Our diverse community has diverse and unique needs.
I believe in the power and importance of the people, and as your assemblywoman, I will work with you, my community, to identify the issues that matter to you, find real, effective solutions, and fight to bring those solutions to life. That's why our platform is OUR platform. We're not working with political consultants - we're working with YOU.
For too long, our community has been left in the dust by special interests, partisanship, and legislation that doesn't account for the crucial needs of the desert & mountain communities of AD 33. I want our community to be heard, because when you hurt, I hurt. I'm a member of this community, too, and I take the responsibility of representation seriously. Let's work together.
I can't bury my head in the sand - our community does have a crime problem, and we need to take a multi-faceted approach in making our community safer. I also find it important to remember how mass incarceration affects our community - mass incarceration weakens the family unit and the community as a whole. Imprisonment without rehabilitation creates a vicious cycle of poverty and crime. When a father is imprisoned, his children are also likelier to be imprisoned as adults. It's time to stop this cycle in our community; I believe in a full-circle approach to reducing crime in our community.
Crime reduction starts with early education. When we create educational opportunities, we ensure that our kids have a variety of paths and career options after graduation. These opportunities don't have to be limited just to university or college, though - with growing demand for skilled workers, trade programs and apprenticeships are essential to broadening opportunity for the youth of our community. Additionally, when students participate in after-school programs and extra-curriculars, they are likelier to graduate from high school and those students on average have higher GPAs than students who don't participate in extra-curricular activities.
Rehabilitation to Reduce Recidivism
More than half of released inmates are re-incarcerated within three years of release, and even more are re-arrested for a new, serious crime. It is imperative that we protect our community by developing rehabilitation programs for inmates. Rehabilitation through education, job skills training, and drug treatment are essential in making sure that criminals released back to our community stay former criminals. By focusing on rehabilitation, we also ensure the safety of our community by reducing repeat crime.
Ending For-Profit Prisons
Our community’s for-profit prisons breed and promote a culture of recidivism, making a business of catching criminals instead of rehabilitation. When we tacitly promote recidivism, we promote re-criminalization (which means we have greater potential from repeat crime in our communities). As such, I support ending for-profit prisons, starting with a moratorium on for-profit prison development and the closure of the Adelanto Detention Facility. We must hold our corrections facilities accountable when they fail to accomplish the "corrective" aspect of their existence.
Release and Reduce for Marijuana Offenses
With the decriminalization of marijuana in California, it is time to release those serving time for marijuana offenses and reduce convictions for past offenses (misdemeanors should be expunged, felonies should become misdemeanors). When past marijuana offenses keep our neighbors from being able to rejoin the workforce, we force the people around us into the shadows.
Our community's growth starts with educational opportunities, from pre-school to adulthood.
Preschool & Head Start Availability
Preschool and Head Start programs are proven to improve education outcomes, but availability is extremely limited. I would like to work to make preschool a standard part of primary education.
Charter School Accountability
We are fortunate in our community to have open school districts, wherein our families can choose the schools that best suit their learning style, goals, and interests. Charter schools are a part of our community's educational makeup, and though they serve a distinct purpose, they have earned a reputation for poor accountability and standards. I support a moratorium on the development of new charter schools, and I would like to work with the existing local charter schools and school districts to determine a plan for increased accountability to assure that moneys aren't misappropriated, students are fully and adequately served, and faculty & staff are both properly credentialed and compensated.
Skilled Trade Training
As a long-time labor advocate and union worker, I believe that skilled trades are a pivotal part of our community's potential for growth. I would like to incentivize trade unions to develop apprenticeships and skilled job training programs here in the desert, opening pathways to careers closer to home.
4-Year University Development
Many of our students don't see an opportunity for education, as traveling to or living on-campus at a university is costly. Additionally, students who live near a university are likelier to aspire to and eventually attend a university. To serve our students and to create job opportunities, I support the development of a CSU in AD33.
