Press Releases

Friday, August 17, 2018

(from left to right: Commander, Youth and Community Programs Task Force, Brigadier General (CA) James L. Gabrielli;  Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva; Youth and Community Programs Task Force Director of Starbase, Los Alamitos, Stacey Hendrickson; and  Sandra Sainz, Senior Enlisted NCOIC)

SACRAMENTO – In further efforts to bring California tax dollars to Orange County, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) has secured a total of $1.7 million in funding for a critical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education program to expand the STARBASE youth program at the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos Department. While the federal government pays for all operating costs associated with STARBASE, the Department of Defense looked to Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and the State of California to help provide classrooms for the program. 

         STARBASE, Los Alamitos, serves schools from 5 counties in California; Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego. Although it is anticipated that STARBASE Los Alamitos will host 3000 students, from 105 fifth grade classes in the 2017-18 school year, there is a waiting list of 46 classes that cannot be accommodated. The budget augmentation in this request will allow for the construction of a new 3,500 square foot building at the National Guard Base at Los Alamitos which will include two STARBASE classrooms that will allow an additional 2,000 students to attend the program each year, eliminating the waiting list for potential students.

         “As a teacher of over 20 years, I am very familiar with the importance of investing in the future of our children, through education. Investing in STEM education is, and will continue to be, an imperative focus of our State” said Quirk-Silva. Investing in an education that is focused on these subjects is investing in the future of these inspired boys and girls, AND the workforce and economy of this nation.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

(Left to right: Fullerton City Council Member Jesus Silva, Chris Barnhill, President of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Board of Trustees, California State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, Muckenthaler Cultural Center CEO Farrell Hirsch, and Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

(Orange County, CA) – After many efforts to secure more funding for schools, and freezing tuition costs for state universities, Asssemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) released the following statement regarding the decision by the University of California (UC) Board of Regents to decrease in tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.

“It is about time the UC Regents gave middle class families a break. Too many families are struggling to give their children better lives. Needlessly raising fees while there are secret coffers of money, and a bloated bureaucracy that should be cut, is ridiculous,” said Quirk-Silva. “A $60 decrease is a step in the right direction, but ultimately not enough. Tuition and fees still remain unaffordable for many.”

Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 27 (ACA 27), which checks the power of the UC Regents and the UC President. The legislation would require greater transparency and openness in setting salaries, and how the UC system spends money. Quirk-Silva called on the UC Regents to halt any discussion of a tuition increase until the public had a better understanding of the UC system’s financial standing.

"My broader concerns have been somewhat allayed by the recent news of a tuition decrease, though my continued focus is transparency and accountability, and making sure funding continues to benefit students. Everyday Californians struggle to afford higher education, while most UC Regents are multi-millionaires,” said Quirk-Silva. “I will continue to stand by students and advocate for more relief from the burden of college debt. The Regents must remain accountable.”

In 2016, Quirk-Silva authored Assembly Bill 393: The Student Protection Act in response to the financial challenges faced by today’s college students, including deepening debt and long work hours necessary to supplement their educational costs. The bill would have placed a moratorium on student tuition and fees at California’s public community colleges and state universities.

In 2017, the state auditor uncovered $175 million reserve held by the administration of the University of California. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva participated in a joint hearing to discuss the recent state audit of the University of California Office of the President titled, “The University of California Office of the President: It Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices are Misleading.” She then called for the immediate resignation of UC President Janet Napolitano.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, six bills authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) passed major legislative hurdles on their way to helping California’s number-one job creators and innovators: small businesses.  Among other accomplishments, Assembly Bills (AB) 767, 1547, 1561, 2463, 2596, and 2687 include the establishment of the Small Business Assistance Expansion Program, the California Economic Development Strategic Action Plan, and the Master Business License Center.

Collectively, these efforts will open the global marketplace to California’s small business owners, simplify requirements and regulations owners must meet to do business in the state, and make discovering and submitting required forms more accessible to business owners through a one-stop-shop online platform.  These bills would also expand assistance available to veteran-, women-, and minority-owned businesses; prepare the state, its employers, and its labor force for future natural disasters and a rapidly shifting economic landscape; and ultimately rally California’s economy around a unified brand of business friendliness and economic justice highlighting to the world the unique strengths the golden state has to offer.

With today’s successes, California’s small businesses can be assured that their state government is pushing forward a collection of measures to comprehensively address their concerns.  I have heard directly from Californian small businesses, chambers of commerce, and state resource agencies about the need to comprehensively address the concerns of the backbone of our economy; California’s small businesses,” said Quirk-Silva. “These reforms are forward-looking, and make sense for today’s, and tomorrow’s, economies, and give opportunities to people with entrepreneurial spirits and the will to work hard for the American dream.”

AB 1561 was referred from the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and will be heard next on the Senate floor.

