Where I Stand

Make Health and Medical Care Available to All

As a State Assemblymember, I will do everything in my power to enact single-payer health coverage for all Californians pursuant to SB562. The Assembly should move ahead with hearings and drafting of legislation to implement a single-payer system. Few policies will do more to protect the health of our communities, lower costs and boost our economy than universal, single-payer healthcare.

This will entail a new funding structure for healthcare, but we can do it! Americans already pay more than any other developed country population for their healthcare – so the resources exist! It’s a matter of simplifying, streamlining, and cost-controlling provision of health services.

Meanwhile, I support actions in California to retain broad access to healthcare as we transition into a single-payer system, and will fight to protect Californians from US Congress H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which seeks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Rather than destroying Medi-Cal by underfunding it, as the federal government is attempting to do, we must preserve Medi-Cal. Legislators need to establish protections and continue to expand services regardless of federal proposals as we continue our statewide mobilization for Medicare for all.

While working for single-payer, I will fight to ensure that workers’ wages cannot be continually cut to make up for rising healthcare costs. Employers’ cuts to employee healthcare benefits highlight the need for single payer healthcare.

Sacramento needs to pay more attention to conditions and compensation of our healthcare workers and conditions

California healthcare workers are facing understaffed departments and are forced to work overtime, putting patients and employees at risk. We must make sure healthcare employers commit to providing safe staffing levels and paying competitive wages to prevent a healthcare provider crisis.

Nurse/patient ratios are established for patient and nurse health and safety; they must be followed or people will die. Nurses put their lives on the line to save other’s lives, and they have every right to refuse unsafe assignments. I would initiate or support legislation that strengthens the law by increasing the number of inspectors and mandating stiff penalties for facilities that break the law.

Preserve and enhance healthcare access for all California residents

Throughout California there are healthcare deserts, communities that lack access to vital healthcare professionals and institutions. We must continue to focus on establishing clinics, hospitals and transportation options to make sure that all Californians have the healthcare access they need.

As the federal government tries to dictate how eligible Medi-Cal recipients must live, we have to make sure that the vulnerable populations this program has been designed to serve continue to have access. I will make sure that no matter what federal legislation passes, the California legislature continues to resist and work for our state’s residents and most vulnerable communities.

I’ll fight to preserve local hospitals, including Alta Bates in Berkeley.


Promote provider coordination

I support improving coordination between community colleges, school districts, cities, counties and other agencies on the delivery of social, health, and mental health services.

We must strive to minimize healthcare errors. Provide resources to further integrate public health and EMS in building community resilience and developing enhanced, flexible protocols.

Beyond trying to fix our very flawed sickness care delivery system, we must think about individual and community health in a very different way. Let’s think about preventing illness and keeping communities healthy in the first place. Even then-Senator Barack Obama voiced concern in 2008 with these very stark words: "Simply put, in the absence of a radical shift toward prevention and public health, we will not be successful in containing medical costs, and improving the health of the American people."

So what would preventing illness actually look like? Here are two examples that California could easily implement if the political will was present:

A state-funded public health media and nutrition campaign to counter the obesity epidemic, much as HIV has been addressed in the past. This epidemic is causing catastrophic premature illness and mortality but it is entirely preventable!

Decriminalization of the use of illegal drugs. Drug addiction and use must be addressed as a public health issue, not a matter of criminal justice. This would improve outcomes and hugely reduce pressure on our justice and incarceration systems. Think of all the lives that could be saved, the needless victimization of addicts that could be avoided, and the billions of dollars that could be saved by dramatically reducing the prison industrial complex.

My Experience and Record on Health

I am a full-time children’s wrap-around mental health specialist for Contra Costa County. Every day I see the effects of poor health and rediscover the needs of our children and families in my day-to-day work. I will bring my ground-level experience to discussions and legislation in Sacramento aimed at improving Californians’ physical, mental, and economic health.

This is not a new commitment!

