March 2020 Newsletter

A Note from Sen. Bob Archuleta

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to March, which is Women’s History Month, which originated in Santa Rosa, California, with President Jimmy Carter, in February 1980, issuing the first Presidential Proclamation declaring “the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week.” Every president, beginning in 1995, has proclaimed March as Women’s History Month.

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, my staff and I will recognize women in the district with the Second Annual Women of Achievement program. We are fortunate to have bold and enterprising women whose influences have contributed to our communities.

For those who did not hear or read Governor Gavin Newsom’s State of the State he delivered on February 19, 2020, you can read it on the Governor’s web site.

I agree with Governor Newsom when he said, “By any standard measure, by nearly every recognizable metric, the State of California is not just thriving but, in many instances, leading the country, inventing the future, and inspiring the nation.”

He rightfully focused his address on homelessness and the need for affordable housing.

The governor called the crisis a disgrace and presented several sobering statistics

As a legislative body, we have already been at work to put this issue, as the governor proclaimed, at the top of our agenda.

Within the district, I have been working with Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon to secure the first right of refusal for the city of Norwalk on the land at the State Hospital.

AB 518 hopes to provide the land to the city so they can begin a regional veterans’ village to help address the housing and wraparound services needs of the community.

I am grateful that the Governor is fully committed to eradicating homelessness and increasing affordable housing in California, and I look forward to working with him to achieve his goal

Also this month, a reminder to put your clocks one hour ahead as we spring forward on Sunday, March 8, 2020. It’s also a perfect time to change the batteries in your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

In this month’s issue are stories and photos from some of the events my staff and I have attended in the past month, as well as a story on a groundbreaking company in Cerritos founded by two lifelong friends, as well as some informational items on the 2020 Census and earthquake retrofitting for homeowners.

God bless,

Senator Bob Archuleta
Thirty-Second Senate District

Senator Archuleta Honored as Legislator of the Year

Sacramento CA - The California State Commanders Veterans Council (CSCVC) is honored to announce that Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) has been selected as the recipient of the Council’s 2019 Legislator of the Year Award. 

The CSCVC Legislator of the Year Award is given in recognition for leadership and efforts on behalf of California’s veterans, active duty military, reserves, and the California National Guard.

Senator Archuleta was presented with the award during the CSCVC’s Day at the Capitol event on February 21, 2020.

Senator Archuleta has been a champion for veterans and active duty military troops in California from the moment he took office. From his time in the U.S. Army to his public sector work he has demonstrated tremendous support for the military and veterans community. On his first day in the Senate, he took the time to talk with the CSCVC legislative advocate about the current issues facing veterans and service members. The Senator made it clear, in the first Senate Veterans committee hearing that all hearings will start with acknowledging all veterans and service member in the audience. 

“It is an honor for me to receive this recognition from the California State Commanders Veterans Council. I will continue to work with all veterans and active military in the state of California to represent them to the best of my ability.  I will continue working with my colleagues and the governor’s office on veterans’ homelessness, as well as issues pertaining to our active military and our 22 armed force bases in California,” Senator Archuleta said.

Senator Archuleta authored Senate Bill 289 in 2019; home and community-based services (HCBS); which was signed by Governor Newsom. SB 289 allows active duty service members, upon receiving orders to transfer out of state, to maintain their eligibility status or their place on the waiting list for services. This bill would also allow military personnel and their families to apply for the Medicaid HCBS waiver program when they receive notification of their pending transfer into the state.

Frederick Romero, Chairman of the CSCVC, said, “When Senator Archuleta was appointed as the Chairman of Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, we instinctively knew he would be the right person for the job. He has captivated us with his intimate knowledge, and unique ability to understand and relate to the active duty military and California veterans. He has also shown, through action in his first year, his desire to tackle the tough issues such as the California Veterans Homes and the Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise program.” 

The Senator was elected in 2018 to the California State Senate. Archuleta is an Army veteran and was a combat paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Senator Archuleta is the current Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Archuleta served as a Presidential Appointee under then-President Barack Obama as the first Mexican American to be appointed to the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy at West Point, which inquiries into the morale, discipline, curriculum, and other matters relating to the academy, and he was immediately elected as co-chair. He also served on the Los Angeles County Military Veteran Affairs Commission and the United States Army Advisory Board for Military Recruitment.

The California State Commanders Veterans Council is a group of 20 veterans service organizations and other military service-related organizations, whose mission is to evaluate pending state legislation affecting California’s veterans, whether active, reserve, National Guard, or retired.  The Council was founded in 1966 and meets regularly to coordinate legislative strategies to advance veterans issues at the state level.