Health Care Costs
In California, our tax dollars already account for hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare funding, and that's not to mention what we pay for insurance, co-pays, prescriptions, and more. Despite everything we already pay into our healthcare system, we're still not fully-covered, with many of our own neighbors going uninsured or underinsured. A healthy community is a prosperous community, and we cannot let our neighbors continue to suffer while insurance and pharmaceutical companies enjoy all-time-high profits at the cost of people's health. I will fight to end artificial cost inflation, paving the way for the billions of tax dollars we already pay into healthcare to fully fund Healthcare For All.
Develop a Major Medical Center in the High Desert
Our community doesn't have a major medical center, nor do we have a trauma center. If you or a family member or a friend are in a major accident or experience a significant trauma, you would have to be medi-vacced to San Bernardino. This is terrifying, and when a person is critically injured, every moment counts. I will fight to bring a major medical center to the High Desert and make sure that our neighbors can get the full care that we need right here in our own community.
Women's Health, Choice, and Access to Care
As a Christian, I believe that judgment isn't for us, and that we have all been given the gift of choice and free agency. That's why I believe in women's right to choose, and more importantly, I believe that no one - no health care plan, employer, or health care provider - should interfere with a woman's access to birth control. If we want to lower abortion rates, which we all do, we must make sure that women have autonomy over their own bodies and can choose when they start their families, regardless of circumstance, by making sure that all health plans cover birth control completely, and that abortions are safe, legal, and rare. We need to trust women. We need to trust women to make decisions for their own futures, for the futures of their families, and for the future of our community.
With the worst poverty rates in the developed world, we have a lot of work to do in the United States, and I believe that we in California have an opportunity to take the lead in this crucial battle.
I want to incentivize contractors to hire from within our community, instead of bringing their own crews to work in our neighborhoods.
Skilled Career Training
If we want to enact a plan to incentivize contractors to hire locally, our local workforce must be up to the task. As such, I want to partner with trade unions to bring apprenticeship, job training, and placement programs here to our community and build up a skilled, employable workforce.
I wholly support net neutrality. The internet and STEM jobs are the way of the future, and internet access is rapidly becoming a determiner of employability, access to employment opportunities, and education opportunities. Additionally, many small businesses depend on internet traffic to find and support their customers and clients. We can't let internet service providers (ISPs) force website owners to pay more to make sure people can access their sites, nor can we allow ISPs to limit access to vital employment and education tools to those who can pay extra for them. Net neutrality is vital to our ability to share information, learn, and access much-needed resources and I will work to protect it.
Our community is rich in natural resources and beauty. We have a responsibility to protect the wildlife that makes our community unique.
Protecting Our Water
We live in a bellwether community - when the weather or climate changes, we feel the changes strongly. When we faced drought, it hit our community hard. Despite this, special interests are fighting to take our water and sell it to Orange County, and we simply can't have that. Our wildlife depends on it, and so does our safety. When drought hits, we are at greater risk of wildfires, and when our limited water sources are tapped out, we increase our wildfire risk significantly. We cannot allow this project and those like it to move forward, and I will fight to protect our community's water.
As the home of Big Bear, Silverwood Lake, Lake Havasu, the Mojave National Preserve, and more, our community is abundant in natural beauty and opportunities for tourism. Tourism is a huge economic boost for surrounding communities, and by protecting our resources, we also ensure that they are available as economic resources for our neighborhoods.
I pledge not to take contributions from the oil industry, and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.
Corporate money does not belong in politics, and as a grassroots candidate, your trust is everything to me. I want my constituents to have complete confidence that they are at the center of my work as a legislator, and that starts with rejecting money from corporate donors. But this goes far beyond me - it is time that we took a hard look at the way campaigns are run in California and start to set limits on campaign spending. We need to focus on the people issues, on issues, and on solutions, and that starts with limiting the amount a campaign can raise and spend.