News from Sen. Blakespear - December 1, 2023

Holiday greetings!

It’s an exciting and busy time of the year as we enter the holiday season. 

As December begins, my focus as a state Senator is on the legislation that I want to introduce next year. The Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 3, and that’s when we’ll begin the legislative process for 2024.

I learned a lot in my first year in the Senate, especially about how the process works and the rigor applied to the process of analyzing and vetting ideas. The focus of the press and the public sometimes is on the sheer number of bills the Legislature produces. 

But lost in that is an appreciation for the thoroughness of the policymaking process. The number of committees, interest groups, individuals and legislators who review and modify bills is truly extensive. 

The process of generating bill ideas is labor intensive for my staff and me. We start with the kernel of an idea and then must research everything about it – current state law, other similar bills proposed on it, what local governments or other states are doing and the realities of implementing it. For instance, what will it cost? How difficult is it to execute? What could be unintended consequences?

Next comes the political analysis. Who would be for and against it, and what would be required to get it passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor? 

As a former journalist and a lawyer, I appreciate the dynamic thinking required to create and pass good public policy. I also love engaging with YOU, my constituents, to tackle emerging problems. I welcome your bill ideas and thoughts on how to approach them. All in all, we’re working hard on behalf of the district to help solve problems and make the world a better place! 

I look forward to next year. Stay tuned for more as we introduce our bills in January and February. 


Rail Line Faces Threats … And Has Such Potential!

During this fall recess, I’m visiting five major sections of the 351-mile rail corridor to see and hear from locals about the situation with the railroad track in their part of the state. It’s important to me to visit the railroad with all members of the Senate Subcommittee that I chair on LOSSAN Rail Corridor Resiliency. Any policy, governance or financial solutions that are ultimately proposed need to account for the variety of conditions along the corridor. There’s simply no substitute for seeing it firsthand. So I’m making time to do that. 

I took the train to Santa Barbara and then joined (left to right) Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams, state Senator Monique Limón and Assemblymember Gregg Hart on a tour of our coastal rail line organized by Union Pacific.

We rode in what’s called a hyrail vehicle, one with both train and vehicle tires. It’s like the amphibious vehicle that goes between land and water, only it goes between the street and the railroad tracks! 

Santa Barbara has several sections that look very similar to what we see in Del Mar, tracks close to the ocean and high above the sea. On this section of track there are approximately eight passenger trains for every one freight train, so even though the line is owned and managed by the freight company there is a substantial public interest in the track’s functionality. 

On a different day, I traveled to Los Angeles’ Union Station where L.A. Metro officials toured me around the improvements to the historic station and we discussed in detail what’s called the “Union Station run-through tracks” or “Link US.” Since 1939, Union Station has operated with inefficient stub-end tracks where trains nose into a dead end and then have to reverse direction to leave. This creates serious delays that could be fixed with this mega-project. Above is a rendering of what the project will look like when completed. More information about the run-through tracks project can be found here.

At Union Station, pictured above from left to right are Daniel Yu, Senior Director, Program Management; Alex Amadeo, Government Relations Administrator; Michael Turner, Executive Officer, Government Relations; Brad Owen, Senior Executive Officer, Program Management; and Carlos Montez, Senior Director, Program Management.

I also traveled to Fullerton, to get a better understanding of the rail line there. Here I am with other officials getting a tour.

On the Fullerton tour, left to right, were LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Managing Director Jason Jewell, Sen. Tom Umberg, myself, Sen. Josh Newman, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Darren Kettle, Orange County Supervisor and Metrolink Vice-Chair Doug Chaffee, Paulette Chaffee, and Fullerton Mayor and member of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Board of Directors Fred Jung. Umberg and Newman serve on the Senate Transportation Subcommittee on LOSSAN Rail Corridor Resiliency.

The next LOSSAN Rail Resiliency subcommittee meeting is at 9 a.m., on Monday, Dec. 11th.

What’s really exciting is this hearing will be held in San Clemente, instead of in Sacramento. I hope you can attend, or watch online on the subcommittee’s web page.  After the hearing we’ll tour the San Clemente section of tracks.

At the hearing, we’ll consider what the rail line needs to be successful given its tremendous benefits to residents, visitors, goods movement and our military community. We’ll discuss the implementation of Senate Bill 677, legislation I authored to require an assessment of the effects of climate change on the rail line, and research conducted by the Senate Office of Research and other subject matter experts on how we can support this critical rail corridor.


Welcome to San Diego Sen. Mike McGuire! 

Sen. Mike McGuire and I are looking at the threat the ocean presents to the coastal rail line in Del Mar. 