Members of the California State Commanders Veterans Council:

  •  American G.I. Forum of California
  • American Legion-Department of California
  • AMVETS-Department of California
  • Association of the U.S. Army, Northern and Southern California
  • California Association of County Veterans Service Officers
  • Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Network
  • Fleet Reserve Association, California
  • Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America-Department of California
  • Marine Corps League-Department of California
  • Marine Corps Veterans Association
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of California
  • Military Officers Association of America-California Council of Chapters
  • National Guard Association of California
  • National Veterans Foundation
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America, Bay Area & Western Chapter, California
  • Reserve Officers Association of The United States-Department of The Golden West
  • Scottish American Military Society
  • United States Submarine Veterans
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars-Department of California
  • Vietnam Veterans of America-California State Council
  • Women Veterans Giving

Left to Right: Seth Reeb, Veterans Advocate, Reeb Govt Relations, Hugh Crooks, Chairman, California Veterans Board, James Lubey, Legislative Chairman, California State Commanders Veterans Council, Chuck Jamison, Secretary, California State Commanders Veterans Council,  Senator Bob Archuleta, Fred Romero, Chairman, California State Commanders Veterans Council, Jim Anderson, Vice Chairman, California State Commanders Veterans Council, Richard Chacon, Director, Supplier Diversity and Community Outreach, Union Bank

Get Ready to Retrofit EARTHQUAKE + BOLT Homeowners

EBB provides $3,000 grants to be used toward a code-compliant seismic retrofit for houses that qualify. Find out more about the program and if your house qualifies.

Would you like to receive up to $3,000 toward an earthquake retrofit of your house? The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program provides homeowners up to $3,000 to strengthen their home and lessen the potential for earthquake damage.

Many homeowners will decide to hire a contractor to do the retrofit work instead of doing it themselves. California licensed general contractors must have a license type A or B. A typical retrofit may cost between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the location and size of the house, contractor fees, and the amount of materials and work involved. If the homeowner is an experienced do-it-yourselfer, a retrofit can cost less than $3,000.

The EBB program relies on adherence to the California Building Code, Chapter A3. Chapter A3 is a statewide building code that sets prescriptive standards for seismic retrofits of existing residential buildings.

Chapter A3 allows:

  1. The building department to approve the retrofit for a house with a 4-foot or shorter cripple wall, without requiring plans prepared by a registered design professional (architect or engineer).
  2. Retrofits for houses with cripple walls higher than 4-feet with plans prepared by a registered design professional.
  3. A prescriptive plan for houses that sit directly on their foundation (BOLT-ONLY RETROFIT).

Surrounding the crawl space under the first floor, many houses have a short wood framed wall ("cripple wall") that needs to be strengthened to help prevent the house from sliding or toppling off of its foundation during an earthquake. Strengthening involves adding anchor bolts and plywood bracing in the crawl space.

For more information log onto:

I joined Artesia Mayor Ali Taj, Mayor Pro Tem Rene J. Trevino, Councilmembers Tony Lima and Melissa Ramoso and members of both the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments to celebrate Artesia’s annual Public Safety Community Expo.

Congratulations to the Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts on reaching its Diamond Anniversary! For 60 years, the festival has cultivated a sense of community through the arts while promoting and supporting artists of all ages in La Habra Heights and surrounding communities. I applaud current general chairman Roberto Chavez for continuing to grow the festival’s reputation for the past 10 years.

Durfee Avenue in Pico Rivera to CLOSE from February 3 2020 - May 2022.

After 10 months since the official groundbreaking took place at the site of the Durfee Avenue Grade Separation, Durfee Avenue between Stephens Street and Walnut Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic.  The closure will mark the beginning of the construction of the roadway underpass between Beverly Road and Whittier Boulevard, and a new bridge to carry trains over the lowered roadway.

Access to businesses along Durfee Avenue near the closure will be available at all times.  Access to El Adobe apartment residents will now be available through Deland Street and Pico Court.  Alameda Corridor East (ACE) Project officials are also working on a transportation plan to accommodate students who attend North Park Academy of the Arts and South Ranchito Dual Language Academy once pedestrian traffic is closed in March.  Many students who attend those schools walk along Durfee Avenue and cross the railroad tracks on a daily basis in order to arrive at either of those schools. A student shuttle will operate during morning and afternoon school hours, picking up North Park students at South Ranchito and the Women’s Auxiliary and Veterans Park and will drop them off at the Pico Park parking lot near the ballfields.  South Ranchito Students will be able to pick up the shuttle at the Pico Park parking lot drop off location and be dropped off at South Ranchito. This Shuttle Service will be available beginning March 2, 2020 when pedestrian traffic will be closed.       

Once completed, the $105.5 million project will address the delays for emergency responders.  Currently, it is estimated that there is a delay of 15 vehicle-hours a day as a result of a passing or idling train.  This time is crucial as Fire Station 40 encounters those delays when responding to emergency calls on the north end of the City.  Much time is wasted when alternate routes, often longer, have to be taken when a train is passing. The new grade separation will substantially minimize this issue and eliminate the harmful emissions from idling vehicles waiting for the trains to pass. 

