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. Multi-billion 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. I offer a change from business as usual.
Today progressives are mobilizing in the face of bigotry and the oligarchic control of the one percent. In recent years, Chevron had a desk in Richmond City Hall. Now, just in District 15, the Democratic Socialists of America East Bay has grown from maybe 40 people to nearly 900 members! There are increasing numbers of Our Revolution chapters and progressive alliances; of Women's Rights, Criminal Justice, Immigrant, and Environmental Justice groups.
I bring the experience of Progressives felling the mighty Goliath in Richmond to the broader statewide struggle. I invite you to help me do the same in Sacramento!
Make Health and Medical Care Available to All
I believe that health care is a right, and not a privilege just for those who can afford it. 59 percent of Americans agree with me.
The cost of medical care in the United States continues to spiral out of control, in contrast to other developed countries that have single-payer health insurance systems. These skyrocketing costs not only hurt individuals and families, they damage local businesses in California. Despite all the money spent on healthcare, Americans' health is deteriorating. Here in California we have an opportunity to reverse these numbers. Democratic legislatures have repeatedly proposed and approved resolutions calling for a single-payer health system in California, but medical industry lobbyists have prevented passage and implementation.
People who say it's too complicated and that we need to go slower are defenders of the insurance companies and pharmaceutical profits. Many excellent studies and plans show how we can make health care a universal right. Our Revolution, under Bernie Sanders, outlines a national plan with details about cost and how to pay for it. The Affordable Care Act was a step forward, but 29 million Americans do not have health insurance and millions more are under‑insured.
If elected I will join the many SB 562 supporters already in the Assembly. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon seems to think a health‑care‑for‑all proposal must spring forth fully formed. But that’s what hearings are for ‑ for crafting a system that will both improve the economy and take care of the poor, the elderly and children. [Where I Stand]
Expand Housing for Everyone
Everyone deserves shelter. We must urgently pursue expanding housing opportunities for all people, keeping in mind transportation needs and community preservation. The East Bay will continue to thrive and prosper if everyone can afford housing. One-size-fits-all, state-mandated regulations can rob cities of their ability to protect residents from predatory developers and speculators. I’m extremely concerned that people are being squeezed out of housing in our Assembly District while prices are rocketing, new housing is prohibitively expensive and slow coming to market. Escalating rents threaten to drive long-time residents out of our communities or into homelessness and to destroy local businesses.
Before the Costa‑Hawkins Act of 1995, cities with rent control had stable rental markets. When rents began to rise uncontrollably, the Costa‑Hawkins and Ellis Acts made it impossible for local governments to keep strong rent control in place.
We must repeal Costa‑Hawkins and enable local governments again to make their own choices about rent control. Working with state and local authorities, real estate developers must build truly affordable housing that reflects the economic status of all Californians, not just the top 10%. [Where I Stand]
Stand with Organized Labor
Working people standing together are the most important counterbalances to the power of corporations and the wealthy who are driving increasing inequality. That is why conservatives and other corporate forces have launched a series of attacks on the rights of working people and their unions.
We want to increase the power of the labor movement. Unions are not “a special interest” to be compared to a profit making company. The only way working people have any power against corporate power is by working together. What unions fight for in contracts are: decent wages, good working conditions, and fair and equal treatment. This is something we want for everyone. Strong unions raise the bar for all workers. Because they represent workers, most unions are politically active on issues that can affect all working people, and include raising the minimum wage, healthcare for all, workplace safety, and affordable housing.
We must do everything we can in the legislature to strengthen laws that give workers the power to bargain effectively, as well as the opportunity to organize without employer intimidation.
