People in the 53rd have lost their jobs - at all levels of income. I support strategies to create jobs and encourage re-employment of our friends and neighbors in small businesses and in public, private, and non-profit sector jobs.
The mortgage issue is so complicated. People were approved for a home purchase that they could not afford. And predatory lending practices by banks and mortgage companies have caused foreclosures and must be stopped. Banks are refusing to refinance. These and other issues have impacted home values and our economy in the 53rd Assembly District.
I believe that it is the responsibility of each individual, each organization, and the government to be accountable for their finances. I have managed or collaborated in the management of the budget for schools and special projects, and large budgets for school districts. I have been able to provide sufficient funding to meet the needs of students, teachers and schools - and end each year with funds in reserve.
Schools in the 53rd tend to perform well in comparison with other schools in the state. We can thank our teachers, principals, and parents for their support of our children. But while the majority of the students are doing well, there are still students that struggle to learn and gifted students that can be more challenged. It is essential for all schools to guide their local efforts to improve schools while participating in the federal and state efforts to improve learning for all students in all schools.
Currently, schools rely on the state for their annual budgets. Due to delays in the annual budget process in Sacramento, there have been many years in which school districts and the university systems do not know what their budget will be until after school starts in August or September. The state is currently withholding over 20% of each school district's budget in Sacramento - to make the state budget look more balanced. I support the establishment of a more efficient and reliable way to fund schools and school districts.
It is imperative that we support the California Clear Air Act. It is in our mutual best interest to ensure a healthy environment for ourselves and for future generations.
- Healthy living in our communities
The 53rd stretches along the coast, which we want to continue to enjoy. As residents along the coast, I feel that it is our duty and responsibility to protect this natural resource.
It is imperative that we conserve water in our daily lives and participate in a statewide initiative to protect and conserve this valuable natural resource. I am seriously concerned about the privatization of our water supply.
Pollution enters street drains from our neighborhood streets and impacts our beaches, creeks, the wetlands, canals, and the Pacific Ocean. It is essential to keep the beaches clean and safe for walking, biking and enjoying the beach. It is equally essential to ensure that our beautiful ocean is clean and safe for swimming, surfing, fishing, and boating.
It is important to collaborate with small businesses, corporations, and major industries in the 53rd to reduce the pollution on our land, in the air, at the beaches, and in creeks, wetlands, and the ocean. It's important to encourage businesses to take steps to reuse, reduce, and recycle.
- Businesses as our Partners in the Environment
Property ownership and rights in Common Interest Developments
Over 25% of California's home owners live in Common Interest Development, Condominium Associations and are members of HOAs - Homeowners Associations. Our laws must protect the property rights of homeowners that live in these associations. It is time to up-date Davis Sterling.
It is important to support homeowners and members of HOA Boards by providing continuing training in state and federal laws and in effective management practices. A cost effective approach to this would be online certification courses.
- Support effective management of HOA properties
Seniors and Issues Related to Long-Term Care
As our population ages in the 53rd Assembly District, some seniors may be interested in independent living or group home arrangements or may require care in their home, assisted living or skilled nursing. It is important for state laws to protect the safety of seniors and ensure quality care for our seniors.
Learning opportunities and engaging activities are available for seniors throughout the 53rd. There is an interest in more senior activities and learning opportunities and I support those efforts.
State Government Issues and the Rule of Law
Our laws must govern all that we do. The Rule of Law provides us with order and safety.
I am ever hopeful that we achieve optimum participation in our democracy. Political offices should not be for sale and holding political office should be a goal for responsible citizens - not just people with a lot of money or people that have accepted large contributions. My campaign is funded by individual contributions. I want to be able to go to Sacramento and represent the people of the 53rd Assembly District. I am greatly concerned about the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups on our state government.
The state budget and the endless battles between Democrats and Republicans provide us with ample evidence that we need a change in Sacramento.
The Governor and the Legislature have been spending $$ that we do not have. I am committed to the establishment of a collaborative process that ensures a focus on the needs of our communities in the 53rd and communities throughout the State of California. Within a balanced budget, it is essential for us to fund our public-supported services, including police and fire, and our public institutions, including the UC/CSU system, community colleges, and the K-12 public education system.
- Support for our Infrastructure and Public Institutions