AB 767, 1547, 2463, 2596, and 2687, passed the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, on a bipartisan vote of 9 to 0 and will be heard next in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.  Quirk-Silva is also working with small business and economic development groups, such as the Orange County Business Council, to have the Small Business Assistance Expansion Program adopted through the budget.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Annual Ceremony Recognizes Bourbon Street Bar & Grill

SACRAMENTO – During California Small Business Day, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) and the California State Assembly honored small business owners Lawrence Houser and Joseph Keenan. They are the founders of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill, and have been serving the thriving hospitality industry in the Fullerton area since March of 2008.

“It is my honor to highlight small businesses, like the one owned by Larry and John of Bourbon Street. The hospitality industry is one of service and entertainment, and Larry and John have embraced this ideal” said Quirk-Silva. “This Small Business of the Year is a great place to dine and spend time, but moreover, they give back to the community. By bringing awareness and resources together for a cause like Autism, they show the spirit of community by mixing philanthropy with business.”

Lawrence Houser and Joseph Keenan wanted to bring the flavors of New Orleans to the city they lived in for over 30 years. They were very well known in the community, and wanted to use their platform in the local hospitality and entertainment for the better. Owner Lawrence Houser’s son Boyd was diagnosed with autism, and Houser and Keenan changed their annual jazz fest into an event called Mardi Gras for Autism. The event attracts over 5,000 people each year, and has over 50 autism related vendors. The event takes over the entire Fullerton Train Station Parking Lot. Furthermore, they continue to partner with the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, to provide work training for students with special needs.

Attachment: Photo with Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and small business owners Lawrence Houser, his son Boyd, and business partner Joseph Keenan of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill in Fullerton, CA.


Friday, June 22, 2018

SACRAMENTOAssemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) and the California State Assembly honored Santiago Bravo of the United States Army as Veteran of the Year for Assembly District 65. Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva recognized the Orange County veteran for his service in the United States Army, and his many commitments to the nation. After the tragedy of the 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attacks in New York, Santiago Bravo joined the U.S. Army in an effort to serve and support our country.

“I am honored to be the 65th Assembly District Veteran of the Year for our communities, our service members, and this great nation,” said Bravo.

“Santiago Bravo served with honor and distinction, and continues to go above and beyond with his dedication to serving the people of our Orange County community, and this great nation,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “Through his involvement in various local organizations, he has committed his life to helping others. This is why he deserves to be honored, and this is why I am happy to have him as a valued community resource, and as a friend.”

Santiago Bravo served in the US Army from 2003-2007, and earned the following honors: National Defense Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Ribbon, and Presidential Unit Citation. During his service, he took part in the Global War on Terrorism – being deployed on two separate occasions. While deployed with the 4th Infantry Division, his Battalion took part in Operation Red Dawn, which led to the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. After leaving the military, Mr. Bravo created the nonprofit “The Sgt. Bravo Foundation. The foundation is committed to fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and traumatic brain injuries through activities such as Veteran’s Barbeques, Fishing for Therapy, and Soup for Troops. He is a member of American Legion Post 291 in Newport Beach.


Photo: Photos of (left to right) Jeanette Bravo (wife), 2018 Veteran of the Year Santiago Bravo, with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Resolution to Honor California’s Colonel Young Oak Kim, United States Army Passes First Legislative Hurdle

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Steven Choi and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) move Assembly Concurrent Resolution 188 (ACR 188) through the State Senate Transportation Committee. ACR 188 would designate a specified portion of Interstate 5 in the County of Orange as the Colonel Young Oak Kim, United States Army, Memorial Highway. The measure would also request the California Department of Transportation to place signs along the highway showing this special designation. The cost of the signs that memorialize the Korean American Colonel will be covered by donations from non-state sources.

“I am proud to be able to honor this leader, and ask you to join me in saying thank you for the remarkable contributions made by Colonel Young Oak Kim. He holds a special place in the Korean American community of California from which he was born, and with further awareness of his deeds, more and more Americans will remember his valor and integrity” said Quirk-Silva. “This memorial will celebrate his heroic efforts in the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, and his life as a champion of human rights; serving underprivileged, and minority populations.”

Colonel Kim was born in California, and grew up in Downtown Los Angeles. During WWII, he fought with the 100th Infantry Battalion, a segregated unit of Japanese Americans from Hawaii. He was the only non-Japanese American. He later rejoined the army to fight in the Korean War. Kim was the Asian American to command a regular U.S. combat battalion.

For his military service, Colonel Kim earned an unprecedented number of awards: Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, two Legions of Merit, Italy’s Bronze Medal of Military Valor and Military Valor Cross, France’s la Legion D’Honneur, and the Republic of Korea’s Moran Order of Military Merit.

Upon his commission as a second lieutenant in 1943, Kim was assigned to the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team. As the unit’s only Korean American, Kim was offered a transfer due to the Army’s fear of ethnic conflict exacerbated by Japanese colonial rule over Korea. But Kim refused, declaring, “There is no Japanese or Korean here. We’re all Americans and we’re fighting for the same cause.”