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Bridge the Gap Named 2023 Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 12

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Connolly (D-San Rafael) announced that Sausalito-based Bridge the Gap was selected as Assembly District (AD) 12’s 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year. The mission of Bridge the Gap is to provide comprehensive educational, social and emotional resources to underserved students in Marin City and Southern Marin. Their goal is to ensure that all students graduate high school, and achieve their greatest potential through college completion or other pathways to economic sustainability and independence. Their vision is for all students to achieve their greatest potential with equitable access, opportunities, and choice. Research continues to demonstrate that the most powerful way for under-resourced and first-generation students to achieve a lifetime of increased opportunity and earnings is through higher education. It can be a game changer.

Assemblymember Connolly Introduces Compost Awareness Week

SACRAMENTO, CA – On May 8th, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 36, which designates the week of May 7, 2023, through May 13, 2023, as Compost Awareness Week. Composting is an effective form of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Since organic materials make up over 30 percent of the material going to landfills, composting is becoming one of the primary methods communities use to reach waste diversion goals and create sustainable communities. Returning organic resources—remanufactured into compost and applied to the soil—reduces water consumption by over 30 percent on all soil types, conserves water during extreme drought and flooding conditions, decreases dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and decreases erosion and nonpoint source pollution. Composting is recognized by the State Air Resources Board as an important tool to sequester massive amounts of carbon in California’s soils to help immediately reverse global warming by drawing down excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it deep in California’s soils.

Connolly’s Tobacco Control Bill Passes through Final Assembly Policy Committee

AB 935 will improve enforcement of California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) passed Assembly Bill (AB) 935 through the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee with overwhelming support on a 16-4 vote. In 2022, 63 percent of California voters, via Proposition 31, upheld state law prohibiting tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. This groundbreaking prohibition covers flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and tobacco product flavor enhancers throughout California. Despite the overwhelming support from voters, flavored tobacco products continue to be sold in many stores across the state, allowing many teenagers to continue accessing these dangerous products. According to Tobacco Free Kids, 168,000 California high school students use some form of e-cigarettes. 

Connolly’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Traffic Reduction Bill Passes Unanimously

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly hailed the bipartisan passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 1464, which seeks to address the severe traffic congestion on the Richmond San-Rafael Bridge. The bill directs the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to consider reopening the third westbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to passenger vehicles in a manner that accounts for expanding multimodal transportation, preserving pathways for bicyclists, and reducing localized greenhouse gas emissions. AB 1464 passed with unanimous, bipartisan support out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with 15 votes.

Assemblymember Connolly Amends Bill to Close Loophole in Flavored Tobacco Ban

SACRAMENTO, CA – This Tuesday, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) will accept amendments in the Assembly Health Committee, which will change the direction of AB 935. This bill will now close an enforcement loophole in the flavored tobacco ban (SB 793, Hill) which was upheld by 63 percent of voters in 2022 and remains a current law in California statute. AB 935 will authorize the California Department of Health (CDPH) and the Attorney General (AG) to enforce the flavored tobacco ban pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22950.5, also known as the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids (STAKE) Act. Currently, there is confusion among retailers regarding which products are prohibited. By authorizing CDPH and the Attorney General to enforce this important law, they will be able to provide uniform direction to ensure SB 793 is properly upheld and retailers have the information they need to stay in compliance with the law.

Petaluma School Board President Joanna Paun Honored as Woman of the Year

Today, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) honored Petaluma City Schools Board President Joanna Paun as Assembly District (AD) 12’s Woman of the Year. Ms. Paun was chosen for her passion and dedication to advocacy, promoting equity and elevating student voices. Under Ms. Paun’s leadership, the Petaluma School Board has sought to make the district a safe and welcoming space for all students, most recently by conducting a study to identify equity and opportunity gaps, which are currently being addressed using the data collected. Additionally, the board is implementing targeted training for trustees and staff on Title VI, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Assemblymember Connolly Authors Phased Ban on Tobacco Products

AB 935 will prohibit retailers from ever selling tobacco products to individuals born in or after 2007
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today Assemblymember Damon Connolly introduced AB 935, which would establish a phased tobacco ban for those born on or after January 1st, 2007. While on the Board of County Supervisors for Marin County, Assemblymember Connolly led the effort to pass one of the first bans on flavored tobacco products in California, and is continuing his fight against these lethal products in the legislature.