Assemblyman Garcia Scores Legislative Victories

SACRAMENTO — One of Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia’s most high-profile pieces of legislation this session was Assembly Bill 2439, which proposed to designate the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City as the official state LGBTQ veterans memorial.

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature safely secured, the granite obelisk is now the state’s official LGBTQ Veterans Memorial. California is the first state in the nation to designate such a memorial.

It was an accomplishment years in the making, but it is not the only victory the assemblyman scored.

Extra funding will allow IVC to expand programs

IMPERIAL — An additional $1 million in funding from the state this year will help Imperial Valley College provide additional opportunities for students.

The money will be used to help launch a new correctional academy, create a full-time medical assistant program and provide funding for lighting around the running track on campus, said Dr. Martha Garcia, the college’s president and superintendent.

Dr. Garcia worked with Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia to secure the funding, which was included in the 2018-19 state budget, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27.

Westmorland boxer recognized before State Assembly

WESTMORLAND — Isaiah Torres had never expected that his career as a boxer would take him anywhere past Imperial County limits.

To his surprise, Torres, 15, has had the ability to travel and compete in many places throughout country since first entering the ring at age 7.

Most recently, Torres traveled to Charleston, W.Va., to compete in the annual USA Boxing National Junior Olympics, during which he fought in the 15-to-16-year-old, 95-pound division and represented Region 14, California and Nevada.

Geothermal bill could have major economic implications for Valley

SACRAMENTO — A state Assembly bill that would require retail sellers of electricity and each local publicly owned electric utility to procure a proportionate share of new geothermal capacity has successfully moved out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

If the bill is passed, affected public utilities and retail sellers of electricity would be required to procure at least half of the 3,000 megawatts mandated by statute by Dec. 31, 2021. The other half would need to be obtained by contracts with deliveries commencing no later than Jan. 1, 2030.

Arriola Tortilleria Named Small Business of 2018

INDIO — The much-beloved, go-to staple of authentic Mexican food is the family-owned Arriola Tortilleria on Wilson Avenue. While in October 2015, the city of Indio recognized the multi-generational business during National Hispanic Heritage Month, never has the eatery been honored beyond the city limits — until now.

Garcia’s Cathedral City LGBTQ Veterans Memorial bill awaits Gov. Brown’s signature

State Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia understands that, for LGBTQ veterans in the Coachella Valley, recent political news, such as the proposed ban on transgender members of the military, has been discouraging.

“It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier for our LGBTQ community to continue to fight for the inclusiveness that you – the men and women in uniform – have fought to ensure,” the Coachella Democrat told a group of veterans and local politicians Friday at the American Legion Hall in Palm Springs.

Local Openly Gay Veteran Fights to Designate Official State LGBTQ Veterans Memorial

For nearly two decades, a local veteran has been leading the fight to recognize members of the LGBTQ community who served in the military, but his efforts are now paying off even with plenty of roadblocks on the way.

The commander of American Veteran Post 66 in Palm Springs, Tom Swann Hernandez, is a former marine and now an openly gay veteran. He led the fight to build the LGBT Veteran Memorial inside the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City back in 2001.

Valley LGBTQ Veterans Memorial to receive state designation

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.- AB 2439 is a piece of potential legislation which would designate Cathedral City's LGBTQ Veterans Memorial as the state's official LGBTQ memorial.

AMVETS Commander Thomas "Tom" Swann Hernández and officials from the Palm Springs Cemetery co-hosted an event discussing the progress of the bill today at noon at the American Legion Hall at 400 N. Belardo Rd. in Palm Springs.

The memorial, which resides at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, would become the nation's first state-designated LGBTQ Veterans Memorial if AB 2439 passes.

Hueso and Garcia present new state budget with allotment for new CHP office

EL CENTRO- Senator Ben Hueso and Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia announced at the El Centro City Council chambers a $40,388,000 state budget allocation to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The funds will provide for the design-build phase of the CHP El Centro Area Office Replacement Project. The allotment will pay for construction of a new 27,481 square-foot single-story building to be used by the El Centro California Highway Patrol.