this grant, students will be able to create, explore and apply tectonic forces themselves, and thus deepen their understanding of previously abstract concepts."
The Barona Band of Mission Indians Education Grant Program funds one $5,000 grant to a school in each California Assembly District to fund materials that promote academic improvement, and will benefit current & future students, including books and computers.
AB 1540 designates the Department of Boating and Waterways as the lead agency in cooperating with other state agencies, cities, counties, and districts in controlling South American Spongeplant (Limnobium laevigatum) in the Delta, its tributaries, and the marsh. Spongeplant is a prolific seed-bearing plant that will be difficult to eradicate if it is allowed to spread and grow.
"Aquatic weeds have been a continuing problem in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and have been growing at an unprecedented rate," stated Buchanan. "Early treatment of the South American Sponge plant will reduce the need for more extensive and costly later efforts."
Invasive species of aquatic weeds growing in the Delta obstruct navigation, impair other recreational uses of the waterways in the Delta, and have the potential of damaging manmade facilities, including federal and state water pumping operations. The health and stability of fisheries and other eco-systems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are threatened by invasive aquatic weeds, which are known to destroy tourism in the Delta, reduce boating, fishing, and swimming in the Delta waterways, block birds’ access to waterways and nesting areas, and threaten water supplies by blocking canal pumps.
Assemblymember Buchanan was honored with a Delta Advocate Award by the Stockton-based non-profit organization, Restore the Delta. The Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta is the largest estuary on west coast of the Americas. Restore the Delta is committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California.
Assemblymember Buchanan and other local officials were present for the re-opening of the newly expanded Los Vaqueros Reservoir. The dam now sits 34 feet higher and the reservoir capacity has been increased by 60,000 acre-feet. The expanded reservoir will provide water supply reliability, improved water quality, and protection for the fisheries.
Over 400 veterans from Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties participated in the 5th East Bay Stand Down in September. Stand Downs take place all over the country and provide homeless veterans services they may otherwise find difficult to access. While most are one or two day events, the East Bay Stand Down is the only 4 day event in the country and gives participants access to medical, dental, vision, legal services, social services, as well as housing opportunities, hot showers, and lots of food. For the first time, equine and canine therapy was available at this year’s event. The objective of these events is to end homelessness in our veteran population. The term stand down is a Vietnam-era reference to taking soldiers out of combat to meet their basic needs. There are an estimated 6,000 homeless veterans in the Bay Area.
A 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony was held at Oak Hill Park in Danville and included a fly–over by a 1972 vintage Huey 2 helicopter. Keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Mary O'Donnell, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired), recounted the efforts of the Coast Guard in coordinating the evacuation of 500,000 people from lower Manhattan following the attack on the World Trade Center. Sentinel of Freedom, Ryan Sykes, and three local Pearl Harbor Survivors, John Tait, Mickey Ganitch, and Chuck Kohler presented a wreath at the ceremony.
Assemblymember Buchanan's AB 1916 authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into an agreement with Save Mount Diablo, a local non-profit organization, to coordinate the rehabilitation of the beacon atop Mt. Diablo in Mount Diablo State Park. Save Mount Diablo will raise the necessary funds and use expert volunteers and licensed professionals to complete the project.
The Eye of Diablo, originally installed on Mt. Diablo in 1928 by Standard Oil of California to aid aerial and maritime navigation, was first lit using a remote switch by Colonel Charles Lindbergh. The beacon was turned off on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in observance of the West Coast blackout. After the war, radar made the use of the beacon obsolete, and it remained dark until the Mt. Diablo Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association hired a group of local engineers to restore the beacon to operating condition. On December 7, 1964, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz lit the beacon to honor the survivors of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and Save Mount Diablo partner to continue the tradition and light the beacon for one day each December 7th.
Save Mount Diablo has a network of volunteers with the background and expertise to lead the restoration project, preserving the beacon's historic value and supporting the commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) is pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2406 into law. The bill passed through both houses of the Legislature with unanimous support.
AB 2406 adds transparency to the insurance rate-setting process by requiring the Department of Insurance to publish information regarding intervenors on its website. California’s Proposition 103 established a process to allow for public participation in the rate-setting process for casualty and car insurance rates. This process allows third parties to intervene before the Insurance Commissioner in representation of consumers to assist the Commissioner in making rate-setting decisions.
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Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:37
Buchanan Bill on Juvenile Sex Offenders Signed into Law by Governor
Sacramento - Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) is pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 324 into law. AB 324 clarifies the status of the law with regard to the commitment and housing of juvenile sex offenders in response to a recent court case that would prohibit the…Continue reading...
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 11:59
Assemblymember Buchanan Announces the Submission of California's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant Application
Sacramento - Assemblymember Buchanan is proud to announce that Governor Brown, along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education Chair Michael Kirst submitted the application for the federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC) on October 17, 2011. The goal of…Continue reading...
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 08:08
Buchanan Bond Initiatives Reform Bill Signed into Law by Governor
(Sacramento, CA)— Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) is pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 732 into law. The bill passed through both houses of the Legislature with unanimous support. AB 732 requires an explanatory table, which will appear in the ballot pamphlet, summarizing the Legislative Analyst's estimate…Continue reading...
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:57
Buchanan Double Fine Zone Bill Signed into Law by the Governor
(Sacramento, CA) - Today Assembly Bill 348 (Buchanan), re-authorizing a Safety Enhancement-Double Fine Zone along Vasco Road was signed into law by the Governor. Vasco Road has an accident rate twice the state average for similar roads. Last year, Marco Ortiz, an Alameda County Deputy Sheriff from Brentwood, was killed…Continue reading...
Monday, 06 June 2011 14:13
Buchanan Honors The Brass Bear Deli as 2011 Small Business of the Year
(Sacramento, CA) - Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) today recognized Mehran Hamzeh, owner of the Brass Bear Deli, as the Small Business of the Year for the 15th Assembly District. "Mehran and Sheida Hamzeh are wonderful individuals and I am proud to honor them as the Small Business of the Year,"…Continue reading...
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 11:07
Assemblymember Buchanan Wants to Save Education from the Budget Ax
(Sacramento) - As the California budget deadline approaches, many are bracing for devastating cuts. In an interview on "Comcast Newsmakers," California State Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) says she knows California's budget situation is dire, but says we need to keep education funding as a priority. Learn more in this Assembly…Continue reading...
Thursday, 26 May 2011 15:42
Buchanan Bill to Inform Voters About Fiscal Impacts of Bond Measures Receives Unanimous Support in Assembly
Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) announced the unanimous passage of her bill, AB 732, out of the Assembly this morning. This legislation would require the Legislative Analyst's Office to draft an easy to understand table, outlining the fiscal impact of implementing a bond measure on both state and…Continue reading...
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0016
Tel: (916) 319-2016
Fax: (916) 319-2116
2694 Bishop Dr., Ste. 275
San Ramon, CA 94583
Tel: (925) 328-1515
Fax: (925) 328-1514
Livermore Office Hours
First Monday of every month
1 to 4 p.m. Please call my District Office to make an appointment.