Political Watch: May 11, 2023

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) recently visited the North T-Pier in Morro Bay to highlight the impact that $1.5 million in federal funds will have in repairs and upgrades to the structure, which is critical to the city’s residents, industries, and tourism revenue, according to a May 4 statement from the congressman’s office. “The T-Pier is a perfect example of how supporting the improvements to one piece of community infrastructure can pay exponential dividends down the road. Whether it’s Morro Bay’s commercial fishing industry, its year-round tourism, its residents, our coasts, or even our local Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife operations—funding repairs to this pier is a tide that will raise all of those boats,” Carbajal said in a statement. “The T-Pier will also serve as a primary hub for operations of any offshore wind infrastructure constructed off the Morro Bay coast—making these funds another early investment in the clean energy transformation that our region is poised to lead.” Carbajal was joined by Morro Bay Mayor Carla Wixom, Harbor Director Ted Schiafone, Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Ford, Interim City Manager Greg Carpenter, and Morro Bay City Councilmembers Cyndee Edwards and Laurel Barton. Morro Bay will use the federal funds, in combination with other funding sources, to replace a majority of the pier’s infrastructure and fender pilings—which were rated with “moderate” structural deterioration in a 2011 assessment, as well as replacing the fire suppression automatic sprinkler system, electric systems, and other pieces of the pier’s infrastructure.

• U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) spoke on the Senate floor in support of Julie Su becoming the next U.S. labor secretary, according to a May 3 statement from the senator’s office. In his remarks, Padilla highlighted the role Su played in creating a record-breaking number of jobs as well as her proven record of protecting the rights and dignity of workers. “As a highly effective deputy secretary of labor, and now acting secretary, Julie has played a critical role in helping the administration add 12.6 million jobs to the American economy since President Biden took office,” Padilla said in a statement. “That’s more job gains than any previous president achieved in a four-year term. And it’s further proof that job creation and labor protections are not mutually exclusive—they go hand in hand in building a strong, resilient economy. I urge my colleagues to join me in confirming her nomination.” As deputy secretary, Su worked side by side with former Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh to advance President Joe Biden’s vision for the economy with “worker well-being at its center,” according to Padilla’s office. 

• At the start of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Civil Rights Department announced the launch of CA vs. Hate: a new multilingual statewide hotline and website that provides a safe, anonymous reporting option for victims and witnesses of hate acts, according to a May 4 statement from the governor’s office. CA vs. Hate is in direct response to the rise in reported hate crimes in California, which are at their highest level since 2001 and jumped almost 33 percent from 2020 to 2021. “Here in California, we are sending an unequivocal message that hate will not be tolerated,” Newsom said in a statement. “We stand firm for a California for All, and it is important that we hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and provide resources for those individuals victimized by hate crimes. Now, Californians have another tool to ensure that not only justice is served, but that individuals have access to additional resources to help deal with the lingering wounds that remain after such a horrendous crime occurs.” Hate acts can be reported in 15 different languages through the online portal and in more than 200 languages when calling the hotline. Find more information at cavshate.org.

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