I Will Sponsor Legislation to Prohibit the University of California from Affiliating with Hospitals that Impose Non-Medically Based Restrictions on Health Care or Discriminate Against LGBTQ People

The LA Times has recently noted that “Religious restrictions on healthcare [at the University of California] have been developing into a public health crisis of the first order.”

The problem is that the University of California has entered into clinical and educational training contracts with religion-based hospitals that place non-scientific and non-medically based constraints on University of California personnel and students at every one of UC’s six medical schools, as well as some nursing, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and pharmacy programs.

These constraints include prohibitions on abortion (even in cases of sexual assault), sterilization procedures such as tubal ligations, provision of contraceptives, counseling patients about contraception and abortion, fertility treatments, use of egg or sperm donor outside of a heterosexual married couple, use of a gestational surrogate, use of fetal tissue, the provision of medical or surgical gender-affirming services for transgender people such as hysterectomy or mastectomy for transgender men, and physician assisted suicide or aid-in-dying.

Due to public outcry against the University of California acquiescing to these non-scientific or healthcare based constraints on medical care, in August 2019 UC President Janet Napolitano appointed an 18-member working group of faculty and administrators from across the UC system to establish guidelines for future collaborations with outside health systems that impose these constraints. UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman was designated the group’s Chair.

In January 2020, the working group issued its report.

Unfortunately, the group failed to reach agreement on whether the University should subject its employees, faculty, and students to religious and non-scientific prohibitions in their medical care.

I agree with working group member Michele Bratcher Goodwin, UCI Law School Chancellor’s Professor and founding Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, that UC policies “that impede, restrict, or hinder the care that UC students, faculty, or staff receive based on religious doctrine violate state and federal constitutional law as well as specific California legislation that forbid the imposition of religious doctrine on UC students, faculty, or staff. . . These actions are illegal and thus impermissible.”

Accordingly, when elected to the Assembly, I will sponsor legislation to ensure that UC employees, faculty and students receive medical care based solely on scientific and health-cased factors, and prohibiting the University of California from affiliating with any hospital that imposes non-health based restrictions on care or discriminates against LGBTQ people.

Here is my press release:

“The University of California is publicly funded to serve the people of California as a center of higher learning, transmitting advanced knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and functioning as an active working repository of organized knowledge. As a Californian, I am proud that UC is recognized as the world’s leading public research university system. It is therefore extremely disturbing that the University of California would affiliate with any hospital organization that discriminates against LGBTQ people and imposes non-health based restrictions on care.

UC employees, faculty, and students are entitled to medical care based solely on scientific and health-based factors. As a government entity committed to serving the public under the rule of law, UC and its providers and trainees must not restrict access to any lawful care because certain procedures or medical options may be controversial from a particular political or religious point of view. In particular, UC must never deny a woman’s right to receive comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion and all forms of contraception and assisted reproductive technologies, and must never refuse to provide medical procedures, such as gender affirmation for transgender people and reproductive technologies that support the ability of LGBTQ+ people to have biological children. UC must also provide the full range of medically appropriate and legally available options to patients at the end of life, including legally sanctioned aid in dying.

When elected to the State Assembly, one of my first pieces of legislation will be to ensure that UC employees, faculty and students receive medical care based solely on scientific and health-cased factors, and prohibiting UC from affiliating with any hospital organization that imposes non-health based restrictions on care or discriminates against LGBTQ people.”

— Melissa Fox, Candidate for State Assembly AD 68

For more information, contact J& Z Strategies at info@jacobsonzilber.com.

Learn more about Melissa Fox for California Assembly at http://votemelissafox.com

 

Congratulations to My Dear Friend Zhihai Li on Becoming a Citizen of the United States!

Congratulations to my dear friend Zhihai Li on becoming a citizen of the United States!

I first met Zhihai at a community picnic. We soon realized we shared a deep belief in building strong connections of friendship and mutual respect among the many different immigrant and cultural groups in our community.

When I was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2016, I appointed Zhihai as my representative on the Irvine Children, Youth, and Famlies Committee.

Zhihai exemplifies the continued strength of the American Dream.

She attended Beijing University and first came to the U.S. in 1998 to study computer science. She received her Green Card in 2004 and worked for several years in the Chicago area helping launch several software companies. Zhilai then moved to Irvine where she engages in numerous business and community activities, including serving as Vice President at Re/Max Luxury Properties & Commercial Division.

