2021 End-of-Session Newsletter

Thursday, October 28, 2021
Oroville Dam Press Conference on Water, Energy and Wildfires

The wells that rural communities depend on are running dry, farmers are being denied water to grow food, there are weekly threats of rolling blackouts and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, and hundreds of thousands of acres are burning throughout the state, threatening lives, property and wildlife. At the top of Oroville Dam, Senator Nielsen, along with Congressman Doug LaMalfa and Assemblyman James Gallagher, demanded urgent action by Governor Newsom to expedite the building of Sites Reservoir and the completion of critical wildfire prevention projects. Watch an excerpt of the press conference here

ICYMI Urgent Action Needed to Build Sites Reservoir

The following is Senator Nielsen’s viewpoint on the need to build more water storage, which ran exclusively in the Sacramento Bee on July 21, 2021.  When it comes to spending on water infrastructure to enhance water supply, protect farmers’ livelihoods and provide safe and affordable drinking water to California’s nearly 40 million residents, this state has flubbed it repeatedly.  Californians desperately need Gov. Gavin Newsom to step up and be the solution, not the problem. The state has failed to invest appropriately in large, statewide surface-water storage and conveyance, leaving California ill-prepared for drought conditions and jeopardizing its environmental and fiscal health. In 2014, Californians overwhelmingly voted for Prop. 1, which included significant resources for critical, large surface-water storage that would provide a more reliable water supply. However, the political will to prioritize building these projects faded just as soon as water began falling from the sky and environmentalists pushed back against any new reservoirs. 

To read the full article, click here

Senator Nielsen's Fight to Fix EDD
Senator Nielsen's Fight to Fix EDD

Senator Nielsen introduced Senate Bill 232, which would have implemented all of the nonpartisan State Auditor’s recommendations to permanently fix the EDD, including improving call centers, modernizing IT systems, developing a recession plan, and developing a plan for assessing the effectiveness of its safeguards against fraud. These fixes would have gone a long way toward ensuring that, when needed, Californians receive their unemployment benefits in a timely manner. The measure was effectively killed by the majority party-controlled Assembly Appropriations Committee.  To read the bill, click here

Senator Nielsen's Office Helps Constituents with EDD Issues
Senator Nielsen's Office Helps Constituents with EDD Issues

Since March of 2020, Senator Nielsen’s staff has helped nearly 2,200 Senate District 4 constituents get the unemployment benefits they deserved. Most of those seeking help lost their job because of the pandemic lockdown, and either couldn’t get through to the EDD, were having ID problems and/or payment issues until our office took on their cases. 

Here is an excerpt of a constituent’s correspondence: 

Dear Senator Nielsen, 
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your wonderful staff for helping me collect unemployment benefits after nearly a year of struggling with EDD. I was amazed at the prompt response I received the very same day I called and emailed asking for help.” 

Paradise Comeback!
Paradise Comeback!

Wayne and Livia Kurtz are the Independent Owners / Operators of the soon-to-be-open Paradise Grocery Outlet at 6800 Skyway. The Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting is October 28. Thank you, Kurtz Family, for being an important part of the “Paradise Comeback!” 

Senator Nielsen Calls for Wildfire Prevention Hearing

Senator Nielsen made a formal request for a joint Senate Budget Committee oversight hearing with the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Environmental Quality Committee to review the progress of wildfire fuel reduction activities in California.  This oversight hearing request was in response to an investigation by CapRadio and NPR California Newsroom that found that Gov. Newsom ‘mislead the public’ about the state’s wildfire prevention efforts ahead of California’s worst wildfire season in history. To read the request letter, click here. Senator Nielsen also participated with Senate and Assembly Republicans, who held their own hearing on wildfire prevention and forest resiliency at the State Capitol (pictured above). 

Feather River Debris Removal Project

On August 10 at the Yuba City boat ramp, Senator Nielsen attended the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency’s kick-off of the sediment removal and safety project on the Feather River. 

Senator Nielsen, Assemblyman Gallagher and the Nor-Cal Guides & Sportsmen’s Association (NCGASA) helped secure funding for this monumental first step in cleaning up tons of sediment that was dumped into the river after the 2017 storms and the Oroville Spillway failure. This important project will greatly expand recreational opportunities, ensure access to a clean and safe river and improve the fish habitat for years to come. 

Also attending the project kick-off, among others, were: 

  • CA Assemblyman James Gallagher 
  • Yuba City Councilmember/SBFCA Vice Chair Grace Espindola
  • DWR Deputy Director of Flood Management and Dam Safety Gary Lippner 
  • NCGASA President James Stone


2021 Nonprofit and Woman of the Year Awards

Point of Contact is the 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year for Senate District 4. Point of Contact is a Chico-based nonprofit organization made up of community members dedicated to helping others through a program designed to encourage and support individuals while giving a hand up to those in need. Organization members conduct outreach by canvassing areas, making contact with individuals on the streets. The goal is to connect these people with services and hopefully friends and family who can provide a positive support system. The organization strives to help individuals regain control of their lives. Point of Contact Founder Laurie Maloney was honored as the 2021 Women of the Year for Senate District 4 because of her passion and dedication for “helping homeless, addicts and others in need with a hand up, rather than a handout.” 

Honoring a Fallen Hero

Senator Nielsen requested that the Senate adjourn in the memory of United States Marine Sergeant Nicole L. Gee. She was a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Sgt. Gee was helping with the evacuation of Americans and Afghans at the airport in Kabul when she and 12 other military service members were ruthlessly killed by a suicide bomber. Sgt. Gee lived in Roseville and graduated from Oakmont High School before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. Her husband, Jarod Gee, is also an Oakmont graduate and active-duty Marine. The outpouring of sadness and support for her family, friends and fellow Marines, was evident at a vigil in her honor in Roseville. More than 1,000 people attended the vigil. Senator Nielsen is saddened beyond words at the senseless loss of this bright life and wants to extend his deepest sympathy to all who loved her. It’s bittersweet that this true American hero posted a photo of herself holding an Afghan baby just days before the terrorist attack. The caption read, “I love my job.” 

Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice for our country. Rest in Peace, Sgt. Gee. 

APAPA Legacy Award is the Highest Honor

Pictured: Jim and Marilyn Nielsen                 Henry Yin and Senator Nielsen

During APAPA’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. Senator Nielsen and his wife Marilyn Nielsen were honored with APAPA’s highest honor - The Legacy Award - for their unrelenting commitment to help expand the organization and fulfill its mission. As a founder, Senator Nielsen continuously supports APAPA as a senior member of the APAPA National Advisory Board, mentor and friend. Marilyn has served APAPA for many years. As the National Deputy Executive Director, she spearheads fundraising, grant writing and sponsor relations, among other duties. APAPA has grown into a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with over 35 chapters across the country. The organization collaborates with other diverse organizations, public officials and community leaders to create awareness and support for legislation to address hate crimes, address systemic racism and provide opportunities for API collective voices to be heard.