Senator Newman's February 2024 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you and your families have safely weathered the last few very challenging weeks. In the aftermath of the formidable storms which recently swept through California, leaving behind a wake of disruptions, we now find ourselves in a period of reflection amid the cleanup. If the relentless winds and rains underscored one thing, it’s the fragility of our surroundings and the resilience needed to navigate adversity.

Even amid such challenges, we’re reminded of the profound interconnectedness of our experiences and the importance of solidarity in times of crisis. It’s not lost on me that February is also Black History Month, a fitting time to honor the enduring strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. This month also provides us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans who have left an indelible mark on our communities.

Here in Orange County, we honor Helen Marie Shipp, a beacon of determination and community leadership who dedicated her life to celebrating and unifying Orange County’s Black community. As the co-founder of the Orange County Black Historical Commission, she worked tirelessly to ensure that the rich heritage and invaluable contributions of Black Americans were recognized and honored. In 1980, Helen founded the Orange County Black History Parade, a cherished local tradition we continue to celebrate annually, bringing together residents from diverse backgrounds to commemorate Black history and culture.

Within the Cal State Fullerton community, Dr. Wacira Gethaiga stands as a pillar of scholarship and advocacy. Dr. Gethaiga served as a founding figure in the development of CSUF’s internationally renowned Afro-Ethnic Studies Department, playing a pivotal role in cultivating diversity and inclusion on campus. His innovative curricula and engagement with local high schools were instrumental in growing black enrollment and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Dr. Gethaiga worked to create a space for Black students, which provided the foundation for the African American Resource Center at CSUF.

Our shared history, woven with diverse experiences, forms a rich tapestry that reflects the strength and vibrancy of our collective heritage. As we honor Black History Month and reflect on our collective challenges and triumphs, let us continue to work to cultivate a community where diversity is celebrated and every voice is heard. Together, we can weave a future that is brighter and more inclusive for generations to come.

All the best,


Josh Newman
Senator, 29th District


Capitol Updates


January brings us into the second year of the 2023-2024 legislative session, and I’m excited to share some impactful measures my team and I are introducing to enhance education and governance in California.

Education Initiatives: We’ve put forth two significant bills:


  • SB 897: This bill aims to solidify California’s District of Choice Program by making it permanent. By removing the sunset clause, expanding student eligibility, and boosting per-pupil funding for vulnerable student groups, such as low-income, foster, and English learners, SB 897 will ensure equitable access to quality education while upholding essential oversight measures designed to protect districts from transfers that exacerbate financial stress or harm racial and ethnic diversity.
  • SB 907: To bolster voter engagement and representation, SB 907 will expand the Orange County Board of Education from the current five trustees to seven. Additionally, it would move board elections from the primary ballot to the higher-turnout November general election, thereby ensuring broader participation and accountability.  

Recent Legislative Progress: As January came to a close, my team diligently worked to move crucial 2-year bills from the Senate to the Assembly, including one of my own:


  • SB 552: Technical refinement is essential in legislation. SB 552 corrects outdated references, clarifies the role of home inspectors, and closes a loophole in the two-stepped safety features to ensure the intended critical redundancies in SB 442 (Newman, 2017), which refined California’s Swimming Pool Safety Act for improved clarity, effectiveness, and, most importantly, child safety.  

Progress on My Constitutional Amendment: I’m happy to announce progress on SCA 1, which passed out of the Senate to the Assembly with a bipartisan vote of 31 to 7. This constitutional amendment aims to ensure fair and democratic statewide and legislative recalls in California, safeguarding against political manipulation. By simplifying the recall process to a single yes or no question (“Should the official be recalled?”), voters will continue to be empowered to make informed decisions, but without undue political influence.

These initiatives reflect our commitment to fostering positive change and progress for all Californians. I look forward to continued collaboration and success in the months ahead.


District Updates


Buena Park Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Month Luncheon
January 27 was the Buena Park Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Month Luncheon at Knott's Berry Farm. The luncheon celebrated the Youth of the Year Award and Star Award recipients, where I was joined by city council members and Police Chief Frank Nunes. This event served as a testament to the dedication and achievements of young members of our community.