In addition to her service on the Irvine Children, Youth, and Famlies Committee, she is president of the Chinese American Mutual Association (CAMA), [美国华人发展互助会是], a non-profit organization that helps new Chinese immigrants adapt to the American environment.

She is also a founder of I-Love-Irvine, a Chinese social media platform that serves 15000+ members of the Chinese Community in Irvine.

Zhihai is a Board Member of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board for the UCI School of Education, and Secretary and Outreach Chair of the Cadence Park PTSA.

As president of the Chinese American Mutual Association, she is working on the First Chinese Culture Festival in Irvine, scheduled for June 2020.

She is also an award-winning ballroom dancer, a wife, and the mother of two extraordinary boys!

Congratulations Zhihai Li on your U.S. Citizenship!

I am so proud to call her my friend!

Creating Affordable Housing in Irvine: Read the Irvine Community Land Trust 2019 Annual Report!

I am honored to serve as Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust (ICLT), guiding its mission of providing secure, high-quality affordable housing for the benefit of income-eligible families.  Located in Irvine, California, the heart of Southern California’s most expensive real estate market, there is a tremendous need for affordable housing. Because this is our home, too, ICLT is committed to ensuring that Irvine is a place everyone can call “home.”

Recently, ICLT has released its 2019 Annual Report, which I want to share with you.

The Annual Report includes information about the latest achievements in our mission to provide permanent affordable housing to income-eligible Orange County residents.

Read the full report HERE.

We are proud of our progress in this critical area for our community and recognize that there is much more work to be done in 2020 and beyond.

We at the Irvine Community Land Trust are extremely proud to put a successful 2019 to bed. It was a landmark year for our nonprofit organization, marked by critical milestones, a host of awards and a major legislative accomplishment that will benefit the affordable housing landscape across California for decades to come.

Progress on Salerno as of Feb. 2020. Groundbreaking on Sept. 19, 2019. Completion expected Fall 2020.

Most importantly, though, 2019 saw the birth of new, high-quality affordable rental housing for the benefit of income-eligible families.

Due to our robust economy and desirable standard of living, Irvine remains one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation.

Unfortunately, affordable housing is extremely limited and our working-class citizens, who are the backbone of the city, are among some of Irvine’s most vulnerable residents. With them in mind and in our hearts, we were thrilled to break ground on Salerno, the ICLT’s newest community which will bring 80 affordable homes to the city, including 15 for veterans, 10 for individuals with disabilities and 10 for families at risk of homelessness.

The homes at Salerno are growing by leaps and bounds, and have now climbed up to include a third floor. Keep checking back for more progress pictures from the site, and look forward to the community opening its doors later this year.When completed in the fall, Salerno will join Parc Derian, Alegre Apartments and Doria Apartment Homes as places where income eligible residents will proudly call Irvine “home.”

As the Orange County Register observed, these affordable communities offer “a new beginning for veterans, developmentally disabled people and families at risk of homelessness.”

Looking ahead, 2020 is shaping up to be equally exciting as we begin work on our first home ownership community, Native Spring. That will prove to be a real game-changer for us, the city and, of course, the new homeowners! For the first time, the Irvine Community Land Trust will build for-sale homes that hard-working Irvine residents making less than $100,000 can actually afford to buy.

The Native Spring homeownership project will serve moderate-income families with a 68-house development in Portola Springs that will have all the features of any market rate for-sale project in the city. A young couple earning $76,000 to $94,000 annually will be able to purchase a home for about $370,000.

Additionally, these homebuyers will “pay it forward” by agreeing to resale provisions that keep these homes permanently affordable. This development, which will break ground in 2020, is tremendously exciting for the ICLT as it stands to make the American dream a reality for many first time home buyers.

The ICLT continues to look for corporate donors who can provide grant opportunities, donate materials and items to help build, furnish and landscape new communities. Contact us to learn how to contribute!

You can learn more about the Irvine Community Land Trust at our website HERE.

In May 2019, the Irvine Community Land Trust was awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s most respected source of information on nonprofit organizations.  You can read about it HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Semper Fi: Farewell to Irvine 2/11 Marine Corps Beloved Mascot Sir Champ.

Early this morning, I received the sad news that Sir Champ, the beloved mascot of our Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, had passed away.

