Many of us in California commute an average of two to three hours to and from work, and that depletes our income and our energy.  In order to improve our financial security and well-being, the 67th District needs more full-time, living wage jobs in our communities.  As your assemblyman, I will work with our local government officials to create the conditions necessary to attract quality jobs to our area.

A quality job is integral to creating a tight family unit – one in which a parent is always present at home, and where the second parent never misses an important family event. For many families in California, the hardest choice is deciding who must commute to work.  Reducing commuting times for workers has been proven to create safer communities and to reduce crime.

Shortening the daily commute to work saves money in gasoline costs, car repairs, and lower insurance rates.  It also reduces the amount of pollution vehicles release into the air to the betterment of the environment.  I will search for clean technology, renewable energy, environmentally friendly, and green companies, and do my best to bring such businesses to our district.

Tuition-Free College/ROP

The best way anyone can achieve a secure future is by getting a degree in the profession of their choice, and do it while staying debt-free.  The cost of a higher education has become prohibitive to middle class families, crippling graduates with tens of thousands of dollars of debt BEFORE getting their first job.  New predators, For-Profit Trade Schools prey on veterans, and others, by overcharging and under-training students.  I want to encourage, expand and invest in Occupational Programs to provide free training to those that qualify.

Providing tuition-free higher education to all has to be one of our top priorities.  Our citizens will be relieved of crippling debt and experience a higher level of health and happiness. Our community will benefit by having a better educated labor force that attracts jobs and lowers crime rates.  Higher productivity leads to a stronger economy. Quality companies will be attracted to our district and state, knowing that they have a knowledgeable and viable labor force.

Single-Payer Health Care System

Another way to ensure a great future is by staying healthy.  A single-payer health care system (universal health care) in California would not only treat us when sick, but provide us with PREVENTATIVE education to keep us healthy.  The current system is designed to make a profit from sick people when they are at their most vulnerable – when they are too sick and will think little of the cost of getting well again.  No one should have to lose their life’s savings when they become ill. Better health care for all means better outcomes, lower costs, and we will no longer dependent on our employers!

 A California single-payer health care system will help businesses of all sizes prosper by taking away the cost of providing health care to their employees and shifting it to the state.

It would free capital for a business to reinvest into itself: purchase new inventory,  expand, hire more people, be a community partner, or invest in newer and greener technologies. This would save them even more money, and continue a cycle of success that would otherwise be difficult to attain.

Universal Health Care would also give individuals the freedom to pursue a dream job, or to start their own business without having to worry about medical insurance.

Public Safety/Law Enforcement

The three aforementioned issues have the power to provide us with the secure future we want.  When we accomplish all three, they will amplify our public safety. Communities thrive when they have higher-earning, better educated, happy, and healthy  residents.  Businesses prosper, and their employees (our neighbors) do very well, AND crime drops.  It is a cycle of success that is attainable with the right leadership in place.  With your help, I will be one of those leaders that will work for you and your family.

However, one has to address the militarization of our communities on both sides of the issue: the public, and law enforcement.  We need to understand both sides; the public cannot be afraid of their protectors and  public servants, and our brave law enforcement men and women, friends and neighbors, should not be afraid of losing their life just because they went to work.  In most other jobs, you don’t have that fear.  If we have that fear, then that is a sign that we need to do something about gun safety at every level of our government.  We need to enforce the laws on the books.  We need to close loop-holes that make it easier for someone who should not own a gun get one.  All guns should be registered with the city, including transfers of ownership.  Of course, ONLY specialized law enforcement teams should be allowed to have Automatic Assault Weapons.  As we minimize gun ownership in the private sector, our peace officers will also demilitarize and retrain as community partners. A community-oriented police force creates a less hostile population and a cooperative, reporting, and protective partnership.

As a Marine veteran, I understand and defend the right of people to own hunting guns for sustenance or protection.  As the population grows, a lot of rural areas still have wildlife that can be a threat.  However, a gun’s ONLY reason for being is to destroy something.  What most of us don’t have is a reason to destroy a life.  Even wildlife, if left alone, will continue on its way in most cases.  For that reason, we should rethink gun use, and respect all forms of life.

As a father, husband, and son, I can’t support making guns easily attainable.  In fact, I would call on gun manufacturers to make a lot less guns, if any, and start making products that would indeed make lives better.  I will fight to prevent the loss of a loved one due to gun violence.  With your help, I will do so for all of California.

Immigration Reform

Whatever our circumstances and our past, somewhere along our heritage line, we came here in search of a better life.  Some were fortunate to have the means to get here on their own after being accepted by our government.  Some were able to claim asylum by landing on our shores. But many others were not able to do either.   They bet it all when they gambled to come to the U.S.A.,  and yet, some consider them less worthy of a safe haven.

Most of these less fortunate immigrants are trying to escape from violence, or from no prospects of a job in their home country.  They come with hope, wanting to be productive members of their new country.  Make no mistake about it, the great majority of these immigrants are not the ones committing the many crimes of which they are being accused.  Like most of us, they are decent, hardworking people who want to enjoy a close-knit community, and forge new relationships.

For most people, the fear of an undocumented immigrant subsides when they become legal. It would be much kinder and humane to lend a hand of support, rather than separating families.  I support immigration reform because it serves no purpose to criminalize an unrepresented portion of our population when they are, by most accounts, law abiding and productive members of our society.  Not only would it be cruel, but it is also impractical.

Legalization is also a form of economic stimulus.  Workers with legal status earn more than unauthorized workers.  Extra earnings generate more tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments, as well as more consumer spending which leads to substantial economic benefit to the business and expands the labor market.

We are a nation of laws, but laws should be aimed at making people whole.  Laws should aim to be just, and justice cannot prevail when the law oppresses a voiceless populace.

Universal Rights

Everyone has the right to a living-wage, equal job for equal pay job and to have all the laws of the land apply to them in an equal and just way regardless of creed, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

Veteran Care

Let’s make Universal Health Care a right for all.  Once veterans are covered and able to see the doctor of their choice, I will work to get them any and all other help they may need.  They are at the front line when it comes to defending our country with no guarantee of making it back to there loved ones.  I think that as a nation we need to give them all they will need to have a succesfull life after their honorable service.

Environment/Climate Change

The one thing that truly unites us is our world.  We need to clean and conserve our water, air and land. All our ecology depends on it.  We need to slow down and reverse climate change.

Whether you believe it’s cyclical or man-made, we are at a place in time where we can do something about it.  We owe it to our future generations.