Morrell Monthly: December 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Dear Friend,

On December 2, our community changed forever.

During a time of year that is supposed to be filled with joy, we find ourselves simultaneously grieving for those lost, praying for loved ones and the injured, while coming to grips with the fact that the threat of terrorism is now a reality here at home. Yet through it all, the people of our region have demonstrated tremendous resilience as we begin to heal and rebuild.

We owe much to our brave and vigilant law enforcement, especially San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and his force, for guiding us through this time. Chief Burguan represented calm and resolve at each press briefing as we learned about the terrorists and the dangers that remained.

I also want to thank the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and his officers, Chief Mark Garcia and the Redlands Police Department, and the hundreds of first responders and medical staff who saved so many lives.

Over the last weeks we have heard stories of heroism. San Bernardino County sheriff’s detective Jorge Lozano who assured escaping employees that “I’ll take a bullet before you do” as he led them to safety. Shannon Johnson who lost his life while shielding his coworker from the bullets, telling her “I got you.”

While we may want to forget the moments of fear, we cannot and will not forget the courage and sacrifice shown by many on that day. They are reminders of good in a world that is too often consumed by acts of violence and evil.

In this season of hope, we wait with anticipation for a light to shine out of the darkness, redeeming a world that is hurting. May our thoughts and prayers be with the families and loved ones who mourn for those we lost as well as with the injured who continue their recovery.

Let us take time to reflect as we mark another Christmas and usher in a New Year.


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Christmas Reception

Christmas Reception

On December 10, I co-hosted a Christmas Reception with San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Assemblyman Marc Steinorth. A week after the events in San Bernardino, we took time to honor the victims and their memories. Thank you to all who attended.

To read more about these 14 individuals, please click here.

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Community Comes Together

During and after the attack, many people in our community exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism. Others sprang to action to help families recover in the aftermath. While we will likely never hear every story, here are a few that stood out:

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Crisis Hotlines for Victims and Families

San Bernardino County has set up a crisis hotline for the victims and families in need of support services. Those in need can call the crisis counseling hotline at (909) 421-9495. Callers who need personal assistance will be referred to counseling centers staffed by trained professionals.

The San Bernardino District Attorney’s office has also set up a help line with information on services for victims, families, and witnesses at (909) 382-3846.

LifeStream - Give Blood

In the immediate aftermath of the events in San Bernardino, blood banks were stretched to the limit, providing transfusions to victims as well as keep trying to keep up with the regular demand for blood. To give blood if you are able, visit the LifeStream website at

Text to 9-1-1 • “Call if you can - text if you can’t”

This month, San Bernardino County began rolling out a texting option for contacting emergency services through 9-1-1. While it is always best to call in these situations, when that option is not possible, texting will now be an alternative.

More information is available on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s website.

The California Victim Compensation Program

The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) can help pay bills and expenses that result from certain violent crimes. Victims of crime who have been injured or have been threatened with injury may be eligible for help.

For more information -
CalVCP Helpline: 1-800-777-9229 (phone) | 1-866-902-8669 (fax)

WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline

It was a vigilant and attentive individual who called the WeTip hotline that led authorities to the home in Redlands where the terrorists lived. If you suspect criminal activity in your community, you can call 1-800-78-CRIME to make your report.

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Just before Thanksgiving, Operation Community Cares packed over 1,000 care packages for our troops. Thanks to the volunteers who joined in this effort

Just before Thanksgiving, Operation Community Cares packed over 1,000 care packages for our troops. Thanks to the volunteers who joined in this effort

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Patriots of the Past, Present, & Future 2016

Images of the Past, Present & Future 2016 event

Next year, I will be hosting the third annual Patriots of the Past, Present and Future Recognition Ceremony and Dinner. The event will honor servicemen and women of every generation and the local businesses and organizations that have supported them.

“Patriots” will be recognized in different categories, including Business, Health Care, Education, Public Safety and Community Service. There will also be a special recognition for young people who have done great work in our region.

Our office is now accepting nominations for the 2016 ceremony. For more information on how to submit names for consideration, click here.

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We’re here to help

Our office is here to serve you. If you’re having difficulties with a state agency, need a question answered about pending legislation, or want to know more about upcoming events, please give us a call at (909) 919-7731. You can also email me at

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Mobile Office Hours

Members of my staff hold regular monthly office hours across the 23rd Senate District. If you have an issue or concern that you would like to share in person but can’t make it to our main office, please plan to stop by. You can view the entire schedule here.

Please note that Phelan office hours will resume in January. They will not be held in December.

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Images of a Christmas Tree

“Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that he was and is the promised Prince of Peace. Yes, we’ve questioned why he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe, but maybe that was his first miracle, his first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another.”
- President Ronald Reagan, 1981

From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.