What I've learned from being a parent and a community activist is that a healthy community is like a healthy family. It supports all members and helps them succeed. Investing in a community, like feeding a family, is essential for growth. I support:
- Spending local tax dollars to create jobs and stimulate economies. Funding for public projects should support local business 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 cost shift business expenses to communities or rate payers without scrupulous public oversight of spending and executive compensation.
- Sensible gun regulation. Arming teachers will not stop school shootings. I respect the 2nd amendment as much as every other civil liberty, but that doesn't mean I condone pandering to lobbyists in the firearms industry who conflate the issue of the 2nd amendment with their desire to flood every community with their products. This is about profits--not individual rights. Responsible gun owners understand and promote safety. At issue is an industry that looks for every loophole so they can sell as much product as possible. Reckless greed puts guns in the wrong hands. The lives of our children should be above politics.
- Buy Local incentives. Studies show that "buy local" incentives create a multiplier effect that helps communities thrive by stimulating demand for goods and services, boosting local economies and increasing tax revenue. Community support helps small businesses pay workers a living wage and remain competitive. Everybody wins.
- Compassionate, community-based solutions to address homelessness. California should support those working in our communities to serve residents in need of temporary and bridge housing--especially our children and our homeless veterans. No human being should ever be "rousted" or jailed, simply for want of a safe place to sleep.
Quality of Life.
The 76th Assembly District lies in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but many residents lack the resources to enjoy it. Working families struggle 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 create a single-payer system that will cover every Californian regardless of income, improve overall access, lower individual costs, and reduce the burden on employers.
- Reforming Prop 13. California has lost more than $300 Billion in revenue over the past 40 years to the corporate loophole in Prop 13. I propose we preserve Prop 13 protections for existing and new homeowners, add a provision for small businesses, and close the loophole that has allowed giant corporations and billionaires to avoid paying their share. We should not tax working people, retirees and young families out of their homes, or steal the modest earnings of small investors who've managed to buy a rental property or two.
- Better attention to the needs of senior citizens, and vulnerable residents who live alone. We must simplify access to information and local resources, support caregivers, and better protect our seniors from elder abuse and financial predators.
- Housing security to stabilize neighborhoods and build individual wealth. Bringing policy makers together to address the growing need in the district for entry and mid level housing is crucial to neighborhood stability. Building homes near jobs and creating jobs near existing housing will reduce commuting, cut carbon, and make residents more invested--literally and figuratively--in our communities. We need thoughtful building solutions with plans for supporting infrastructure to support quality of life for families. State law should provide incentives to builders and planners to add homes (not just mansions or apartment complexes) so that working families can attain wealth and security through home ownership. And thoughtful building will create more good paying union jobs.
- The Fight for 15 and more. A $15 minimum wage is a start, but it is not a living wage in California. We must scale up to a living wage and close the gender pay gap. Paying workers a living wage is responsible economic policy. When working people have disposable income instead of living hand to mouth, their purchases boost the local economy and create more jobs.
- 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.
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 our health and reproductive freedom, investing in our children by providing public education and training that prepares them for life, and moving toward a more just society. I support:
- Science-based solutions to Climate Change and other environmental threats. California is the #1 producer of carbon in the 50 states, and cars and light duty trucks are the single largest source of CO2 emissions. If we don't significantly cut output now, there won't be a planet for future generations.
- It's time to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and invest in an energy plan to help California hit necessary climate action targets. We must stop widening freeways and devise a comprehensive sustainable-future strategy that creates good paying jobs for workers in the transportation and building trades industries. Combining renewable energy with transportation plans and housing initiatives is our best option for serving our increasing population as we address climate change. We need an ambitious state plan that engages city and county authorities and regional planning agencies. And we must overcome spotty opposition to SB 100 and other promising legislation that will lower greenhouse gases, by incentivizing cities through housing and transportation initiatives that consider our changing population and how our workforce will function in the years to come. We must also fight federal plans for offshore drilling and set a deadline to "keep it in the ground."
- No nukes on the beach. There's been heated debate since the closing of SONGs, but while transporting the spent fuel has risks, there is also no safe way to store it indefinitely on site. Coastal erosion and the likelihood of seismic activity make on site storage an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Any leak could have a devastating permanent impact on coastal cities and marine life. We need to rethink this one--and find the least harmful alternative.
- Water is a human right. When foreign corporations claim rights to our water for next to nothing--and then bottle and sell it back to us, raking in millions in profits---it's insane. California residents should not have to "buy" back our own water from foreign companies, a bottle at a time. Clean drinking water for every Californian should be a right--not a privilege.
- Increased investment in K-12 public schools and public school teachers. Education has its challenges, but turning our public 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.
- Investment in post-secondary education is an investment in the future. Every graduating senior should receive a publicly-funded advanced education that leads to a productive life--whether at a university, trade school, community college or skilled apprenticeship. Saddling our coming generation with crushing debt at the start of their adult lives puts tomorrow's leaders behind before they get started. Our kids deserve a chance.
- We must shut off the private prison pipeline and end the excessive detention of immigrants and people of color in for-profit prisons. "Guaranteed occupancy" contracts for the prison industry discourage restorative justice and invite exploitation. Incarceration should not be an income stream for investors or a cheap source of non-union labor for government projects.
- We need sane policies to protect immigrants and all residents who are targets for hate. San Diego County is ground zero for the White House attack on immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQI community. I oppose any attempt to use California's taxpayer-funded resources in the targeting of any group based on race, age, gender identity, ethnicity, ability, language, religion, or national origin. I will support new legislation to address the gap in the California Values Act so we can secure our state database from warrant-less access by federal authorities or their agents.