Senator Newman’s December 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe that 2023 is coming to an end. The year has certainly been filled with ups and downs and twists and turns, but through it all I’ve been continually reminded just how fortunate I am to have the privilege of representing our area in the California State Senate. 

As the holidays descend upon us, I want to wish you a wonderful and bright festive season. Whichever winter holiday(s) you celebrate, I hope that you’ll be able to enjoy time spent with your family and friends, celebrating all of the wonderful traditions that bring us together and allow us to share our cultures, faiths and hope this time of year.

To honor the spirit of giving that the holiday season inspires, I want to extend an invitation to my office’s inaugural Holiday Open House and Toy Drive, on December 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fullerton Museum Plaza in downtown Fullerton. 

I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible! If you’re able, please bring a toy to donate.  All toys collected will be donated to families of service members stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, to be part of sharing just a little bit of holiday cheer to the kids of some of our bravest and most dedicated who serve at the world’s largest marine base, where they simulate real-world combat situations to ensure that our military is fully prepared for any eventuality.

I hope all your end-of-the-year celebrations are joyous. I look forward to continuing to serve all of the wonderful communities of California’s 29th Senate District in the coming year.  As always, please reach out to my team if you have any questions or need assistance at 714-525-2342 or email 

All the best,


Josh Newman
Senator, 29th District


Capitol Updates

With the holidays approaching and 2023 coming to an end, the Legislature has started gearing up in preparation of reconvening in the New Year. For my Capitol staff, this means researching and exploring potential bill ideas for next year. Toward that end, my staff has been busy meeting with constituents and advocacy groups to hear their legislative proposals, so please feel free to reach out to my office should you have a policy suggestion.

In the coming year, I’m looking forward to continuing in my work as Chair of the Education Committee, focusing on ways to improve public school systems across the state and making sure every student has access to a quality education. As a member of the Senate Committee on Transportation and a zero-emissions vehicle driver myself, I’m committed to making zero-emissions vehicles accessible and putting appropriate incentives in place to ensure that California makes progress on achieving its goal of 100% zero-emissions vehicle sales by 2035. 

During my time as a member of the Senate, I’ve also been part of elevating issues around stable and affordable housing as part of our policy deliberations. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted difficulties around providing and finding affordable housing throughout the state.  In the coming legislative year, it’s my hope that we can find more ways to ensure that housing in California—especially in Southern California—is more accessible, whether that means finding an affordable apartment to live in or buying a home for you and your family.

Coming Through! Transportation Update: 405 Express Lane

Earlier this month, the Orange County Transportation Authority finally completed construction on fourteen miles of new lanes and bridges for the 405 Freeway, between the 605 and Costa Mesa. As commuters along the 91 are already aware, the addition of dedicated Express Lanes provides drivers dramatically improved travel times for (in most cases) as little as $3 the whole way. And even if you’re in the non-express lanes, the new general purpose lane, bridges, and improvements to over a dozen on- and off-ramps should help reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone moving through the region, whether you pay the toll or not. Historical data from the 91 Freeway shows that 1 out of every 5 drivers pays to use the Express Lane, which translates to 55,000 fewer cars on the free general purpose lanes every day. And don’t worry, carpool hasn’t gone away either. Vehicles with two passengers can travel on the 405 Express Lanes for free during non-peak hours, while motorcycles and vehicles with 3 or more passengers, and those with veteran or disabled license plates can use the Express Lanes for free, any time of day.

If you decide to use the new 405 Express Lanes to whiz past traffic on the way to your holiday gathering this year, don’t forget to bring a FasTrak transponder. New transponders can be purchased for around $15 at Costco and Albertsons. For more information, or to purchase a transponder online, visit the 405 Express Lanes website, and remember to drive safely, responsibly, and with kindness this holiday season.

District Updates

Operation Gobble

On November 20, my office was delighted to once again partner with Suburban Water Systems for their 33rd Annual “Operation Gobble” turkey distribution event. The holidays can be a difficult time for many individuals and families struggling with food insecurity and I’m always glad to partner with local organizations to ensure that families are able to enjoy a nutritious and delicious holiday meal. Together, we distributed 100 turkeys to non-profit organizations in the community, including the Walnut Valley Education Foundation, the La Habra Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Club of La Habra, and Red Dragon Karate of Diamond Bar.



