Thank you for visiting to learn more about some of the issues I fight for, and for your interest in the future of our community. Your opinions are important to me. If you have questions, ideas, or concerns, please come to a house party or other event to meet me and discuss the issues we all face.
Corporate money has saturated our politics, and it prevents Sacramento from providing the kind of government we need. Multibillion dollar corporations are not buying elections to provide more revenue for schools, protect tenants, or reverse the damage to our environment. They pay to get tax breaks and favorable legislation at the expense of the rest of us.
But we can change that! By working together to organize people power, we can elect a government that truly represents us, not just the interests of the wealthiest one percent. I’ve been a part of a successful local movement to transform Richmond's city government from a “business as usual” model to one that serves everyone, and I invite you to take that movement to Sacramento with me.
With people power, we can build and retain affordable housing.
Housing is a basic human right: everyone deserves shelter. Our communities and neighborhoods thrive and prosper when everyone can afford housing. Cities should be able to protect their residents from predatory real estate speculators. Before the Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995, cities with rent control had stable rental markets, but rents began to rise uncontrollably as the Costa-Hawkins and Ellis Acts made it impossible for local governments to keep strong rent control in place. We must repeal Costa-Hawkins so local governments are free to make their own choices about rent control. In addition, I support legislation that will provide communities the opportunity to enact commercial rent control.
With people power, we can create a single-payer health insurance system.
We need to simplify and guarantee healthcare coverage to make our communities thrive. No one should go to the hospital and have their first thought be, “How will I pay for this?” Faced with such a daunting question, many individuals forego healthcare altogether. Others are forced to stay in jobs they don’t want or face bankruptcy because our current healthcare system puts profit before people. A majority of Californians support a single-payer system, yet corporate money prevented SB 562, the Healthy California Act that would provide health care for all, from reaching the Assembly floor.
In West County, after a long and contentious struggle, we lost our only public hospital. I continue to fight for our communities to have a hospital within life-saving distance. SAVE ALTA BATES!
With people power, we can fix our broken tax code.
Working people and small businesses continue to subsidize huge corporations, often unwittingly. These corporations benefit from a loophole in Proposition 13, passed in1978, that allows them to avoid paying $9 billion per year in taxes. So while corporations pay fewer taxes, taxes on everyone else go up. We need to make taxation fair so we can improve our schools, healthcare and public services while we reaffirm protections for homeowners and renters.
By closing the loophole in Proposition 13, we will create better business conditions for small businesses. Under the present law, entrepreneurs must compete against companies whose outdated property assessments allow them to avoid paying their fair share. We need to fix the policies that make rich corporations richer on the backs of small businesses and taxpayers.
With people power, we can support labor and create a resilient, sustainable local economy.
We can diversify our economy, create living wage jobs, and receive improved services by:
- Developing community land trusts.
- Encouraging and supporting employee-owned businesses.
- Supporting Project Labor Agreements (PLA) to ensure that workers are paid living wages and have benefits that translate into financially secure households and money spent in the community.
- Supporting collective bargaining for workers in public and private sector (i.e. teachers, classified employees, professors, and early childhood educators).
- Creating public banking institutions.
- Regulating the Internet as a public utility.
We must also ensure that everyone benefits from automation so working families do not fall victim to job losses.
With people power, we will have justice.
In Richmond, we organized people power to create a more vibrant community:
- We were the first city in the nation to “ban the box” for city employment and contractors doing business with the city in order to reduce potential discrimination against the formerly incarcerated/returning citizens in the hiring process. I also sponsored an ordinance to ban the box in public housing.
- We directed our police department to become a national model in community policing, and I authored an ordinance for police accountability and transparency.
- We raised the minimum wage, which will rise to $15 an hour by 2019. I support raising the statewide minimum wage to a living wage.
- I authored an agenda item directing Richmond city staff to develop a citywide Project Labor Agreement ordinance.
- I voted to allocate $35 million of the $90 million Chevron Community Benefits Agreement money to give college scholarships (the Richmond Promise) to every single Richmond student who wants to go to college.
- We passed a rent control ordinance to become the first new rent control city in a generation.
I’ve seen first-hand that when government works for the people, not corporations, we all do better.
With people power, we can ensure LGBTQ rights are protected.
We can uphold and strengthen federal and state laws to address the rising hate crimes against the LGBTQ community and create legislation that supports the needs of this vulnerable population.
- I support H.R. 2282, the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the list of protected classes. This act will protect LGBTQ individuals nationwide from discrimination in credit, education, employment, housing federal assistance, jury service, and public accommodations.
- I introduced policy legislation condemning bullying and hate crimes perpetrated against LGBTQ people.
- I support comprehensive immigration reform to protect the estimated 1,200,000 LGBTQ undocumented people who live in the U.S.
- I support updating asylum criteria to prioritize LGBTQ individuals from countries that persecute and harm their LGBTQ citizens.
- I oppose cuts in the state budget to programs that serve the LGBTQ community, including programs that assist Californians living with HIV and AIDS.
- I support strengthening protections at the state and federal level for LGBTQ seniors living in long-term care facilities against discrimination on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status.
- I oppose broad religious exemptions that would allow individuals or organizations to refuse to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges to LGBTQ people on the basis that compliance would violate their "sincerely held religious beliefs."
- I support providing adequate government funding for a mandatory teacher training program that would aid teachers in identifying and assisting LGBTQ students who may need support in coming out, dealing with bias-based bullying, or lack of family or community acceptance.
- I support enabling transgender, intersex, and non-binary people to obtain government-issued identity documents (birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, etc.) that accurately reflect their gender identity.
- I support establishing the right of transgender people incarcerated in state prisons or county jails to petition to change their legal name or gender and require that correction officials use their new name.
- I support allowing openly transgender Americans to serve in the U.S. military.
I invite you to get involved and join our people-powered movement! Together we can achieve so much more.
- We can end private prisons and the bail bond system.
- We can pass an immediate ban on fracking and a moratorium on new fossil fuel production or expansion in California. I want to introduce an oil and gas severance tax to pay for green programs and public education. I also want to allow cities to prevent refinery expansions, cement plant projects, and other toxic industries from being built next to low-income communities and communities of color. For the sake of our health, we need to have democratically elected Air District boards that will carry out their mandate to protect and improve public health, air quality, and the global climate.
- A large portion of Assembly District 15 residents are immigrants or children of immigrants. Many of them are DACA recipients who face an uncertain future including possible deportation when their status starts to expire in March 2018. We need to put as much pressure as possible on our federal officials to make a clean DACA extension a priority for the tens of thousands whose families and livelihoods are in danger of being torn apart by Washington extremists.
- I support the CA sanctuary state bill that goes into effect in January.
- I am a strong supporter of neighborhood public schools. I believe we need to enact a statewide moratorium on charter schools.
- We need to establish a school-to-union pipeline to train our young people for green-collar union jobs. This will require expanded career and technical education programs for all students, especially those whom the public school system is presently failing.
- I am a strong supporter of free pre-school, free childcare, and free community college and university.
- I support AB 1578 to protect cannabis users and businesses from federal government interference.
It's time to organize a regional political revolution that brings together thousands of our neighbors to transform our democracy. We are building a movement that will make it possible for all California to live in thriving, diverse, and accessible communities. Please join me in this historic undertaking!