Commissioners Respond to COVID19

Commissioner Senator Holly J. Mitchell

California Senator, SD30


Commissioner Senator Holly J. Mitchell is the proud daughter of career public servants and the protégé of community leaders who instilled in her a passion for service. Mitchell, the mother of a 19-year-old son, has devoted her professional life to creating a California where ALL children thrive. She continued her family legacy of leadership when she was named the first African American to chair the powerful Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. From 2017 to present Sen. Mitchell has overseen the adoption of three consecutive state budgets with the totaling nearly $215 billion each.

In addition to her chairmanship on the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, she also chairs the Senate Select Committee on Social Determinants of Children’s Well-Being and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Sen. Mitchell sits on the Senate Health Committee; the Joint Committee on Rules; the Public Safety Committee; the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee; and the Insurance Committee; Select Committees on Mental Health; the Status of Boys and Men of Color; and Women Work and Families.

The Senator’s groundbreaking successes include nearly 80 bills signed into law. These bills focus on improving human services, expanding access to healthcare, defending the civil rights of minorities and the undocumented, and reducing the numbers of children growing up in poverty.



In Her Own Words…

“As Budget Chair, I am fighting hard to protect critical social safety net programs,  which currently supports our communities who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that without resources families will suffer.”

To learn more about Senator Mitchell’s work on COVID-19, visit her website at


See below for Commissioners whose work has been previously highlighted.

Commissioner Babb

Commissioner Lauren Babb

Public Affairs Director, Planned Parenthood Northern California

Commissioner Babb serves as the Public Affairs Director for Planned Parenthood Northern California. She is a fierce advocate for women’s equality and is deeply committed to supporting outreach efforts for the US Census in her community. Census data are used to apportion multiple streams of federal funding, making data collection especially vital at this time. Due to COVID19, outreach efforts have shifted from census events and canvassing to social media, digital media, and phone banking. 

Commissioner Babb is an appointed commissioner of the Contra Costa Commission for Women, the Economic Opportunity Council and Contra Costa 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. She is also a board member for Girls Leadership, Contra Costa Young Dems, Contra Costa NOW, and Ensuring Opportunity.

Commissioner Babb is also active in the national conversation on racial justice. Click below for a link to the recording of a webinar Commissioner Babb did recently with Women’s March titled “Breaking White Silence: How Did We Get Here and What Actions Can We Take To Affect Positive Change For Racial Justice? 

To view the webinar click here: 

In Her Own Words…

“I’ve been heavily involved in pivoting Census outreach in Contra Costa County which has the 2nd highest response rate in the state of California. As a member of the Contra Costa Complete Count Steering Committee, we’ve directed local grant funding to COVID-19 food distribution with information about the Census. Census data is extremely critical especially in a time where public health resources are decided based on census data. So if you haven’t submitted responses to the 2020 Census please do it now!

To learn more about the census in Contra Costa please visit:

Commissioner Senator Connie M. Leyva

Commissioner Senator Connie M. Leyva

California Senator, (SD20)


Commissioner Leyva has donated masks, personal protective equipment, and food to individuals, hospitals and organizations in need within Senate District 20. The Senator keeps the public informed with various state and district resources available on her Senate website and by frequently updating her social media sites. To view these resources, go to and

Senator Leyva serves as the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, California Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Senate Democratic Caucus. She also serves on the Appropriations, Budget and Fiscal Review, Business, Professions and Economic Development, Elections and Constitutional Amendments, and Health committees and the Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education.

A lifelong activist standing up for working people and families, Senator Leyva previously served as both Union Representative and President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1428, as well as the first woman President of the California Labor Federation representing more than 2.1 million workers throughout the state.

As Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, she is also working with the Governor’s Administration and other Caucus members to address the child care and health care inequities that have been exacerbated by the current crisis. Resources for women, children and families related to COVID-19 are available at

In Her Own Words…

“Though this pandemic has changed much in the day-to-day lives of California women, it’s vital that we continue to prioritize the needs of California women, children and families, such as child care and economic stability.  Women are the backbone of families and communities across California, so it’s important that we do all we can—particularly during turbulent times such as during this public health and economic crisis—to support them every step of the way.”

Commissioner Leyva keeps the public informed with various state and district resources available on her Senate website and by frequently updating her social media sites. To view these resources, go to and

Commissioner Erica Courtney

Commissioner Erica Courtney

Veteran & Entrepreneur


Commissioner Erica G. Courtney has 18 years of combined active and Reserve Army duty having served in various positions to include military police, flight operations, scout helicopter pilot, NATO certified Gender Advisor, senior staff officer and paratrooper. As a trailblazer, she graduated number one in her cadet class, was part of the first group of women to go Cavalry and the first to graduate the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. In addition to a distinguished military career, she has been a successful small business owner for 12-years having won several awards and recognition.  Erica is a fierce advocate for veterans and women having served on national, state and local Boards, Committees and Commissions. She has two teenage boys, married, and resides in Half Moon Bay, CA. 


In Her Own Words…

“I am COVID-19 recovered having contracted it while in Washington, D.C. as an activated Army Reservist.  Earlier on, there were no mandates nor any masks available to perform duties.  When I returned home to California,  I was prompted to collaborate with other women business owners to create COVID Safety Kits that include the basics: standardized washable antimicrobial masks, gloves and hand sanitizer with customized branding.  Simple, but effective in helping to reduce the risk of exposure. 

