Black History Month, Lunar New Year, and a COVID-19 relief package

Amanda Gorman image and quote
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dear friends and neighbors,
February is Black History Month, a time for honoring the many achievements of Black and African Americans throughout history. It’s also a time for reflecting on how we as a nation must do much more to uplift our Black and African American communities by dismantling systemic racism and promoting equity and inclusion in policymaking.

In the state House, we’re celebrating the largest Black Members Caucus in our legislature’s history. These eight new and returning members are working to make our state a better place, bringing their communities’ voices and their own lived experiences to the conversations around our state’s COVID-19 response, economic recovery, tax reform, police accountability, climate change, and more.

As Speaker of the House, I’m committed to intentionally centering equity in the work we do. Ms. Amanda Gorman’s words are an inspiration to me and many of my colleagues as we strive to be the light for all our state’s communities during these challenging times.

Legislature recognizes Lunar New Year

Year of the Ox Lunar New Year logo

Across our state and around the world, people are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year, a holiday of great significance in many Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Three years ago, state Rep. My-Linh Thai – who is also the first refugee legislator to serve in the House – started the tradition of bringing a Lunar New Year resolution forward for adoption at the House rostrum.

By entering this resolution into the legislative record, the House is saying to our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities that we see you, we celebrate with you, and we honor your many contributions to our state.

This year’s resolution includes a special shout-out to the many frontline health care workers, essential workers, and small business owners who are helping our state meet the challenges of this pandemic.

You can join the virtual Lunar New Year Celebration this Friday, February 12 at noon. The event is open to all. Come celebrate the Year of the Ox!

COVID-19 relief bill heads to governor’s desk

In my last e-newsletter, I shared details of the Step One plan, a $2.2 billion package to help families and businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m pleased to report that both the House and Senate have passed this package, and it is on its way to be signed by the governor.

This money will go to help people struggling to pay rent, to small restaurants and other neighborhood businesses hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, to school districts, to uninsured and underinsured individuals, and to Black and Brown communities, which have been disproportionally harmed.

There is also $618 million in funding to boost our state’s public health efforts to address the pandemic – for distributing vaccines, contact tracing and testing, and epidemiology.

While this is a giant first step, stay tuned for the work we’ll continue to do this session. Our focus will be on advancing COVID-19 response, economic recovery, equity and addressing climate change.

Save the Date – 27th LD Virtual Town Hall

This year, the 27th Legislative District’s annual legislative town hall will be a virtual event. It will be held on Wednesday,  March 10th, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. I’ll be hosting it along with Rep. Jake Fey and Sen. Jeannie Darneille. More details and a link to the event will be shared as the date gets closer.

crowd shot of town hall
27th LD town hall, 2019. This year’s town hall will be virtual.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


Laurie first name signature