To learn more about what I’m working on in Sacramento, or events happening in the district, please visit my website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. You can also email me at Senator.Morrell@sen.ca.gov.
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 schedule here.
With the recent observance of Veterans Day, I wanted to share with you a moving letter by a Union soldier named Sullivan Ballou, who lost his life at the Battle of Bull Run. His patriot spirit still defines the resolve of every military member who has answered the call to serve our country. You can read it by clicking on his picture above.
Each November, we’re reminded to take a break from our busy lives to give thanks for the gifts and freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of the greatest nation on earth.
Times of thanksgiving have been observed throughout history. For our nation, that heritage stretches back to the Puritans and Native Americans who broke bread in Massachusetts and to George Washington who asked his countrymen to observe a “Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer” in November 1789. Even when our country’s future seemed in peril, Abraham Lincoln urged Americans to “be mindful of their many blessings” by helping others.
Today, we continue to have much for which to be thankful.
At the beginning of the month, our nation held another election to choose our leaders. That our republic, after nearly two and a half centuries, continues to have peaceful transfers of power once again demonstrates our commitment to the rights guaranteed in our founding documents. With so much turmoil around the world and challenges to democratic principles, it’s a gift we can never take for granted.
This month is also a time to express our gratitude to the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. It’s their willingness to put everything on the line that preserves our liberty here at home. We can never appreciate enough their selfless sacrifices or those of their families. To all who served and continue to serve, thank you.
As another Thanksgiving Day comes and goes, may we enjoy the time with friends and relatives and always remember to live with a spirit of gratitude and generosity throughout the year.
In October, I was honored to receive the Henry J. Mello Award from the California Senior Legislature during its recent fall session in Sacramento. This group is an important advocate on behalf of seniors. I’m proud of the work we did in passing SB 997, which will continue making the organization eligible for donations through California’s income tax form. Here I am pictured with Senior Senator Alice Loh of San Luis Obispo who chairs the Joint Rules Committee.
Last month, I toured the San Bernardino office of the Urban Conservation Corps. The staff there put on an exceptional program that educates and employs underserved youth in our region and helps them complete their high school diplomas. It was a privilege to meet these inspiring youth. Learn more about their work here.
Had a great time seeing folks at the Loma Linda Community Parade. Our interns Jausmin Pritchett and Taylor De Costa carried the banner and the French brothers (Eagle Scouts!) escorted us along the route.
I had the opportunity to speak at the opening of the inaugural Inland Empire Veterans Day Job Fair at Chaffey College’s Fontana Campus. A big thanks to the Inland Empire Veterans Regional Council for organizing this event. I especially want to thank the employers in attendance for their commitment to our nation’s heroes.
Thank you to everyone who came out to honor our men and women in uniform at the Redlands Veterans Day Parade, including Boy Scout Troop 655 of Rancho Cucamonga, who walked with us along the route. We can never thank our country’s veterans enough for their service.
The men and women who volunteer for our nation’s Armed Forces do so with a selfless desire to protect everything we hold dear. They sacrifice time away from friends and family to go to foreign countries in the name of democracy and freedom.
Here on the home front, we can play an important role in boosting their morale abroad. In our own area, Operation Community Cares and the Pass Area Supporting Soldiers (PASS), work year-round to assembly care packages to send overseas.
On December 11, I’ll be co-hosting a Christmas reception with San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford (2nd District) and San Bernardino County Assessor-elect Bob Dutton. Join us for an evening of conversation and good company as we reflect on 2014 and prepare for another new year.
WHEN: Thursday, December 11, 5:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Office of Supervisor Janice Rutherford, 8575 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga
For more information, contact our district office at (909) 919-7731.
With representatives from Highland Family YMCA, a 2013 Top Chamber honoree.
Each year, I work with our local chambers of commerce to honor businesses from across our district that have added jobs to our local economy and shown a strong commitment to our community.
Space is still available to attend this year’s event on November 21 (this Friday) at the University of Redlands - Orton Center. Event details are available at www.senatormorrell.eventbrite.com. Please join us.
On Friday, March 13, 2015, I’ll be hosting the second 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” (one each from the Past, Present, and Future) will be recognized in four separate categories - Business, Education, Public Safety and Community Service - for a total of 12 awards.
Our office is now accepting nominations for recognition. For more information on how to submit names for consideration, click here.
When it comes to job creation, Sacramento claims to be on the side of working Californians. But if you step back and consider all of the policies that are championed, where it actually falls on the list of priorities is not always clear. To read more of my take on last year’s legislative session and where I hope we head next year, read my recent op-ed published in the Press-Enterprise.
Jausmin Pritchett started as one of our district office interns at the beginning of September. She is a lifelong resident of Rancho Cucamonga and is currently studying history at California State University, San Bernardino.
History is Jausmin’s passion and she plans to pursue a career path that will allow her to teach the subject, or possibly write about it. Aside from school, she enjoys spending time with the people close to her, as well as cooking and reading.
Jausmin says this fall’s internship helped her to widen her views on politics and the community. She enjoyed seeing first-hand the inner workings of our office and learning how to contribute to the day-to-day tasks the environment demands. While we’ll miss seeing her around, we’re excited for what the future holds in store for her.
In keeping with the Veterans Day holiday, I asked our interns to reflect on a letter penned by a soldier named Sullivan Ballou, who fought for the Union during the Civil War (you can read it here). He expresses to his wife the love he has for his country and our American ideals. I believe his words still capture the selfless spirit of today’s servicemen and women. Here is Jausmin’s touching reflection:
“Sullivan Ballou writes in a self-sacrificing and mindful manner. He realizes the efforts and steps that have been taken to grant him and his fellow brother’s freedom, and he is willing to uphold these by any means necessary. It seems that he loves his wife immeasurably, yet his willingness to lay down his own life for the successful continuation of the country, truly puts into perspective how important the Civil War was for those living through it.
“It is kind of tragic the way he writes, almost with a declaration of an inevitable death. In a way where he knows he will fight until death and he is declaring his unwavering love for her because he realizes he will not make it home to her.
“The letter projects courageousness and bravery. Also, the letter has a depth of love to it. In the way he writes to his wife, but also the way in which he writes about his country. That he loves it so much that he is willing to lay down his own life to secure the safety of it. It’s sad, but also heroic.”
Source: Legislative Analyst’s Office
Our state budget’s general fund is largely comprised of three revenue streams: the personal income tax, sales and use tax, and the corporation tax. The chart above illustrates how over the past few decades, the personal income tax has replaced the sales and use tax as the state’s main source of budget revenue.
That California relies so heavily on the personal income tax should give Sacramento pause. During the recent downturn, we learned the hard way that when the economy stumbles, so do people’s incomes and, consequently, tax revenue. It begs the question - how long is this tax structure sustainable?
To see the Legislative Analyst’s full State Budget 2014/15 infographic, click here.
Want to learn more about the history of Thanksgiving in the United States? Need travel tips for the holidays? Looking for ways to volunteer in the community? You can visit USA.gov for more information.