In April 2011, long before introduction of the current single-payer bill (SB 562 and its analogue in the Assembly), I co-authored a resolution adopted by the Richmond City Council supporting Senate Bill 810, the California Universal Health Care Act of 2011.

In February 2013, I co-authored a resolution that the City Council adopted in support of selecting a site in Richmond for the California Health Benefits Exchange regional call center.

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Expand Housing for Everyone

As a State Assemblymember improving housing availability at all income levels while preserving communities and protecting needy residents will be a major focus of my efforts.

The Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995 constrains cities’ abilities to control rents in buildings coming to market after the Act became law. I seek repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995. Municipalities should have the ability to expand rent control for residences as well as for local commercial enterprises.

We need to repeal the Ellis Act of 1985, so that if they choose to do so, cities can limit landlords’ abilities to evict renters and change buildings’ purposes through bankruptcy or conversion to condominiums.

I will support programs for foreclosure prevention, credit counseling, and pre-purchase assistance.

Between 2010 and 2016 the Bay area added 500,000 jobs but only 50,000 homes. People in Assembly District 15 need to come together to help solve our common problems of housing affordability and availability.

Supporters of Senate Bill 827 claim that it will help alleviate the housing crisis. SB 827's rules would over-ride local municipalities’ capacity to regulate development. SB 827 as currently drafted gives developers too many benefits while threatening the welfare and participation in decision-making of the communities and cities it purports to help.

SB 827 would reduce application of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) impact statement requirements for specified new developments. It is not safe to assume that just because residences are built along public transportation routes they will help limit energy use and greenhouse gas production. This needs to be studied and evaluated, not asserted.

SB 827 would raise height restrictions and remove municipal parking capacity requirements on “transit corridor” developments. This is to promote denser residential construction and alleviate the parking construction burden currently faced by cities’ zoning requirements. The assumption is that the residents of these convenient and dense new apartments wouldn’t need cars and thus the usual parking capacity-per-unit stipulations of local codes should be removed. But the assertion that these new urban residents would not want to park cars in the vicinity is a huge leap of faith. And if it’s wrong, existing parking pressures, neighborhood clogs and main-route traffic jams would get much worse.

While we need to approach the housing problem carefully, I support efforts underway to solve the crisis and I’ll be vigorously engaged as Sacramento seeks ever more innovative solutions to our housing crunch. Some of the bills currently under discussion that I view favorably include:

SB 912 - to direct $2 billion from the state general fund’s surplus to construction of affordable housing;
AB 2065 - to encourage the use of surplus public land for affordable housing;
AB 2562 - State provision of $500 million in low interest loan funds to replace federal funds lost;
AB 3152 - to provide property tax relief for affordable rental housing;
AB 2162 - to fast-track approvals for supportive housing for the homeless

I’ll work to eliminate the tax credits, loopholes, and subsidies that benefit wealthy developers and property owners without motivating them to contribute to the solution of the affordable housing crisis.

Sacramento needs to promote increase of housing stock, especially affordable housing.

This includes efforts to provide affordable housing to educators i.e. housing incentives. Such incentives include money for expenses such as rent, relocation, and down payment assistance, as well as discounted homes and subsidized teacher housing.

We could create a state program that provides loans to single family homeowners with equity to build an in-law unit on their property, if they agree to rent the unit affordable up to 100% Area Median Income (AMI). Like an existing state solar installation program, homeowners can pay it back through their property taxes (tax deductible).

Protect moderate and low income residents

Laws could allow income averaging in housing credit properties to allow the 60 percent of area median income (AMI) occupancy ceiling to apply to the average of all apartments in a property rather than to each individual apartment.

My Experience and Record on Housing

As a consequence of my initiative with colleagues on the Richmond City Council, in 2011, we commissioned and in October considered a report by Fair Housing of Marin, under subcontract with Bay Area Legal Aid, on race discrimination in rental housing in the City of Richmond.