Pushing and passing supportive legislation is just one part of what public officials should do. We have to use our power where we can. Elected representatives need to publicly support workers when they’re under attack and intervene where possible. Legislators have to be willing to make the calls and sign the statements that can put pressure on employers to bargain fairly. We must join workers on the picket lines when employers refuse to bargain fairly. We need to explain to the public why outsourcing work results in poorer quality and long-term greater expense. We need to explain why Project Labor Agreements and Prevailing Wage result in quality work on schedule. We must defend the principle of fair-share representation. Most of all we need to explain why labor is such an important force for the 99%. We need to stand with labor all the time;not just in election-time speeches. [Where I Stand]
Improve California’s Economy
We can diversify our economy, create living wage jobs, improve services and fairly share the burdens of government through innovations in land ownership, workers' conditions, banking, regulation, and taxes. Labor unions are key in the fight for greater economic and social power for the 99%.
We need to make taxation fair so we can improve our schools, healthcare and public services while we reaffirm protections for homeowners and renters. Right now in California, the tax burden is light for huge, long-time property owners, and heavy for those who have purchased homes recently. In effect, working people and small businesses are subsidizing wealthy corporations because of a loophole in Proposition 13, passed in1978, that allows them to avoid paying billions per year in taxes.
I support ongoing efforts in Sacramento to make corporations pay their fair share of taxes by reforming Proposition 13. [Where I Stand]
Reform Criminal Justice and Prisons
California is making good strides toward criminal justice reform that need to be continued and expanded. Our police need help to become positive and accepted parts of our communities, with their actions and procedures more transparent and accountable. Sentencing flexibility needs to be returned to judges and made equitable across all those who come before the courts.
Mass incarceration must be ended, drug offenses should result in rehabilitation, not imprisonment, and the use of illegal drugs should be decriminalized. Corporations shouldn’t profit from locking people up. I oppose private prisons. As our prison population declines, we must help formerly incarcerated people to rejoin our communities, helping them to find jobs and housing.
I have been deeply involved in these issues in Richmond, from Ban-the-box to community policing. [Where I Stand]
Ensure and Protect People’s Rights
Our communities thrive when they are diverse, accepting, and just for everyone.
We need to hold firm on California’s protection against untoward interference from the federal government in the lives of people in our communities who were brought here as undocumented children. We need to afford them, their families, and all undocumented people clear routes to normalize their residence here. They are vital and constructive parts of our society.
Continuous efforts are needed to protect everyone from discrimination, and that’s why I support federal legislation to include LGBTQ individuals in the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
We must make it safe for all of our population, especially for minorities unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Racial profiling and the overuse of lethal force must stop. [Where I Stand]
Protect the Environment and Establish Environmental Justice
I pledge to help preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations. Protecting the environment and limiting climate change must go hand-in-hand with environmental justice.
California needs vigorously to pursue a renewable, sustainable, non-carbon-based energy economy, while also rectifying the environmental injustices of the past and avoiding further pollution of our air, water, and land. We must prevent the fossil fuel industry from stealing our jobs, wealth and health, and expand employment, build industries, and improve our health by expanding sustainable energy alternatives while cleaning up the residues of past despoliation.
The city of Richmond took on the dirty Chevron refinery and won. I was part of that victory that got national attention. [Where I Stand]
Promote, Expand, and Improve Education
All California’s residents deserve access to high-quality, free education from pre-school through college. California can again become a world leader in public education if we rectify our tax inequities, improve funding for education, improve working conditions and pay for our teachers, expand technical training as well as general education for students and remove barriers to education to help end the cycle of poverty.
I believe there should be a moratorium on further charter schools. Public libraries must be maintained and improved in all of our communities. I advocate improving coordination between community colleges, school districts, cities, counties, and other agencies for the delivery of social, health, and mental services. Faculty and local educators must be included in discussions of public education reform. [Where I Stand]
A Better California for All, Starting with Assembly District 15!
Many of these issues overlap. You can help me to think deeply and clearly about how they connect and how we can work to improve conditions for all Californians. I pledge to take your concerns to Sacramento and to learn, discuss, and act with you and colleagues in the Assembly to protect and promote your interests.
We are building a movement that will make it possible for all California to live in thriving, diverse, and accessible communities.