29th Senate District’s November 2023 “Restaurant of the Month”

I was honored to recognize Lov Ch Ch restaurant in Walnut as Senate District 29’s November 2023 Restaurant of the Month.

Lov Ch Ch opened in 2021, when Araceli Nonaka decided she wanted to experience something completely new to her. With the pandemic and all of its challenges finally receding, Araceli had the idea of opening a restaurant with a menu recalling the flavors of her childhood in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Drawing on her fond memories of eating churros at a stand outside of her church (a common tradition after Sunday Mass in Mexico), she knew she wanted her restaurant to honor her heritage and celebrate the foods she grew up eating and loving.

Thus was born the uniquely named Lov Ch Ch. The restaurant’s offbeat name is actually derived from two of Araceli’s favorite menu offerings – the first “Ch” refers to churros, and the second “Ch” refers to chilaquiles. While Lov Ch Ch’s menu features authentic churros and chilaquiles made in the Guadalajaran tradition, it also offers creatively reimagined takes on other Mexican favorites, along with hearty American breakfast classics. It’s this unique fusion of cultures and flavors that put Lov Ch Ch on our radar for our Restaurant of the Month, and we’re pleased to be able to bring them to your attention as we honor them.


29th Senate District's November 2023 “Citizen of the Month”

For the last 40 years, Second Harvest Food Bank has continually delivered on its mission of providing Orange County residents equitable and reliable access to nutritious food, and I’m proud to recognize this wonderful OC organization as the 29th Senate District’s “Citizen of the Month” for November 2023.

Despite the comfortable standard of living generally associated with Orange County, thousands of individuals and families across the region frequently find themselves in a state of food insecurity. According to a study by United Way, more than half of Orange County households with children don’t earn enough to pay for basic necessities, including food. Notwithstanding the 9% poverty rate recorded in Orange County by the 2020 Census, it’s estimated that up to one-third of the county’s households earn less than what’s needed in OC to maintain housing, daycare, transportation, and other necessary expenses.

Fortunately, Second Harvest Food Bank remains a critical link in the county’s network of resources for those struggling to make ends meet. Second Harvest supplies millions of pounds of food and produce on a weekly basis to roughly 300 affiliated food pantries located within schools, charities, and community centers across the county. Second Harvest is able to source and distribute those resources thanks to significant financial donations, community investment, and two working farms in OC that the non-profit operates itself. Since 2021, Second Harvest has planted and harvested a staggering 5 million pounds of produce from its own fields. All that food has helped immeasurably in feeding hundreds of thousands of families, with less than 5% going to waste— an impressive achievement in the industry.

Second Harvest continues to work tirelessly this winter to ensure that local families have the nutritional resources to be able to take part in the holiday season and to do so with dignity. I’m immensely grateful for their work and hope you’ll join me in congratulating them on this very well-deserved honor.





Staff Highlights

From Erica Lucia, District Director:
“On November 13, I attended the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation's celebration of the 248th Birthday of the Marine Corps. This was my first Marines Corps ball, and I had the pleasure of witnessing a special tradition for these events—the cutting of the first piece of cake, which goes to the oldest Marine in the room, and the youngest. It was an honor to commemorate the occasion with a room full of soldiers, spanning multiple generations.”


From Nathan Bass, serving the cities of Anaheim, Chino Hills, and Placentia:
“After Senator Newman recognized Anaheim teacher Dr. Jeff Kim last month for his visionary work on developing the first high school Korean American studies course in the United States, I was invited to participate in a special event at which students showcased their work uncovering the story of their family heritage. Throughout the night, students brought their parents in front of the group to publically share their story and thank them for the sacrifices they’ve made to ensure a better life for their family. In English, Korean and Spanish, students spoke a language of gratitude to their parents, thankful they persevered through the immigration process and other hardships to sew their own thread in the great American tapestry. The night left me completely heartened and immensely proud to be a Californian.”



From Scott Do, serving the cities of Fullerton, La Habra, and Stanton:
“On November 9, I joined City Council, City Staff, representatives from other legislative offices, and NORESCO in celebrating the City of Fullerton’s Flip-the-Switch ceremony, signifying the completion of a 4 year-long energy saving project, which aims at advancing the City’s climate and sustainability goals through modernizing its aging infrastructure. It was a great honor to be a part of this milestone, and I hope to see many more in the future. It is my hope that we can come together to meet our de-carbonization goals, so that future generations can continue to enjoy the things we have all took for granted.”



