October 24, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Urges Consumers to Help Celebrate Food Day 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) is encouraging consumers to help celebrate Food Day, which takes place on October 24, 2012. Organizations like the Alameda County Community Food Bank will be holding events to raise awareness about sustainable food, advocacy and hunger.

“Food Day raises awareness about important issues concerning our nation’s health, including access to affordable and nutritious food and the reforming the way in which our food is produced,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “There are a lot of policy matters related to food that need the public’s attention and involvement, from animal welfare and hunger to environmental concerns and farm worker rights.”

Food Day was established by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization dedicated to achieving a healthy diet for all Americans. Food Day works to promote safer and healthier diets, support sustainable and organic farms, and reduce hunger. The organization reports that around 50 million Americans are considered “food insecure,” or near hunger.

For the Alameda County Community Food Bank, every day is food day, as they distribute enough food for 300,000 meals every week. Each year, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has hosted a holiday food drive for the Food Bank at the Oakland Zoo, the last of which raised a record 2,000 pounds in food donations. The Alameda County Community Food Bank will be hosting several events on Food Day, including sorting fresh produce, and leading workshops on CalFresh benefits.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please visit To find out more about Food Day, please visit


October 15, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi to Present Resolution to Red Top Electric

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi will honor Hayward-based Red Top Electric tomorrow at a commissioning event in San Leandro. Red Top will be recognized for their contributions to a new Zero Energy Center, a training facility created by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595 and the Northern California Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.

“As the installers of the renewable energy systems component, Red Top met difficult requirements and challenging deadlines with the passion and skill that will be a hallmark of our green tech workforce,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “With the leadership of its IBEW Local 595 electrical workers, Red Top has paved the way for a vibrant and prosperous future for our state.”

Red Top Electric is a family-owned electrical construction corporation based in Hayward, and has been serving the greater Bay Area for almost 60 years. Red Top was contracted to install the renewable energy systems component of the Zero Net Energy Center. The Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro is a 46,000 square foot facility that will train over 2,000 Journey level electricians, apprentices, and contractors in Alameda County on the latest energy-efficient construction methods, while modeling the latest sustainability practices. The Zero Net Energy Center will generate as much energy as it uses. Designed for sustainability, it combines highly efficient electrical, mechanical and envelope systems with on-site renewable energy generation. The Center is projected to open in 2013.

UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment reports that California’s energy efficiency policies and programs will result in 211,000 new jobs in the year 2020. They have recommended job training efforts focus on upgrading the energy efficiency skills and knowledge of the incumbent workforce, a goal that will be met by the Zero Net Energy Center. The commissioning event will take place at the Zero Net Energy Center on October 16, 2012 in San Leandro.


October 12, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Congratulates Dr. Leroy Morishita on Becoming Fifth President of CSU East Bay

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi congratulated Dr. Leroy Morishita on his investiture as the fifth President of California State University, East Bay. The university held the official ceremony today, recognizing Dr. Morishita’s leadership and longtime commitment to public education.

“Dr. Leroy Morishita has worked diligently to ensure California students have the opportunity to reach for and achieve their dreams,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “Over his 30-year career, he has been dedicated to advancing higher education and serving the community, never forgetting the lessons he learned early on about the importance of access to education and of supporting the aspirations of young people.”

Dr. Leroy Morishita served as interim president of CSU East Bay for six months, and was appointed as President in January 2012. Dr. Morishita’s work has spanned diverse areas from counseling, computer sciences and research, to budget planning and finance. He has been involved with his local communities, serving as a trustee of the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, and was a former board member for the Japanese Cultural and Community Center for Northern California and Oakland’s Asian Community Mental Health Services.

Dr. Morishita grew up in the Central Valley in a farming family, where his parents encouraged him to be anything he wanted to be. He earned a psychology degree and a master’s in counseling, and found his passion in working with underserved middle and high school students to get them into college. This led Dr. Morishita to counseling work at San Francisco State University and then his doctoral work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His natural skill with budgets, planning and enrollment projections brought him through the administration ranks at San Francisco State University and at CSU East Bay, where he eventually became chief financial officer and executive vice president for administration and finance, respectively.


