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Statement from Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris on Lawsuit Against Huntington Beach

SACRAMENTO — Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), Chair of the Accountability & Administrative Review Committee, released the following statement regarding the state’s lawsuit against Huntington Beach:

“Nearly all the cities and counties in California – 97.6 percent based on the state’s latest report – are failing to meet their housing goals. When 97 percent of cities and counties in the state are failing to meet our goals, it’s clear that we need a new approach to housing.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: ‘She’s a firecracker’: New Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris gets down to work

Excerpted from Los Angeles Times

By Faith E. Pinho

Four months after the 2016 presidential election, Cottie Petrie-Norris — then a grassroots organizer for Women for American Values and Ethics, or WAVE — looked out over hundreds of people gathered on a Sunday afternoon for political activism training at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach.
“Gazing out across that crowd and just the commitment of people in that room, that just made me go ‘Oh my gosh, we are actually going to be able to change some of these things that we’re not happy about,’” Petrie-Norris said.
A little over a year and a half later, the Democrat from Laguna Beach won her first campaign for public office: the 74th District seat in the California Assembly over two-term incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).
“It was a special kind of moment when you go from ... being just sort of scared and freaked out to going ‘All right, I’m going to do something about it,’ to then believing, like, we’re building the momentum that could change it,” she said.
Before President Trump’s win in 2016, Petrie-Norris’ political participation consisted mainly of knocking on doors for Hillary Clinton with the Laguna Beach Democratic Club.
Instead of seeing the election of the country’s first female president, as she expected, Petrie-Norris got a “wake-up call,” she said.
“At first I was a participant,” said the native of La Mesa in San Diego County. “Then I turned into an organizer.”
Within a few months, she joined the boards of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club and Orange County’s chapter of WAVE, which formed in the wake of the 2016 election. She coordinated the 48th District Action Council, a coalition of small progressive groups in the congressional district, and served as an Assembly district delegate for the state Democratic Party during Harper’s second term.
“Post-2016 election, people were devastated,” said Petrie-Norris, 43. “But we didn’t just get mad or sad or just kind of wallow. We got incredibly busy, I think, shaping an alternative vision of our future.”
As she made calls, led meetings and organized fundraisers for fellow Laguna Beach Democrat Harley Rouda’s campaign for the 48th Congressional District seat (which he won in November by defeating longtime Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher), Petrie-Norris kept an eye on other upcoming elections. Harper’s stance on women’s issues upset her — he was one of two Assembly members who voted against the Fair Pay Act in 2015.
A year after the presidential election, Petrie-Norris decided to run for office herself.
Since winning 52.7% of the vote in last month’s Assembly election, Petrie-Norris set to work almost right away. She took a brief vacation in Sedona, Ariz., to rest from the “incredibly intense” campaign and then began scheduling meetings with local government officials and community leaders in the 74th District, which includes parts of Irvine, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods.
“Even just since she’s been elected and sworn into office … she’s done more outreach to each of the cities than our … last three representatives,” said Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, her husband, Colin, and sons Dylan and Hayden attend a community swearing-in ceremony for her on Dec. 16 in Newport Beach.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, her husband, Colin, and sons Dylan and Hayden attend a community swearing-in ceremony for her on Dec. 16 in Newport Beach. (Photo by Spencer Grant)
Petrie-Norris said she wants to understand the district’s issues and priorities as she shapes her package of bills for the legislative session. On her first official day as an assemblywoman, she introduced AB 65, a bill that would prioritize coastal conservancy projects that use natural elements to adapt to climate change. She said it would bring funding back to communities facing the threat of sea level rise.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), whom Petrie-Norris supported in his bid this month to remain speaker, announced Thursday that he had appointed her chairwoman of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and a member of the appropriations, judiciary, veterans affairs and revenue and taxation committees.
“She’s like a stick of dynamite, man. She’s a firecracker,” said Sue Kempf, who won a seat on the Laguna Beach City Council in November. “She didn’t waste any time.”
Petrie-Norris hopes to put environmentalism and public safety at the forefront of her two-year term. She said she wants to build more supportive housing for homeless and low-income people and reform sober-living facilities with stronger oversight.
She is “not about party politics,” she said.
“I see her working as needed [on] both sides of the aisle and see her really caring about her cities as well as the state as a whole,” said former Newport Beach mayor Evelyn Hart, a Republican. “Sometimes you have to go across the aisle when you know that somebody else can do a better job for you.”
Kempf said Petrie-Norris is a smart person who will go “right to work” on issues that matter.
“Just one indication of how good Cottie will be on the Assembly is how hard she worked on her campaign, because she was virtually an unknown person,” Kempf said.
Petrie-Norris credits her victory to her supporters and a changing political climate in Orange County and nationwide. Her supporters point to her personality and organizational skills nurtured by her nearly two-decade business career.
“As far as her campaign goes, it was like a machine,” said Gary LeFebvre, president of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club. “It was amazing how well she adapted to being a candidate.”
Petrie-Norris is a graduate of Yale University, where she studied economics and English. She spent most of her professional career in marketing. Her first 13 years out of college took her to Washington, D.C., London and Johannesburg, South Africa, working for Capital One, American Express and two start-ups.
In 2012, she and her husband, Colin Petrie-Norris, a native of Johannesburg, decided to return from London to her home state, where she would begin her own consulting business. The couple settled on Laguna Beach after stopping for lunch one gloomy June day on a road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego.
“Really and truly, as we sat down, the skies parted and the sun came out and the [Rolling] Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ was playing,” she remembered with a laugh. “Our kids were frolicking in the sand as we were having lunch, and we just looked at each other and thought ‘If this really is an option, we have to try.’
“After a couple of months, we were like ‘Nope, we’re never leaving.’”

