August 2015 District Report

Monday, August 31, 2015 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

Welcome to this month's edition of the O'Donnell Capitol Connection.

With the legislature adjourned for summer recess, August provided me with a greater opportunity to do what I enjoy most as your Assemblymember: spend time in the district with constituents like you. My office took full advantage of the summer break by hosting events on issues that ranged the gamut from finding employment opportunities for our veterans, to preventing senior scams, to engaging the public on the recent Long Beach power outages.

Work continued on in the Capitol as well in August with special sessions to address California's aging infrastructure and to secure additional funding for developmental disabilities services. In addition, the legislature acted swiftly to ensure students who were robbed of their final chance to take the high school exit exam can receive their diplomas so they are able to attend college in the fall.

As the legislative session comes to a close, we have even more events planned and plenty of exciting announcements coming in the near future. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on programs being offered, legislative news and more.

As always, please feel free to contact my office if you'd like to share your thoughts or need any assistance from staff with state-related matters or agencies. Thank you.


Patrick O'Donnell



Assemblymember O’Donnell questions representatives from Southern California Edison on the causes that led to the Long Beach blackouts.
Over 100 hundred residents, business owners, regulators and community leaders joined me, as well as Assemblymember Rendon, Senator Lara, and Long Beach Mayor Garcia for a town hall on the multiple Long Beach power outages that impacted tens of thousands of Southern California Edison (SCE) customers during the month of July.  Our office helped organize the event to shed light on the exact causes of the power failures, gauge the effectiveness of emergency response systems and receive vital feedback from the public.

We heard stories from residents, business owners and first responders who were left in the dark both literally and figuratively during the intitial outage. Thankfully, communication from SCE improved during the second event, but there was general agreement that SCE must work more collaboratively with local officials and agencies to ensure the future stability of our electrical grid, and to help emergency crews deliver aid to where it is most needed.
If you were affected and are still in need of assistance with filing a claim or have questions, please contact my District Office at 562-495-2915.

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Assemblymember O’Donnell begins his tour of Keystone, which was founded in 1907. Back then the company’s original business revolved around welding services and automotive engine rebuilding.

Aerospace in Long Beach isn’t just commercial; it’s been an evolving and integral part of the local economy for decades. Nestled in the Long Beach Airport complex is Keystone Engineering, a shining example of a company that has grown alongside the last century’s technological advancements.

While on tour of their facility, I was able to see firsthand the work they do here in the community and the technology they develop that makes commercial spaceflight possible. 

It was also a pleasure to be joined by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association to learn about their mission, the products they deliver to their customers and their vision for the future. We also discussed the role I can play as Chair of the Select Committee on Aerospace to help the industry thrive in California.

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It was a full house at the Fraud Prevention Town Hall hosted by Assemblymember O’Donnell and Councilmember Al Austin.

Anyone can fall victim to fraud, but there is no question that scammers primarily target seniors who can be especially vulnerable to fraudulent practices.

Earlier this month, I hosted a Fraud Prevention Town Hall for Seniors alongside Long Beach Councilman Al Austin. Representatives from the LA Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the CA Bureau of Real Estate, CA Department of Business Oversight and Long Beach Police spoke about ways to protect yourself and/or your loved ones from fraud and what to do if you become a victim.

For more information or additional resources, please contact my district office.

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UTI invited my office to tour their state of the art teaching facility that will train local students, enabling them to pursue careers in the automotive industry.

Many manufacturers and specialty industries have had difficulty finding qualified applicants for well-paid positions that require a specific kind of training. Career technical education is essential to filling the gap when it comes to keeping these jobs at home and that’s why I am proud to welcome the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) to Long Beach.

UTI opened its newest campus earlier this month and has already begun preparing local students for careers as highly trained automotive, diesel and collision repair service technicians. Its amazing new 3½ acre facility at Douglas Park is as impressive as it is beautiful and I am confident it will help bring highly skilled labor to our region.

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Assemblymember O’Donnell addresses a crowd in front of the USS Iowa at the Veterans Career & Resources Fair where our country’s veterans were connected with employers from across Southern California. The Assemblymember emphasized the desirable qualities often found in service members such as leadership and discipline developed during their military training.

