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Bill allows victims of domestic violence to remotely report, passes Assembly

“This bill empowers victims by providing access to justice without subjecting them to the trauma of facing their abusers in a courtroom.”



California State capitol building (Blade file photo)

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Assembly this week, in a 78-0 vote, passed a bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that will provide greater protections and safety for domestic violence victims as they try to leave dangerous situations. 

Senate Bill- SB 538 strengthens protections for survivors of domestic violence by requiring California’s Superior Courts to maintain procedures allowing parties to electronically file for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Gun Violence Restraining Orders. The bill will also allow parties and witnesses to appear remotely at a hearing for the petition.

“We should make it easier for victims to seek protection during one of the most terrifying times in their lives,” Senator Susan Rubio said. “We need to eliminate barriers that prevent survivors of abuse from obtaining domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders. Remote testimony is a critical part of the solution, and I am grateful to see this bill pass through the California State Assembly with bipartisan support. I want to thank San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott for their support and collaboration.”

“I am grateful to Senator Rubio for authoring SB 538 and to the members of the California legislature who helped pass this common-sense bill to use technology to avoid further trauma to survivors in court settings,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. “The City of San Diego is a proud sponsor of this important legislation and is committed to expanding access to protective orders for survivors of gun and domestic violence, and other tools to put survivors first and preserve their rights in the criminal justice system.”

“This bill empowers victims of domestic violence by providing access to justice without subjecting them to the trauma of facing their abusers in a courtroom,” San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “I thank Senator Rubio for working with my Office to protect victims from intimidation and retaliation, and urge Governor Newsom to stand with them by signing SB 538 into law.”

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Newsom launches nation’s largest college savings program



Governor Gavin Newsom launches CalKIDS at the State Controller's Office (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – Starting today, all Californian families of low-income public school students – 3.4 million across the state – can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names, with seed investments of between $500 and $1,500.

The CalKIDS program, launched by Governor Gavin Newsom, invests $1.9 billion into accounts for low-income school-age children in grades 1-12 and for newborn children born on or after July 1, 2022. 

“California is telling our students that we believe they’re college material – not only do we believe it, we’ll invest in them directly,” said Newsom. “With up to $1,500, we’re transforming lives, generating college-going mindsets, and creating generational wealth for millions of Californians.”

“I am proud and excited to finally see CalKIDS in action,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “My goal with this program was to bridge the gap between wealth inequality and the high cost of education. CalKIDS will expand access to college through savings by providing each child born in the state of California a seed deposit in a ScholarShare 529 college savings account. Furthermore, thanks to Governor Newsom’s investment and expansion of the Program to make college more accessible to low-income California kids, additional deposits will be made for low-income first graders across the state, with supplemental deposits for foster and homeless youth. Our shared vision ensures each child across the state will have an opportunity at higher education.”


Up to $1,500 for 3.4 Million School-Age Children:

  • $500 Automatic Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as foster youth.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as homeless.

Up to $100 for Newborn Children:

  • $25 Automatic Deposit: Every eligible child born on or after July 1, 2022.
  • $25 Additional Deposit: Those who register on the program’s online portal.
  • $50 Additional Deposit: Those who link a new or existing ScholarShare 529 account to the CalKIDS account.

Californians can begin accessing their accounts via the online portal now. In the coming months, CalKIDS will send notification letters to qualifying children and families with more information. 

To learn more, visit the CalKIDS website and FAQ.

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Placer County Sheriff’s Office: Public’s help in locating missing girl needed

Anyone with information about Kiely’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375



Kiely Rodni (Family photo/Placer County Sheriff's Office)

TRUCKEE, Ca. – Investigators with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 16-year-old Kiely Rodni who disappeared in Northern California early Saturday morning. PCSD detectives say she may be the victim of an abduction.

Rodni was last seen around 12:30 a.m. Saturday near the Prosser Family Campground in the town of Truckee, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Kiely is described as 5’7 with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing green Dickies pants, a black tank top and jewelry. The teen also has numerous piercings, including a nose ring.

