Corporate money and lobbying wield huge power in our political system. I will support steps to limit corporate power and build the power of working people in politics:
- Limit the impact of corporate campaign donations, with a state law requiring political ads to give conspicuous warnings of corporate funding sources.
- Expand public election financing to the statewide level to support corporate-free candidates and limit the advantage of corporate-funded politicians.
- Free our public regulatory boards from corporate control by preventing current and recent corporate employees from holding a regulatory position.
- Expand voting access by making election day a state holiday and by extending the right to vote in state and local elections to all California residents with state-issued ID.
I am proud to have been a corporate-money-free candidate in all my campaigns for office. With the Richmond Progressive Alliance, I helped lead the grassroots movement to wrest city government control away from Chevron. We can build corporate-free politics in California. With a movement that engages more working people in politics and with key reforms in state law to end corporate control, we can create a political system that works for people, not for profit.
Corporate control of federal politics delivered the Supreme Court's dangerous Citizens United ruling, which unleashed an onslaught of corporate money in elections across the country. In the Assembly I will fight to drastically limit the impact of corporate campaign donations. For example, we can require that donors funding political ads be listed conspicuously, drawing on lessons from tobacco warning labels. Political ads should plainly list the top five campaign donors behind the ad including corporations, billionaires, PACs, or dark money independent expenditure committees.
Public election financing is a crucial reform to level the playing field, support new and corporate-free candidates, and reduce the influence of corporate donors and wealthy fundraisers in our politics. Seven cities across California, including Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland, have instituted successful programs for local public election financing. I will push to expand public election financing for all state and local elections. Our state elections commission should study and propose the best possible statewide model.
State regulatory boards, such as the California Air Resources Board, make crucial decisions that affect environmental protection and public services for all of us. Yet corporate interests have won too much control over these regulatory bodies, particularly by gaining appointed seats for corporate executives, employees, and lobbyists on these boards. The fox should not guard the henhouse. I support freeing our regulatory boards from corporate control, with legislation to make sure that any person employed within the past three years by a relevant industry or lobbying firm will be ineligible for appointment to a regulatory seat. Corporations will still have plenty of influence over the policies that affect them because they have the resources to lobby these boards in public proceedings. Reforming our regulatory boards to reduce corporate control is a first necessary step towards a government that works for California's people, not for profit.
To ensure working people can vote and participate in politics, I support making Election Day an annual state holiday. We should also work to consolidate elections into as few days per year as possible. California should expand voting as much as possible and prevent federal meddling that seeks to disqualify voters, undermine election integrity, or limit voting access.
I am a strong supporter of California's automatic voter registration process. I advocate extending the right to vote to all adult residents of California with state-issued ID, regardless of federal immigration status, for state and local elections. No matter their federal documentation, immigrant Californians are crucial members of our communities and deserve a voice in the politics that affect them. By including all California residents in state and local elections, we can systematically build the power of working people and reduce corporate control of state politics.