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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Contra Costa, Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

Elizabeth Echols
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 15


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. How would you prioritize the fiscal choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

The cornerstone of our democracy and the foundation for creating economic opportunity is a quality public education system. Thanks to the passage of Proposition 30 and an improving economy, schools are going to see an over $800 million increase in spending in 2014-15. Since the Proposition 30 revenues are not permanent, we must find ways to improve the long-term outlook for education funding, and I would support raising revenues to do so.

In addition, our state's social safety net has been cut to shreds during the state's budget crisis and must be restored. We should restore services to promote economic recovery in our communities.

2. Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?

We need to look at more environmentally sensitive approaches to our state's water challenges, including improved water efficiency, better use of recycled water and storm water capture, and enhanced groundwater management.

We also should provide state funding to help local water agencies conduct outreach to engage more people in successful water conservation projects, upgrade current water systems and invest in new technologies to more efficiently use current water supplies.

3. California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?

We need to invest in our public schools if we are to have any hope of giving all children an equal chance to succeed. We know from research that the achievement gap begins before children even start kindergarten so we need to start earlier + with our youngest learners.

We should start by creating universal transitional kindergarten, guaranteeing a quality educational experience that prepares 4 year olds to start kindergarten ready to learn. That's the first battle, but with the possibility of 12 years in the Legislature, I'll work towards access to universal early childhood education that begins even earlier.

4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address? What are your own priorities?

I believe strongly that we must prioritize making our state's higher education more accessible and affordable. We must reduce college fees and provide much needed revenues to our higher education system.

We also should build California's leadership in environmental protection and expand our green economy. In the Assembly, I will work to combat climate change, place a moratorium on fracking in California, and protect the San Francisco Bay and the tidal marsh habitat.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 7, 2014 20:32
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