Speaker Rendon viewing vaccination clinic

Defeating the Pandemic

April was a testament to the progress we are making in defeating COVID-19. This May edition of the R-Guide includes a highlight on our Woman of the Year, tips on how to stay financially healthy, and a look back at my first five years as Speaker of the Assembly.

We are at the midway point of this year's spring season. Overcoming the pandemic is still a priority, but we can now start to see the end of this difficult time. Our community has shown the power of a lending hand. As we stride into the rest of spring, let us continue to stay hopeful, safe, and healthy.

In case you missed it, everyone who is 16 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in California. In order to defeat this virus and have the ability to create more positive change, I encourage everyone to continue to wear a mask and get vaccinated.

Audrey and Speaker Rendon

63rd Assembly District Woman of the Year

Women are leading the great changes in our community. Every year I have the honor of choosing a woman who has gone above and beyond to make our district a better community for all. For 2021, I had the honor of naming Audrey Casas this year's 63rd Assembly District Woman of the Year.

Audrey is celebrating her 20-year anniversary working with Lynwood Unified School District, where she teaches 9th grade English at Lynwood High School.

When the pandemic hit, Audrey fundraised over $80,000 to donate to families experiencing tragedy and financial hardship during the first mandatory lockdown of LA County. She also assembled her "Dream Team", which consisted of family, educators, and frontline workers. "The Dream Team" distributed over 800-grocery gift cards personally to families and organized several large free food distributions throughout Lynwood. In this process, "The Dream Team" became an official organization called "Mastering Hope," which now has distributed over 20,000 care packages.

Audrey is a symbol of resilience in our community. She says, "the heaviest times call for hard work and lightheartedness - dark moments must be met with fierce light and positivity." This fierce light and positivity that Audrey shares with everyone is the reason why she is our Woman of the Year. A message that Audrey shares with everyone is that scars can create stars. What you consider a flaw or impediment could be your biggest asset in making a positive impact. Congratulations Audrey!

Watch this video about the Lynwood food distribution drive-thru held in Audrey's honor:

Zoom webinar: Tony Warfield and Speaker Rendon

How to Stay Financially Healthy

Last month, my office hosted a free Financial Literacy Workshop with financial planner Tony Warfield. We all know that money is complicated! It is important we all take some time to plan our financial futures. In this workshop, Tony made that planning more accessible and less intimidating for everyone. Tony highlighted several tips and tricks to stay in great financial health. These are some tips he provided during the workshop:

  • Don't spend more than you make
  • Set aside money for emergencies - 3 to 6 months worth
  • Try to pay more than the minimum on your credit cards
  • Pay your debts on time
  • Check your financial health
  • Protect your family and income
  • Make sure your retirement savings outpace inflation
  • Avoid unnecessary financial risk
  • Leave your legacy to your family

Let us all take time to learn about the importance of financial education. The recording of this workshop is on my Facebook page under Videos. Keep an eye on my social media for future workshops like this soon!

Legislative Overview Chart

Looking Back at my First 5 Years as Speaker

I recently celebrated my five-year anniversary as Speaker of the Assembly. Looking back, the Assembly has accomplished so much. Here are some of the moments I am most proud of.

  • Five years ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed California's $15 minimum wage into law. We were the first state in the country to take this step to support workers.
  • We restored millions of dollars in funding to early childhood education, which was heavily affected by the Great Recession.
  • In 2017, we passed a historic $52 billion transportation plan to fix California's highways, roads, and bridges.
  • We voted to end cash bail, predatory lending, and work discrimination, which are all issues that affect our disadvantaged communities the most.
  • We have also provided COVID-19 relief and protections throughout the pandemic.
  • In the Assembly, the average salary of women to men went from 94.31% (2016) to 100.09% (2021).
  • In celebrating my first 5 years as Speaker of the Assembly, I also became the longest-serving Latino Speaker.

I am honored to serve our SELA communities in the Assembly. We have made notable progress; however, there is much more work to be done for our communities.

Watch this reflection video on my first 5 years as Speaker:

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Get the vaccine - MyTurn.ca.gov


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