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Alameda, Santa Clara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

It's the Economy...

By Garrett Yee

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 20; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Everything depends on getting our economy going, it is the highest priority.
Everything depends on getting our economy going, it is the highest priority. We must deal with unemployment and job loss. It is easier to save a job than create a job so we must do what we can to ensure existing businesses can expand and new businesses can prosper. Working California families deserve support and access to quality job training programs to match the jobs of today and the future.

We need immediate solutions, and long term strategies. Both are going to require leadership and tough decisions. When Garrett was elected to the Ohlone Community College Board just over six years ago, he knew we could do better. But instead of good times, he found himself personally signing the layoff notices of 39 individuals. It was a very painful experience and he has not forgotten the fact that they were not just names, but these were individuals with lives and families. But, it is because of the leadership and commitment during these very difficult times that the College District was able to endure.

On a larger scale, everyone ultimately feels some of California's budget pain - many in our community already have. California's current budget woes reflect the downturn in the economy. This recession has hit most sectors of the economy as well as employers big and small. When it comes to fixing the economy, we are talking about regaining the competitive edge for California employers so that working families can earn competitive wages.

Garrett understands that small employers create the majority of jobs throughout California. In the past, California has prospered because of the entrepreneurial spirit of those in our state with an incredible drive to succeed. We need to continue to foster that spirit. In Garrett's former role as the Policyholder Ombudsman at the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California, he worked directly with small employers to help address key issues. We need to do better creating an environment where small employers can effectively manage success and challenges to grow their businesses and get our economy going.

Fixing the economy also requires a trained workforce that possesses the necessary skills required by employers. Simply said, it is important to support our educational system to provide relevant job training programs, and focusing on re-tooling the workforce for new jobs.

This is where California's community college system stands to serve as one of the primary players in getting the economy back on track. When an industry sector declines and workers lose their jobs, of all the public institutions available, community colleges are best positioned to work with unemployed workers and train them with new skills that will make them qualified and competitive to enter new industries.

While the state has many competing priorities, we need to get Californians back to work and our economy back on track.

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