Anderson 360: August 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

Homes for Our Troops: Jorge A. Ortiz

It was an honor to attend the Key Ceremony for United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jorge Ortiz organized by Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) and present a Senate certificate of recognition to LCpl Ortiz for his outstanding service.

Photo of Lance Corporal Jorge Ortiz
Photo courtesy of Homes for Our Troops

LCpl Ortiz lost both of his legs and sustained severe arm injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on January 15, 2011 while on his first deployment as a Combat Cameraman. His teammates carried him and were able to get him on a helicopter and transported to Bastion Hospital. From there he was lifted to Landsthul, Germany where he was stabilized. After being stabilized, he was transferred to San Diego. In August 2012, LCpl. Ortiz retired. He is currently living in Valley Center with his wife Aiyanna.

Photo of Senator Anderson speaking at the HFOT Key Ceremony
Photo courtesy of Homes for Our Troops

HFOT is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that “builds mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans Post - 9/11.” The Veterans have the opportunity to choose where they would like to live. In the homes, there are roll under access features around the house, so that wheelchairs fit under all counter tops, sinks, and cooktops as well as automatic doors that are installed to allow hands-free accessibility when entering or exiting the home. Since its establishment in 2004, 221 specially adapted homes have been built nationwide.

I want to thank Homes for Our Troops for inviting me to this wonderful celebration and for all of their amazing work for our Veterans, and especially thank LCpl. Ortiz for his service and his sacrifice.

Photo of Senator Anderson presenting Lance Corporal Ortiz with a Senate certificate of recognition
Photo courtesy of Homes for Our Troops

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2016 Small Business of the Year: Crystal Gardens Florist

Jeannie Hume’s Crystal Gardens Florist was chosen as my 38th Senate District Small Business of the Year. Jeannie started her company back in 1984 and has always been dedicated to delivering the finest floral arrangements and services. Despite her busy schedule, she remains active in giving back to the community by volunteering at Poway High School and for Soroptimist International of Poway as the Membership Chair. Her and her staff’s commitment to their work and their involvement in making a difference in the community are what make Crystal Gardens Florist great. I am glad the Poway Chamber of Commerce nominated Crystal Gardens Florist so that Jeannie and her team’s dedication could be highlighted throughout the state. Congratulations, Jeannie, and thank you for celebrating Small Business Day in Sacramento with me.

Lakeside Community Coffee

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Chinese Religious Prisoner Reunited with Family

Can you imagine being arrested for your faith? Joanna is a California resident whose mother was arrested and detained by the Chinese authorities for practicing Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, was founded in 1992 and teaches truth, compassion, and forbearance that strengthens the physical and mental health through meditation. This establishes a connection with the roots of traditional Chinese culture. Due to fears that Falun Gong practitioners may have the strength to challenge the government’s power, Falun Gong was banned by the Chinese government in 1999 and has been a subject of persecution.

When Jinhua Ma was arrested for practicing Falun Gong, her daughter, Joanna Wang who lives in California, asked me to write a letter to the Chinese government asking for her mother’s release from incarceration. Eight years later, Jinhua was released and they were finally reunited. I am grateful this loving family was reunited, and I remain committed to fighting for religious freedom worldwide.

September 18, 2008

President Hu Jintao
C/o Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
Embassy of China
2300 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington DC. 20008

Dear President Hu, 

As a member of the California Senate Assembly, I am concerned about the policy of the Chinese government towards practitioners of Falun Gong and would like to request your assistance in the case of Jinhua Ma.

Jinhua Ma is the mother of Joanna Wang, a resident of California. She was arrested and detained by Chinese authorities on September 4 and to this date her family is unaware of her whereabouts and well-being. 

I respectfully request the immediate release of Jinhua Ma. I am hopeful that, in your position, you can help to secure her release and work to reverse the policy of the government of detaining practitioners of Falun Gong. By doing so you will be working to uphold the right of the Chinese citizens to freedom of expression and assembly, which are outlined in the Chinese Constitution.

I would be very grateful for whatever assistance you could provide. Thank you very kindly in advance for your attention to this important matter. 


Joel Anderson

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