Our military veterans represent some of the most highly-skilled and hardest working members of our labor force, yet many struggle to find jobs after completing their service. Worse still, our nation’s heroes often have trouble accessing the services to which they’re entitled and find it difficult to afford educational opportunities.

In order to help address these issues my office, in collaboration with local elected officials and employers from across the Southland ,organized the Veterans Career and Resources Fair this month in San Pedro. Behind the backdrop of the historic USS Iowa battleship, over 100 companies provided employment opportunities in industries such as aerospace, manufacturing, health care technology, entertainment, construction and many more. Additionally, local veterans service representatives and service organizations provided one-on-one assistance with employment services and resources for veteran business owners and entrepreneurs.

It was a tremendous honor to be a part of this event and appreciate everyone who helped make it a success, including the veterans in attendance.  If you or a service member you know was unable to join us, please feel free to contact my office for more information.

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Our terrific team of interns, from left to right: Kimberly Lim, Gabriel Michaels, Destin Bigsby, Elisa Rodriguez, Rachel Weeks, Sarah Patterson, and Ryan Ly

I would like to express our sincere appreciation to our summer interns who are returning to school this month.

Internships in our district office provide a valuable learning experience for young people considering a career in public service or who want to learn more about how state government operates. Interns have the chance to tour important sites around the district, learn about major legislative issues, and assist staff in fulfilling day-to-day responsibilities.

We were fortunate to have had such an incredible team of students and recent graduates who assisted in community outreach, policy research and constituent services. Congratulations on a job well done and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

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Finally, I am pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed my bill, AB 566, which safeguards the quality of school construction projects. Typically, school districts are required to competitively bid on construction projects. However, if a school district enters into a lease-leaseback contract, there is no competitive bidding process.  And with no bidding requirements, there is no public review and no guarantee a district is awarding a project at the lowest price or to a quality contractor.  AB 566 only applies to these types of lease contracts and simply says, at a minimum, you must have a qualified workforce.  AB 566 will save money if a school district isn’t required to spend more money to repair faulty construction.

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Join me and Councilmember Suzie Price for a community meet-n-greet and concert in the park on Friday, September 18.

The evening will feature 80’s tribute band, Knyght Ryder, and will provide residents an opportunity to connect with us on local and state legislative issues. Festivities will take place at Marine Stadium located at 5255 Paoli Way in Long Beach from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information you can contact Allison Gallagher in my district office at or call my district office at 562-495-2915.  You can also visit my website’s “upcoming events” section.


As Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Ports, I am inviting the public to an informational hearing in San Pedro so interested stakeholders can learn about the importance of California’s ports to our state and national economy.

Date: September 15

Time: 9 - 11:30 a.m.

Location: Port of Los Angeles
425 S. Palos Verdes Street
San Pedro, CA 90733

For more information, contact Brian Mineghino in my district office at or call 562-495-2915.


Have a small business? Want to learn tips on how to use Facebook to help your business grow?  We can help. Join me as we welcome Facebook to Long Beach City College for a training session to make your business outreach efforts a success. We’ll also have information on programs the state has to assist you and your small business.  For more information, or to RSVP, please email Space is limited! RSVP Today!

Date: September 18

Time: 8 - 9 a.m.

Location: Long Beach City College
4901 Carson St.
Long Beach, CA 90808



Fixing abusive Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits should be a no-brainer. Please join me for a free legislative briefing & lunch at the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) Small Business Summit taking place at Boathouse on the Bay in Long Beach. Complimentary lunch will be provided.

For additional information about the Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits "Whistle Stop" tour, please contact Maryann Marino, Southern California Regional Director, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse at (949) 375-0856 or by email at

Date: September 30

Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Location: Boathouse on the Bay
190 N Marina Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90803


My district office is seeking motivated high school and college students as well as recent graduates for our District Internship Program this fall! Interns will have the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the State Legislature and community outreach as well as expand their resume and professional network.

More information and applications available on my website. Questions? Please contact Allison Gallagher in my office at 562-495-2915 or

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