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Cottie Petrie-Norris, newly elected assemblywoman, is sworn in during community ceremony in Newport Beach

Excerpted from Los Angeles Times

Though she’s already been officially sworn into office, newly elected state Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) recited her oath again Sunday during a public ceremony in Newport Beach.

The event at the Marina Park Community Center was attended by several local leaders and featured remarks from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). Retired federal judge Lynne Riddle administered the oath.

Petrie-Norris defeated incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) in the Nov. 6 election to represent the 74th Assembly District, which covers an area that includes Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach.


CAPRADIO.ORG: California Lawmakers Welcome New Colleagues To The Capitol

Excerpted from

By Nadine Sebai

California lawmakers gathered for the first official day of the new two-year Legislative session on Monday.

They took the oath of office and welcomed newly elected members in the Senate and Assembly.

Southern California Democrat Bob Archuleta was one of them. He's an Army veteran who's held many positions in his career: police officer, mayor, city council member, and now, state Senator for District 32.

“I thought it was going to hit me when I raised my hand,” Archuleta said. “But it hit me when I signed the document.”

Archuleta signed the oath with a pen given to him by his son, Major Brandon Archuleta of the U.S. Army. Family members say they will hold onto that pen as a treasure.

In the Assembly, Cottie Petrie-Norris is also holding a position in the Legislature for the first time. She spent the last 20 years working in the business and technology sector and now is a state Assembly member representing the central coast region of Orange County.

She and 79 other members stood up, raised their right hand and took the oath of office.

“Saying those words and pledging to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of California,” Petrie-Norris said, “that to me was the most impactful and most profound moment of the day.”

Five state senators and eight Assembly members are became lawmakers this session for the first time.


Petrie-Norris Takes Oath as Newest Assemblymember for 74th District

(SACRAMENTO) -  Cottie Petrie-Norris (Laguna Beach) was sworn in as the Assemblymember for the 74th Assembly District today. 

With record-high voter turnout, California voters ensured the 2019/2020 Legislative session would stand out in history by granting Democrats a super majority in the state Assembly.  Not since 1883 have Assembly Democrats had such a significant stronghold in the Capitol.  Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) inaugurated the newly elected legislators today, solidifying that three-quarters of Assembly seats be occupied by Democrats. 

“The thread that runs through our accomplishments of the past and what we plan on doing in the future is making things better for the people of California,” said Speaker Rendon. “We will rely on the experience of returning members and the energy and ideas of our newest colleagues to address the huge economic challenges that face Californians who need housing, who need health care, and who need education for their youngest children and for their oldest.”

California voters have sent a clear message that they like the path in which the state is on and that more needs to be done to continue on that same path.

The focus of the State Assembly will continue to be to tackle the shortage of affordable housing, improve early childhood education while addressing childhood poverty, reducing gun violence, and embracing oversight responsibilities to make California run stronger and more efficiently.

The new members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus contribute a broad range of experience, perspectives and ethnicities, and there are more women now than ever.