I was delighted this week to host a visit to my district from Sen. Mike McGuire, the Senate Majority Leader who has been selected to succeed Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins as leader of the Senate. Sen. Atkins is termed out of the Senate in 2024 and the transition is scheduled to take place in coming months.  

I was deeply grateful to Sen. McGuire for making time to see my district. He represents a north coast district that covers Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, and so my district is geographically far away – and quite different – from his home turf. Understanding the land-use patterns, transportation infrastructure, business climate and other issues from District 38 is important. We walked along the Coastal Rail Trail in Encinitas to the train station, where we hopped on the Coaster until Sorrento Valley. 

We also talked about other issues facing my district, including the lack of affordable housing and the growing number of people who are unhoused; the desperate need for fire insurance coverage that protects consumers; and the jobs and economic development that come from the life sciences industry.

I look forward to working with Sen. McGuire on these issues and many more in 2024!

Sen. Mike McGuire and I had the chance to discuss many pressing issues confronting my district. Here we are walking toward the beach in Del Mar.


Helping Migrants

I recently met Kate Clark, Senior Director of Immigration Services for Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

There is a lot of chaos in our world, as we know, and due to our stability, our nation is always receiving asylum seekers and other migrants who have nowhere else to turn.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) to see how they are helping asylum seekers coming into our country. JFS, alongside a coalition of other organizations, has been diligently working to provide humanitarian aid to migrants who would otherwise be left in our communities without any resources to reach their destinations.

I was happy to see JFS’s sophisticated operation giving migrants the support they need to get connected with loved ones and to ensure that they are set up for success.


Tri-City Hospital Gala

My husband Jeremy and I were happy to attend the Tri-City Hospital Foundation’s 41st Annual Gala. All the proceeds went to the redesign of the Tri-City Medical Center Emergency Department. The medical center in Oceanside is a vital part of the North San Diego County community! They recently announced a partnership with our world-class university UCSD, which is an exciting development. 


Holly, Jolly, Legislator: A Holiday Donation Drive

Supporting our military families and those with limited resources.

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, I am glad to host a toy drive starting today, December 1st! My Senate district covers both San Diego and Orange counties, and so we’ll have a separate drive in each county. In San Diego County, we are partnering with Lived Experiences to provide toys to families in need in our north county community. In Orange County, we are partnering with the City of Mission Viejo to secure toys for military families of the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

We invite all members of the community to join us in spreading some joy and cheer to needy families. You can participate by dropping off unwrapped toys at any of our district offices by December 18, 2023.

For information on Mission Viejo’s toy drive, please visit their website here. We appreciate any donations you can make, big or small. Together, we can make this holiday season a little brighter for everyone!

Thank you for your kindness and cooperation. We hope to see you soon at our district offices at the two addresses at the bottom of this newsletter or on our website here.


Making Sure You Know

My Communications Director Andrew LaMar (center), at a recent event with my Orange County District Representative Maia Meunier (left) and Senior District Representative Kim Carr (right).

My goal as a state legislator is to be completely transparent about what I am doing to serve you. In this day of political divisiveness and cynicism – and misinformation – I think it’s more important than ever for me to communicate with you, my constituents.

I don’t expect that you will agree with everything I am doing, but you should know what I am doing and why I am doing it. I aim to represent you as best as I can. That is what democracy is all about.

As a former journalist, I am passionate about the public’s right to know. Democracy cannot work if voters don’t have information – solid information – to make decisions about who to support or how to support them.

To support me in this effort, my Communications Director serves as a vital asset to making that happen. Andrew, pictured above, has a distinguished career in journalism, working in the Legislature as a Communications Director and former Chief of Staff, and time spent at various state agencies. His commitment to journalistic excellence, calm demeanor and thoughtfulness help me to convey my message to you.

To that end, I share happenings in this newsletter, which we send out every two weeks. I also post messages on my social media platforms every day. You can follow me on X, Instagram or Facebook. The links are at the bottom of this email.

I also make myself available to the media as much as possible. And I routinely meet with constituents about issues that affect their lives.

I get a very high volume of email, as you might expect, but my staff makes it our goal to answer every one of them.

I appreciate your feedback on any ways we can improve communications with you. Feel free to email my Communications Director Andrew LaMar at

Thank you for your support. I am honored to serve you.

In partnership,


To learn more about what I am doing, follow me on social media.


Email me at

Call my Encinitas district office at (760) 642-0809

Call my Laguna Hills district office at (949) 598-5850

Call my Capitol office in Sacramento at (916) 651-4038