In my first term, I supported housing stability with the Richmond Cares program. I also supported the Iron Triangle Yellow Brick Road walkable neighborhoods plan.

In 2014, at my initiative, the Council directed our staff to put together a study session on policies to help maintain affordable rental housing.

Along with Council, I voted in 2015 to amend the Municipal Code by relaxing restrictions and streamlining the approval process of Second Dwelling Units (SDU's) to comply with the California Second Unit Law and to explore SDU's as affordable housing types.

At my initiative from 2015 though 2017, Council and city staff worked with community groups such as the Safe Return Project to include in our fair housing ordinance protections for previously incarcerated residents so that they could have access to housing needs, to formulate an ordinance, and then to implement the Fair Chance Access to Affordable Housing ordinance.

In 2016, again addressing the affordable housing crisis, the Council received reports and asked the City Manager to research the feasibility of developing a village of tiny houses for homeless people.

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Stand with Labor

As a State Assemblymember, I will continue to work with coalition partners on legislative issues. Many of these are priorities for the labor movement: Medicare-for-all (single-payer healthcare), getting rid of corporate loopholes in Proposition 13 to improve schools and fund local community services, increasing the minimum wage, increased support for true public education, affordable housing, and net neutrality. I will continue to work with community partners and workers’ representatives to bring increased opportunities for living-wage jobs to our communities. Rebuilding our roads and infrastructure and making sure that healthcare and our social safety net is properly staffed, will improve government services for everyone.  These are all described in other sections of my platform.

I condemn the Supreme Court’s Janus decision which was clearly an attempt to weaken unions, and will support any legislation at the state level to counter this.  For example we need laws which better allow unions to meet with new employees, to explain how the unions work and the rights workers have. We need legislation that allows union representatives unrestricted access to members at their worksite if the access does not interfere with the work of the members.

This is a world of rapid change. We need legislation that provides for “just transition” for workers in all industries and occupations that are shifting.  This is especially true of industries that change because we change our policies. For example, as we shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy, we have to be sure that there are plans in place for retraining and placing displaced workers in new comparable jobs. We have to prevent these shifts from being a smokescreen for eliminating jobs with adequate wages and safe conditions and replacing them with unsafe low-wage work.  Working people should not suffer because management or the government decides that operations should be done differently. We need to require contractors to support apprenticeship programs for skilled work. We need to be considering taxes on automation to help fund assistance for the displaced workers.

We need legislation that stops the assault on our pensions and protects retirement security and the principles of “defined benefits.” Once a person has retired they must be able to count on their pension without worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market.

We need legislation that restricts or regulates outsourcing of public services to profit making companies.

I agree with and support current bills designed to support workers, such as AB 3080 (limiting employers from forcing employees to sign away rights), AB 3081 (preventing discrimination and retaliation against victims of sexual assault), and SB 1470 (establishing a commission to address trends in automation), and I will be proud to sponsor and carry other legislation that advances protections for workers and their families.

My Experience and Record on Labor Issues

As a mental health specialist for Contra Costa County, I am a proud member of Teamsters Local 856.  In my previous union, I served as a steward. I am all too aware of how difficult some jobs can be, of how little power the individual has in dealing with management bureaucracy, and why working people need to act together.  I have been part of countless union picket lines from BART workers to refinery workers to “Fight for 15” workers at McDonalds.

On the Richmond City Council I was an initiator of Richmond’s original minimum wage in 2014, which was one of the highest in the Bay Area.  Last year I was one of the initiators of increasing our minimum wage to $15/hour starting in 2019.

I worked with the Building Trades Council to get the Richmond City Council to pass a directive for blanket Project Labor Agreement language and supported such agreements on city and private sector projects.