October 11, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Promotes Observance of First International Day of the Girl

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) issued the following statement on the first United Nations International Day of the Girl.

“Today marks a renewed global commitment to changing the lives of girls—ensuring equal opportunity, promoting education, and protecting their rights, health and safety,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “Girls in the United States and all around the world still face serious issues that limit their potential and livelihood, and we need to be stronger advocates in breaking down these barriers.”

In a multi-year effort led by girls’ rights advocates, October 11 was established as International Day of the Girl by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that passed on December 19, 2011. The official Day of the Girl website recognizes the immense significance of this action, stating, “In reserving a day for advocacy and action by and for girls, the UN has signaled its commitment to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence, and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls.”

The main theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl is ending the practice of child marriage. The United Nations states that child marriage violates millions of girls’ rights, disrupts their education, jeopardizes their health, and denies them their childhood, limiting their opportunities and impacting all aspects of a girl’s life. The International Center for Research on Women reported that 25,000 girls are married off every day. More than half of the girls in Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique and Niger are married before age 18.


October 10, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Urges Women to Get Screened for Breast Cancer

In observance of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) is encouraging women to get screened for breast cancer. She released a public service announcement today, which is available on YouTube.

“40,000 women this year will die of breast cancer, and over 200,000 will be diagnosed with the disease,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “Early detection saves lives. Please contact your doctor today. It could save your life.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, second only to skin cancer. Though it is rare, breast cancer can also occur among men. Thanks to early detection and improvements in treatment, today millions of women are surviving breast cancer and living well. The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms for women 40 and over. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam by a health professional at least every 3 years.

“Advocates have made tremendous progress on this issue and forever changed the way breast cancer is viewed and treated. It’s important that we continue to encourage women to get screened and also to get involved in the movement to end breast cancer,” continued Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who is a former board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Alameda County residents can call the Women’s Cancer Resource Center at 510.420.7900 for more information.  View the PSA below:


September 24, 2012

Governor Signs Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Bill to Increase Local Government Transparency and Accountability

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) announced today that Governor Jerry Brown has signed her bill, AB 1509. AB 1509 will increase public awareness of and access to the required Statement of Economic Interests, also known as Form 700, by local elected officials. AB 1509 will require cities and counties to post a notice on their website stating where a person can obtain an electronic or hard copy of a local elected official’s Form 700.

“I would like to thank the Governor for signing this bill, which will increase government transparency and accountability for the voters,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “This bill supports the intent of the Political Reform Act by ensuring that voters have access to important financial information about their representatives, and that no conflict of interest exists when elected officials are making critical administrative and policy decisions.”

In 1974, voters passed Proposition 9, most commonly known as the Political Reform Act. The Act was designed to ensure that government officials do not use their position to make decisions that would benefit their own personal financial interests. In this regard, most state and local government officials and their employees must file disclosures of investments, real property interests, and income within specified periods of assuming or leaving office, and annually while holding the office. This information is submitted as Form 700, which is filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and in the case of local elected officials, with city clerks or county clerks. The FPPC makes all Form 700s available in hard copy and online for public viewing.

In an effort to increase public awareness and streamline access to these forms, AB 1509 requires a city or county clerk who maintains a website to post a notification that identifies the elected officers who file statements of economic interests with that city or county clerk. The bill then requires the notification to state that a copy of a Form 700 for those filers can be obtained by visiting the offices of the FPPC or the city or county clerk. The bill also requires that the notification include a link to the FPPC website and a statement declaring that certain Form 700s may be available in electronic format.


September 20, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Veterans Education Bill

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) announced today that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed her bill, AB 2478. AB 2478 extends the current exemption given to veterans from paying non-resident tuition at California Community Colleges by one year, providing them with additional time to establish residency in the state.