Another issue that is being addressed with this project is pedestrian and bicyclist safety. New pedestrian sidewalks will be installed on both sides of the roadway underneath the bridge, and a dedicated bicycle lane traveling northbound and southbound will be included in the roadway design.  This will allow for pedestrian and bicyclists to safely traverse along Durfee Avenue in safely manner without the worry of an oncoming train.

Finally, much of the noise pollution associated with trains will be reduced when locomotive horn noise is eliminated, as they no longer have to blow their horn when approaching an at-grade crossing.

The Durfee Avenue Grade Separation Project is in partnership with the Alameda Corridor-East Project, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Metro, the Department of Transportation, the California Transportation Commission, Caltrans, and Union Pacific Railroad. 

It was a pleasure to honor the men and women who made history working at North American Aviation, a major American aerospace manufacturer, helping to make Downey the birthplace of the Apollo Space Program. The benches donated with their names engraved on them at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey will be a reminder of their innovative work.

Thank you to the Perez family for inviting me to the Eagle Scout ceremony for their son David Perez. Achieving Eagle Scout status is a great accomplishment. Eagle Scout alumni include presidents, astronauts, Supreme Court justices and professional athletes. Congratulations David!

It was my honor to attend Soroptimist International of Montebello’s Wear Red Day event at the Shops at Montebello. It’s an important opportunity to bring awareness about heart disease in women. Over 300 constituents attended the event and 15 local models from the fields of elected officials, law enforcement and community leaders walked the runway for charity.

I recently spoke with some wonderful La Mirada High School students who are involved with the Youth in Government Program, a partnership between the city of La Mirada and La Mirada High School, and supported by the La Mirada Ebell Club. I was so impressed with the students, and know with young people like them, our future is in good hands.

I was pleased to be at the naming ceremony of the Beverly Hospital Joseph and Helen Koo Emergency Care Center in Montebello. It's through generous donations from people like Mr. and Dr. Koo that the hospital is able to expand and improve its facilities, enabling them to provide the best health care to patients.

Congratulations to the Rio Hondo Police Academy graduating class #209. As a proud alumnus of the Rio Hondo Police Academy, I was extremely honored to give the keynote address to the newly sworn-in police officers.  I give a heartfelt thanks to the families and friends who gave support to their loved ones during their academy training.  A special thanks goes to Academy Director Walter Allen, Rio Hondo College President Dr. Arturo Reyes, and Rio Hondo College Board President Oscar Valladares for the invitation.

Local Tech Company Owners Choose Senate District 32 Over Silicon Valley

CERRITOS – The story of one of Senate District 32’s top businesses began on a junior high school basketball court. That was the meeting place for Cerritos natives Daniel Kim and Jay Lee. They could not have imagined that a pick-up game could have been the starting point of one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America — AuditBoard.

Although they still argue today as to who won that fateful day, Auditboard’s co-founders are successfully helping auditors on a global scale.

“We chose to build our business in Southern California — instead of moving to Silicon Valley — because we knew that there was the right mix of innovation, talent, and opportunity right here in our own backyard,” Lee said.  Kim and Lee have been recognized as EY Entrepreneur of the Year winners in Los Angeles and national finalists.

Graduates of Whitney High School, they have built what many would already consider a successful software company by drawing on their experience as auditors — and local talent. AuditBoard has its roots in Cerritos, and Daniel and Jay have made the commitment to grow the business by hiring an anticipated 250-300 people in 2020 from the LA/OC area.

“Auditboard is a prime example of the caliber of companies doing business in the Thirty-Second District,” Senator Archuleta said. “Daniel Kim and Jay Lee’s story serves as an inspiration to hopeful entrepreneurs, and I commend them for recognizing the value of having their thriving business based in their hometown.”

Frustrated by the wasted time, repetitive administrative tasks, version control issues, and dated technology options, in 2014 they decided to build AuditBoard.

“At its core, our platform is about enabling auditors of today and the future to get back to what we really love doing: driving strategic value for the business and enabling better decisions to be made,” Kim said.  With a client roster that spans prominent pre-IPO organizations to over 20 percent of the Fortune 500, AuditBoard is redefining how the audit industry does its work.

Daniel Kim, left, and Jay Lee are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Cerritos-based technology business, AuditBoard. Photo is courtesy of Audiboard.

I would also like to congratulate the Whittier Chamber and the City of Whittier for another successful Silver Shields Awards ceremony. We appreciate the Whittier Police Departments continued commitment as you work diligently to keep the communities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs safe.

Please call my office in Sacramento at 916 651.4032 or my District office at 562 406.1001 if you have any questions.