I have consistently challenged outsourcing when it came before the City Council and looked for ways to expand the skills of city workers

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Improve California’s Economy

Particularly as the federal government squeezes states by reducing funding for social programs and benefitting the wealthiest Americans at the cost of everyone else, the State of California has been trying to protect its residents and expand their opportunities. Our economy depends upon healthy, well-educated people who have places to live in safe communities. I intend to work with my Assembly colleagues to reform our taxation system to support needed state activities and to make possible innovative arrangements that can help ease housing pressures, improve our local environment, and expand local businesses.

Proposition 13, passed in 1978, prevents property tax valuations from increasing more than 2% per year unless the property is sold. If property turns over, the valuation is based on the sale price. Commercial property turns over much more slowly than residential property. Publicized as protecting homeowners from exploding property taxes, the law has prevented revaluation of long-held commercial properties, thus skewing tax bills toward owners who have recently purchased property.

Huge corporations that have not moved (think Disneyland, Chevron refineries, etc.) now pay low property tax compared to the vastly increased values of their property. Before Prop.13, residential property taxes were 55% of collected property taxes, while commercial taxes were 45%. Now residential owners now pay 72% of the total while commercial enterprises only pay 28%.

California needs fair funding of its government services, services from which huge corporations benefit too. We need to close the loophole in Prop. 13 – update property assessments for (rich, large) companies.

I will advocate that California make easier the development and operation of community land trusts that can help provide housing and can make our state more livable.

Community land trusts are non-profit groups that own land in perpetuity for specific community-oriented purposes such as long-term affordable housing and open-space preservation. I believe California tax laws should be modified to help CLTs expand.

I will advocate that California encourage formation of employee-owned businesses.

More information about this kind of business organization can lead to creation of more equitable workplaces. State business advisory offices should provide information to entrepreneurs to inform them about this ownership model.

I favor Project Labor Agreements (PLA). These agreements can ensure that workers are paid living wages and have benefits that translate into financially secure households and that money is spent in the communities where the subject activity is taking place.

I support collective bargaining for workers in public and private sector (i.e. teachers, classified employees, professors, and early childhood educators).

Regulations should be reformed to encourage creation of public banking institutions, reducing the dominance of the huge banks, making financial institutions responsive to local conditions and needs, and helping to finance activities that are finding commercial banks reluctant to make capital available.

Because we are increasingly recognizing that huge firms are dominating the internet, invading individual privacy and misusing data generated by web use, I support regulating the Internet as a public utility.

California needs to prepare for the jobs transition that automation and artificial intelligence will bring to our labor situation. The state needs to increase funds for jobs retraining and for support of families while their bread earners undergo career transitions.

Connecting to the healthcare issue, a state-managed, single-payer, guaranteed health system would vastly reduce stress on families and individuals during job transitions and increase jobs mobility.

My Experience and Record on the Economy

In my first term on City Council, I initiated a minimum wage increase for the city.

I supported the effort to bring Whole Foods Warehouse, Planet Fitness, Grocery Outlet, and Nutiva to town.

I supported Richmond’s negotiations with labor and business to bring more jobs to the Richmond port.

I worked to help local businesses to survive and prosper, including helping to save a Black woman-owned business from going out of business.

In my second term with my continued initiative, Council passed a $15.00 minimum wage to take effect in 2019.

Local Economy
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Reform Criminal Justice and Prisons

California has begun reforming its justice and prison systems and I will push to continue these changes.

We need to end mass incarceration. Alternatives to incarceration, particularly for juveniles, need to be expanded while attention also needs to be given to the needs of crime victims.

One way to vastly reduce our prison population and the pressure on our court system would be to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs. I want to work with other legislators to study the feasibility and best practices to move in this direction.

Far too many of our state’s people have been incarcerated for possession of illegal drugs, vastly worsening our incarceration rate and destroying these people’s chances for a productive life. Drug possession and use should be responded to as health problems, not criminal acts. Rehabilitation, counseling, expansion of life opportunities and a health maintenance approach will reduce costs, improve outcomes, and be much more humane.