“I would like to thank the Governor for signing this bill, and standing by our Veterans,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “Nearly half of newly separated Veterans are under the age of 24. These young veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and they deserve a fair opportunity to attend one of the best higher education systems in the world. California’s community colleges are well-known as a key pathway to career success, and AB 2478 will give Veterans the chance to access this affordable, high quality education, leading to a fulfilling and productive life after-service.”

Governor Brown signed several other bills related to veterans today, stating “Here in California, Republicans and Democrats joined together to support our veterans. These bills respect the honor and dignity of those who serve.” Current law waives out-of-state tuition fees for one year for veterans discharged from a military facility in California. This allows a veteran to pay in-state tuition for one year from the date of their discharge, no matter their home state. One year is also the amount of time that California requires any prospective student to live in the state to establish residency and be eligible for in-state tuition rates.

Veterans, however, often need to return to their home state after being discharged and may not be able to immediately start their education in California. Veterans may suffer from injuries or disabilities, which need time to heal prior to attending college and transitioning to civilian life. When these Veterans subsequently move back to California, they will have lost a portion or all of their one-year in-state tuition benefit, but they are still subject to the one-year requirement of establishing residency. These Veterans often end up paying the same tuition as international students.

AB 2478 will allow a Veteran to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition for up to 2 years after their discharge from a military installation in California, instead of just one. Veterans must file an affidavit with the community college stating that he or she intends to establish residency in California as soon as possible. By providing Veterans with more opportunities to obtain a college education, increase job skills and improve their employment outlook, AB 2478 aligns with President Barack Obama’s initiatives to address the needs of Veterans.


September 18, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Announces Launch of New Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Website

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward), vice chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, announced the launch of its new website at The mission of the Caucus is to represent and advocate for the interests of the diverse Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities in California.

“We are excited to present this new website, which is designed to encourage more APIA participation in the political process and raise public awareness about the issues affecting our communities,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi.

The new website provides a profile of the current eleven Members of the Caucus, which includes eight Members serving in the State Assembly and three Members serving in the State Senate. This is the most number of Members since the Caucus was established in 2001. Assemblymember Warren Furutani and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. The Caucus membership also includes Senators Carol Liu, Ted Lieu, and Leland Yee, and Assemblymembers Mike Eng, Paul Fong, Fiona Ma, Richard Pan, Das Williams and Mariko Yamada.

The Caucus seeks to increase APIA participation and representation in all levels of government and work in coalition and partnership with other like-minded organizations in other communities. Consequently, the new website features information about APIA candidates in the upcoming election, as well as about ballot initiatives that will impact APIA communities. The site integrates social media, providing current Twitter updates and a tie into the Facebook community. For more information, please visit


September 10, 2012

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Announces Launch of Revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

Today, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) announced the release of the revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Assemblywoman Hayashi is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which took on the task of reviewing and refining the groundbreaking document that was first presented by then-U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher in 2001.

“This is a momentous occasion for mental health, symbolizing a renewed commitment toward the prevention of suicide,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “The revised strategy benefits from an array of stakeholder input and a decade of new research and experience, creating a strong and focused action plan for all those concerned about this public health crisis.”

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention held a press conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Office of the Surgeon General to launch the revised strategy. Today also marks World Suicide Prevention Day and the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. Overall, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans, the second leading cause of death for adults ages 25-34, and the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.

The Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps guide the implementation of the goals and objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). The NSSP represented the first framework and blueprint for action on suicide prevention in the United States. Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in May 2001, the NSSP has guided the nation’s suicide prevention efforts for a decade. The Alliance envisions a nation free from the tragic experience of suicide, and champions prevention as a national priority.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has been a member of the Alliance since its inception in 2010. A dedicated mental health advocate, Assemblywoman Hayashi catalyzed the creation of California’s first Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention and serves on California’s Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission, which oversees the implementation of Prop.63.


