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Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Saving the South Bay Dream

By John S. Stammreich

Candidate for State Senator; District 28

This information is provided by the candidate
Featured article on the Carson Venture Magazine website.
We face some serious challenges in the South Bay. Unemployment continues to rise as local industries, including aerospace and energy, lay off workers or transfer their jobs out of state. Sacramento legislators put special interests before local municipalities, circumventing voter-passed measures dedicating revenue to fixing roads and local infrastructure. As a result, cities are being forced to reduce services, resources and even critical staffing, such as teachers and emergency responders. South Bay residents, especially working families and our children, deserve better. They deserve someone who understands the most important issues facing the South Bay communities!

The South Bay's current State Senator does not believe that these are the most important issues facing her constituents. On her website front page, the first issue she addresses is . . . cigarette butts on the beach. Her other two highlighted issues are banning smoking in cars with children and an unfunded mandate to provide mammograms for low-income women. (A visit to her website shows these three "priority issues" front and center.) These are genuinely worthy goals in an environment with low unemployment, stronger revenues for local services and a high-performing education system for our children.

However, proposing "feel good" legislation that she knows cannot be funded, like free mammograms and universal healthcare, amounts to empty promises to further a political career at the expense of South Bay families who continue to struggle to make ends meet. This is an elitist attitude that the South Bay can no longer afford! It's time to elect a true South Bay native who has worked side-by-side with his neighbors and will focus on the biggest challenges facing his fellow residents. We need someone who has both lived and worked in the district, who gets involved when neighbors need problems solved, and who knows how to listen to the constituents of his district to prioritize their problems first, and his personal agenda afterwards.

The South Bay will have this strong, dedicated representation when the voters elect me, John Stammreich, to represent them in November. As the next State Senator, my job will be to unclog the job creation engine that is both killing new business opportunities and discouraging existing growth. The next State Senator must fight to keep companies like Northrop Grumman, Hilton, Nissan and others from relocating out of the South Bay. He must have courage to call out those special interests that are creating the anti-business, pro-lawsuit environment California is well-known for, even if they contributed to his or "her" campaign. I will quickly identify the largest causes of our state's problems and begin immediately to remove them. The South Bay has been electing representatives who have little understanding of the industries and businesses that made it grow and thrive, and this is why these industries are not being represented effectively in Sacramento. That will change when I am elected to represent the South Bay!

My history in the district starts exactly from Day One. I was born at South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach to parents who both worked in aerospace. From an early age, I learned about the high education level necessary to work in the industry and the deep patriotism of industry employees. This was fulfilled in my commitment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, and my graduation in 1992. After serving 11 years in the surface navy in various roles, including shore duty in charge of the military police department in El Centro, California (along the CA-Mexico border), I returned to California to make my living and raise my family.

My connection with the biggest issue facing the South Bay, increasing unemployment, is a strong and personal one. In 2002, less than 45 days after I walked down the aisle with my bride, I was part of an industry lay-off that instantly made her the sole breadwinner. I How I longed to be part of the daily commute, even if it was through the South Bay Curve! While I was blessed less than six months later with a great job offer from one of our South Bay aerospace employers, I've never forgotten how it felt to struggle day-to-day searching for opportunities and the feeling of inadequacy when job interviews were not abundant. As the next State Senator, fighting every piece of job-killer legislation and removing every barrier to job creation will be the number one priority of my first term.

I've become more involved in my community through my local neighborhood council in San Pedro, and have seen how transfer of local control and authority often leads to better solutions that receive broader support and are more quickly implemented. My neighbors asked our neighborhood council to investigate the excessive fireworks being set off between Memorial Day and Labor Day every summer. I was able to lead an excellent group of local residents who teamed with the LAPD to reduce the fireworks considerably. This was most appreciated by dog-owners and parents of small children like me. I've learned through this experience that local councils and governments have a better grasp of what their communities need and how to find the best solutions more effectively and efficiently.

Instead of supporting our local governments, our current State Senator voted to take nearly $5 billion from local governments, including city councils and school boards, to fill the state's bloated budget of blueberry commissioners, non-teaching education administrators and maxed-out per diem in Sacramento. The result is that every local city council and school board must reduce its own services and staffing. When asked to support the initiative endorsed by nearly every South Bay city council to close this loophole and protect local services, she chose instead to support the continued taking of local revenues. Where the local municipalities cannot reduce services they must raise taxes to make up the shortfall. As the South Bay's next State Senator, I will protect local tax revenues by working to help pass the Local Tax Revenue Protection Initiative. I will propose legislation to close this loophole if the initiative is not passed, and refuse to vote for any state budget that balances itself on the backs of local governments. Our local governments are generally much better stewards of revenues than the state government, and know better where resources need to be deployed. The cities and neighborhood councils of the South Bay will have an ally in the State Senate when I am elected in November.

My campaign theme is "Saving the South Bay Dream". My parents know this dream well, as it enabled them to work hard, provide my sisters and me with a loving, supportive home and an education that was ranked among the highest in the nation. The South Bay Dream includes hard-working families involved in many local industries, including aerospace, energy, entertainment, and shipping. All of these families are experiencing job instability + energy refineries are under attack, and both movie production and shipping companies are choosing cities like Vancouver and Houston over Los Angeles for less regulations and lower fees. We need a State Senator who will remove the barriers preventing local companies and operations from luring business to the South Bay. I understand that putting all South Bay residents back to work, from engineers and manufacturers to entertainers and dockworkers, has to be the number one priority in Sacramento. South Bay voters must demand this from all of those running for office in 2010!

Saving the South Bay Dream won't be easy. Sacramento legislators have laid out an entirely different set of priorities from those South Bay residents need, led by our own State Senator who serves as the Majority Caucus Leader. If she wanted the California State Senate to focus on creating jobs in the private sector, removing excessive regulation and taxation, or on improving education, she could direct that focus tomorrow. Instead, she continues to steer the legislative agenda to non-critical issues that benefit her special interests over those of her constituents. Her disconnection with the South Bay is readily apparent. It is time to elect a State Senator who will work to revive the business environment that will create jobs, increase local revenues and improve the performance of our schools. When unemployment returns to the low levels prior to her first term, when jobs and businesses are again thriving in the South Bay, and our education system is producing a much higher percentage of quality graduates again, we can revisit issues like cigarette butts!

Until then, I hope you will vote to focus on the higher priorities of job creation and protecting local tax revenues! Vote for me in both June and November, and vote to "Save the South Bay Dream"!

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