DBHS Politics Society Leadership Symposium
On Friday, February 2, I attended the Diamond Bar High School Politics Society Leadership Symposium hosted by the DBHS Politics Society. I was privileged to be a featured panelist along with Diamond Bar Mayor Stan Liu and Councilmember Andrew Chou, WVUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matthew Witmer, Dr. Jeanette Koh, Administrative Director of Education Services, and David Hong, the principal of DBHS. This event provided an opportunity for students and community members to engage with local leaders and discuss important issues facing the community and education sector.

Meetings with OC Business Council and OC Labor Federation
On January 26, I had the opportunity to be a featured speaker at a series of meetings with the OC Business Council and OC Labor Federation. Senator Umberg and I hosted Senators Angelique Ashby and now-Senate President Pro Tempore Mike McGuire. These meetings, held in Orange and Irvine on February 2, allowed Senator McGuire to engage with members of the business and labor sectors in Orange County – discussions centered on fostering collaboration plus priorities and future plans.

North OC Chamber of Commerce Champions for Business Networking Event
I also participated in the North OC Chamber of Commerce Champions for Business Networking Event on January 26. Held on the Buena Park Historical Society lawn, the event brought together elected officials Senator Tom Umberg, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, and numerous local representatives. This annual networking event facilitated connections between elected officials and local business community members, fostering collaboration and discussions on strategies for economic growth.


Senate District 29’s Restaurant of the Month: Dilliwala Indian Kitchen
I am honored to recognize Dilliwala Indian Kitchen in Diamond Bar as Senate District 29’s Restaurant of the Month for January 2024.

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen notably specializes in Mughlai cuisine, which singularly incorporates Central Asian and Islamic recipes and cooking styles, tracing its origins back to the illustrious Mughal Empire. This culinary tradition, dating back to the 16th century, is steeped in centuries of history and cultural exchange and has given modern Mughlai cuisine a rich tapestry of flavors.

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen has been a culinary gem since its establishment in 2014 by Executive Chef and owner Manindder Tej. The name “Dilliwala” pays homage to the people of Delhi, India, the former capital of the Mughal Empire, where Manindder embarked on his culinary journey at 16. His dedication to his craft and relentless pursuit of excellence are evident in the restaurant’s expansive menu, meticulously crafted with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

As the sole chef-owned establishment in Diamond Bar, Dilliwala Indian Kitchen stands as a beacon of culinary innovation, continuously raising the bar for dining experiences in the local community. I’m proud to officially recognize Dilliwala Indian Kitchen and Manindder Tej for their remarkable contributions to the vibrant culinary landscape of our district.

29th Senate District’s January 2024 Citizen(s) of the Month
In the Spring of 2017, I sat down with a group of North Orange County police chiefs to discuss how cities could work together to address regional public safety concerns such as homelessness, youth violence, and recidivism. Out of that meeting, and with the help of $20 million that I secured from the state budget, the North Orange County Public Safety Collaborative formed. With a service area more extensive than a single city but smaller than a whole county, the Collaborative now consists of twelve cities. It provides grant funding to roughly forty community-based organizations that assist families, women, children, and unhoused individuals.

From its focus on homelessness, the Collaborative has also conceived of its own nonprofit, the OC HOPE Center, which serves as a public safety dispatch center to respond to public calls for non-emergency homeless services. Representing a novel shift away from a law enforcement-centric approach, the HOPE Center primarily utilizes specially trained homeless outreach workers to engage with unhoused individuals and connect them to vital resources such as substance abuse treatment and supportive housing. Police officers from local departments are, however, assigned to the Center and provide support during outreach.

From March to December of 2023, the HOPE Center received an astounding 3,000 calls for service within its currently limited jurisdiction of the cities of Fullerton, Brea, Stanton, Placentia, and Buena Park. A testament to the Center’s burgeoning success, one-third of those calls are routed directly from 911 communications centers. In response, HOPE Center’s selfless personnel—dispatchers, data engineers, homeless outreach coordinators, and attached police officers deployed 1,800 times into the region to contact individuals experiencing homelessness directly. An impressive achievement in their industry, the teams typically contacted the concerned unhoused individual within fifty minutes of a call for service.

Their outstanding service resulted in the HOPE Center’s outreach teams placing more than 150 individuals into shelters or housing within just nine months of beginning operations. The teams also enrolled 260 previously uncontacted individuals into Orange County’s homeless management information system; this will help services across the region better align their efforts and move unhoused individuals into housing more effectively.

I’m incredibly grateful for the OC HOPE Center and its dedicated personnel. Our community is better served and safer because of their efforts. Please join me in recognizing them as the 29th Senate District’s Citizens of the Month for January 2024.

