State senate gets new man

Josh Newman, representing Diamond Bar, carries on the push for new DOC bill.

Angela Yang, Asst. News Editor

Josh Newman,  the newly elected state senator representing Diamond Bar, expressed his strong support of District of Choice and other education issues in a recent interview with the Bull’s Eye.

“I personally support public education very strongly,” Newman said. “I think District of Choice was originally conceived as consistent with my own philosophy that one,: parents should have a voice in their children’s educational path;, and, secondly, that we should, within the public school system, encourage innovation and achievement.”

Newman, who previously had never held a public office, defeated former State Rep. Ling Ling Chang in the November election to succeed Bob Huff to represent the 29th State Senate District.

One of the first bills Newman proposed was Senate Bill No. 52, which, if approved, would renew District of Choice for another five years.

According to Newman, the Walnut Valley Unified School District community actively expressed support for this cause during his campaign.

Newman has met individually with numerous leaders in the District of Choice effort as well as members of the school board and WVUSD Superintendent Robert Taylor.

However, as of early January, he had not yet communicated with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who prevented the original bill proposed to continue District of Choice from passing through her Appropriations Committee.

“I do plan on hopefully meeting with Assemblywoman Gonzalez and getting a more thorough understanding of her perspective,” Newman said.

According to Newman, SB-52 is more straightforward than the previous bill that died in Appropriations during the last legislative session, so it is possible that amendments may be introduced or alternative bills may be submitted by other members.

Other educational issues Newman says he hopes to address during his term as senator include ensuring that the K-12 system receives sufficient funding and improving California’s public education standing in the nation.

“Over the course of my campaign running for this seat over the past 12 months, I’ve been fortunate to get to know, in a way that I didn’t before, all of the different cities within the district, and so Diamond Bar is a city that I’ve gotten to know recently,” Newman said.

Newman is a graduate of Yale University and his background includes four years of service in the United States Army as well. He has worked in local government in Northern California and also has experience in the entertainment and technology industry. Currently Newman is based in Fullerton.

“For the past four years I’ve been the executive director and founder of a small nonprofit to help young veterans find work,” Newman said. “When I came home to Southern California, [it was] through that work plus my other involvement in politics in Northern California that led to my decision to run for this office.”