When I was elected to office, I realized that we were missing a crucial tool — namely social housing — to address California’s housing crisis. By creating publicly-led housing developments, we can provide affordable and financially self-sustaining homes for all.
Springing into March

Dear Friend,

When I was elected to office, I realized that we were missing a crucial tool - namely social housing - to address California's housing crisis. By creating publicly-led housing developments, we can provide affordable and financially self-sustaining homes for all.

Last month, I had the great honor to travel to Washington, DC, to share my work on social housing at the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Alongside officials from Montgomery County of Maryland, Rhode Island and Atlanta, we're showing the nation how public development is a powerful tool to solve the housing crisis.

We need to embrace social housing at scale, and I'm proud to continue my work in pushing for social housing with my new bill AB 2881, The Social Housing Act.

A Point of Reflection Banner

Back in February, I toured Santa Fe Foods' grocery store in Newark that provides nutritional incentives to CalFresh families. It's one of three Santa Fe Foods stores that participates in the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Pilot Project.

By providing up to $60 in monthly nutrition incentives, this project has helped CalFresh recipients put healthy food on the table. It's given parents the opportunity to prepare nutritious meals for their kids and has reached tens of thousands of families across California.

For every $1 of CalFresh EBT spent on any fresh fruits and vegetables at a participating retailer, CalFresh recipients get $1 back on their EBT card to spend on any CalFresh EBT-eligible food.

Dawn Bonnema is a Los Angeles EBT participant served by Mother's Nutritional Center. She's one of the many participants we've heard from about this vital program.

Alex Lee Grocery Photo

"It's hard being a senior with not much money to get fruits and vegetables. And also me being diabetic, I need to eat … healthier. And it's coming in handy," Dawn said of the program.

It benefits more than 43,000 CalFresh households, including an estimated 75,000 people. In February 2024, the project provided $1.9 million in rebates for fruits and vegetables. More than 85 grocery stores and several farmer's markets statewide have participated in the project. 

"We have heard from customers who are very satisfied with this program since it is a very easy program to use," said Rafael Huerta, General Manager of Santa Fe Foods Super Mercado in Salinas. Rafael added, "Customers receive fresh and good quality products. We hope to continue offering this program to new and existing clients."

However, the EBT Pilot Project is anticipated to end soon due to a lack of funding. In an effort to revive the program, I've requested $30 million from the FY2024-25 budget to fund the project for at least an additional year.

As Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, I'm committed to supporting safety net programs like the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project for the most vulnerable Californians. Food insecurity is associated with billions in healthcare costs annually. At a time when the state is facing a serious budget deficit, we have to prioritize meeting Californians' basic needs, including access to adequate and nutritious food. We cannot let this important program end.

District Digest banner
Assembly District 24 Youth Art Contest 2024

2024 Art Contest

I'm inviting students K-12 to participate in the AD24 Youth Art Contest, with the theme of "A Home for Everyone." Housing is a human right, and everyone should be able to live, play, and work in their hometowns. Submitted artwork will be judged on how they convey concepts that illustrate "a home for everyone."

To participate, please fill out this form and upload a photo of your artwork. Submissions will be accepted until Sunday, April 21, 2024. Winners of the art contest will be honored at the California State Capitol in the Assembly Chambers. The winning artworks will be displayed in my Capitol Office for a year!

Visiting Friends of Children With Special Needs

Friends of Children with Special Needs Photo

I had the pleasure of visiting Friends of Children with Special Needs in Fremont. The organization supports our community members with developmental disabilities and their families through programs like after school classes, adult day programs, and respite services. Thank you for all that you do!

Small Business Expo in Milpitas

Small Business Expo Image

I'm excited to speak at the Small Business Expo in Milpitas on April 20. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. In fact, over 90% of business establishments in California employ less than 20 employees, and more than a quarter of California businesses were family owned in 2021. It's my honor to attend the expo, and discuss my work to ensure that small businesses can thrive in California!

In the news banner

Dezeen - Social housing is America's "missing tool" to solve housing crisis says Alex Lee

We won't be able to resolve the housing crisis without the public sector's intervention. As I told Dezeen in an interview, the free market is driven by profit motive, and sky-high housing prices are forcing Californians to move away from their home communities. But through a public developer, the state can build social housing that is meant for everyone. It'll compliment California's current efforts to create more affordable housing.

Resources Banner

The Governor has signed legislation to give students more time to submit their FAFSA applications, extending the deadline from April 2 to May 2, 2024. FAFSA provides access to financial aid such as the Pell Grant, Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship Program. Additional sources are available on the website of the California Student Aid Commission. You can also contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend for more information.


signature of Alex Lee

Alex Lee
Assemblymember, 24th District

Facebook  website  Contact
Capitol Office:
1021 O Street, Room 6330
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2024
Fax: (916) 319-2124
District Office:
1313 N. Milpitas Blvd Suite #255
Milpitas, CA 95035
Tel: (408) 262-2501
Fax: (408) 262-2512
© 2024 California State Assembly