The message stated. “We will always treasure the photos of him with your Dad from all the past events.”

Today, the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee posted the following statement on Facebook:

“It is with extreme sadness, we share the news that our beloved “Sir Champ” passed away February 5, 2020. Sir Champ served IMAC as their official mascot and ambassador to the community for years. As in true form, Sir Champ attended our IMAC volunteer meeting this past Tuesday evening, never missing a chance to bring joy to those around him. There are no words to describe the sorrow in our hearts or how much he will be missed. Our thoughts & prayers go out to “his human”, Rick. Thank you Rick for sharing Sir Champ with us and touching so many lives. RIP Sir Champ. You have served IMAC, your community & the 2/11 Marines proudly.”

I want to add my voice to those whose hearts were touched and our spirits lifted by Sir Champ, who served loyally at scores of City events representing the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee with dignity and dedication.

Always true to the Marine Corps motto, Semper fidelis, Sir Champ will be remembered and missed by all.

About the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee

The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (2/11) from Camp Pendleton, was officially “adopted” by the City of Irvine at the Irvine Civic Center on September 15, 2007.

The City of Irvine and the 2/11 Marines made a pledge to encourage mutually beneficial interactions between the community and the battalion.

The Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, encourages the community to support our adopted Battalion by participating and donating to a variety of activities, including charitable and educational activities and support, such as holiday and pre-deployment events, care packages, toy drives and more. for the benefit and welfare of the United States Marines and their families.

The 1st Marine Division is oldest, largest and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps. The 2d Battalion, 11th Marines (2/11) is a 155mm howitzer battalion based at Camp Pendleton, California. Its primary mission is to provide artillery support to the 5th Marine Regiment in time of conflict. At any time, the command has roughly 750 Marines and Sailors assigned to it.

The battalion’s exemplary service ranges from France in World War I to the Battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa in the Pacific in World War II to Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War to Hue and Phu Bai in Vietnam to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Gulf War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Kuwait to the more recent and still-ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donate online to the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee: HERE

Contact the 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee: 

Mail: Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, Inc.
17595 Harvard Ave., Suite C2270, Irvine, CA 92614
Email:contact@irvine211marines.org.

Ballots are Out! California Primary Election Set for March 3, 2020! Here’s What You Need to Know!

Believe it or not, you can start voting now in California’s primary election!

That’s right,  ballots went out yesterday to all Orange County voters! You can start voting to select the next President of the United States, as well as your next member of Congress, next state legislator, next O.C. Supervisor, and next school board member!

California has a “top-two” primary election. Under California voting law, all candidates for office are listed on the same primary ballot. But only the top two vote-getters, regardless of their partisan political party affiliations, advance to the general election in November 2020.

This year, the Registrar of Voters has rolled out several changes toward the goal of making voting easier, more accessible and more secure ahead of the 2020 elections.

The biggest change is that California’s primary election has been moved to March 3 to join other states participating in “Super Tuesday.”

Another big change is that all registered voters in Orange County will get an official vote-by-mail ballot and voter information guide at their homes beginning Monday. The ballots can be returned by mail or deposited any time at 110 secure ballot boxes throughout the county.

Finally, you can now vote at any Orange County Vote Center. Ballots can be dropped off at one of 188 vote centers countywide. Some vote centers will open Feb. 22, others will be available starting Feb. 29. Find your closest Vote Center HERE.

With Vote Centers, all registered voters in Orange County will receive a vote-by-mail ballot. Do you prefer to cast your ballot in person? No problem! Visit any Vote Center to cast your ballot in person. Find a list of all Orange County Vote Centers HERE.

Ballot drop boxes are another great way to deliver your ballot — without having to stop into a Vote Center. Find a list of all ballot drop boxes HERE.

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has produced a short video explaining the new voting procedures for the March 3rd primary election:

Important Dates to Remember:

  • February 3, 2020: First day to vote-by-mail.
  • February 18, 2020: Last day to register to vote.
  • February 25, 2020: Last day to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot by mail.
  • March 3, 2020: Election Day — Polls are open 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Of course, I would prefer that you vote Democratic, and that you vote for Melissa Fox for California Assembly in Assembly District 68.

View my campaign website HERE.

View my campaign Facebook page HERE.

Anyone who is 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or naturalized citizen can register to vote. Visit the Registrar of Voters website for for registration information.

Your vote is your voice!