Additionally, I am volunteering for a UCSF study where my specimens are being used to validate antibody tests across the country and examine multiple questions involving the long-term individual responses to virologic, immunologic, and host factors involved.

It is no fun being repeatedly poked and prodded, but we need to learn more about this disease just as we need to protect ourselves to the best of our abilities. I am in a unique position to help with both.”

To learn more about Commissioner Courtney’s work, please visit the links below.

“Fighting an unseen enemy: How the military is protecting itself from the coronavirus pandemic”

Learn more about UCSF COVID-19 Trials:

Learn more about

Commissioner Courtney reporting for duty in the nation’s Capitol.

Commissioner Joelle Gomez


Commissioner Joelle Gomez

CEO, Children’s Home of Stockton


Commissioner Gomez has focused her efforts on the children that she serves in her role as CEO of the Children’s Home of Stockton. The Children’s Home of Stockton was established in 1882, originally created by a small group of ladies who formed the Ladies Aide Society of Stockton for the purpose of rendering charitable services to the City of Stockton. Today, CHS is one of the largest social services organizations in Stockton that has been serving at-risk youth in San Joaquin County and throughout California for over 138 years. CHS also offers an on-campus alternative education program which is operated through the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Each year, the Children’s Home of Stockton provides approximately 150 children and adolescents with comprehensive educational and therapeutic services.

In Her Own Words…

“In this time of uncertainty, I couldn’t be more proud of the work of Children’s Home of Stockton.  Today I spent the day visiting our seven cottages and talking with our youth about our changed world and how they are feeling and coping.  The day was filled with expressions of fear, anxiety as well as calm and hopefulness.  I was struck by the selfless remarks from one of our girls who said, “I know we are going to be okay, but I’m worried about staff who come here every day and have to return to their homes and are risking their health to care for us.”  I reminded all our students that they are our first priority.  We will remain here to care for them and ensure that we all get through this together. 

While our whole world is impacted by COVID-19, it was clear to me that our foster youth are impacted even more than most of us. They don’t have the comfort of sheltering in place with their families and they miss them deeply.  All sense of normalcy or routine has been paused.  But our courageous and compassionate staff are finding creative ways to keep our kids safe, engaged and calm.  Our staff are essential to the success of our youth.  They show up, they rise to the occasion despite the adversity around us.  Most importantly, they restore hope during this dark time.

I reminded our kids that this crisis will not last forever.  They will be reunited with their families and loved ones but until then we all have to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe and well.  I ended our conversation where everyone shared one word that represented how they felt in the moment…… the word echoed repeatedly was hopeful.  I too am hopeful.”

Commissioner Jihee Huh

Commissioner Jihee Huh

Vice Chair of PAFCO and

Co-Founder of Pete’s Seafood

As a member of the research committee for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Commissioner Huh is working to support the research that is done by CHLA on the effects of COVID-19 on children. She believes the research will be the ears on the ground for future policy and resources needed to help combat the negative effects of this disease on children and for future epidemics.

Additionally, Commissioner Huh is concerned about the negative impacts of COVID-19 and the extraordinary challenges on small businesses and women owned businesses. She is interested in how policy impacts women owned businesses during the recovery from COVID-19.

In Her Own Words…

“COVID-19 is bringing extraordinary challenges to our communities but it is also giving us a unique opportunity to collaborate across different sectors to solve complex problems using technology. 

Democratizing access to healthcare using Mobile/Virtual medicine can expand our reach and accelerate the development of cures and therapies. The adverse effects of COVID19 on children is a great concern and research will continue as we study the cases at CHLA and other Children’s hospitals across the county.”


To learn more about Commissioner Huh, please visit the link below. 

Commissioner Assemblymember Eloise Gòmez-Reyes

Commissioner Assemblymember Eloise Gòmez-Reyes

California Assemblymember, (AD47)


Assemblymember Gòmez-Reyes is the proud daughter of immigrants who has been a champion for her community throughout her career. Her commitment to civic engagement is a culmination built over years of experience which goes back to her humble upbringing as a young girl picking grapes and onions in the fields with her family.

Her determination, perseverance, and conviction enabled her to be a voice for the voiceless and an asset for those in her community that needed it most.

In Her Own Words…

“As COVID-19 impacts all aspects of our society and economy, I have been dedicated to helping provide relief to California’s most vulnerable communities, especially in my district of San Bernardino. The 47th assembly district is made up of hard-working families and individuals, many of whom face economic and food insecurity in addition to the health challenges. I spent my time in the district working with food banks and food distribution centers to ensure that families have access to fresh food. My office has been working with Community Action Partnership and CityLink to feed over a thousand families in the past two months through physically distanced drive through food banks. In addition, we have been able to provide homemade masks and other PPEs to our most at risk residents, especially seniors and first responders. It is really important that we are able to provide resources so that the residents of AD 47 can focus on staying safe and healthy, without the added anxieties of feeding and caring for their families.”


Commissioner Gòmez-Reyes has produced a page of resources pertaining to the pandemic for residents of her district which can be found here: