The California state senate is the higher house of the California State Legislature and it consists of 40 state senators who are restricted to serving two four- year terms. The state Legislature meeting takes place at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor, who was the President of the Senate is currently authorized to influence on the tied vote. The Presidents, Secretary of the Senate, and Senate Sergeant-at Arms manage the Senate and are elected at the start of each legislative session.
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My State senator in is District 8 Leland Yee. He is an official representative of the western part of San Francisco and the biggest part of San Mateo County. Before he has become a state senator, he was a California State Assemblyman and Supervisor of San Francisco’s Sunset district. He has also been a member and President of San Francisco School Board. Yee was elected to be the first Temporal Speaker for African Americans and this is why he is considered to be the second most active Democrat in the California State Assembly.
Leland Yee has done a lot for the people of California and as a result, has been named Legislator of the Year by numerous organizations. Yee should be elected back to the senate. Some of his most recognizable contributions to the State include tireless fights for children, women and the elderly, improvement of education and health services, advocacy for an open government, consumer protection, and environmental protection (Cantrell, 2011). He has repeatedly voted against budget cuts to education, social services, and health care.
On matters relating to public safety, Yee has committed himself to not only protecting California’s most vulnerable, such as victims of human trafficking and domestic violence from oppression and discrimination, but also in enhancing public safety locally in the entire San Francisco. He passed a bill, SB 1356 that has been chaptered into the law which protects domestic violence survivors from the threat of confinement, when they refuse to testify against their abuser in court.
This fight has led him into receiving the Modern Day Abolition Award by the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Neighborhoods by the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and has been recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. He is currently working on other bills that will be of help to the State, if he is re-elected, he will continue fighting for public safety and protection of the citizens.
Leland Yee has fought to reform public schools and public institutions of higher learning (Aoki & Takeda, 2009). The will of voters in California has been that funding for public schools should be the number one priority of lawmakers. Yet repeatedly, Governors and legislators have been undermining the will of the people. Yee has consistently voted against cuts to education funding and increased student fees and insisted that education should be fully funded.
In addition, he fought to reorganize the administration of institutions, direct funds towards higher standards in co- curriculum, update educational materials, reduce class sizes, and increase public access to school services. Yee also introduced and passed the Bill SB 1370 in 2008 which prohibits colleges from dismissing, suspending, disciplining, or retaliating against faculty for fighting to protect student speech for students need to have constitutional rights.
Being a health care professional, Yee has fought determinedly to improve healthcare in California State. He established the first school based health centre and established a parents’ support line to enable parents to seek advice from counselors about their children’s conduct.
He has always been on the forefront in the fight for universal healthcare and mental care and passed Bill AB 1321. This bill stopped insurance companies from sending excessive bills to low income families. He also passed the Prescription Drug Bill of Rights and established a discount program for low income Californians. Yee also voted for the creation of a state fund to support and help low-income individuals to get access to drugs.
Voted as the Legislator of the Year by the California Psychiatric Association, Leland Yee has worked untiringly to improving mental health facilities, especially children’s mental health in California. He introduced laws to govern healthcentres. For instance, the law which provides financial incentives for teachers who teach disabled. He also helped to establish programs to offer HIV testing for women to prevent further transmission of the disease and if re-elected, he can do more for the electorate.
According to Biagi (2007), Senator Yee has always been a strong supporter of women’s rights and has worked tirelessly to stop violence against women. When the state governor withdrew all state funding for domestic violence victims, Yee re-wrote the bill to bring back over 16 million dollars back into our shelters and critical lifelines for women and children who face abuse.
Consequently, he was recognized as the 2009 Legislator of the Year by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. He is still leading the fight to stop the cuts to our shelters by authoring legislation for a permanent funding for domestic violence victims
Leland Yee has spearheaded a lot of reforms and passed bills that have improved lives in California State. In the health sector, he has improved health facilities by fighting for lower prescriptions of drug costs and improved mental health. In education sector, he has consistently voted against budget cuts to education funding and increased students fee and insisted in full funding of education.
On public safety, he has fought tirelessly in protecting the most vulnerable from further victimization and enhancing the public safety in the entire State. He has fully supported women’s rights and condemned violence against women among many. Leland Yee should be re-elected in order to continue spearheading these reforms and to continue bringing change to the State.
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Aoki, A., and Takeda, O. (2009) Asian American Politics. New York City: John Wiley and Sons.
Biagi, S. (2007). Media Impact; An Introduction to Mass Media. California: Wadsworth.
Cantrell, S. M. (2011). New construction and modernization within the community college system of California. Michigan: ProQuest.