A High Quality and Affordable Education

As a current member of the California public education system and a graduate of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both the striking flaws and positive attributes that define a California education.

I’m a strong supporter of the public education system as the investments we make now in students will be amplified in our future society and economy. Beyond poor national rankings, large class sizes, and a low per-pupil spending that dips below the national average, we must enrich the academic experience of every student who attends a public institution. Additionally, we must prepare students to handle the social and academic transition that comes with pursuing higher level education. Simply put, education is the source of our prosperity as a state.

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Develop widespread dual immersion programs that build proficiency in a foreign language
  • Push for universal preschool to facilitate the early development of academic and social skills
  • Support the expansion of extracurricular/after school programs that offer students a safe alternative to interaction beyond the classroom environment
  • Integrate technology into the classroom environment to enhance hands on learning
  • Reduce and oppose tuition spikes in California community colleges, CSUs, and UCs

Universal Healthcare (Single-Payer)

The right to healthcare is one that should be shared by all Californians. Unfortunately, nearly 3 million Californians (8%) remain uninsured while many others are paying high premiums and deductibles for average care. California must be at forefront of developing a single payer system which can sustain universal healthcare. A system which emulates Medicare, but is for everyone regardless of factors such as immigration status or age. Healthcare is a human right

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Support efforts to develop a single payer system that ensures universal care to all Californias. This effort must intend on providing standard and comprehensive care regardless of factors such as age and pre-existing medical conditions. The effort should be fiscally responsible and mirror elements of SB 562 (The Healthy California Act).

Climate Change and Environmental Safeguards

A few months ago I was participating in the Coca Cola Scholars convention in Atlanta. While connecting with others from across the United States, the most popular question asked was, “What's the best thing about California?” To which I often respond, “You can be anywhere you want within a few hours.” Through this statement I was referencing the vibrancy and peace of the California coastline, the privacy and mysterious beauty of the John Muir Woods, and the breathtaking view of the sunset from our Mt. Diablo.

However, now more than ever the preservation of our beautiful state boils down to if we're willing to create environmental safeguards that protect the Golden State. Science overwhelmingly supports the existence of climate change, and so do I. Right here in California, warming temperatures directly impact the prevalence of droughts and wildfires. Not to mention, industrial manufacturers and the extraction of fossil fuels directly cause the release of methane which trap heats in our atmosphere. What are we going to do to protect our environment for generations to come?

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Oppose industrial developments which threaten our environmental stability
  • Explore the potential of renewable energy sources and their ability to sustain California
  • Enact policy which establishes preventive measures for water shortages and drought
  • Require all developers to undergo a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) review

Protecting Basic Rights

Growing up in California has afforded me a series of basic rights and opportunities that leave me feeling confident in my future. Whether it’s a safe neighborhood where I could build connections with neighbors, a free public education where my desire to learn could grow, or a political system where I can run for office at 18.

Our state has always been at the forefront of equity and equality-but we still have work to do when it comes to protecting the rights of those marginalized due to their race, sexual orientation, and gender. Communities of immigrants, LGBTQ citizens, and women, must know that we stand behind them and will fight for them to have equal access to economic and social opportunities.

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Support the funding of Planned Parenthood, work to lessen and eliminate the gender wage gap, ensure a no tolerance policy is met in instances of sexual harassment
  • Protect individuals of the LGBTQ community from discrimnatory practices that affect their chances of employment and threaten their personal safety
  • Protect California's Sanctuary State status and subsequently the immigrants who help compose a large portion of the California workforce

Prison Reform and Overcrowding

California prisons are dealing with a serious overcrowding issue that is placing inmates in inhumane conditions. I’m a firm believer in the concept that everyone deserves a second chance.

In California, approximately 65% of inmates will return within three years of being incarcerated. Often times, young adults become trapped in California’s cycle of incarceration, inhibiting not only their ability to rebuild their personal lives and careers but also depleting funds that could be used elsewhere. Not to mention, if we're willing to invest now in quality rehabilitation services then our future can be protected from senseless violence. So, Why is California’s recidivism rate so high and what can we do to reform inmates into productive and proud citizens of California?

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Focus on developing educational and extracurricular initiatives that target at risk youth
  • Create services which provide FREE therapy for District 14 constituents struggling with mental health or/and addiction issues
  • Provide comprehensive therapy for inmates to combat metal illness and addiction issues 
  • Develop a focused transitional program that allows inmates to join the workforce and pursue an education

Civic Engagement and Practical Leadership

The function of a democracy relies both on the participation of those who govern and those who are governed. California’s lack of civic engagement has led to a dangerous bridge between leaders and citizens that needs to close in order to preserve democracy.

In  a study conducted by the US Public Interest Research Group, California received an ‘F’ grade when measuring a citizens ability to access government spending data. Not only do other studies validate this lack of access, but it strengthens the bridge and makes it even more difficult to hold leaders accountable for their actions. Along with a lack of transparency, corruption within the California government has contributed to public distrust and a declining value placed on the importance of the Legislature. Factors such as those mentioned above, have ultimately resulted in a low voter turnout, marked by only 55% of eligible voters casting ballots in 2012. Now, more than ever we need not just strong leadership but practical leadership-that understands the valuable nature of turning to your citizens to dictate legislation.

As Assemblymember I would:

  • Personally and digitally interact with all regions of District 14 on a bi-weekly schedule
  • Improve and simplify the process by which citizens can request access to information using the California Public Records Act (PRA)
  • Remain fully transparent about my voting record, citing the specific reasons for my decisions
  • Create an initiative which makes registering to vote an optional part of US History and Government classes curriculums
  • Create a 100% response policy, that ensures no inquiry, question, or concern is ignored
  • Drop politics and listen to District 14, fight for District 14, and understand District 14 in the best way I can