You can read more about the HOPE Center here.


Staff Highlights


From Scott Do, (New!) District Director:

In January, I attended the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce’s Champions for Business Networking event in Buena Park. At this event, our new district representative, Christopher Kent, shadowed me on his first-ever Chamber event. It was also his first time staffing our senator! It was great to see the familiar faces and see the growth the Chamber has had over the past couple of years.

In other news, and also in January, I’m excited to announce that I have been moved up to be Senator Newman’s new district director! After coming to him as an intern in 2018 and then as his district representative in 2020, I’m both very honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the community I love in this new capacity. This would not have happened without the trust and support of all of the people around me. Thank you all, and a very special thanks to my momma. Let’s get to work!

From Nathan Bass, serving the cities of Fullerton, Placentia, and Rowland Heights:

Since October 1922, the Rotary Club of Fullerton has made countless invaluable contributions to the cultural vibrancy and long-term prosperity of the City of Fullerton through its dedication to community service, philanthropy, and collaborative civic participation.

The club recently commissioned and installed a public street clock in Downtown Fullerton to commemorate its centennial anniversary. In January, I had the privilege of participating in the dedication ceremony for this new local landmark.

On the plaza just outside the Fullerton Museum Center, where I once worked for the City of Fullerton, Rotary members proudly unveiled the four-sided timepiece. This clock is an enduring symbol of the club’s century-long history of outstanding service.

Here’s to another hundred years!

From Christiane Salamat, serving the cities of Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Walnut, and Industry:

Last year, the California State Senate passed SCR 15, a resolution introduced by Senator Newman that proclaimed January 28 as the annual “Stand Against Hate Action Day” in response to rising rates of targeted hate crimes statewide.

As part of this year’s observance, I had the opportunity to recite SCR 15 at Groundswell’s inaugural Stand Against Hate Action Day poster signing and, along with other attendees, pledge to take an active role in denouncing hate and to work together to build a more inclusive California.

It was a pleasure to connect with people from anti-hate organizations throughout the county, including those at Groundswell, who have been working for decades to help prevent and respond to hate crimes and conflict in the community and to provide support for victims of these crimes.

From Sheen Sidhu, serving the cities of Buena Park, Yorba Linda, and Brea:

This past month, I was honored to recognize Brea Fire Department’s outgoing Fire Chief, George Avery. Chief Avery came on board when the Brea Fire Department decided to establish its own department, independent of its prior joint partnership with the Fullerton Fire Department.

During this transition, Chief Avery made it a point to ensure that Brea residents and businesses would continue to have access to first-rate fire and emergency services while continuing to build the department’s Fire Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Program.

Congratulations to Mr. Avery on his new role as Fire Chief of El Segundo, and a warm welcome to Brea’s new Fire Chief, Mark Terrill.

From Christopher Kent, serving the cities of West Covina, La Habra, and Cypress:

Greetings, SD29!

My name is Christopher Kent, and I’m the newest addition to Senator Newman’s District Office! It’s been such an amazing first week on the job, and I am so excited to make a difference in the community.

My focus cities are West Covina, Cypress, and La Habra, three amazing cities with lots of charm and history! I will also be focusing on business, healthcare, seniors/long-term care, human services, and the LGBT+ community!

I’ve always had a passion for making a difference in my community, so if there is anything I can do to help you, don’t hesitate to reach out!

From Kimberly Rangel, serving the cities of Anaheim, Stanton, and La Palma:

Hello everyone!

My name is Kimberly Rangel, and I’m the newest district representative for Senator Newman’s office! I will be covering the cities of Anaheim, La Palma, and Stanton, as well as issue areas surrounding K-12 education, military and veterans, financial services, and faith-based communities.

Having lived in Orange County my entire life, I know what a special place it is to call home, so I am very excited to begin connecting with the constituents of the 29th Senate District.

You will see me at events around the district very soon, so please say hi, in English or Spanish!




OC San's Wastewater 101 Citizens Academy

OC San is excited to announce that they will be hosting the spring session of their Wastewater 101 Citizens Academy. This Academy is free and virtual. The goal of the Academy is to educate and inform the community about the various programs, initiatives, and efforts led by OC San.

The Academy is available to community members 18 years and older, with the first session beginning on March 7. For additional information or to register, please visit