Morrell Monthly: November 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Message From Mike 

Dear Friend,

As another November passes and we consider what is going on in the world today it is more timely than ever that we think about and reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for in this country.

Earlier this month, we paid tribute to the heroes of our Armed Services for all they have done to keep our nation safe and free. The observance of Veterans Day was particularly poignant this year as we mark the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the Civil War. Men and women of every generation have answered the call to service in times of need. Our world is forever indebted to them and their families for their sacrifice.

We also pause this month to celebrate Thanksgiving. While in our culture it unofficially kicks off the holiday shopping season, it is more than that. Since our nation’s earliest days, we have been a people that regularly takes time to give thanks for the blessings we've been given.

George Washington began it as a presidential tradition, first officially proclaiming a day of thanksgiving in 1789 as one “to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation.”

I wish you all the best as this year winds down and hope that you enjoy these next weeks in the company of friends and family.


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What's Going On Around District 23

Images of Senator Morrell at community commemoration of Veterans Day
Veterans Day Ceremony. At the community commemoration of Veterans Day hosted by Northtown Housing in Rancho Cucamonga, keynote speaker Vietnam veteran Daniel Mendez (left) offered an inspiring reflection on patriotism and what it means to serve your country. Thank you to Board President Carol Norris (right) and the many others who helped put on this event in honor of our veterans.

Photos of Redlands Veterans Day parade
Redlands Veterans Day Parade. Thanks to everyone who turned out to honor our nation’s veterans at the Redlands Veterans Day parade! Great weather and good crowds helped make this another special and memorable event.

Photo of Senator Morrell meeting the CVHS Football team
Citrus Valley High School Football Team. Fall is football season! Before their game kicked off, I had the opportunity to meet the players and staff of the Citrus Valley High School varsity team in Redlands. Always a pleasure being able to talk with talented and enthusiastic young people!

Photo of Senator Morrell atRitual Brewing Co.
Meetings in D.C. Earlier this month, I spent time in Washington, D.C. with some of my Senate Republican colleagues. In this photo, we’re meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor about California water issues. From left to right: myself, Dep. Sec. Connor, Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, and Senator Jeff Stone.

Photo of Senator Morrell at new radio studio
Kirby Center on the Radio. Hillsdale College’s Washington-based Kirby Center recently opened its new radio studio. My son Matt (right) and I were able to chat with radio host Hugh Hewitt (left). I recommend checking out his weekly “Hillsdale Dialogues” with Hillsdale President Dr. Larry Arnn, which cover subjects from our nation’s founding to Constitutional principles.

Photos of Senator Morrell Table of Plenty's Dining for Charity event
Table of Plenty Banquet. I was honored to be asked to speak at Table of Plenty’s Dining for Charity event. The organization serves over 4,000 meals a month to struggling individuals and families in the Pass Area. Thanks to the board, including President Mark Hodnick and Executive Director Jim McConnell, and the many volunteers who are dedicated to serving their neighbors in need. I’m pictured in this photo with Mark Hodnick (center) and Assemblyman Chad Mayes (left).

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Op-Ed: Clean Energy Choices, Not Arbitrary Mandates

As we have experienced in recent years, energy is increasingly more expensive here in California. In the Los Angeles region alone, energy prices are 45 percent higher than the nationwide average. Under new legislation passed this summer, this trend is only going to get worse.

With more mandates coming out of Sacramento, we need to continue pressing the issue and asking at what cost to our families and businesses? To read more of my thoughts on this topic, you can find my op-ed here.

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Congratulations to this year’s Top Chamber Businesses!

Picture of Top Chamber Businesses
Top Chamber finalists from Big Bear Valley. Pictured here from left to right: Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pam Scannell; Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Marlene Cain on behalf of Helicopter Big Bear (finalist); Simeon Prophet of Remax Big Bear (finalist); Andrea Whilherth of Big Bear Lake Brewing Company (Top Chamber Winner); and myself. See more photo highlights here.