She had attended a party with more than 100 young adults. Authorities said that her phone has been out of service since the party and that her car, a silver Honda CRV model year 2013 with California license plate “8YUR127” is also missing.

Anyone with information about Kiely’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.

From KTLA sister station KTXL Sacramento:

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California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network names new director

Ceseña will work with advocates to ensure the implementation of legislation & policies that will benefit LGBTQ+ health and wellness



Dannie Ceseña (Photo courtesy of California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network)

SACRAMENTO – The California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, the statewide coalition working to advance LGBTQ health equity, announced that Transgender Health Equity Manager Dannie Ceseña will lead the organization as its Network Director after Amanda McAllister-Wallner stepped down on July 31.

McAllister-Wallner had served as Network Director since 2016. Over the last six years under her leadership, the Network has grown to a team of six, and has launched multiple projects, including #Out4MentalHealth, We Breathe, Out About ACEs, and LGBTQ+ COVID Safety.

During this time, the Network has firmly established itself as the statewide leader on issues related to LGBTQ health – with state funding to coordinate efforts to reduce LGBTQ mental health and tobacco-related disparities.

McAllister-Wallner also pushed numerous advocacy efforts, including the creation of the Gender Health Equity Unit at CDPH, collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data during the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritizing funding for LGBTQ communities impacted by the War on Drugs.

“It’s impossible to overstate my excitement to welcome Dannie as the next Director of the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network! I feel fortunate to have had a front-row seat to Dannie’s work and leadership over the past four years, and have no doubt that he will take the Network to exciting new heights in the coming years,” said McAllister-Wallner.

“Serving as the Network Director for the past six years has truly been a dream come true. It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to work on behalf of my community, achieve some amazing wins, and work alongside some of the most incredible LGBTQ community leaders in existence,” she added.

Ceseña (he/they) is the first Indigenous, Two Spirit with Mexica roots to lead as Director of the Network. He has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits in program development and advocacy.

He has extensive knowledge in creating Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) healthcare collaborations by utilizing upstream interventions and addressing the root cause of the lack of access to TGNC-affirming health care.

Ceseña’s knowledge and leadership have assisted in the creation of two TGNC community health care clinics, and a monthly TGNC legal clinic in Orange County, CA.

Ceseña has become a trusted leader in LGBTQ health among partners in the California Tobacco Control Program, responsible for building We Breathe: Supporting Tobacco-Free LGBTQ Communities from the ground-up, and has established the program as a leader statewide, nationally, and even internationally. 

He provided leadership and guidance for LGBTQ organizations that are new to working with the Department of Public Health, helping them navigate the complicated bureaucracy and ensuring LGBTQ project staff always have a place to turn with their questions and concerns.

“With the enthusiastic support from both the staff and the steering committee, I am excited to promote Dannie as the fourth director of the California LGBTQ HHS Network, continuing his work to amplify the voices of LGBTQ-serving organizations and advance health equity.” Said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, which hosts the Network.

“Amanda McAllister-Wallner took the CA LGBTQ HHS Network to another level, expanding the staff sixfold, creating new programs on mental health, tobacco control and health equity, and winning new policies on SOGI data collection and more. With his significant experience before and during his time with Health Access working on public health, trans inclusion, and program development, we are excited to see Dannie take the CA LGBTQ Network to be a greater resource and leader to support the community.”

As the Network Director, Ceseña will work with advocates throughout the state to ensure the implementation of legislation and policies that will benefit LGBTQ+ health and wellness. Additionally, he will provide management and direction to Network programs and staff, and support the expansion and overall capacity of the Network by adding a new Network Organizer and Trans Health Equity Manager.

“Amanda has done a tremendous job in taking a small program that is housed at Health Access and turning it into a Statewide powerhouse and organization that has name recognition and respect among many state departments,” stated Network Director Dannie Cesena. “Even though I am following in the footsteps of a legend, I look forward to working closely with our Steering Committee and deepening our work in State advocacy and policy for equitable and accessible LGBTQ health care.”

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