Building Stronger Communities.
What I've learned from being both a parent and a community volunteer is that a healthy community is like a healthy family--it supports its members and helps them succeed. Investing in a community is like feeding a family--it's essential for growth. To strengthen our communities I support:
- Spending local tax dollars creating local jobs and stimulating local economies. Funding for public projects should support local businesses and good-paying, local union jobs.
- Ending rate-payer rip-offs. Public utility companies and the regulatory agencies charged with their oversight should be held accountable. They should not be allowed to simply cost shift business expenses to communities and rate payers without scrupulous public oversight of their spending and executive compensation.
- Buy Local incentives. Studies show that "buy local" creates a multiplier effect that helps communities thrive by stimulating demand for other goods and services, boosting the local economy and increasing the tax base. Community support for local small businesses helps them pay workers a living wage and remain competitive. Everybody wins.
- Compassionate, community-based solutions to address homelessness. Government must support the work of those in the field who understand how to best serve residents in need of temporary and bridge housing, including our many homeless veterans. No human being should ever be "rousted" or jailed, simply for want of a safe place to sleep.
Striving for an Improved Quality of Life.
The 76th Assembly District lies in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but not everyone here has the time or resources to enjoy it. Many families struggle just to make ends meet. I will fight for policies that improve the lives of everyday working people, children, seniors, and our military families. I support:
- Guaranteed Healthcare for All. SB 562, the Healthy California Act, will cover every Californian regardless of income or status.
- Better attention to the needs of senior citizens, and vulnerable residents who live alone. We must offer simplified access to information and local resources, support for caregivers, and protection for seniors from elder abuse and financial predators.
- Housing security is a must. Bringing policy makers together to address the growing need in the district for entry and mid level housing is crucial to neighborhood stability. We need thoughtful building solutions with plans for supporting infrastructure. State law should provide incentives to builders and planners to add homes (not just mansions or apartment complexes) so that working families have a chance to build wealth and security through home ownership.
- The Fight for 15--and more. We must begin with a $15/hr. minimum wage for all workers, and scale up to a living wage. We must close the pay gap. Paying all workers a living wage isn't charity--it's responsible economic policy.
- Protecting veterans and active military families. Those who've served or are serving honorably in America's armed forces should not be targeted for deportation based solely on the circumstances of their arrival. We must reward their service and sacrifice with meaningful support. Military families often struggle financially. Marines divorce at three times the national average; and military spouses and children have special needs when one parent deploys. Supporting outreach programs that connect veteran and active military families to community resources is the very least we can do.
Providing Hope for Tomorrow.
We're in this together. We can't just react to what's happening today. We must prepare for the future. That means addressing climate change, finding practical solutions to the water shortage, transitioning our cities to clean, renewable energy sources, supporting public infrastructure projects, protecting reproductive freedom, investing in our children's futures by providing public education that prepares them for life, and moving toward a more just society. I support:
- Science-based solutions to Climate Change and other environmental threats, and getting nukes off our beach.
- Incentives to encourage transition to renewable energy sources. Tax dollars should not support the fossil fuel industry.
- Acknowledging that water is a human right--not a commodity for sale to the highest bidder. We must find a way to guarantee that clean drinking water for each and every resident will be a priority.
- Increased investment in K-12 public schools and public school teachers. Education has its challenges, but turning our school funding over to for-profit corporations is not the answer--neither is starving them of funds to offer tax breaks to the wealthiest homeowners. A business mantra is often "you need to spend money to make money." We need to invest in the people who will be running this state in a few years--starting with preschool and continuing until they are self-sufficient.
- Post-secondary education that is not just affordable--but inevitable. Every graduating senior should receive a publicly funded advanced education that allows them to provide for their own future, whether that education is earned at a university, trade school, community college or in a professional program. Saddling young people with crushing debt at the start of their adult lives puts them behind before they get started. Our kids deserve a chance.
- Turning off the private prison pipeline. No more "guaranteed occupancy" for the for-profit prison industry. Incarceration should not provide investors with an "income stream." It makes the criminal justice system ripe for corruption.
Standing firm against a federal push from conservatives to limit reproductive freedom. My body, my business.
- Sane immigration policies and protection for immigrant communities and all who are targets for hate. San Diego County is ground zero for the White House attack on immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. I support sanctuary cities and would challenge any federal policy that attempted to involve our state or taxpayer-funded resources in federal targeting of a specific group based on race, age, gender identity, ethnicity, ability, language, religion, or national origin.