On Thursday evening, VICA members gathered virtually to mix and mingle during a VICA After Dark event with guest speaker Assemblymember Luz Rivas. Assemblymember Rivas spoke about the Legislature's priorities and how they would tackle a variety of issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rivas also answered several questions posed by event participants.
Rivas began with a reflection on her first term in the State Assembly. She described how she has used her diverse background as an engineer and a founder of a non-profit to inform her actions and priorities in the Legislature. Among these priorities is the need to provide relief for small businesses and non-profits who have been impacted by the pandemic. She credits her engineering background in working with the manufacturing sector to create much-needed supplies. "We repurposed a manufacturing facility that made bags locally," she recounted. Now, they produce "much-needed gowns that we donated to skilled nursing facilities." The Assemblymember also noted the importance of manufacturing in the Valley, continuing to support this critical sector.
Homelessness continues to be a top priority for the Assemblymember. Rivas spoke about Assembly Bill 1845, which VICA supports, and how it would centralize all state agencies that address homelessness under one office. "There are seven different state agencies that run thirty different programs to address homelessness," she said, "and they are not talking to each other." Rivas noted this legislation would make these programs more effective and ensure greater state support for local initiatives to addressing homelessness.
Thank you Assemblymember Luz Rivas for joining our After Dark event and thank you to the event sponsor