California’s children deserve a quality education no matter what neighborhood they grow up in or how much money their parents make. I will fight for more funding for our public schools, increase access to Pre-K to give students the foundation they need for a strong start, and work to ensure more money is going directly into classrooms to prepare students for the modern economy.
To keep higher education from saddling hard working families with debt, I will work to make California’s community college system tuition-free. Job training programs, science and technology education, and four-year degree programs should also be expanded to keep up with the needs of our work force.
Housing and Homelessness
California’s housing crisis can only be solved with one thing: housing. I will work to secure funding from Sacramento to scale up affordable housing projects, cut red tape to build more middle-income homes, work to fund local projects for mixed-use buildings and smart growth, and simultaneously work to ensure that quality of life in our neighborhoods is maintained while housing supply increases.
We must ensure that our most vulnerable are lifted out of homelessness and provided with supportive housing with wrap-around services to get them back on their feet. We cannot allow the humanitarian and public health crisis of homelessness to continue unchecked statewide.
Jobs and Economic Security
Local small businesses shape our communities, employ most of our neighbors, and serve as the economic backbone to the 78th District. We must support small businesses as an investment in the quality of life of our region. We must also support consumers and workers.
A work force that makes a living wage and has the economic security of affordable healthcare, education, and housing will re-invest their earnings into the businesses in our neighborhood. We must help small businesses compete with large corporations, ensure workers are paid fairly and are treated with respect, and that working families have a voice in the economic process that will allow them to provide for their families and attain the California Dream.
Over 200,000 people in San Diego County are uninsured and one illness or injury from bankruptcy. Everyone knows someone with cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, or asthma. Anyone can get hit by a car or break a bone. The fact is that any leader who takes public safety or economic security seriously must be a champion for healthcare access.
I will work to ensure that California’s healthcare system is reformed so that every Californian has access to high quality, affordable, and reliable healthcare to take care of themselves and those they love most, and that we work toward a system of healthcare for all.
Childcare and Paid Family Leave
Averaging nearly $12,000 per year, the cost of childcare is one of the single largest barriers for families to enter the work force. Impoverished and working-class parents too often find it impossible to find jobs that allow them to both care for their children and pay the bills each month. California’s children deserve a strong start, and families need support to create work/life balance that leads to a happy and healthy workplace, and an even happier and healthier home.
Climate Change and Environmental Protection
We are already feeling the effects of climate change. Coastal flooding and erosion threatens our district and our only rail connection to the rest of the state. Wildfires ravage communities, tragically take lives, and destroy millions of dollars of property every year. Droughts are getting longer and more severe, and water planning is becoming more important than ever. California needs a plan to protect ourselves from these threats and to continue our leadership in greenhouse reduction.
We must fight to clean up the sewage in the Tijuana River that is making residents sick and destroying our coast around Imperial Beach and Coronado. Our coastline is the jewel of Southern California and it must be safe and beautiful for residents and visitors alike.