Be sure to make your voice heard by voting in the March 3, 2020 Primary Election!

 

Massive Fire Destroys Working Wardrobes’ Offices and Warehouse in Irvine — Here’s How We Can Help!

This weekend, a massive 4 alarm fire broke out at Working Wardrobes in Irvine. More than 100 firefighters contained the fire. No injuries were reported, but the building is expected to be a total loss.  Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Craig Covey described the non-profit’s structure and its contents as “just complete devastation.”

According to the Orange County Register, while there is as yet no monetary estimate on damages, potentially millions of dollars worth of clothing and office equipment were lost.

This a terribly sad event. Working Wardrobes does great work.

Since 1990, Working Wardrobes has changed the lives of over 100,000 at-risk men, women, young adults, and veterans, bridging the gap between a difficult past and a bright future to help more people realize the power of a paycheck.

“We are absolutely devastated by this catastrophic loss, the heart of our operations is gone and so is 30 years of history,” Jerri Rosen, Founder and CEO, said after the fire. “We are grateful and relieved to report that no one was hurt or in the building at the time of the fire. Now our job is to get back on our feet so we can serve our clients very quickly and we aim to do just that with the help of our remarkable community.”

Working Wardrobes has issues the following message, asking for the public’s help in rebuilding and continuing its mission of providing not just clothing, but also a wide range of workforce readiness services:

“We are determined to work with our employees, volunteers and the Orange County community to rebuild and continue to fulfill our purpose of helping men, women, young adults and veterans overcome difficult challenges so they can achieve the dignity of work.

Financial donations are what we need the most to rebuild and continue to provide services to veterans, seniors, and unemployed get back into the workforce.

Financial Donations, please visit: https://workingwardrobes.org/donate-money/

Our friends at Goodwill have stepped up to provide a temporary home in one of their facilities at 1601 E St Andrew Pl. Santa Ana, CA 92705. We are so grateful for their support and partnership. Much will change for us over the next few months as we start our journey over, but we know the strength of our friends and supporters will buoy us.

Volunteers: We need volunteers to help get our new temporary home set up. Please contact KathiS@workingwardrobes.org or call (714) 210-2460

Donation Needs: We will release a list of our needs for donations soon, please contact (714) 210-2460 for more details.”

State Action Needed to Control Teen Rehab Group Homes

Thank you to the residents of Orange Park Acres who invited me and other candidates to a panel discussion yesterday on problems associated with the profusion of minor treatment group homes in the community.

There are now 9 teen rehabs operating within the 1.4 square miles of Orange Park Acres, an equestrian-oriented residential community with no sidewalks or street lights. Two more groups homes are pending.

Location of proliferating teen rehab group homes in Orange Park Acres

If approved, there would be 11 group homes in this small community, all operated by the same owner, housing up to 66 children. At a cost of more than $1,000 per child per day, these 11 group homes could generate revenue of about $2 million per month to the owner.

Since 2017, law enforcement has responded to more than 200 emergency calls connected to these teen rehab group homes in Orange Park Acres, including more than 40 reports involving “missing juveniles” or runaways, and 17 calls for minors posing a danger to themselves or others.

Teens running away from the group homes in Orange Park Acres have been found hiding in foliage, behind garages, wandering at night in dark and dangerous streets, neighbors said. Some have appeared on front porches at the crack of dawn, pleading with neighbors to help them escape or call their parents.

The residents have had enough — but their efforts to get government to control the expansion of the group homes, or to solve the problems caused by their chronic mismanagement, have been frustrating at best.

In my view, solving these problems requires state legislation and enforcement, and the commitment of state resources. But our current local state legislators in this district have stood on the sidelines of decision-making in Sacramento, failing to bring anything back to our local communities to solve this problem and others.

Our voices have not been heard in the rooms where state decisions are made.

As a result, we’ve been unable to secure the legislation and resources necessary to control the expansion of group rehabs or effectively regulate their operations.

I look forward to working with community members and members of the state legislature to ensure the passage of legislation that effectively regulates the expansion and management of group homes, and that provides Orange Park Acres, and other Orange County community with the resources needed to keep group homes from exploiting their vulnerable teenage patients and negatively changing the character of our neighborhoods.

When I am elected to serve the communities of the 68th Assembly District in the state legislature, you can be sure our local voices will be heard loud and clear in Sacramento!