From Elizabeth Lavezzari, serving the cities of Cypress, La Palma, and West Covina:
“On November 17, I joined the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Anaheim-Cypress to celebrate the grand opening of the AT&T Connected Learning Center at the Manzanita Clubhouse in Anaheim. The Connected Learning Center allows students and their families access to high-speed internet, 3D printers, digital microscopes, and more. Following the ribbon-cutting, we received tours from young members of the Club who were excited to show guests the new amenities. Our office was able to recognize the Club and AT&T for their partnership and commitment to digital equity in the community. Happy holidays!“



From Christiane Salamat, serving the cities of Diamond Bar, Industry, Rowland Heights, and Walnut:
“On November 18, Community Action Partnership of Orange County invited volunteers to their food bank to participate in Family Volunteer Day as part of a nationwide initiative to support and serve our communities and encourage compassion and goodwill across local networks. I was pleased to work a morning shift alongside nearly 200 volunteers as we packed food items and prepared Thanksgiving meal packages for families in need. We often hear this time of year referred to as "the season of giving," and while the first thing someone might think of is monetary donations or canned food drives, this can also mean dedicating some time in your day to helping those in need. If you are an Orange County resident experiencing food or nutrition insecurity, CAPOC is a great resource with distribution centers and partner agencies throughout the county. You can learn more here.”


From Sheen Sidhu, serving the cities of Buena Park, Brea, and Yorba Linda:
“Last month, I had the privilege of recognizing Buena Park’s veterans for their service during the City’s Veterans Honor Luncheon. This year’s keynote speakers, GYSGT. John Muller and Corporal Norman Wray, spoke of their service in the United States Marine Corps, the life-long friendships they found, and the challenges they faced. I enjoyed listening to local veterans share their experiences and stories from their time in service and I was inspired by their dedication and commitment. Thank you to all the veterans and current servicemembers for their service and the sacrifices they’ve made in order to preserve our freedoms.”


Resources & Events

Senator Newman’s Holiday Toy Drive and Meet & Greet

As I mentioned at the top of this newsletter, we’d love to have you join us as we celebrate the holidays with a community meet-and-greet and toy drive on December 19, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fullerton Museum Center Plaza. There will be live entertainment, refreshments, games, and raffle prizes. We will host a donation drive for new unwrapped toys, which will be distributed to children and families at the Marine Corps Base at Twentynine Palms, thanks to our partnership with Lee Mao and the Country Estates. This event is free and all are welcome to ring in the holidays with our team. You can RSVP here.


Free Compost and Mulch for Buena Park Residents

Head to 7715 Western Ave between 7 am and 4 pm Monday through Saturday! Bring your own bags, containers, and shovels to load material onto your vehicle.



Queer Joy!

The LGBTQ Center OC invites Orange County LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults ages 10-26 to join their inaugural holiday event, Queer Joy!. The holidays can be a complicated and difficult time for many young trans and queer individuals, and no one should feel alone. Queer Joy! aims to create an interactive and festive environment for youth, students, parents, and families to gather and celebrate holiday cheer. Join the festivities to participate in fun activities, enjoy live entertainment, and food!

Who: LGBTQ Center OC
What: Queer Joy! Holiday Celebration
When: Saturday, December 16, 2023 / 5 - 8 p.m.
Where: LGBT Center / 305 E Fourth St Santa Ana, CA 92701



Chino Hills 2023 Photo Contest

Capture and share the images that make you proud of Chino Hills!

Photographers of all ages and skill levels are invited to submit photos using this online entry form.

Submission Rules:

  • Limit one submission per category per person. 
  • Contest is free and open to Chino Hills residents of all ages and photographers of all skill levels. 
  • Participants under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent/legal guardian. 
  • Participant will be disqualified from entire contest if more than one picture is submitted per category. 
  • Photo must be of an area within Chino Hills city limits.


Community Development Block Grant Funding – Chino Hills

The City of Chino Hills is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $58,000 in 2024-35 funding for the CDBG Program. CDBG funds are used toward local community development, housing activities, and public services. Funds must meet at least one of three objectives:

  • Benefit people with low and moderate incomes
  • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight
  • Meet an urgent need, such as earthquakes, flood, or hurricane relief

Applications will be accepted December 4, 2023, through January 8, 2024. All nonprofit organizations that meet federal guidelines are eligible to submit an application, including faith-based organizations. For more information, visit