August 17, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Concussion Training Bill

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) announced today that Governor Jerry Brown has signed her student safety bill, AB 1451. AB 1451 will add training on concussions to the first aid certification required of all California high school coaches.

“I would like to thank the Governor for signing this bill and taking California another step forward in protecting the health of our student athletes,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “Because kids still believe they need to be tough and play through injuries, it’s critical that coaches have the training to recognize concussions and take players out of the game as soon as possible.”

AB 1451 strengthens existing law by adding concussion education to the required first aid training of every high school sports coach. Coaches will learn the basic signs and symptoms of concussions and the appropriate response. California became one of the states with the toughest return-to-play laws when Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s groundbreaking concussion bill, AB 25, was signed by the Governor last year. The law requires a school district to immediately remove an athlete from a school-sponsored athletic activity if he or she is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury. Students are prohibited from returning to play until he or she is evaluated by, and receives written clearance from, a licensed health care provider.

Injuries can happen with any sport. These bills address concerns about players returning to the game too soon after a concussion, which places them at greater risk for life-threatening complications. A 2009 study showed that 41 percent of high school athletes who suffered a concussion return to play too soon. Without proper diagnosis and injury management, concussions can lead to a wide-range of short and long-term issues, including sleep disorders, memory loss, and depression.


August 6, 2012

Assemblymember Mary Hayashi Adjourns in Memory of Sikh Temple Shooting Victims

As the California State Legislature reconvened from its summer recess, Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) adjourned in memory of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting victims. One of the victims was the cousin of Charnjit Singh, a priest at Gurdwara Sahib Hayward, a local Sikh temple.

“It’s hard to believe that such violence can still strike a place of worship, where people gather for the sake of peace, fellowship, and community,” stated Assemblymember Mary Hayashi. “I ask that we take this moment to express our condolences to the families, and our support to all the survivors of this tragic event.”

On the morning of August 5, a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb near Milwaukee. Several dozen temple members were in attendance for Sunday services. Six were killed and others were wounded, including the first responding police officer who was shot multiple times while trying to give aid to a victim. The gunman died in a shootout with police officers. The shooter was identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi involved in white supremacist activities. One of the victims was the cousin of Hayward’s Sikh temple priest, Charnjit Singh, who received news of the shooting before Sunday services. With courage and strength, he led and comforted his congregation as they all waited for more information, and prayed for friends and families in preparation for the heart-breaking details.

“With the recent shootings in Colorado, and at Oikos University last year in Oakland, these are trying times that make us shake our heads and question how far humanity has come. But while the Wisconsin gunman sought to drive another wedge of hate in this country, events like this only make us work harder, stand stronger, and bond us together,” continued Assemblymember Mary Hayashi.


August 6, 2012

Assemblymember Mary Hayashi Honors Castro Valley Educator Mary Bird

Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) honored long-time Castro Valley educator Mary Bird today at the California State Capitol. Ms. Bird has been a teacher for 31 years, and was named Region 4 Educator of the Year in 2010 by the California League of Middle Schools.

“Mary represents the best of education: she is a passionate, enthusiastic and open-hearted educator who is sought out by students and teachers alike for her guidance and leadership,” stated Assemblymember Mary Hayashi. “It’s an honor to have one of California’s best teachers here today.”

Mary Bird has been a teacher for 31 years. She currently teaches math at Creekside Middle School in the Castro Valley Unified School District. Her innovative teaching methods and curriculum have resulted in improved testing scores and more students taking higher level courses. Ms. Bird’s dedication to teaching extends beyond students, as she serves as a mentor to other teachers and has chaired the math and science departments. In 2010, she was selected as the Region 4 Educator of the Year by the California League of Middle Schools. The award is given annually to 11 educators, representing regions throughout California, who are leaders of educational reform in the middle school.

In nominating Ms. Bird for this award, Creekside’s principal, MaryAnn DeGrazia, described her as a “remarkable educator who teaches with her heart and soul, is admired by students and is deeply respected by colleagues.”