I know from my long experience as a children’s mental health worker, and from reading scientific studies, that young people really are different from adults. We must end the prosecution of children as adults. Incarceration of children leads to further criminality, not rehabilitation. We need to break the school-to-prison pipeline, care for our children, and thus make their lives more productive and our communities safer.

I will work in Sacramento to end California’s death penalty. The death penalty can’t be administered fairly. It is hugely expensive to house death penalty convicts during long appeals processes, it results in the killing of innocent people, and it can’t be shown to deter crime.

Relations between communities and their police forces can be improved, and our population made safer. I support creation of local police accountability mechanisms and encouraging the California Attorney General fully to apply the state’s laws regarding use of force by law enforcement officials. I also support community policing initiatives.

We need to reduce gun violence. Guns are a public health menace and especially a threat to our minority populations. We need to use every possible means in addition to law enforcement – such as community policing, educational efforts, community outreach, promoting employment and seeking to channel gang organizations into benign activities – to reduce the use of firearms. I enthusiastically support California’s gun regulations and believe they should be kept under continuous review for improving the safety of our state’s residents.

The bail bond system currently in use means that wealthy suspects don’t have to suffer pre-trial detention, while poorer suspects spend long periods of time in jail. I support ending money bail, and instead determining pre-trial detention according to the flight risk and threat represented by the suspect, not how much money they can organize for their freedom.

I believe there should be no business profit in incarceration. We should end private prisons. Private prisons create incentives toward keeping people in jail, minimizing assistance and services to people serving time. When imprisonment is considered necessary by the state or community, it should be responsible for carrying out the duties of custodianship, care, and rehabilitation.

In Richmond I worked to promote the reintegration of formerly incarcerated people into our community and I want to do the same at the state level. Having served their time, returning residents should be able to obtain housing and jobs. I favor “ban the box” legislation to prohibit potential employers and landlords from inquiring into an individual’s history of conviction and incarceration.

It is high time to acknowledge that those who suffer from chronic mental illness or substance abuse are human beings just like us, deserving of dignity and respect and provided with the resources necessary to survive in our increasingly unequal society.

Decriminalization of the use and possession of drugs would be a start. Though there are public programs supporting various community treatment options in California, they are vastly underfunded. Research shows that community based psychiatric treatment is frequently more effective and significantly less expensive than in-prison treatment at preventing crime and reducing incarceration rates for people with mental disorders. Our state can and should provide adequate funding for a community-based continuum of care to help those who are victims of these disorders. This continuum must include permanent supportive housing, job training and subsidized employment, educational opportunities, highly skilled professional treatment specialists who will provide services in the natural environment of the consumers of such services, and integrated dual disorders treatment of mental illness and substance abuse simultaneously.

I want to work with other legislators to study the feasibility and best practices to move in this direction. Drug possession and use should be responded to as health problems, not criminal acts. Rehabilitation, counseling, expansion of life opportunities and a health maintenance approach will reduce costs, improve outcomes, and be much more humane.

My Experience and Record on Criminal Justice Reform

In my first term on the City Council, I assisted in the creation of a workplace anti-bullying policy.

To help Richmond residents participate fully in our community regardless of their immigration status, I helped establish a municipal identification card for everyone. This effort was strongly supported by our Chief of Police to improve police-community interaction.

On the Richmond City Council I spearheaded the successful effort to “ban the box” for municipal employment and housing so that people returning from incarceration could settle productively back into our community.

In Richmond, the homicide rate has significantly declined during my time on the City Council.

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Ensure and Protect People’s Rights

I have been subjected to hate speech. I adamantly seek to ensure that all minority rights are protected. Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, the struggle for people’s rights must continue.

In Sacramento I will protect LGBTQ rights:

I support HR 2282 for amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

I will promote legislation condemning bullying and hate crimes against LGBTQ people.

I support comprehensive immigration reform to protect the estimated 1.2 million LGBTQ undocumented people in the US.

