|State of California (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Yuba Counties)||November 7, 2000 Election|
Rebuilding California's Infrastructure
By Thomas "Tom" RomeroCandidate for State Senator; District 1
This information is provided by the candidate
This position paper discusses the need to preserve California's agricultural and recreational areas by having a growth policy that rebuilds cities and older suburan areas.THOMAS "TOM" ROMER
"REBUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE"
California needs to rebuild, improve and develop modern forms of infrastructures if we are to maintain and improve our state's position in the industrial world. If California is to continue to be a world leader, it must develop an infrastructure that will meet the needs of its citizens for quality of life and support a climate that will allow business to operate efficiently and cost effectively.
California's main industry is agriculture. Recreation is a major industry in the First Senate District. Yet every year we see more and more recreational land and agricultural land taken over by suburban growth. This is having an adverse effect of the quality of life in the senate district and is not in the best interests of the state's future. The question is how can we maintain economic growth in the state, protect the natural resources that make California an agricultural leader and one of the most beautiful states in the nation and still have economic and population growth with liveable cities and suburbs.
We must have a state effort to rebuild our cities and older suburbs so that working people can afford homes for their families close to their area of employment. At present, most working people cannot afford to live near their work if they are employed in the Bay Area. To purchase a new home they are forced farther and farther out into the new suburban areas requiring commute times of hours--this is not healthy for individuals, their families or society in general. This wastes time, natural resources, causes increased air pollution and stress on individuals which is not healthy for economic production or family relationships.
To stop this trend California should invest in rebuilding residential sections of its cities so that they are affordable and pleasant places to live, raise a family and retire. This is not a "no growth" position. The contractors and employees who now build in agricultural and recreational areas of the state would still have jobs rebuilding and making liveable older sections of urban development. More mass transit systems like Los Angeles and Sacramento's light rail should be built thus easing traffic congestion and improving air quality and making it easier and cheap to move about the cities. Light rail lines should be extended to the suburban areas cutting the need for freeway driving to work. Other improvements in urban infrastructures should also be upgraded such as sewers, parks and schools.
California should also develop a world class, high speed rail transportation system like France or Japan. If we could move people at high speeds in a cost-effective manner from city to city throughout the state, we could increase our economic output. There is no reason why we cannot surpass others in modern high speed rail transportation. It would mean more jobs, lower costs in transportation and a cleaner environment.
California will always have growth. We are all living here because our parents or grandparents realized that we have one of the best climates and richest amount of resources in the nation. California is as large as Japan with more livable and useable land and only about 15% of its population. We can increase our population and economy and still preserve our environment if we concentrate our efforts into improving our cities and older suburbs and not destroying our agricultural and recreational resources.
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