JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
In order to get California back to work our first priority must be to make the state more business friendly. If elected to the Assembly, I will join in the effort to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); CEQA’s regulations are strangling business and limiting job creation.
We need to close tax loopholes that favor out of state businesses at the expense of California’s business community. Our local businesses deserve the opportunity to compete on a level playing field that encourages investment and hiring.
An important part of getting people back to work is making sure California’s education system and job training programs are providing businesses with a skilled and educated work force. The state has an obligation to ensure that our business community and entrepreneurs have the ability to maintain California’s place as one of the world’s top ten economies as we move further into the 21st Century.
PROTECTING COMMUNITIES FROM CRIME
Public safety has been a cornerstone of my work on the Bakersfield City Council. As a council member I have worked closely with our public safety officers to make our neighborhoods safer.
I believe that if someone is sentenced to jail for committing a crime, they ought to do the time. Under no circumstances do I support early release. Early release of inmates because of overcrowding is irresponsible and dangerous to every community in California.
We must give our law enforcement agencies the tools they need to do their job and make keep our families and communities safe.
THE STATE BUDGET
The state of California cannot tax-increase its way to fiscal stability. I work in a small construction company. Our family business makes ends meet by watching our expenses. State government needs to start doing the same thing.
While some argue cutting programs and services can balance the state budget. I believe that we can do a better job at utilizing the resources we have and creating priorities. What we need is better government — one that respects taxpayers, eliminates fraud & underperforming programs and makes better choices.
On the City Council, we have balanced our budget while keeping our priorities-its time the state starts doing the same.
AGRICULTURE AND WATER
As a boy I helped my father build boxes for grapes and kiwis grown in our local fields. I know first-hand the extent to which agriculture drives the economy of the 32nd Assembly District. And it is no secret that the San Joaquin Valley serves as the breadbasket for not only America, but also much of the world. In fact, seven of the state’s top ten counties in terms of agriculture production, including Kern and Kings counties, are located in the Central Valley.
An adequate water supply for Ag remains a major issue. I believe that in the long term, the easiest and most practical way to resolve the debate about water supply is to build additional reservoirs and provide a conveyance system to move water. In addition to guaranteeing that Ag has the water it needs, reservoir construction will create thousands of jobs and provide a huge impact on our economy. Further, food safety is and should be everyone’s concern. To that end, the state needs to build a meaningful partnership with Ag to make sure California remains the nation’s food safety leader.
If elected I will be a strong advocate for agriculture and water. I will fight to make sure the agriculture industry is not burdened by unnecessary regulations and that farmers have the water and other tools that allow them to compete effectively in the global economy.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOL FUNDING
It is an unfortunate fact of life that California’s once top rated public school and higher education systems have fallen on hard times. Budget cuts have negatively impacted student performance. Relentless tuition increases are putting a college education increasingly out of reach for many families.
As the first member of my family to graduate from college I know how college costs impact a family. The high cost of attending UCLA forced me to work multiple jobs in order pay for school. As an outreach counselor that worked with eight local high schools to get kids into college, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges many families and students face to achieve their dream of graduating from college.
I believe that the state must do more to make college more affordable. No high school graduate who wants to go to college should be denied the opportunity because college costs are unaffordable. Our state’s economic future and the well being of every citizen are based on our ability to educate and develop an educated and skilled workforce to meet the challenges of the global economy.
School funding at all levels must be increased so K-12 students have increased learning opportunities in smaller classes. And higher education funding must increase so more students can be admitted and tuition costs can be prevented from spiraling out of control.