We should strengthen protections against discrimination that targets LGBTQ and HIV positive seniors in long-term facilities and oppose religious exemptions that permit discrimination against LGBTQ people. I support the rights of transgender incarcerated people.

School funding should include training to help teachers identify and assist LGBTQ students who need support.

Openly transgender people should be able to serve in the US military.

California and the East Bay are home to thousands of immigrants, many undocumented. They are our neighbors, they are productive at work, and they are humans, worthy of respect like the rest of us. I wholeheartedly support the California sanctuary state bill, and will do everything possible to protect immigrants’ rights.

In Sacramento I intend to help protect immigrant workers exercising their rights. Many employers regularly abuse immigrant workers knowing employees will not hold them accountable for fear of deportation.

I will support state efforts to provide permanent immigration relief for families and to promote family unification.

I believe it is vital to preserve our local law enforcement officers’ ability to be in close and positive contact with our communities to decoupled local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement.

As a matter of Constitutional justice and basic fairness, I favor expanding access to counsel for immigrants and especially those claiming refugee status as they seek to navigate the immigration system.

If current trends continue, one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes. Blacks are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites and a report by the Department of Justice found that blacks were three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop, compared to white motorists. Together, African-Americans and Latinos comprised 57 percent of all prisoners in 2014, even though African-Americans and Latinos make up approximately one quarter of the US population. These outcomes are not reflective of more crime by people of color, but rather disparities in enforcement and reporting.

Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Tamir Rice, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Samuel DuBose and Anastacio Hernandez-Rojas. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. People have a right to be angry.

We must demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies.

We must invest more in community policing.

Preserving our rights means making political leaders accountable. Accountability begins with voting. I want to help make voting as easy as possible and as resistant to meddling as feasible.

I support making Election Day a holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate.

I support automatically registering every American to vote when they turn 18 or move to a new state, but meanwhile in California we can further spread information and encouragement for everyone to take advantage of our online and DMV voting registration opportunities.

Human Rights are Women’s Rights!

In Sacramento I promise to fight for pay equity for women. Women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. African American women earn just 64 cents for every dollar a white male earns, while the figure for Hispanic women is just 54 cents.

We need to make quality childcare and Pre-K available to all Californians, regardless of income. This will have positive effects on children, it will expand women’s ability to gain education and to participate in the workforce.

California’s minimum wage affects women more than men. Women make up two-thirds of all minimum wage workers. In Sacramento I will argue to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

My Record and Experience on Rights

In my first term on the Council, we declared Richmond as a Human Rights City, establishing that we adopted as guiding principles the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, honored young people who spoke out for human rights, and funded the city’s human rights commission.

I worked with my colleagues on the Council to improve community-police relations, successfully leading efforts to establish the community policing program.

I absorbed a huge amount of abuse from some other Council members during my first term, but was vindicated with public support at meetings and then by re-election in 2014.

I was a leader in passing Richmond’s ordinance mandating a citywide $15 minimum wage by 2019.

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Protect the Environment and Establish Environmental Justice

As a corporate donation-free candidate, I am not beholden to any special interest group, such as Big Oil, and I will continue to make sure to consider the environmental and environmental justice consequences of any legislation I support. California, the nation and the world must act promptly and urgently to protect our planet!

In Sacramento I will join legislators’ efforts urgently to move California towards clean, renewable wind, solar, and water power.

I urge passage of Senate Bill (SB)100 to achieve 100 percent renewable and zero-carbon electricity in California by 2045 and efforts to reach that goal earlier.

I advocate a moratorium on expansion of fossil fuel production including mining, drilling, and fracking, and we should ban offshore oil drilling altogether.

I believe state law should not be used to over-ride cities’ and communities’ efforts to prevent polluting and toxic projects by denying relevant permits.

California should promote small scale affordable solar to get renewable energy into all communities.

I believe we need to move beyond failing cap and-trade policies that protect fossil-fuel profits and infrastructure, and instead craft a massive public investment program that underwrites our transition to a just and sustainable economy.

