Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Laphonza Butler (Courtesy photo)

Rep. Barbara Lee Responds to Sen. Butler’s Choice to Not Run for U.S. Senate

 Shortly after Sen. Laphonza Butler announced that she will not run in the race to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12) responded to the news.

“Senator Butler took on the enormous responsibility of filling an open senate seat with grace, integrity, and a deep commitment to delivering

for the people of California,” wrote Lee in a statement on social media.

“I look forward to continuing our work together for the remainder of her term,” continued Lee, who is among the three contenders and the only Black American — in the crowded race for the U.S. Senate seat Butler currently occupies.

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Gov. Newsom appointed Butler to complete the term of Feinstein, who passed away last month.  The other two contenders for Senator with Lee are her Democratic colleagues, Congressmembers Katie Porter (DCA-47) and Adam Schiff (D-CA-30).

In a statement on Oct. 19, Butler said her decision not to run may not be what people expected, but it is the best one for her.

“I’ve always believed elected leaders should have real clarity about why they’re in office and what they want to do with the responsibility and power they have,” wrote Butler in a statement.

“I’ve spent the past 16 days pursuing my own clarity – what kind of life I want to have, what kind of service I want to offer and what kind of voice I want to bring forward,” she continued. “After considering those questions I’ve decided not to run for a full term in the US Senate. Knowing you can win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign. I know this will be a surprise to many because traditionally we don’t see those who have power let it go.”

Quoting Muhammad Ali, Butler added, “Don’t count the days. Make the days count. I intend to do just that.”

Butler, who expressed strong support for the Black press during a 30minute Zoom call last week, has not yet announced her endorsement for her successor.

Bradford, Bass Mourn Former Assemblymember Cindy Montañez

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said he is saddened by the passing of Assemblymember Cindy Montañez, who represented the 39th District in the State Assembly from 2002 to 2006.

Montañez, who Bradford called “dear friend, a great elected leader and a trailblazer,” died at 50 on Oct. 21 after battling cancer.

“Cindy Montañez served the people of San Fernando, Los Angeles and

California in many capacities,” said Bradford, Vice Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) in a statement.  “During her career, she shattered glass ceilings serving as the youngest woman elected to the San Fernando City Council and the second youngest woman elected to the State Assembly. She was also the first Latina and first Democratic woman to serve as Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee,” added Bradford.

Bradford remembered Montañez warm smile and her love for music.

“I have no doubt she is dancing in heaven. She handled her many health challenges with grace and style never asking why me? She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her. Rest in power, my friend,” mourned Bradford.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, who served as Speaker of the California Assembly, remembered working closely with Montañez.

“I saw her tenacity up close many times. She was by my side when we fought together in Sacramento, making difficult decisions to help our state and she advised me when I served in Congress on a range of issues impacting our city. Throughout it all, one thing was always clear,” said Bass. “It was an honor just last month to recognize her with members of the City Council.”

Non-Profits, Places of Worship Have Until Oct. 27 to Apply for State Grants to Improve Security 

 Last week, Gov. Newsom announced that he has doubled the funding for a state grant program created to help religious institutions, places of worship and faith-based non-profit improve their security.

‘The deadline to apply is Oct. 27.

“Today’s announcement authorizes $10 million in state funding to immediately increase police presence at places of worship and authorizes an additional $20 million investment to the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program to provide physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations — including synagogues and mosques — that are at high risk for violent attacks and hate crimes,” read an email from Newsom’s office.

“The program fully funds upgrades that include reinforced doors and gates, high-intensity lighting and alarms, access control, and more,” the email provided more details.

 IRS: You Now Have Until Nov. 16 to Pay Your 2022 Income Tax 

 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) verified that Californians who had postponed filing their taxes until the October 16, 2023, deadline — now have until Nov. 16, 2023, to file and pay their 2022 taxes to avoid penalties.

FTB generally conforms to the IRS’s deferred schedules for events declared as disasters by the U.S. President.

In addition, taxpayers in 55 California counties, excluding Lassen, Modoc and Shasta counties — who were impacted by winter natural disasters — are eligible for an extension to file and pay their 2022 federal income taxes until Nov. 16, 2023.

Taxpayers impacted by a presidentially declared disaster may claim a deduction for the disaster loss. More details and guidelines are available in FTB Publication 1034, titled “2022 Disaster Loss: How to Claim a State Tax Deduction.”

Taxpayers can claim a disaster loss either on their 2023 return next spring, or on this year’s return against 2022 income. An amended return may be filed by those who have already filed this year. Claiming the loss on a 2022 return allows for a quicker refund.