With the days getting shorter and summer nearing its close, September can often be a pretty melancholy time of year. This year feels different to me, though. First of all, as you read this, the Senate will have adjourned the 2022 legislative session, and I am so excited about all the good work we achieved this year, I don’t think I could feel gloomy if I tried.
Secondly, there is so much work still to do here at home, throughout our state, and across the country, that I don’t think we have the luxury of melancholy. We need movement. The days may be getting shorter, but we have a big job ahead keeping the momentum up and making sure California’s powerful light continues to be a beacon.
I want to start September off right by sending a huge thank you and all respect to the working people who continue to make California a global titan. Happy Labor Day! The rights, safety, and economic well-being of working people must always be a priority. 2022 showed major gains in worker protections, and, with an increase in the minimum wage effective January 1, we continue toward a more realistic, impactful, and equitable wage. Let’s keep rolling!
While this will go to print before all the final victories can be included, we have clearly made historic gains on climate goals, reproductive rights, and affordable housing. And that’s on top of the bills and the budget we passed earlier this year that are bringing relief, hope, and opportunity to so many Californians. When the dust clears and my eyes reopen, we will be sending out a more detailed account of what the Legislature achieved in the final days of session.
September has traditionally meant the official start of election season, but it seems like that season runs 24/7 all year long these days. That said, there are elections coming up all over the country that will determine whether our rights are protected and whether our experiment in representative Democracy succeeds. So please make sure you and everyone you know are registered and vote.
This being an election year also means that we will be losing several Senators due to term limits, including my friend and district neighbor Senator Ben Hueso. Ben has been such a force for San Diego in every position he has had. I will miss him in the Senate, but I am positive our paths will cross anytime there is good work to do for our community!
That’s another reason I’m having trouble feeling melancholy this September. With session adjourned, I will have more time to attend community events. I’m excited about the opportunity to talk with people who love our community, and love our state, and want to make things even better so we can keep that beacon burning.
Hope to see you there!
California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (39th District)