I favor introduction of an oil and gas extraction tax to pay for green programs, a school-to-union apprenticeship pipeline, green-collar union jobs, transition training for workers in the fossil fuel industry to move to green jobs, and investment in renewables.

For too long communities of color have been disproportionately exposed to harmful pollutants as oil refineries are located near communities that do not have a voice in local or state politics. We need to allocate resources to compensate communities that have been most adversely affected with high asthma rates, lung disease, and other pollution consequences.

We must strengthen environmental regulations to protect worker and public health, especially communities that have been disadvantaged.

I believe we should return power to local Air District boards to protect the public health and make them democratic: Air and Water District seats should be directly elected by the communities they serve.

I will work to prevent refinery expansions, cement plant projects, and other toxic industries from being built next to communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color.

California should mandate emissions caps on refineries, enact setbacks on oil and gas infrastructure near schools and residences, and strengthen regulations on fracking wastewater.

I support AB 1316, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, which requires the California Department of Public Health to revise lead testing and exposure rules including consideration of proximity to polluting businesses, freeways, and lead contaminated plumbing.

I support AB 885 requiring K-12 schools to install and maintain certified water filters, requires schools to replace lead pipes, and community water systems to periodically test water at schools.

California should strengthen regulatory policies with mandated emissions caps on refineries, setbacks on oil and gas infrastructure near schools and residences, and strengthen regulations on fracking wastewater.

We need more accountability to protect the environment. California should continue and expand fines for water waste at all levels. Those funds should assist programs that educate and advocate for ways that Californians can conserve our limited water supply.

We need to understand that the adverse effects of prior development have fallen disproportionately on minority and less wealthy communities. California can address these historic environmental inequities and simultaneously improve the environment for everyone.

I support funding groups working to develop youth leadership in environmental justice and find out from them what their individual communities need.

I oppose AB 398 because Cap and Trade has turned pollution into a commodity. With the artificial cap, energy companies and investors buy and sell pollution credit. This allows corporations like Chevron to continue to pollute on neighborhoods of color and low income while trading away credits.

I support prioritizing funding for groups working to develop youth leadership in environmental justice communities and find out from them what their individual communities need.

I oppose transportation of fracking oil, tar (oil) sand oils, coal, and other hazardous materials through California and especially to facilities located in low-income and minority areas.

Climate Change is a huge threat to our communities, state, nation and world. We need to act now and constantly to mitigate, adapt to, and try to reverse human-induced climate change. Some of our efforts are vital to the protection of residents in the near future.

State staff should help develop a plan to address catastrophic changes in Delta salinity.

California needs to tighten benchmark emission goals and move deadlines up. With the current environmental changes we are experiencing, we cannot adequately predict the 2030 climate. We should employ the precautionary principle, prepare for the worst, and continue to follow scientific advice on how best to prepare our communities and the state for the effects of climate change.

More money needs to be committed to maintain and restore California’s water infrastructure, as demonstrated by the 2017 Oroville Dam crisis. We should repair California’s existing water supply infrastructure before seeking to solve the state’s water supply problems by investing in huge new projects.

I oppose the Delta tunnels project. It threatens access to clean drinking water and irrigation water for the Delta’s population and threatens wildlife, fishing and recreation. The project as planned so far promises massive environmental and economic harm.

Delta planning must respond to scientific evidence that demonstrates the need to reduce water diversions from the Bay/Delta estuary to save the West Coast salmon fishery and restore the health of native fish.

Coastal development needs to be limited and to take into account accelerating sea-level rise.

I will preserve, uphold, implement and apply the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The public relies on CEQA to protect its health and well-being and protect the environment. I oppose efforts (for instance in SB827) to relieve developers and municipalities from complying with CEQA requirements under the guise of claimed – but not demonstrated – environmental benefits.