This fall, it was my privilege to again collaborate with our regional chambers of commerce to host the Top Chamber Business Awards to promote local businesses who have shown a commitment to the communities they serve.

The 2015 event was held at the Orton Center on the University of Redlands campus. Each participating chamber nominated up to three businesses to be honored and selected one for recognition as the “Top Chamber Business.” These selections were announced on the day of the event.

I want to thank these businesses for their work and commend our chambers of commerce for the outstanding job they did in choosing this year’s honorees.

For more information, including a list of businesses acknowledged at the event, click here.

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SAVE THE DATE: December Open House

On December 10, I’ll be co-hosting a Christmas reception with San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford (2nd District) and Assemblyman Marc Steinorth. Join us for an evening of conversation and good company as we reflect on 2015 and prepare for another new year.

The evening will include a barbecue cook-off between local police officers and firefighters. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate (a donation is not required to attend the event).


Thursday, December 10
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Office of Supervisor Janice Rutherford
8575 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga

For more information, please contact our district office at (909) 919-7731.

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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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Patriot Spotlight: Ryan Orr

Image of Senator Morrell with Sam SpagnoloAt last May’s Patriots of the Past, Present, & Future Ceremony, I joined our community in recognizing individuals from around our region for either their military service or for their service to our men and women in uniform and their families. Ryan Orr of Rancho Cucamonga was selected as a Patriot of the Present in the Community Service category.

Ryan is the founder and current president of the nonprofit organization, Operation Community Cares. OCC puts together care packages that include a variety of items that help bring some of the simple comforts of home to our service members overseas. Chapstick, hot sauce, and Ziploc bags are just some of the most requested items from our service men and women that are included in the care packages. Due to Ryan’s leadership, drive, dedication, and tireless efforts of countless volunteers, Operation Community Cares continues to send approximately 700-900 care packages twice a year. The organization continues to grow as it serves more members of our military.

Ryan Orr is a father, husband, business leader, and community leader. He is the Vice President of Ticor Title and serves on multiple boards including the West End Real Estate Professionals, and Inland Empire United Way. Ryan is also a Reserve Police Officer for the Upland Police Department.

Thank you, Ryan, for all you do for the men and women of our Armed Forces.

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The Next Generation: Karen Cervantes

Image of Karen CervantesKaren Cervantes is currently an intern based out of our District Office. She is a junior at California State University, San Bernardino where she is working on earning her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in English.

Currently, she is exploring several potential career paths. Karen is interested in doing humanitarian work and wants to serve our country by being a voice for people and solving problems that will make a difference in the community.

Karen will tell you that she is particularly fascinated with the work of our nation’s Founding Fathers. She says that their bravery in defending what is right and the deep insight they had in creating the best form of government inspires her to further study and reflect on American political thought.

Karen has enjoyed the opportunity to be an intern with our office. She cites engaging in community events and constituent work as particularly important takeaways, which she has credited with broadening her ideas on serving people. She further says that this internship has given her a close-up view of the legislative process, bringing to life what she is learning in her political science classes.

Karen points to President Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” quote as a reminder to be motivated to not only look for ways to spur her own personal growth, but also the growth for the United States, with individuals impacting the direction we head together.

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 Recommended Reading: Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

It was in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln encouraged all Americans to observe a day of Thanksgiving during the month of November. He carried on a presidential tradition first started by George Washington that continues until today.

In his proclamation, Lincoln urged reflection on the good in the world, despite the ongoing war. He said, “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”

To read more of his proclamation, you can click here.

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California Debt Estimated at $1.5 Trillion

Graphic from State Treasurer's Office
Source: DebtWatch

According to a new figure released by the State Treasurer’s office, state and local governments in California have taken out approximately $1.5 trillion in debt since the 1980s.

It is a towering figure and one that underscores just how much work needs to be done to get our state to solvency. At some point, money borrowed has to be paid back.

To find out more about California’s debt situation, you can visit the DebtWatch website here.

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