CARSON, Calif --- As families and communities are routinely decimated by gun violence, we have the audacity to look into the faces of grieving mothers and tell them that we have done the best that we could.

It’s true that California has been a leader in gun violence prevention and on the forefront of reform for the past 30 years. While actively supporting those efforts, I am acutely aware that there is immense work to do. I represent the communities of Compton, South Los Angeles, Watts, Wilmington and others whose residents will vehemently tell you that not enough is being done to curb gun violence. These communities are not the exception. They mirror numerous communities up and down the state.

This past legislative session I was an author of House Resolution 52, which recognized June 2nd as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. This resolution is a testament to all the work we have done and will continue to do for people who are victims of a seemingly endless amount of shootings every year.


by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson, 64th District

The primary obstacles to ending the AIDS epidemic are no longer scientific, they are structural.

In the last 5 years, scientific breakthroughs in AIDS research have provided remarkable results. Testing methods can now detect the HIV virus months earlier than before. Preventive medication, such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), has been clinically shown to reduce the likelihood of infection by up to 92%.  Additionally, the “Berlin patient”, Timothy Brown, gave the world hope when an experimental bone marrow transplant eradicated the virus from his body.

But with all of this new research and medication, hundreds of individuals will still be infected with the disease this year. Recent data provided by the San Francisco Aids Foundation found that in California, there were 5,814 new HIV cases in 2012. While this is a tremendous decrease from the previous decades, it still remains well above the audacious goals being set by groups around the world: ending the epidemic, once and for all.