Pan reflects on first year representing Elk Grove

  ·  Bryan M. Gold, Elk Grove Citizen   ·   Link to Article

There have been a couple of times just in the past year where State Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has relied on his background to get a running start on an issue or a cause.

He spent two years in the Assembly representing north Sacramento County. He last year won the election for the district seat that includes Elk Grove and other southern parts of the county.

“It’s been an exciting year, a year that we’ve been able to do a lot,” he said. “I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do both in the district and the Legislature.”

The pediatrician also became chair of the Assembly Health Committee, and he used his medical background and knowledge to play a big role in the creation of the statewide healthcare exchange.

Pan authored the legislation that he said ensures people with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage or charged more for health insurance. He said he worked to expand the Medi-Cal program “so we create a culture of coverage in the community.”

The elected official said he is also partnering with Elk Grove’s education officials to conduct a local outreach event this winter.

Pan is also on the board of directors for Serve Elk Grove, a nonprofit organization formed by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis aimed at getting volunteers to provide service in the city.

“The mission of Serve Elk Grove is to make Elk Grove stronger by evangelizing service by linking people to causes,” the mayor said. “In many ways, Serve Elk Grove is a one-stop shop for getting involved in important Elk Grove causes.”

Other Serve Elk Grove board members include Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee Steve Ly and Barry Smith, the senior pastor at Impact Community Church.

Pan said the effort put forth for health insurance coverage and Serve Elk Grove should create “healthier” communities.

That piece of legislation was among a dozen bills he authored that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed earlier this year.

Other legislation covers a wide range of issues, including gun safety, state outsourcing and increasing donations to the American Red Cross.

Pan said AB 538 helps ensure guns are delivered to their intended customers by requiring dealers and customers to provide their signatures acknowledging lawful delivery has been completed.

He said AB 539 helps keep guns from ending up on the black market by providing safe storage opportunities for individuals who are temporarily prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Pan also authored AB 906, which will ensure California personal service contracts are reviewed to prevent state outsourcing from lasting many years longer than intended when state employees could do the work for less.

“We have a responsibility to taxpayers to not waste money on outsourcing jobs when California already has the most efficient civil service employees in the country,” he said.

AB 511 gives taxpayers a chance to help victims of wildfires and other disasters by creating the “American Red Cross, California Chapters Fund” check-off box on personal income tax forms.

“I’ve worked in partnership with local residents to make sure we are capitalizing on opportunities to build healthier neighborhoods and a stronger economy,” Pan said.