Getting Ready for 2021
By Assemblymember Phil Ting
Like you, I am ready to put 2020 behind me. With President-elect Joe Biden and the Bay Area’s own Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to move into the White House, our country can finally get moving in the right direction, starting with getting COVID-19 under control.
Additionally, I want to congratulate the two women who were elected to represent parts of the west side on the Board of Supervisors: Connie Chan in District 1 and Myrna Melgar in District 7. I look forward to working with them to serve our community.
I am eager to get back to work after my constituents entrusted me with a fifth term in the California State Assembly. I’ll build on what we accomplished this year, prioritizing the state’s economic recovery, our children’s education, housing and homelessness, the environment and other pressing needs. I also want to ensure that safety net programs continue to support families during COVID-19.
Many of my bills that were signed into law earlier this year will take effect on Jan. 1. Most notable is Assembly Bill (AB) 841, which will put people back to work in good-paying green jobs. In the age of COVID, experts recommend increasing air flow in classrooms to reduce its spread. This measure creates a grant program temporarily redirecting unspent energy efficiency funds to help public schools upgrade their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Applications from campuses in low-income communities will be given first priority. As school districts prepare reopening plans, such improvements to our school buildings will be important.
The second component of AB-841 requires the California Public Utilities Commission to act on a backlog of applications for electric vehicle (EV) chargers by March 1. Installing more EV charging stations complements Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order that will only allow the sale of new, zero-emission vehicles as of 2035 – mirroring legislation I’ve pushed over the last three years. The transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gasses, so I will continue efforts to lower our emissions and escalate our fight against global warming.
We also made a breakthrough on the issue of plastic waste littering our environment with my AB-793. Californians purchase nearly 12 billion plastic bottles each year; at least three billion go to landfills. In order to encourage United States and California markets for recycled plastics, this legislation gradually phases in requirements to reuse plastic, setting a minimum recycled content percentage of 15% in 2022 and going up to 50% in 2030.
And I will keep working to tackle homelessness in our communities. Originally passed in 2017, my AB-932 authorized seven cities and counties, including San Francisco, to participate in a pilot program that streamlines the process for building temporary shelters. After it was shown to be effective, the program was expanded last year to additional jurisdictions, and I authored AB-2553 this year to expand the program statewide. As chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I also helped direct $550 million in federal funds to help local governments rehabilitate motels and hotels for permanent supportive housing and allocated an additional $300 million to bolster the state’s existing Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program.
I can’t wait to be sworn in again this month. If you’d like to share any legislative or budget ideas with me, please attend my virtual town hall on Thursday, Dec. 3, 6-7:30 p.m. It will be livestreamed on my website: a19. asmdc.org.
Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west side of San Francisco along with the communities of Broadmoor, Colma and Daly City. He lives in the Sunset District. He can be reached at (415) 557-2312 or at email@example.com. For more information and updates, visit https://a19.asmdc.org.