My Record and Experience on the Environment

I ran for Richmond City Council as part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. The RPA’s primary mission was to take control of the city’s government away from our largest local corporation – Chevron – and work to improve the lives of our residents and the health of our city. I have been deeply involved in repeated initiatives to bring Chevron into compliance with environmental and worker safety standards as well as pursuing remediation of the consequences of Chevron’s long domination of the city. Check out my endorsements page to see that I have been endorsed by five environmental groups.

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Promote, Expand, and Improve Education

California was once a global leader in public education from kindergarten through university. The “tax revolt” began a long slide that has now become a public education crisis. Charter schools and private university funding are not good solutions. After years of deteriorating funding, I will go to Sacramento pursuing a shift away from privatization and prison funding to improving and equalizing funding for public education at all levels.

I support implementation of Proposition 98 (constitutional funding guarantee for K-12 schools and community colleges), and AB 2808 for fair and full funding of schools.

We must reform or repeal the Proposition 13 legislation to close loopholes to generate funds for our schools at all levels.           

I support providing all Californians with free pre-school, free childcare, and tuition-free access to community college, the Cal State and University of California systems.           

To set our students up for success we must expand career and technical education programs for all students. This should include a school-to-union pipeline to train our young people for green-collar union jobs.

I support neighborhood public schools. I advocate a statewide moratorium on new charter schools until and unless existing such schools are demonstrated genuinely to improve choice without damaging public schools.

I support forgiving state loans made to community colleges when they were taken over by the state, i.e. Compton community college.

California must take into account the full range of students entering our educational system.

I support removing barriers to attending colleges to help end the cycle of poverty. From elementary school onward, the purpose of college education should be explicitly explained and articulated as part of students’ potential futures.

I support AB 204 (Medina) that waives enrollment fees for community college students.

I support SB-68 that would create an exemption from nonresident tuition for children of immigrants who cannot demonstrate California residency because of their immigration status (Dream Act students). I strongly oppose federal efforts that target undocumented students and faculty, or that undermine an inclusive vision of community colleges.

We need to improve coordination between community colleges, school districts, cities, counties and other agencies on the delivery of social, health, and mental health services. We especially should expand access to mental health and social services for community college students.

Our schools can only improve if we respect and reward our teachers.

I support establishing access to affordable housing for faculty.

I support increasing dedicated funding for full and part-time faculty and equalization of the treatment of part-time and adjunct faculty with regular college and university faculty.

Funding should be dedicated and enhanced for teachers’ professional development at all levels.

I support due process in the discipline process for educators so teachers are protected from retaliatory or inappropriate backlash.

I oppose merit pay/pay for performance for teachers.

I support SB 285 that would prohibit a public employer from deterring or discouraging public employees from becoming or remaining members of an employee organization.

I oppose administrative salary pay increases amidst tuition hikes.

Our higher education system has become a political target insulated from the needs and interests of the broad range of Californians. I support inclusive and democratic decision-making on education.

California should have democratic elections for, rather than the Governor’s power to appoint, the statewide K-12 State Board of Education, the Community College Board of Governors, CSU Board of Trustees, and UC Board of Regents.

I pledge to consult faculty representatives and local educators as I consider any decisions and policies about our public education system.

My Record and Experience on Education

As a mental health professional I work with educators every day. It is my job to work with a child’s guardian, their educators and other invested parties to plan a comprehensive path of success for the student, focusing on their education. I work with educators who dedicate their lives to helping underserved communities and students who need extra attention.

Throughout my political career I have worked closely with the local Teacher unions in Richmond to advocate for English As A Second Language for K-12 and Adult education, to improve the nutrition level of school meals, to raise teacher salaries, reduce the student-to-teacher ratio and fought Big Soda that spent millions as we campaigned to tax their deeply unhealthy products and invest the funds in social programs at school.

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Jovanka Beckles

I am running for the California State Assembly to transform our state government to work for people, not profit. Join me and our movement to build a California that works for the many, not the few.